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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just a note to say I really have enjoyed the conversation under this subject. Just found it today and have read all the topics during my lunch hour. I especially enjoyed and appreciated and agreed with you and Mr Ford under the topic of a first knife for a grandson. I am most certainly not an experienced source of information about much of anything except for what I like, but I agreed with your thoughts about how to build a good working knife. I have a drawer full of both folders and fixed blades, and I enjoy having them, even though some of them ain't worth a pinch of dried monkey manure. I find it interesting how folks flock around these blades that are about as thick as a rear axle spring off a duece and a half!! They do make axes, and some pretty good ones, too!!

I tend to like the Scandinavian style knives pretty well myself, although they are not the most eye catching ones on the market. I guess the first knife that caused my heart to beat fast was one of those little Case knives with the stacked leather handle. My granddad had one, and I coveted that knife. That style still makes me stop and look, although like you, the blade shape is not my favorite using blade today. I am also getting to like the warncliffe style blade. Except for skinning chores, they are pretty handy.

Thought I would share a tip that might be useful for someone. These days, I spend quite a bit of time at a desk, in a place where a straight knife would raise eyebrows. I do that enough anyway, without adding to the problem! I usually have a couple knives on me somewhere. I have carried some folders with a pocket clip, and have never really warmed up to that method of carry. Seems like the clip winds up getting caught on something or other, or being otherwise unacceptable. My wife is handy with a sewing machine, and she has taken a seam along the back edge of my right front pants pockets (the edge toward the seam on the outside of my leg, right side for me, but could be either side). The seam runs from the bottom edge of the pocket, usually curved where the seam starts, vertically toward the top of the pocket. The seam is usually about 2 1/2 or 3 inches long, and is located about an inch or a bit more away from the edge of the pocket. Width and length is determined by the actual size and thickness of the knife you carry. Make sure the knife pocket is not too tight. If it is, rip it out and try again!!

This creates a pocket within your pants pocket which will carry a pretty large knife in a vertical position, with enough of the end of the knife above the end of the vertical seam to allow easy grasping when you slip your thumb and forefinger down inside your pocket. The knife can be carried blade tip up or down, which ever you prefer. I like a locking bladed knife without the clip installed here. I have lately been carrying an AG Russell Featherlite One Hand knife, which is made in two styles, one a clip blade and the other similar to the warncliff style. These are very light and sharp blades, and can be had in either AUS-8A or ATS-34 steel. They don't cost much money, and they are a pretty serious knife for lots of chores. Probably not anywhere near the most expensive steel or the best looking, but they work for me. They seem, so far, to hold their edge pretty well and to be easy to sharpen and maintain. I like the flat grind on the blade. This knife has an interesting locking mechanism that requires a different drill for closing the blade.

But this is about the carry method. Any kind of folder can be easily carried this way. I wear mostly jeans, and I have found this to be a very secure and comfortable way to carry a pretty large folding knife that is fairly easily accessible. I can get my knife out while sitting easily if I can lean back or to my left just a bit, and standing is no problem. Oldman, who was asking about carrying a knife while hiking, might try this method. You can put your thumb and forefinger on the knife and be ready to remove it instantly without ever exposing the knife or seeming to be threatening in any way. Blade tip down, with the blade toward the front, lets me slip out the folder and quickly orient it in my hand so as to quickly and easily open the blade with my thumb. Your knife is ALWAYS in exactly the same place, and is ALWAYS there, in my experience.

Again, in my opinion, you guys display a lot of common sense about good working knives. Ain't a lot of common sense going around these days. Lots of opinions though, and you can take mine and a buck and buy coffee most places, except for those highbrow latte joints. I doubt many of us spend a lot of time in those places anyway. No problem if you do, but I am by high dollar coffee as I am about high dollar knives. Nothing at all wrong with them, but I would rather look at the expensive knife and then take the money and buy a couple of good cheaper knives and take 'em on a trip with the rest of the money. I guess I do own some expensive knives though, since some I have bought have not been worth much but to look at!! We do live and learn, if we can manage to continue to live. My old daddy always said that when a man with experience meets a man with money, the man with the experience leaves with the money, and the man who brought the money leaves with some experience!! I am afraid I have been guilty of buying some experience in the past, and probably will again. Thanks for the space, and for for allowing me to ramble. If this is not acceptable, or just a waste of time, please be honest enough to tell me, and I will cease and desist. I look forward to reading here and learning more.
 

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:D Howdy Ken!! You sure do live in a pretty part of the country, in it's own unique way! I'm not much of a knife collector by choice, it just worked that way. I too have a drawer full of various and sundry knives, but they got there because they just weren't "right". Wether it be size, weight, shape, how they held or didn't hold an edge, how long it took to sharpen, there are even a couple in there that are probably pretty good knives but to me they were just gawd-awful-ugly. I am a knife user, a knife is the first thing to go into a pair of pants after my fat arse. I use one several times a day. :-D The one I've been carring for the last 5 or 6 years cost me a grand total of $9.95 and came with a sharpening stone. Since it was for farm supplies I didn't even have to pay sales tax. It is a plastic handled, locking blade Shrade, weighs about 2 oz., holds a fair edge and sharpens pretty easy. The blade is so worn, the serrations are gone and I've had to grind off the little "heel" at the base of the blade twice just to keep the point inside the handle when closed. The little jewel is so light in the pocket I usually have to feel to make sure I have it. This one has been a keeper.
I have to admit, I really do like those high dollar knives, or at least some of them. I only have one that might be classified as high dollar, but there are a few others that at the time sure seemed high dollar. The craftsmanship in some of what's available now is hard to believe! Even in some of the production made knives these days, they look good, feel good, take and hold an edge that would have been impossible just a few years ago.
****, I just realized that I'm rambleing, sorry about that.
I enjoyed your thoughts, the extra seam is a good idea. Your's? or your wife's? :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The idea was mine, the execution was my wife's. I got the idea from an old practice of my dad's. He used to take a thin piece of leather and fashion a rather tight pouch by folding it over on itself, rough side out, and stitching around the bottom and side. His knife, usually a Shrade-Walden 3-blade stockman with a kind of yellowish, greenish, blackish celluloid set of scales, would stick out of this pouch about an inch. He carried his knife in this pouch in his pocket and it prevented wear and tear on the pants leg material where the ends of the knife stretched the material tight. He would sit this pouch up vertically in his pocket, in the same area as the place I have my pocket sewn, and the roughout leather would stay in place pretty well. After several times of removing the knife, it would usually come out and leave the pouch behind.

Like you, my dad always had to grind off the heel at the base of the sharp edge so that the sharp tip of his blades, especially the biggest one, would not stick out and poke him. He was always sharpening those knives, and he started me out with a pocket knife way early. As I grew, he would ask to borrow my knife. Woe be unto me if I did not have it with me, and woe be unto me if that sucker was dull. He said a man that was too lazy to keep his knife sharp was worthless at most other things as well. He also taught me to return another fellow's knife to him as he handed it to me. If open, return it open, if closed, then return it closed. Never, he said, close another man's knife. Bad luck, you know??!!

I am not a collector either, per se, but I have accumulated several knives. I have a couple that say "Shrade Walden" on the blade, and these were my dad's favorite brand. To this day to him, Shrades just are not as good as were the old Shrade Waldens. Like you, I can appreciate a good looking knife, but I am a user. Same with firearms. If I can't shoot it, I don't have much use for it, sentimental or not. I do have an old knife or two that are not worth anything, but which belonged to someone or other that I will keep. I just cannot fathom getting along without a knife in my pocket. It panics me if I reach for one and it is not there. That usually means that I have lost it, if only temporarily. I HATE to lose a knife, and can tell you about every one I have ever lost. I got in the habit of carrying two pocket knives when I was in military service. Guys who did not carry them, when they found out I had one, always wanted to borrow mine. Mostly, they did not treat my knife with the same respect that I did, and that would make me mad. So, to keep from being mad, I carried two, one a user for me, and the other, a loaner for them.

I usually have a larger serious knife in my special knife pocket, and a small fingernail cleaner elsewhere mixed up with my change. I agree that this part of the world has its own peculiar charm. Most folks passing through wonder at first why in the world anyone would live in such a drab, flat, and dry place. We have some really spectacular sunsets and sunrises when there is some dust and a bit of moisture in the atmosphere. Moisture is scarce, but we have lots of dust! I happen to kind of like the fact that most folks don't think about stopping here for long. Keeps the wide open spaces wide open. Got nothing against neighbors, mind you, long as they are far enough away that they can't hear my wife hollering at me when she catches me "resting"!!

I agree that production knives are in some cases nearly as good or better than some "customs". Knife steel has really improved, although I don't have anything at all against a good carbon steel knife. I like one to hold its edge, but I also like to be able to sharpen one without needing an hour to do so. Well, I am also rambling. I enjoy your posts and look forward to "talking" again.
 

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Hey Ken, nice of you to join us. Glad me an' ButlerFord make sense to someone out there. Guess the three of us have something in common, cause I've a whole drawer full of knives, most of which just set there. Funny you should mention Warncliffe's cause that's just about my favorite blade. The first knife I ever built that was worth keeping was a warncliffe out of a Sandvik file. Still have it an use it for small game. Like you said, it's good for everything except skinnin.
Bunch of guys at the farm carry a small warncliffe I designed that uses a Gerber style clip on the pouch sheath that will clip onto a jean's pocket or coat pocket. You just reach down an pull it out, none of this one handed stud crap(doesn't work too well when your hands are 'bout half frozen, wet an muddy). Warncliffe's a great blade for opening seed/fertilizer bags, cutting rope, drip line, pruning and the other hundred things you use a knife for around the farm. Been meaning to build a deer sized one, cause it'd be perfect for field dressing and even some of the skinning cuts(like under the front shoulder). I used a lot of ATS-34 for knives and it's a darned good steel; nowadays I use mostly 154CM which is the original, American version of that steel, and it will do several deer before it needs sharpened. To tell you the truth, there isn't much out there being put out by the factories anymore that I really like. The great knifemaker Ed Fowler said it well in a Blade Magazine article when he said the factories are producing "image" knives rather than practical working blades, an I think that mostly true; with exceptions. Actually, a lot of the custom stuff I see is just as bad. To me, a lot of the stuff I'm seeing is influenced by urban life rather than woods an outdoors. You look at the blade designs an they seem to be designed more for thrusting and piercing and light cutting rather than as outdoor "work" blades. They're also uglier than all get out. But then that's just me. Somebody's buyin then, else the factories/makers wouln't be building them. My all time favorite factory knife is the D.H. Russell built by Grohmann, especially now that they flat grind them if you want. Tried one time to design a knife that used that elliptical blade but didn't look like a Grohmann, an couldn't do it. Every line on that blade is logical; try something else an either looks really wierd or clumsy.
Understand they offer them in kit form these days. Been tempted to buy one an put it together, but then I'd probably quit making knives; I mean, why bother. To each his own, I guess. Like that "pocket sheath" idea. I don't like clips at all, but then I work outdoors so I don't need to use them. My current pocket knife that I just bought is a Remington reproduction(probably built by Utica)of the old Boy Scout Knife with the blade, can opener, awl, bottle opener/screwdriver. Replaces the old Imperial Schrade of the same design that I finally wore out. Wear it on a small belt sheath I made that fits a lot of my pocket knives. I usually have one on me around even when I'm carrying a sheath knife, for all those little chores in life. And as insurance. Got a bunch of Schrades, Keen Kutters, SAK's etc., that I sort of rotate thru. Guess I'm ramblin also, so I think I'll quit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well Joel, there's ramblin' and then there is ramblin'. If you are saying something important or of value, then ramblin' is good. Sometimes the best way to learn good stuff is to sit around while knowledgeable and experienced people are just talkin' and ramblin'. From what I read so far, you guys are worth listening to and so I need to pay attention. Now as for my ramblin, well , that is prob'ly another something. Maybe (maybe not!) entertaining, hopefully useful, who knows?? AS they say, you pay your money and take your chances!! I just appreciate the opportunity to use up bandwidth with some of my ramblin', since it so far has provoked both of you to do so yourselves, and I am the beneficiary!!

It sounds to me like I would very much like the small Wharncliffe blade you are describing that the guys at the farm are using. A knife that will do all those things, even just reasonably well, is a definite keeper and a good tool to possess. I never cease to be amazed at what folks (including me sometimes!) will spend their hard earned money for, or spend their time doing. If something gets to be "in style" or "high fashion", then look out. Folks just gotta have one, even if they don't need it anymore than they need a stomach ache. I see lots of folks stylin' around in big 4WD duallys with Powerstrokes and Cummins and V-10s under the hood, and they don't have any kind of serious use for them. It is OK if that is how they want to spend their money, IF they have it in the first place, but it don't make much sense to me. They prob'ly feel the same way about me, and that is OK too. I am willing to give them their space to do their thing if they will give me space to do mine, as long as nobody takes advantage of anybody else!!

I have seen pictures and read about the Grohman knives, and mostly, everything I hear is complimentary. I even sent off for one of their catalogs, but have never held one in my hand. Sounds like they are good using knives, and well made. They look different, of course, but beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, and sometimes, how something looks kind of grows on you if it works well. I guess I feel about knives sorta like female wimmen. Some of the purtiest lookin' ones, at least by the world's standards, are pretty worthless as far as being able or willing to do anything of consequence. That is strictly my opinion of course, and is subject to challenge.

I just don't have much room in my life for things or people that don't serve some necessary function. It has been my personal experience that purty is as purty does, with wimmen and knives both. Don't misunderstand. I hold wimmen folks in high regard, but I don't have much use for anybody or anything that won't or can't hit a lick at a snake. Looks by themselves don't fry bacon, or cut it either. And the same thing certainly applies to us fellers. Lots of us are all talk and not much action. I better be keerful, I might be talkin' about me!!

That scout knife you are talking about is a good thing. I have a couple of the military style, all metal, made by Camillus. One of those is not usually too far away, and is close at hand when I am doing something where it would be handy to have. I have never attempted to fashion a knife, although I have made a tool or two that could be used with a hammer to cut the ends out of 55 gallon barrels. We usta burn trash in those, and you could get your eyebrows singed if you used a smoke wrench to cut the end out and you did not know exactly what might have been in the barrel lately!! I used to take a "knife" off what we called a knife sled, which was a farm implement designed to straddle each row of dryland milo or other crop, with a long blade attached to each runner that extended out across the "bed" or ridge of dirt that existed between each row. Dryland farming involved planting down in the row, instead up on top of the bed like irrigators planted. These knives slipped along through the dirt and cut and killed the weeds that would be growning there, IF there had been any rain. I would use a torch to cut one of these to length, and fashion a place at one end with out the "sharp" edge so you could hold the implement with your gloved hand and smack the back side with a good sized shop hammer. You could skin the top out of a barrel in a flash with that tool.

I do have a bit of experience with making sheaths from leather. It is really satisfying to carry a knife you like in a sheath that you have custom made for yourself. Joel, do you have a brochure or catalog or just some pictures and description of the knives you make for sale? I assume you make some for sale. I am really interested in that small Wharncliffe blade with the clip-on sheath that you described. I tend to like and use smaller blades than most. I also much prefer a flat grind on my blades, and I like them on the thin side. There is definitely a place for a blade close to five inches, if it is built right, but most of mine are three and a half to four inches in length. I have one or two that are only two or two and a half inches in length that I really like. These have what I call butcher knife handles on them, nuthin' fancy at all, but they work and I use them.

Well, now you know for sure what ramblin' really is! I better quit before you have to tell me to shutup. Joel, please let me know how to contact you to get the information about your knives. Whatever I need to do, just let me know. If you need a SASE or other compensation for your brochure or catalog, let me know how much and where to send it. Thanks for sharing your rambling with us, both of you.
 

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carrying tools

You guys are not rambling or boring , say all you want . Endlessly interesting , the carrying and usage of the edged tool.
I carry a smallish Cold Steel folder they no longer make called the "
Ultralock". Swapped with my son who needed a stockman. Opens a liitle awkward one handed but certainly good enough .
The small leather sheath to hold a knife , a good friend now gone , an elderly Englishman showed me that one. Very practical and simple.
 

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:D Just wanted to let ya'll know how lucky you are!! I sat here typing rambleings and meanderings for most of an hour, at least long enough to get booted off the forum, when I re-logged in I lost the post! :-D
 

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Retype it Butler

You guys got something to say so I'm listening. I have carried a pocket knife since I was six years old and except for 13 weeks in boot camp I have carried and used some type of blade a lot of years. Differant experiences are always interesting.
 

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Just reading some old posts in the knife section, waiting for my better half to get ready to go fishing, but it seems that time has come, and she is waiting on me now, so this post will be short. I really enjoyed reading this thread, it seems that great minds think alike, as I have mostly the same views about blade styles and materials! Longer post to come later when we get back from fishing...
 

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Have any of you actually USED a Grohmann knife?? I read these posts and went to the site and found I liked the folder...they even have scratch and dent for 1/2 price. Just wondering because in the 30 years I've hunted, I've never seen one on a belt.

Joel....do you think it's a good purchase????
 

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I think Grohmann makes some of the best knives out there for woods use; especially now that they've started to flat grind some of their blades. I happen to own the folder and it's one of the few factory knives I use. Most of the others were gifts, which I tried then gave away. Very solid knife and uses some decent European stainless; plus its just a pleasure to look at.
 
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