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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Practicing The Craft
"Does this sheath make my axe look big?"
Chris Noble, 3/6/13

This past weekend found both chapters busy at work doing what we love. In the west, the Yellowstone Trail Chapter Hut in Teton, Idaho hosted a Scandinavian-style knife and sheath-making workshop lead by David Wescott. On Thursday, the handles were glued up and left to cure (the blades were laminated Moras provided by our longtime supplier RoseMarie at Scandia International). On Saturday the weather was warm, but so warm the snow was melting faster than the frozen ground could absorb it, so we worked inside to avoid mud and puddles. The workshop was open for handle trimming, shaping and buffing. The classroom was alive with leather work - pattern-making, gluing, stitching and waxing. The result was a dozen great little sloyd knives that would be used in our upcoming Tuesday Knifecraft class where we focused on dogwood beads, split-forked toasters, gypsy flowers and try sticks.We ended up with some interesting shapes, but all the handles were technically sound and pretty darn good for a first attempt by most everyone.

Kamphaven at the Schiele Museum in North Carolina hosted the latest in the Kamp Kephart series led by Steve Watts. The design came from one belonging to long-time mentor Darry Wood that both Steve and I saw years ago. It's a slick little design and has tremendous application in a field setting while using and carrying your axe for practical purposes. Gastonia was experiencing some unfriendly weather, so the class was held in the center's classroom and out on the front porch. What a great setting for getting back to the old style.

The original axe and sheath, and my knock-off pattern drawn on a cereal box are seen below (Note cereal box cardboard works great for creating form-fitting leather patterns. It molds to the tool like leather would, creating a very accurate pattern). I forgot to add the piece for the welt along the bit, but if you look closely, you can see the line where it needs to be placed. Cut it to that shape. The pattern was reduced, but can be rescaled to fit a 3/4 axe head. I made one from this pattern that replicates the one in the picture. The lacing is brain-tanned buckskin. Bottom-left is Steve's small Forest Axe using a customized factory sheath; and bottom-right is my 3/4 axe and sheath replica of the original. All hail the plaid.

Now go make something!   -   Go Plaid!

1 comment:

  1. I really like these knives with beautiful handle. and I also like the cover of these knives.
    Out The Front Knives