Attack of the clones

Back in the day when I worked for Woodlore I, like all the other instructors, had a woodlore knife which we had to buy of course (no freebies there) anyway it was without a doubt a good knife. But when me and Ray parted company and I set up Bearclaw Bushcraft I sold my woodlore and designed my own knife the BFK, a popular knife let down only by my supply chain alas! Eventually I closed down Bearclaw and started Nordmarken Canoe UK and have now designed the Nordmarken Knife .......... no only joking.

In reality these days I don't see the sense in designing or buying expensive custom knives when there are such good factory models and the Mora's and Enzo's out there but lately I have been having a fancy for a woodlore clone. I'm to tight and wise to buy a new one but when a friend offered one for trade I jumped at the chance (I'm reaching the point where I am planning a major wind down in my bushcraft teaching and hence the need to store and trail gear so I am trying to sort out the best kit I can for a all season "go to" set)

The knife itself is a unknown quantity, the blade came as a blanket at a meet some where - the scales were put on for him by a guy called Tim? And the sheath was made by a second guy oddly also called Tim ............... we/he had no idea of the steel, maker, temper etc etc but, and mostly due to this, I liked the tool (no snobbery or feeling inadequate as it wasn't a Alan Wood woodlore or some such)

When the knife finally arrived I viewed it with mixed feeling, the weight was perfect, it sat in my hand like it was designed for me but the sheath was on its last legs and the blade was a odd shiny shiny in places and corroded in others. It had a crappy secondary bevel too but a nice square spine.

Fortunately I had a spare left hand sheath which fit it perfectly.

And mindful of the Norse saying, "Never trust a sword without it seeing rust" i.e a shiny new tool is untested I figured I'd give it a go.

So firstly to mag to grid that orrible shine - good old Balsamic Vinegar soon forced a dark patina on the blade. Once that was done I cleaned it up and oiled the scales before introducing it to the sharpening stones.

A few hours or more precisely several sharpening sessions later and we had a ok edge - she still needs a little more work to get the edge to the standard I like - but it was a workable edge at least.

And so off to the woods to test it. Having tested a few knives over the years I don't worry about all the silly little tests some folks seem preoccupied with, for me I am interested in edge retention, cutting ability and if it'll throw a spark.

I soon had my answers!

Above the knife itself having just batoned down a wrist thick piece of standing dead wood. Note the slightly more clip pointed blade than your average clone.

Carving feathersticks was a treat a very good sign!!

Above to can see the feather stick burning - I lit it with a spark from the strike force struck off the spine of the knife - she castes a impressive spark!

Several other feathers carved to ensure a good overall usage and to ensure the edge was up to it.
All present and correct, the knife thus far has excelled. Next week I'm off to South central Sweden for a weeks canoeing and I will be taking this tool along for a prolonged trial - a trial which I expect her to pass with ease.
I am more than happy with my unknown knife, she's certainly wining my heart and a permanent place in my rucksack!!

POST SCRIPT - 02/06/14 - just returned from a 9 day canoe tour in Sweden and took the knife along - edge is still as sharp as the day I sharpened it. Carved a spoon as well as any knife I have ever owned so over all top marks - very happy with it. So now I have a woodlore clone all of my own lol!!



Quick mod the Czech resi pouch

Modification to the Czech resi pouch - I love this shoulder bag, you might have seen me with it many times but made this little modification to allow addition of a hatchet, axe or hawk ...........very similar to adaptation used on the New England frontier and later by mountain men etc so has a nice historical pedigree too.

Another alternative is the British army jet pouch - same contents and the axe fits down the yoke .........