Blacksmith Caterpillar Knife

Here’s another strange idea I came up with.  This little knife is based upon a class of knives called “Blacksmith Knives” or sometimes “Viking Woman’s Knives.”  These come down to us through antiquity, and were generally just simple (and inexpensive) utility knives roughly forged out by the local blacksmith.  There is some debate about the validity of the “Viking Woman’s Knives” name, although I recently saw a treatise with images of similar knives found in pre-Viking graves.  It’s written in a Nordic language, so I can’t vouch firsthand what it says, and is an image rather than text, so I can’t attempt an Internet translation.  Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

My little version here is hand forged and filed from 1080 carbon steel, and is 3.5 inches long in total (slightly less than 9 cm).  Above, I engraved my pattern of a caterpillar eating it’s way through the steel and have begun to saw out the waste areas with a jeweler’s saw.  This is pretty hard steel, even in a normalize state, and is a bit thicker than 1/8 of an inch (3.5 mm).

Continuing on with the sawing, I’ve removed a little half-moon shaped piece of metal at the front end of the caterpillar.

Continuing down the back.  I’ve used at least three blades at this point.  It is very difficult to hold the knife steady during sawing, since there are really no flat areas on the bottom side.  I learned something here – since this is all on the top and easily accessed later, next time I won’t bother to follow the little hills and valleys.  I’ll just cut a smooth curve across the hilltops ignoring the valleys.  It would be far easier to just engrave and carve them in later, and would make the sawing a lot easier.

Above, I’ve finished all the sawing and am ready to begin carving and sculpting.  All told, I used more than a dozen 5/0 and 2/0 jeweler’s saw blades.  Whew!

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2 Responses to Blacksmith Caterpillar Knife

  1. Patrick Biller says:

    I’ve sat here for over an hour trying to think of what to say…. I can’t find the words to explain/express my feelings towards your knife and skill. I’m sure you have heard things like “wow”, “great job “, beautiful” etc etc but I can’t nor will I attempt to describe the overwhelming feeling that floods my mind. No words exist. I wish I could shake your hand and hold your creations.. You are a “TRUE” knifecrafter…. Your soul must be contained within your hands. Keep creating extensions of your soul through metals and fire!

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