Monday, April 30, 2012
Xtreme Challenge knife
This is something I came up with for the Extreme Knife Challenge on BladeForum's Wilderness and Survival Skills Outdoor Gear, Survival Equipment & More sub-sub-forum. :) Basically, the idea is that a number of knifemakers sign up to make knives that they think will meet the requirements for the challenge and they are sent to one or two judges who put the knives through their paces and post their conclusions about how they performed. The first one that I heard about was the Custom Machete Challenge, but only after it was over. :( I would have loved to participate in that one. There have been several others since then, but this is the first challenge I've participated in. The challenge this time is to build a knife to handle extreme survival situations, which can take place anywhere, including urban environments, and may include what would constitute testing to destruction. I did a rough sketch, then forged the blade from 1 1/2" x 1/4" 5160 steel. I wanted a plenty capable chopping blade with a big belly and the sweet spot dropped below the level of the hand for extra chopping power. However, I wanted the blade to remain straight for general ease of utility (such as drawknife duty and choking up for fine work) and to make it easy to sharpen on a flat stone, so I made the drop come from the curve of the handle and the angle of the blade to the handle. It needed to handle a variety of task sizes, and I wanted it to not be too heavy and to also be somewhat concealable if needed in an urban environment, so I went with a 12" long blade. Big, but it could be slung under a coat or long-sleeved shirt or fit into a backpack.