Wednesday, December 19, 2012

First knife sold from Naali Knives

A few weeks ago someone approached my brother and I to make a couple of knives for her, to give to her husband and son for Christmas gifts. How exciting! It was our first official orders. We have made several knives to give out at gifts for our father, friends, and some to keep for ourselves, but never have we had the chance to make knives for someone else, and to get paid to do so. The instructions were fairly specific: two knives - one made with bloodwood and the other made with birdseye maple. Styles were to be made in the Helle fashion, a wonderful knife company out of Norway. I was in charge of making the knife with birdseye maple, and used the Helle Symfoni knife as a design template. We showed her several styles and this was what she wanted. Not exact, mind you, but close yet different. Knife blade specifications were not that specific, so as usual I used a Finnish Lauri carbon 85 x 17 mm steel blade.
I started out by drawing out the tang size onto the maple wood scale. Then, I began drilling the tang hole into the maple by using a small bit to create a pilot hole. I have learned to do this, as it is easy to drill at an angle if not extremely careful. Others may not do this, but I feel it helps me keep the tang hole straight. I then used a larger bit and carefully drilled the hole to the correct size and depth. I then filed the bolster to allow the tang to go through it.
After all the pieces were in place (knife tang, bolster, fiber spacers, reindeer antler spacer, leather spacer) I prepared the epoxy and epoxied the parts together, as well as filled the tang hole. I put a thin amount of epoxy on one side of all the parts and lined them up. After that was done, I put the knife into my makeshift vise and secured everything. I let it sit overnight to allow the epoxy to fully cure. 
Next, sanding was done using my trusty belt sander. I love that thing. It is extremely loud and messy, so I use it outside and in notmal hours, because I would hate the neighbors to hear this thing late at night. I treated the handle with danish oil a couple times, once by immersing the handle in oil and letting it soak for an hour then wiping it off, and secondly by wet sanding using 800 grit paper and danish oil. 
I made a leather sheath to fit perfectly, then treated it with Eco-Flo All-In-One Stain and Finisher from Tandy. After that was complete, I further treated the handle with Howard Feed-N-Wax wood preserver. Here is the final product, and hopefully a well used and much appreciated Christmas gift! To top it off, it was only $50 USD. ;)
I call this knife the Naali Sinfonia, which is Finnish for "symphony", in honor of the Helle knife I used as a guide.
If anyone wishes to purchase a Naali Knife or want one made to your specifications, please contact me.
Happy Holidays to all!