Wednesday, July 10, 2019

"Sharp, my bru". Hand-made by Hennie van Brakel (KGSA)

The original steel cutout and 
after it been cleaned with a disc grinder.
My knife was made out of N690,
German-made steel that is also used for surgical instruments.

Making sure that the blade is straight.
The blade is hardened at 1060 degrees
and then it is tempered at 180 degrees.
It is during these processes that the blade can warp
or become damaged.

Marking the bolsters and removing excess material

Fitting the pins through the bolster and blade holes

The finished bolsters.
So beautifully done that it almost looks like a single piece of steel.

Tambotie handle slabs ready for glueing and having the pins fitted

The Tambotie wood that I chose for the handle
is epoxied into place, clamped and left to set.

Profiling the handle.

Hand sanding the spine of the knife.
There is a LOT of elbow-grease that goes into the crafting
of the handle as well as the finishing off of the blade.

Hennie used 600,800,1200 and 2000 grit sandpaper.
No one said it was going to be easy.

The final product!
Stunning work produced at a very reasonable price.

Nipping the holes for the stitching...

Stitching the side of the sheath together.
You can see that although it has been kept simple,
there is a design embossed into the stitched edge.

My knife has arrived! 
And it is stunning. 
It came together with a certificate that identifies it as follows:
Category: Utility Club Knife
Model: BL145
Blade: N690 Stainless Steel
Bolster: 303 Stainless Steel
Handle: Tamboti wood.

Having watched WAY too many of the 'Forged in Fire' type of reality show
I decided to spoil myself and order a bespoke hand-made knife.

 I was in Howick at the time and I discovered that Hennie van Brakel
lived and worked there. 
My knife was handcrafted by him.

Hennie has been a member of the KGSA since 2005.
He works in 12c27, N690, Damascus as well as Damasteel.
He forges his own Damascus and does his own heat treatment.
Although he uses old-school methods, 
he has embraced modern technology in the form of Laser cutting
and computer-aided design.
Hennie's specialities include art and folding knives.
To find out more about Hennie and his art, visit:
Process images supplied by Hennie van Brakel.

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