Belt Knife KIT S-3030
Availability: In stock
A great little belt knife kit. You get a blade made from forged high carbon 1095 steel that is cut, shaped, sharped and drilled. Also an oak handle blank that has the slot already cut for the blade and two brass rods for rivets. With a little bit of handle shaping, sanding and finishing, you will have a beautiful hand finished knife. Blade cutting edge is 4-3/4 inch plus 2-1/2 tang. Made in USA.
- Great Little Kit
On the oak handle I used Minwax stain called "Provincial". It's a good one for bringing out the grain on the oak. For the finish I'm using some ancient "Herter's Liege Finish" my dad used on his gunstocks (he was a gunsmith) which I will buff out to to a satin finish.
All in all, I love this little knife!
(Word to Townsend Company: Knife Sheath Kits! If you're selling knives you gotta have sheaths for them! I'll send y'all some pictures of the completed knife.) (Posted on 6/13/2017)
- Good Kit - Not Great Kit
The knife turned out well but there were a couple of problems with it. First problem is that the blade has a convex edge on it instead of the flat angle that was normal in the 18th ct. It is crazy sharp as it ships but convex blades really need a soft, almost sponge-like surface to sharpen them. I may just use my belt sander and make a normal straight beveled edge out of it.
Another problem was that the Tang of the blade was quite wide and flared out from the narrowest part where it met the blade. This really forces you to make a taller handle than I'd like, or was common at the time. I used my 4" x 48" belt sander to slim it down some but because the holes for the rivets were in the middle of the tang, you could only file or sand off a fairly small amount without making the knife look weird because the pins would be so low on the handle. Because of that, the handle could not be made into the round handle or coffin shaped handle that was so common to trade knives in the 18th ct.
Finally, it came with oak scales, which are actually quite pretty but not so common in the 18th ct. Maple scales were far more common for knife handles. And of course the instruction sheet that came wrapped around it didn't give any clue on how to attach the handle with the pieces of brass pins that were included. Plus, in the 18th ct., knife handles usually had 3 pins in them, not just 2 as are in the kit. The blade is hardened steel, so it's pretty tough to drill it and the tang is really not long enough for 3 pins anyhow.
Nonetheless, I finally finished it and it came out very nice, just not as historically correct as I hoped. But it was a fun project and I also made a center seam leather sheath for it, which was common in the 1700's.
To make it more historically correct, I would ask for a flat bevel on the blade so you can sharpen it with a stone, a longer tang that was not so tall, and three holes in the tang so you can use 3 pins. Finally I would prefer maple scales to use for the handles instead of oak. You really should be able to fashion a trade knife out of this kit and you really can't do that with the parts and design as-is. (Posted on 5/19/2017)