The Ultimate Irish Hunting Knife - Page 3 - boards.ie
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View Poll Results: Will you be at the game fair in Birr?
Yes, both Sat 22nd and Sun 23rd 7 8.14%
Yes, Sat 22nd only 13 15.12%
Yes, Sun 23rd only 12 13.95%
No 42 48.84%
Maybe, I don't know yet. 12 13.95%
Voters: 86. You may not vote on this poll

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08-02-2009, 13:56   #31
lordarpad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davymoore View Post
Is there such a thing as THE hunting knife ? Probably not
Is there a knife we can call our own Irish Hunting Knife? Definitely not YET
Davy
TBH a mate of mine is a smith up in Sweden and will be making my knife (impeccable qualification, he is the King's Blacksmith). What i have asked him to do for me is a 2 knife combo, a good 20 cm or so blade for killing and a ca. 10 cm blade for general work. I have never met a folding knife that was up to the standard of a good fixed knife steel wise.

To illustrate what I mean: Said guy had made a knife for a mate of his who works as a hunter and river tour guide in Africa. Knife needed to eb able to chop wood, gut and butcher animals and pierce a crocodile skull when push came to shove. It hade been in use for a few years and came back for maintenance which is when i saw it.

The knife was still sharp enough to do the paper cut test, but leaft a slightly fraid edge on the paper. This after gutting 2 elephants and part of a wheelbarrow ...
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08-02-2009, 14:08   #32
davymoore
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Not suggesting for a second that anybody would or should use a boning knife in the field. My fear is that too much emphasis is being put on the look of the knife and what kind of handle it will have as opposed to the practicalities of the knife. A knife is a tool to you and I, the same way a spanner is to a mechanic. I just want it to do the job and i think this is a good project. It would be nice to get a good practical knife from this and if it looks great all the better.

Just found your site Davy, beautiful looking knives. Don't get me wrong, i love beautifully crafted knives. I just have different priorities to most people i suppose when selecting a knife. It wasn't you i met at Birr
Sound John
There is always going to be a battle with form over function. Achieving the right mixture is what knifemakers have been trying to do for centuries. We are bold enough to think that we can do it in one small project [wish us luck ]
As a knife maker I tend to concentrate on the fit and finish I know what steels I prefer to use and why. I know what I like to look for in a knife. I am trying to find out what others look for.

Now I am not dismissing function ... but temporarily I would like to discuss form and why it's important to this project.

Look at the following knives and see if you can tell just by looking where they come from














Why cant we do this for an Irish knife ?

Whether it be fixed or folding, Wouldn't it be nice if aswell as red hot reliable functionality we could look at a piece and say that's one of those Irish knives.
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08-02-2009, 14:21   #33
davymoore
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To illustrate the point above I will share with you a recent experience on another Blades board the thread was started with the question..

Is there an ethnic Irish Knife ?

Two posts quickly followed with the following pictures





This is one of the reasons I wanted to start this project
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08-02-2009, 14:52   #34
Grizzly 45
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Davvy,
I spent a lot of time last nite and over the years looking for an answer to that one.Realistically NO.I cant find any evidence to suggest that there ever was a specific blade form that was quintisentially Irish in design. The most notable Irish design on swords and daggers in Irish history is the ring pommel.That is mostly around the 15/16 century.
Most blades found on archelogical digs seem to suggest viking and/or norman design.What is more associated with Irish blades is the Gallowglass axe,which was a 6ft plus staffed axe,and the Gallowglass were Scottish mercenaries on contract here in Ireland.So that is even an import.By and large we wernt much for knives or swords,we seem to have been more into spears or darts.With the Darts,which seem to be described somthing like the Chinese martial art weapon the flying knife.[Basically a 12in blade attached to appx 10/15 ft of rope].But the blade form seems to be lost in the mists of time.
So apart from the Ring pommel,which would look good on the beautiful Irish knife,and useless on the ultimate Irish hunting knife. Unless somone can point out a traditional shape.The "Irish" blade shape is open to whatever we want it to be.

Last edited by Grizzly 45; 08-02-2009 at 14:54.
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08-02-2009, 15:06   #35
greenpeter
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The second knief in the middle picture is like one i seen been made on ray mears when he was in norway i think. Would be a nice touch if the handle could be made out of irish deer antlers
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08-02-2009, 15:10   #36
davymoore
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Trust me I've done more than a few hours on this myself and to no avail.

I find lots of info on weapons but not on the knife as a tool but we must have had knives surely. How did we prepare meat or slice bread? It is possible that we traded with the Saxons, Normans or Vikings but would this be able to account for every knife that was in use in the country ? And why have no specimens survived.

The Seaxe comes up a lot and as a weapon it was fairly formidable but really would have no practical field use today.
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08-02-2009, 15:14   #37
lordarpad
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have a look at the bronze age stuff in the National museum maybe?
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08-02-2009, 15:22   #38
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Just a quick aside, but reading this thread made me think of what the biggest swiss army knife is. I found it on the internet, and apparently it exists and is not a photoshop:



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08-02-2009, 15:38   #39
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That's one hell of a Swiss Army knife!

As to the poll, overall, I prefer a fixed blade to a folding one, however it's important for me to emphasise that each have their place, not just in hunting, but in general use too.

For example, when I'm making walking sticks, I usually use one folding knife from the begging of the process to the end.

On a last note, great thread Davy, thanks for starting it!
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08-02-2009, 16:50   #40
Grizzly 45
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Quote:
I find lots of info on weapons but not on the knife as a tool but we must have had knives surely. How did we prepare meat or slice bread? It is possible that we traded with the Saxons, Normans or Vikings but would this be able to account for every knife that was in use in the country ? And why have no specimens survived.
Very good question.But from any illustrations I can find,the "domestic knife"of medival times seems to be a miniturised seaxe design.IOW a Blade that has a large base that works to a very fine point.

[QUOTE]The Seaxe comes up a lot and as a weapon it was fairly formidable but really would have no practical field use today[/QUOTE

Although I am quite fond of a knife with a slight curve and a Belly up front and clip point,[ala a Bolo machete]works somwhat like a axe in gutting for breaking the pelvic bone.
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08-02-2009, 17:03   #41
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Davy,

My ideal irish handcrafted knife would be similar to the crown series Deer skinner from Silver Stag(www.silverstagknives.com ), you could replace the handle with goat horn ,from one of the Pucks in Killorglin, to me that would be a real treasure.

I think we should all post pictures of knives we have,and specify our likes and dislikes of the various knives.
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08-02-2009, 17:22   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macadam View Post
Davy,

My ideal irish handcrafted knife would be similar to the crown series Deer skinner from Silver Stag(www.silverstagknives.com ), you could replace the handle with goat horn ,from one of the Pucks in Killorglin, to me that would be a real treasure.

I think we should all post pictures of knives we have,and specify our likes and dislikes of the various knives.
a fine knife to collect but not to use or carry as a every day tool .
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08-02-2009, 17:52   #43
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JW,

I thought this thread was on hunting knives , hence the title The Ultimate Irish Hunting Knife.

Everday tool/knife has to be the old reliable swiss or the leatherman.

The silver stag is a great hunting knife have one for years,but the sharpest tool in the box has to be the Cold Steel, Roach belly,friend of mine has skinned 8 deer and its still as sharp as new, I have one and it would shave you better than any wilkinson sword.
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08-02-2009, 18:44   #44
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Davy, first of all, I think this is a great project and wish you all the best.
Fixed or fold, there are pro and cons to each. I prefer folding knives for the reasons mentioned. But from a design point of view, a fixed blade would be easier to make unique and "Irish"

The knives from around the world are mostly period knives, I think it would be a bad idea to try to apply an historic feel or image to our knife here. I have a background in design and see that approach slot, it's generally a bad idea.
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08-02-2009, 19:46   #45
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Great idea Davy. I was thinking of the handle being made up of materials from the four provinces and unique to them. E.G Connemmara marble from Connaught, Gold inlay or banding from Ulster, horn from a puck goat from Munster and deer antler from a stag from Leinster.

Just a thought,

Mallards.
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