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The Ultimate Irish Hunting Knife

  • 07-02-2009 12:08pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 563 davymoore


    A challenge for you ...

    Some of you may have seen THIS THREAD . Well from the general comments it seems that we have varied tastes when it comes to hunting knives in Ireland. From my own experiences I have found that knife styles vary from country to country and climate to climate. Take your typical Bowie knife it's a style well liked in the Western World but not so popular in Japan or the East where the Tanto or kukri are more in favour also if you look at the Scandinavians they have their own take on knife making.

    Which brings me to this point and question. Why don't we have our own knife? I mean a knife that is the ultimate Irish hunting knife, one designed for our climate, that reflects our heritage. A knife that is a real User and a knife that you would be proud to carry and showcase as "The Ultimate Irish Hunting Knife"

    Ok so a proposal then ...

    I suggest that YOU the Hunters, Users, design the ultimate knife.

    I will help by asking a series of questions regarding shape, style, material etc. We could vote on each section or question finally narrowing the whole thing down to the final design. Once the design has been voted on and approved I will build the knife.

    I will document the build and post a photo diary here.

    Now comes the nice part.....

    Each person who participates in the design thread is entered into a Raffle. I will draw a name from a hat at the end of the build and the winner will receive the original knife.


    Are you guys up for this ?

    If so let me know by reply to this thread

    Some rules will obviously have to apply and if we are to go ahead with this I'll clarify these later. First thing though is to see if there is enough interest in the build and whether it's worth bothering with.

    So .... over to you

    Will you be at the game fair in Birr? 75 votes

    Yes, both Sat 22nd and Sun 23rd
    0%
    Yes, Sat 22nd only
    9%
    dwighetdavymooreHairy HuntermoloneyGreatGayHunterSpunk84lb1981 7 votes
    Yes, Sun 23rd only
    18%
    LB6mallardsboc121E. FuddJontyflanumianoomacadamwicklow newbieCassmark12gadaithi55Feidhlim Dignannite owl 14 votes
    No
    16%
    ronan neestevomanbunny shooterclivejBreachloaderNo6Callow Mansako75 hunterEddie BjwwThe Big Fellabrocdubh 12 votes
    Maybe, I don't know yet.
    56%
    SparksrrpcDouble Barrelhairypigeonturbine?SmokeyskeltonlordarpaddrocMellordbrockA Country VoiceJ.R.neil_hoseybitemybangersfakiamanfoxshooter243riflehunter77jjmcnultydojojoeDR6.5 42 votes


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Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,612 jwshooter


    fair play davy ,and a nice bit of marketing on your behalf .
    may i ask the first few questions ,
    fixed blade or folder .
    with new knife laws on the way blade length is a factor ,my preference is about 3.5-4 inch s no more.
    going to sharp point for dispatching a deer ,by severing the spinal cord at the base on the head .from my experience death is instant for the animal.

    thanks for the link jw


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,332 ✭✭✭✭ Grizzly 45


    Count me in on thisas well.
    JW
    Well done that man for pointing out the correct[albeit somwhat risky]way of using a knife to dispatch a deer.:D
    What did you hear about blade length being an issue??Seeing that if you are out deer stalking that is more than enough "good reason" to carry a knife.Or shooting,or fishing.

    Confucius say."He who says one man cannot change World. Never has eaten bat soup in Wuhan!"



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,792 ✭✭✭ fish slapped


    I' d be interested in that Davy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 782 riflehunter77


    Maybe, I don't know yet.
    I' d be interested in that Davy.


    + 1. always been a fan of good quality knives, have a few Marttiini knives great blades my father has one for 41 years its like an extension of his arm he has used it for everything.

    Nice web site to davy fair play to you ..


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,612 jwshooter


    Grizzly 45 wrote: »
    Count me in on thisas well.
    JW
    Well done that man for pointing out the correct[albeit somwhat risky]way of using a knife to dispatch a deer.:D
    What did you hear about blade length being an issue??Seeing that if you are out deer stalking that is more than enough "good reason" to carry a knife.Or shooting,or fishing.
    45 ,mostly carry a buck 110 folder .its neet ,inconspicuas and ticks all the boxes for me so much so i wore the blade out.
    i seen it on the news there is going to be a new knife directive shortly .


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  • Registered Users Posts: 563 davymoore


    Yes, Sat 22nd only
    Thanks for the interest so far guys If we get a few more bodies interested in helping out I think it will be a fascinating project.
    jwshooter wrote: »
    .
    may i ask the first few questions ,
    fixed blade or folder .

    I think it best if I ask the questions, I propose this as I have a series of questions that I ask myself and clients whilst doing commisions. I've done it many many times. There is an order to it, I don't know why, but there is, and the method generally works.

    Doing a group commission, well it's not going to be easy, we will I'm sure have many varied opinions and ideas but by using a democratic approach and voting each step I think we can work through it and hopefully will come out the other end with a knife that anyone of you would be proud to own.

    Fixed blade or folder, Blade length, Steel Composition, Grind Style, Handle Material and style , Fixtures & Fittings, Sheath options etc. there is a mine field of choices to be made.

    I am the maker but you are the designers this is your commission.

    My wife says I'm mad to take this on and that I'll regret it. I think it's the biggest challenge I've given myself yet. I like challenges :rolleyes: I think ...

    Regards

    Davy


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,096 ✭✭✭ bunny shooter


    No
    Count me in ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 37 ✭✭✭ mightymouse311


    id love to help man problem is im only shooting bout 2 year dont deer stalk mostly phesant an a bit of rabbit shooting hoping to get a gun for foxing some time soon but just bought a new house so thats on the long fingure but ill be keeping a keen eye on things hope it goes well


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,332 ✭✭✭✭ Grizzly 45


    Davvy,
    To save some time and debate.Why not do both designs ?Fixed and folder?Then both camps can compare merits of both designs ,and it cuts out the time wasting immortal arguement of fixed v folder.

    Confucius say."He who says one man cannot change World. Never has eaten bat soup in Wuhan!"



  • Registered Users Posts: 449 ✭✭ ianoo


    Yes, Sun 23rd only
    just seen this
    think its a great idea
    fair play to you davy count me in

    ian


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,612 jwshooter


    Grizzly 45 wrote: »
    Davvy,
    To save some time and debate.Why not do both designs ?Fixed and folder?Then both camps can compare merits of both designs ,and it cuts out the time wasting immortal arguement of fixed v folder.

    Hi 45 ,yes design is every thing untill you use a knife in the field you dont know how it is going to work .
    my knife has a job just a job. i dont wake up in the nite to look at it
    its sharp and works im happy .
    you like ur knifes you collect them ,there of interest to you and its a hobby for want of a better word sorry ,that could take you all over the world and is most interesting .
    i have watched many times on diso channel the making of a samurai sword and i would love to have one as its most lightly the finest blade made. old style .
    i think davy has a problem unless decisions are made early . i have a hand made knife that does not work for me .
    the blade is to thick, to wide at the point .it is wrong for me .ie i dont use it often and thats my fault not knowing enough about what i want at the time .
    davy has some lovely looking knifes . this will be interesting
    . my no one knife is the ole buck 110 folder .
    whats ur s 45 regards jw


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,194 Trojan911


    Ya, I'll have a look. There is always a need for a good knife.

    My brother was given a gift of a (real) Gurka knife by one of his staff who was a Gurka. I'm incredibly jealous....


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 469 ✭✭ foxhunter


    Count me in too davy .
    I use a 3.5 inch fixed blade EKA for nearly everything I do but I also carry a swiss army knife that I got as a present 9 years ago and i reckon i've used it every day since.
    The blades have been sharpened so much they are basicly worn out to about 8mm deep. :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,684 ✭✭✭ macadam


    Yes, Sun 23rd only
    I love anything thats hand crafted, gives it more autenticity best of luck Davy and count me in , I must get all my knives together and see which is my favourite , tend to leave one in each hunting jacket and always carry a swiss multi purpose.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 270 ✭✭ John Griffin


    Hi Dave,
    I think i met you at the Game fair in Birr last year. This is a very interesting project. Firstly deer hunting is the fieldsport that needs a knife moreso than any other so i suppose it should be designed with deer hunter as a priority.
    I been working with knives professionally since leaving school 15 years ago, four years boning beef and venison for Larry Goodman and the remainder as a Ranger culling large numbers of deer each year. I have come to settle on certain knives after years of trial and error. I have a collection of sheath knives that i bought in the early years, beautiful knives, fantastic workmanship but practically they were clumsy and useless in day to day use and hard to sharpen.

    For butchering now i use the knifes i used in the factories years ago, a 5 inch semi flex boning knife5_6603_15.jpg
    and a trimming knife5_7603_15.jpg

    But we are looking at a field knife i guess.

    In my opinion one blade will not suffice, therefore sheath knives do not suit me. They are also too bulky, heavy, need to be attached to a belt and when you are crawling on the ground or bending over they can be uncomfortable, digging into your ribs and snaging.

    I use the two knives below, the second i only discovered last year in germany and i love it. The first i have used for the last 8 years. I love this knife for many reasons.
    1. Great blade, light, narrow,(perfect for killing animals the way JWshooter described earlier) easy to sharpen and hold a great edge and plenty long enough and it locks!

    2. The gralloching blade, the curved one , is blunt at the tip, with practice it opens a deers stomach like a zipper and never ruptures the stomach or intestines. It is also very handy for skinning.

    3. The saw is handy at times

    4. I have lost dozens of these knives over the years, they cost between €25- €33. I normally buy a few at a time and have spares stashed in my vehicle.

    The bottom one cost €75 and thankfully i haven't lost it yet, it is basically a bigger version of the first but i can sharpen the gralloching blade and there is a longer stroke on the saw blade which helps. With both these knive i have butchered deer from the field to the table and they are really the ultimate deer hunting knives. But they are equally good for rabbits:)

    Swiss Army Hunter
    vm_53641_sol_a03.jpg
    Hardwoods 57 - Hunter
    2008214_642150968.jpg

    I consider these knives to be perfect for the job they have to do. To design anything better would be difficult. To customise between the two of them i would lose the bottle opener, can opener , corkscrew and spike. I would keep the longer non serrated gralloching blade and the longer blades of the second knife. I would keep the shape, thickness and width of the blades. Maybe glam the handle up with a bit of Grizzly45's antique ivory:), or maybe a hi-viz handle. I would install an alarm on a keyring that when moved more 10 meters from the knife it would emit a loud alarm so you don't leave your knife beside a gralloch (again:rolleyes:) or leave it in your vehicle or at home. (how are ya with electronics Dave?:)) Practicality should come first with our irish knife.


  • Registered Users Posts: 380 ✭✭ lordarpad


    Maybe, I don't know yet.
    I'll start with an easy suggestion:

    Handle to be bog oak - nice and very Irish material.

    good curved tip for skinning. needs to hold an edge very well.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,332 ✭✭✭✭ Grizzly 45


    Not to be the first one to pour Kaltes Wasser on your suggestion LP.
    But Bog Oak isnt the best choice for a handle that gets wet and used alot.
    True it looks good,but it is a porous material.It's most common use is to be made into veneer for furniture,etc.It isnt much good for anything else.
    I know this as my family in Germany are involved in the wood busisness [Veneers]and we did a line of Bog oak,and all it was good for was veneer.We tried various things like big flower pots,troughs etc,and the stuff fell apart after a year in open weather.
    I would suggest two others; seasoned Irish oak,although I dont think it is "Irish" it is a very dense heavy wood ,the tree looses it's leaves in Summer and keeps them in Winter...Will post up some pics of it.

    Confucius say."He who says one man cannot change World. Never has eaten bat soup in Wuhan!"



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 270 ✭✭ John Griffin


    I like the bog oak idea, but a skinning knife is a skinning knife and not fit for much else.
    Please nobody suggest those barbaric gut hooks, they are a disaster.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,332 ✭✭✭✭ Grizzly 45


    Damn!! one of my designs has one!!:( Dunno are they that bad,Buck Zipper seems to work well.
    I see you use the same SwissArmy Hunter knife that I use there JG!

    Confucius say."He who says one man cannot change World. Never has eaten bat soup in Wuhan!"



  • Registered Users Posts: 563 davymoore


    Yes, Sat 22nd only
    Some Really great input so far. I have to say that I am absolutely delighted with the level of interest in this project.

    Personally I would tend to go for a fixed blade knife, John G. I appreciate your comments about your sheath snagging or digging in to your ribs etc. and I suspect that we have all felt this discomfort at some time or other. But I think we can get over this hurdle when it comes time to design the sheath itself. We can look at several mounting options.

    The main reason I would vote for a fixed blade is simple really, there's less that can go wrong with it. It wont freeze shut. It won't come loose or wobble or worse still close on your fingers when a locking mechanism or pin gives out. It's easier to keep clean and requires less skill to sharpen and maintain

    For design purposes the handle has to be made to accomodate the blades in a folding knife and that puts quite a few restrictions on blade shape, length, thickness etc.

    But that's only my vote and everyone has an equal say in the matter.


    Regards

    Davy


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  • Registered Users Posts: 563 davymoore


    Yes, Sat 22nd only
    Seemed like a good point to ask the first question so I have opened the first Poll

    The question is Fixed Blade or Folder

    Voting is open and will expire in 5 days

    Regards

    Davy


  • Registered Users Posts: 563 davymoore


    Yes, Sat 22nd only
    I said that I would come up with a couple of rules for this competition so here they are.
    1. All normal forum rules apply
    2. Try to enjoy it. At the end of the day it's only a project to try to design a good useable knife. We may fail miserably but let's give it a fair and proper go.
    3. If you are lucky enough to win the knife then it is automatically assumed that you are capable of owning and using it.
    4. By taking part in the competition you agree that I, anyone associated with this competition or any member or affiliate of Boards.ie will not be responsible or held liable for any damage or injury caused while using the knife.
    5. Anyone can take part in the design thread but you MUST be over 18 years of age to win the knife. You will be asked to prove this if you win.
    6. Try to stay on topic
    7. Do not post negative comments about other members ideas or suggestions. They won't help with the build and you will find yourself eliminated from the competition.
    8. Try to keep it real, I have only 2 hands and a limited number of supplies and tools. I will do my best to build a quality knife but I'm not capable of building a light sabre.
    9. Each person who posts a valid post in the thread is automatically entered in the competition. I decide wich posts are valid.
    10. Each valid post constitutes an additional entry. So the more you contribute the more chances you have of winning.
    11. Flooding of posts just to increase your chances of winning will get you eliminated so don't bother (Also see rule 6)
    12. Names of contributors wil be put in a hat at the end of the build and one lucky winner will be drawn. The winner receives the original knife.
    13. There will probably be more rules :D but I hope it's straight forward enough.
    Enjoy youselves

    Regards

    Davy


  • Registered Users Posts: 736 ✭✭✭ sfakiaman


    Maybe, I don't know yet.
    My favourite using knife is a Puma White Hunter I bought in Germany in 1960. I also have an ivory handled kukri I got in Kathmandu but it is a bit bulky to bring hunting.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,792 ✭✭✭ fish slapped


    I would suggest ASH for the handle material as of course the clash of the ASH in our native sport . I don't know is it is a suitable material and will leave this to Davy.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 270 ✭✭ John Griffin


    davymoore wrote: »
    Some Really great input so far. I have to say that I am absolutely delighted with the level of interest in this project.

    Personally I would tend to go for a fixed blade knife, John G. I appreciate your comments about your sheath snagging or digging in to your ribs etc. and I suspect that we have all felt this discomfort at some time or other. But I think we can get over this hurdle when it comes time to design the sheath itself. We can look at several mounting options.

    The main reason I would vote for a fixed blade is simple really, there's less that can go wrong with it. It wont freeze shut. It won't come loose or wobble or worse still close on your fingers when a locking mechanism or pin gives out. It's easier to keep clean and requires less skill to sharpen and maintain

    For design purposes the handle has to be made to accomodate the blades in a folding knife and that puts quite a few restrictions on blade shape, length, thickness etc.

    But that's only my vote and everyone has an equal say in the matter.


    Regards

    Davy

    To be the ultimate hunting knife i believe it needs to meet all the needs of a deer hunter in the field. Light narrow blade for humane dispatch, gralloching blade, etc etc. Fixed blades tend to be thicker and much harder to sharpen. Most people cannot sharpen thick bladed knife and they usually end up using excessive force which is extremely dangerous.
    I grant you that a fixed blade is easier to build and much more beautiful to look at. All your points are valid. But are we designing the Beautiful Irish hunting knife or the Ultimate Irish hunting knife. Most people that hunt occasionally and take the odd deer will have one because they think it is the right tool for the job and it looks the part. Anybody i have shown the knives i use in practice have immediately converted to them. It's like the difference between the musket and the bolt action rifle and axe and a scalpel.
    If you can design a fixed blade to fit all the needs of an experienced deer hunter you will be the first. The gut hook was supposed to be the answer but it is not. It is simply a ripping tool and makes an awful mess of a deer, some are better than others but they are nowhere near as good as a gralloching blade.


  • Registered Users Posts: 563 davymoore


    Yes, Sat 22nd only
    John
    I'm not designing the knife, you guys are. It's a democratic proccess. The finished knife I garauntee will not suit everyone. The idea is to get a general concensus on various options of knife anatomy then by a proccess of elimination and by including the most popular styles shapes etc. we will wind up with a knife that should reflect the wishes of the generalized Hunting community.

    I understand that you have a wealth of experience when it comes to butchering deer and that will most definetly prove very usefull here. The final knife however is probably to be used just as much for Rabbits, Birds or Fish as it will for Deer as all members of the hunting community are being invited to participate.

    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

    I am hoping that by working through the proccess that we WILL come up with a knife that in general will be fit for most hunting outings in Ireland a knife that in part at least will contain some elements that appeal to everyone.

    Davy


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,792 ✭✭✭ fish slapped


    John, you use a flexi blade in the victornox as you have factory experience and can do so. IMO, The flexi blade could be quite dangerous in the hands of a learner or occional butcher in the field as it can flex nearly 90 degrees, so I think the slightly ticker stiff blade would suit better. I just think it a safty issue to those that are not expert in the use of a knife as you know I'm speaking from experience and have the scars to prove it:o


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,612 jwshooter


    i have to go with griff on this ,a folder with a lockable blade .
    every point john made is right .
    the handle should made of a imporvious material.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 270 ✭✭ John Griffin


    John, you use a flexi blade in the victornox as you have factory experience and can do so. IMO, The flexi blade could be quite dangerous in the hands of a learner or occional butcher in the field as it can flex nearly 90 degrees, so I think the slightly ticker stiff blade would suit better. I just think it a safty issue to those that are not expert in the use of a knife as you know I'm speaking from experience and have the scars to prove it:o

    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:)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 380 ✭✭ lordarpad


    Maybe, I don't know yet.
    davymoore wrote: »
    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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