A few days ago I broke the blade on my carvingknife during a trip to the forest. When I got home I decided to put in a new blade, like it was common to do on old knives. As I started to drill out the riveted blade I tried to remember if I had used any epoxy when I put it together. But the parts came off nicely.
I have never had to change the blade on a knife before. The work gave many interesting thoughts about the old school craft. When I started to make my knives more and more in a traditional way I have discovered that all the parts have their function in the design. It is not just decoration like some people seem to think.
Obviously it is very practical, once you break the blade, to have a full tange. And the fittings are a part of that design.
But another example is the sheath. It is very hard to make a good, tight sheath if you have a leather that is tanned all the way through. Like the kind of leather that you use in shoes. I think that they often made their leather at home a few hundred years ago. And I don´t think they used the special leather with the raw hide still left in the middle in the same degree that knifemakers do today. So you need at least one fitting at the top of the sheath. If you also have the fittings at the bottom and the sides, the sheath is much more stable.
The disassembled knife with the new blade att the bottom.
I can see why the blade broke. There was a crack in the metal.
The knife with the new blade. I could not use the blade shown in the first picture after all, but had to go for this instead. A laminated blade by Mattias Styrefors.
25 januari 2012