2020 Knife Swap knives, sheath and box

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Project by Dave Polaschek posted 11-27-2020 02:42 PM 504 views 0 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

For this year’s knife swap, I drew Keebler1 as my recipient. Kevin drives truck, and is on the road, so I thought that a carving knife with a sheath might be a good item to send to him.

The knife has a Mora 1/0 high carbon blade with a brass bolster and a two-piece dyed and stabilized spalted maple handle. I shaped it in a more modern style, rather than the traditional slöjd knife handle, figuring that would be more to Kevin’s liking. I hope I guessed right!

The knife is finished with three coats of tung oil, each left to dry for a day in the south-facing window of my shop, then coated with finishing cream for a nice smooth finish.

To accompany the knife, I made a belt-sheath. It was my first leather working project, and I used the starter kit from woodcraft, which proved pretty darned helpful. Big thanks to MaFe for writing up every step in the process of making a knife sheath on our SPRAD knife exchange, which I used to teach myself how to make this sheath. You were a great teacher, MaFe! The sheath is dyed royal blue and finished with Resolene so it should last a good long time.

Next up was the bonus knife, a marking knife made with a Hock Tools blade and more of the stabilized spalted maple. I wish I could remember for sure if the wood came from my friend Craig in MN or Kenny, but I got it in a wood-swap with a buddy.

Finally, I made a box to hold the goodies. It’s a piece of Red Grandis I picked up at the Rockler store in MN in one of their sale bins, and some ash I had laying around the shop. Nothing too fancy, but I’ve gotten a lot better at dovetails, so the box came out pretty well, and I’ve ended up repurposing most of the boxes I’ve received in previous swaps, so I think a small box is always a nice addition. The closed-cell foam is just set in the box, so it’s easy to remove so the box can be reused.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

26 comments so far

View Angelo13's profile


16 posts in 66 days

#1 posted 11-27-2020 02:48 PM

nicely done!

-- oops, I just learned something.

View oldrivers's profile


2423 posts in 2535 days

#2 posted 11-27-2020 02:56 PM

Mighty Fine swap item.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View jeffswildwood's profile


4794 posts in 2945 days

#3 posted 11-27-2020 03:26 PM

Very nice Dave. I really like the blue in the handles. Original. Just a great set in a beautiful box. Thanks for taking part in the swap and I hope you had a lot of fun.

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

6637 posts in 1550 days

#4 posted 11-27-2020 03:36 PM

Thanks, guys!

Jeff, I’ve made a few blue-handled knives now, and they always end up being eye-catching. Plus the brass bolsters a friend made for me work very well with the blue.

Thanks for running the swap after I volunteered you. ;-)

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View doubleDD's profile


9991 posts in 3011 days

#5 posted 11-27-2020 03:58 PM

Really interesting when I see dyed wood. The blue is certainly eye catching. I may asked for tips on that someday. Great job on the matching sheath. Great all around job Dave.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View sras's profile


5755 posts in 4097 days

#6 posted 11-27-2020 04:16 PM

Nice job Dave!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile


2373 posts in 515 days

#7 posted 11-27-2020 05:06 PM

Nice work, Dave. That blue on maple came out real pretty.

-- Wildwood by Brian Johns: The Big Bang: Nothing - exploded into Everything. Thanks to Nothing.

View clieb91's profile


4155 posts in 4903 days

#8 posted 11-27-2020 05:37 PM

Great set Dave!


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View Oldtool's profile


3149 posts in 3159 days

#9 posted 11-27-2020 06:12 PM

Very nice, one beautiful knife and sheath. Terrific blue coloring.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

6637 posts in 1550 days

#10 posted 11-27-2020 06:19 PM

Dave, it was stabilized at the same time. The maple was spalted enough that it took the color pretty well, but if it had been sound, it would’ve barely picked up any dye at all. So in this case, worse wood is better.

Thanks, Steve, Brian, Chris and Tom. I initially thought it was too blue, but I think it looks pretty good and Kevin shouldn’t have to worry about the colors fading too much.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View hairy's profile


3191 posts in 4500 days

#11 posted 11-27-2020 06:20 PM

You are a man of many talents, good work!

-- You can lead a horse to water, but you can't tie his shoes. Blaze Foley

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

6637 posts in 1550 days

#12 posted 11-27-2020 06:30 PM

Thanks, Hairy! I try to learn something new in every swap, and hopefully make something the guy receiving it will like, too.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View GR8HUNTER's profile


8255 posts in 1681 days

#13 posted 11-27-2020 07:00 PM

I bet they look even better in person but that is one very kewl blue dye job and it is also good thinking as he is a truck driver ….. nice little case also GREAT JOB :<)) GRATZ TOP 3

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View Keebler1's profile


1306 posts in 676 days

#14 posted 11-27-2020 08:23 PM

This is a great set Dave thanks. I will get some use out of them

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

6637 posts in 1550 days

#15 posted 11-27-2020 10:30 PM

Thanks, Tony. It actually looks a little dull fresh off the hand-tools, but the tung oil and finishing cream really made it pop.

Kevin, glad you like them. The knife should be a pretty decent carving knife when you’ve got a few minutes to be working on a piece of wood.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

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