Beer Knife for a Duck

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Project by HokieKen posted 09-08-2021 12:44 PM 931 views 1 time favorited 30 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my entry for the 2021 Beer Swap. I couldn’t decide whether to make a mug or bottle opener this year. But when I got Duckmilk’s name, I decided on a bottle opener since I knew he had gotten a wooden stein in a previous swap.

But what kind of bottle opener do you give a Texan? One that can be worn as a necklace of course! I had seen a neck knife that had a bottle opener somewhere online in my browsing for ideas and this little fella was born.

I’ve made a couple of other neck knives and they’re always a lot of fun to design and make. This one was no exception. I haven’t had hardly any shop time this year. So when my birthday rolled around and my wife asked what I wanted, I said “a full day in my shop completely undisturbed.” She agreed and this knife was birthed over about 8 hours from start to finish.

The blade is stock removal from 1095 steel. The rough shape was cut out on my bandsaw then the shape was refined with files, OSS and my belt grinder. The blade was hardened in my coffee can forge and tempered in my shop toaster oven. Finally, I used my Cheapass Etcher to put my maker’s mark on the blade.

There always has to be a hiccup in every project and this time, it was my etcher. My etcher was made basically the same way as this one in a little more robust housing. I use DC current to remove material then AC to darken the recessed areas. Well, my etcher decided to crap the bed on me and was completely useless and not something I could repair on the fly. Fortunately, I had components I could use to make another but only with DC :-(

If John McClure is reading this, I told you I’d reveal what I was making when you asked about my teaser in the thread ;-p

So, the etch on Duck’s knife is less defined than I typically use but I think it still looks fine.

After the blade was mostly finished, I made scales from some Maple burl that my buddy Dave Kelley had cast for me in some nice resin. I found some really nice mosaic pins I was really excited to use for Duck’s knife:

But unfortunately, the only place I could find them was in Turkey and it was unlikely they would make it to me fast enough for me to ship my package on time. So sorry Duck, you just got boring ol’ stainless pins in the handle…

The bottle opener was kind of a design-on-the-fly. I’ve discovered in the past that making a bottle opener that grabs the edge of the cap and pulls at the right angle isn’t as simple as it seems. So, I drilled a small hole and cut a slot to the edge then used a round file and a hammer to refine the shape until it got a proper grip and felt comfortable to use.

The handle was refined to be as comfortable in my hand as I could get it on my belt grinder. A knife this small:

provides some challenges when it comes to ergonomics and use-ability. I did the best I could and hopefully it works good enough for Duck to at least have a spot in his pickup or his boot or saddle bag or something :-)

Finally I put a broad convex edge on the cleaver-style blade. I have a folder with a cleaver blade that Dave Kelley made me and I find it handy for a lot of things around the shop and house. So I’m hoping the blade style will be something Duck finds useful too. I also know Duck is pretty familiar with blades and is capable of putting an appropriate edge on one. So I put what I hope will be a robust, durable cutting edge and he can refine it to his liking at will :-)

Finally, I made a sheath from Kydex that has a good tight friction fit on the blade and put a ball link chain on it since it is, after all, a neck knife. I was really hoping to see a picture in the swap thread of Duck donning it as an accessory but I guess I’ll just have to use my imagination ;-)

BUT, the knife was only part of the package! The beer swap is about… yep, you guessed it… BEER!

Over the years, I’ve come to know that Duck likes his beer wet. And cold if possible. But mostly just wet. He’s not a picky fella when it comes to beer and I imagine he generally pops the top on the can and makes it disappear. But, I prefer to get my beer from a glass so I wanted to make sure Duck had the same opportunity. So while I didn’t make him a mug, I did decide to send him a vessel. And I have yet to meet a Texan who lacks pride so:

BTW, thanks for that picture Duck. I forgot to take one of the glass :-)

And I had to use some packing material to protect the glass and the knife so I threw these in with them:

I figured Duck’s preference is for lagers so I found some well-liked local ones for him. I’ve sampled each and think they’re all worthy of man of Duck’s refined palette. I threw in a Kolsch too because I really like the beer and love the Mullet artwork. And a couple of IPAs that aren’t fruity because I think Duck will probably enjoy them. And a blueberry beer that I’ve never had but it looked interesting and I had room for one more in the box :-)

Thanks for having a look! Comments and questions welcomed as always. A special thanks to all the guys who participated in the swap for a great time and some fantastic projects and yummy beers! And especially to Bill Berklich for the package he sent me :-))

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

30 comments so far

View Lazyman's profile


7945 posts in 2628 days

#1 posted 09-08-2021 12:53 PM

Cool knife/opener Kenny. A really unique design. Thanks for running a fun swap.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View mikeacg's profile


2037 posts in 2298 days

#2 posted 09-08-2021 01:05 PM

Great looking little knife Kenny!

And thanks for another successful beer swap!


-- Mike, A Yooper with a drawl,

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8414 posts in 1822 days

#3 posted 09-08-2021 01:34 PM

That’s a good-looking knife, Kenny. A bit petite, maybe, but I’m sure Duck’s a delicate sort.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View pottz's profile


20625 posts in 2225 days

#4 posted 09-08-2021 01:43 PM

thats super cool kenny,id love to make some knives but with a full shop and no more room ill have to just buy the blades.would be a good excuse to buy more tools though-lol. wife would kill me.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View Bill Berklich's profile

Bill Berklich

1224 posts in 1629 days

#5 posted 09-08-2021 02:21 PM

Knocked it out of the park Kenny – Beautiful work

-- Bill - Rochester MI

View drsurfrat's profile


1024 posts in 427 days

#6 posted 09-08-2021 03:09 PM

Yes, that is a great knife. And a neck knife was a good call, since being a Texas Rancher, he probably already carries belt, boot, and pocket knives.

Thank you for leading a very fun swap.

-- Mike (near Boston) ... Laziness is the mother of invention, necessity is the mother of exhaustion - me

View GR8HUNTER's profile


8977 posts in 1953 days

#7 posted 09-08-2021 03:11 PM

I always love your projects Kenny and this is no exception GREAT JOB :<)))))

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

View duckmilk's profile


4842 posts in 2565 days

#8 posted 09-08-2021 03:23 PM

Great knife Kenny, while I haven’t sliced anything with it yet, I have opened a couple of bottles, works as advertised.
BTW, your letter said it was made of 1095, not O1.
I’m looking forward to sampling the blueberry and will let you know the verdict.

-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

View HokieKen's profile


19354 posts in 2379 days

#9 posted 09-08-2021 03:46 PM

Oops.. you’re right Duck, it was 1095. I corrected the OP :-)

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View recycle1943's profile


5847 posts in 2862 days

#10 posted 09-08-2021 03:51 PM

big enough to slice open Jalapenos then pop the cap to cool the throat – good job Kenny

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26778 posts in 4346 days

#11 posted 09-08-2021 04:17 PM

Great looking knife!!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View therealSteveN's profile


8832 posts in 1814 days

#12 posted 09-08-2021 04:39 PM

Kenny I love that Hatchet/opener. If the top won’t come off easy, just smack it around a little. :-) Seriously, who wouldn’t like a neck knife?

Thanks again for hosting the swap, it was a lot of fun.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Woodknack's profile


13584 posts in 3620 days

#13 posted 09-08-2021 06:37 PM

Now I want one, good work

-- Rick M,

View jeffswildwood's profile


4946 posts in 3217 days

#14 posted 09-08-2021 07:49 PM

Ken, that is one sweet blade. I bet Duck loves it. Perfect choice.

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

View duckmilk's profile


4842 posts in 2565 days

#15 posted 09-08-2021 07:58 PM

I do like it a lot. Too bad on the duck mosaic pins Kenny, that would have looked superb. Of course then you would have a bunch of duck pins that you wouldn’t know what to use them for, except to make me more knives ;-))

-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

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