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We're having the reveals for the LumberJocks Knife Swap today so check out all the cool work!

This was an interesting swap theme for me. I spent a bunch of time researching styles of knives that I thought would be useful to a woodworker but that most woodworkers may not have already. I have seen a bunch of Kiridashi knives online over the years but they were always presented as marking knives so I assumed that was their primary function. Well, in my research, I found that wasn't the case at all. The design does lend itself well to marking but, traditionally, they are a general utility knife. Kiridashis are simple knives with a straight edge ending in a sharp point and are used in Japan for Bamboo work, garden work, origami, carpentry, wood carving and just about anything else. Kiridashi's are unique in having a single-bevel cutting edge which is why I imagine the style was adopted for marking tools.

OK, background lesson complete :) I felt like a pair of these knives would be a great entry for the swap. I floated some ideas past my buddy Dave and he seemed to really like the idea too. In fact, he asked me several times to document the build for him and send him templates for the knife shapes. Well, Dave really did me right in the last Surprise Swap. So, I decided to basically let him design the knives, choose the materials and decide on what kind of holder I should make and then I stealthily "rigged" the swap so I got his name :)

The knives are made from 5/32" precision ground O1 tool steel. I cut the rough shapes out with an angle grinder with cutoff wheel and then ground to final shape using my 1×30 belt sander. I rough ground the bevels and the spine reliefs in with the belt sander as well. Then I laid out and drilled the pin holes and lanyard holes.

Next I heat-treated the knives. This is the first time I've hardened O1 other than just the tips of marking tools. So, I fired up some charcoal in a small portable grill and used a blow dryer to increase the heat. It took a while but eventually I got both knives hot enough to loose their magnetism and quenched them in vegetable oil.

After hardening, I did several temper cyles until I got the hardness to about 59 Rc which was my goal. I would have left them harder but the fine tips are pretty fragile and I didn't want them to snap off. I then ground the blades to finished shape and polished them up and honed the edges.

Finally I put some Bolivian Rosewood scales on with hollow aluminum pins and made some pull fobs for the lanyard holes using some 550 paracord and wooden beads. I turned the large beads from Walnut to represent my VA woods and laser engraved my maker's mark on them. Then I turned a small bead of mesquite for one knife and one of Eucalyptus for the other. Those beads represent AZ woods where the knives were destined.

The final task was a sheath. Dave wanted a single sheath that held both knives. So, I learned how to work with Kydex :) There was a little bit of a learning curve but once I figured it out, it's a really neat material to work with and presents lots of possibilities! Dave seems happy with the appearance and functionality of the holster so I'll call it a win.

I couldn't leave Dave's wife out since he sent my wife a pen in the last swap. So I made a veggie peeler from Macassar Ebony and a kit. His wife and I had some fun at his expense :)) Read his reveal post in the swap thread ;-)

This swap was a LOT of fun and I picked up some new skills. I'm kinda hooked on making knives now though so I already have a couple in process for Christmas gifts and will be making myself a set that matches these when I have free time.

Thanks for looking! Questions, comments or suggestions always welcome!



· Registered
21,780 Posts
Thanks Duck!

Didn't you know Nathan, Dave IS a ninja! ;-)

· Registered
309 Posts
Those are the nicest markers I have ever seen. Been doing wood a long time and never had a real marker. Those look so sharp I would hurt myself. When I make my second knife I want to use your tips and ideas. Thanks for posting. Really like the cool, useful, original accessory's.

· Premium Member
2,754 Posts
Kenny those are really cool. You did a great job on them. Having a right hand and left hand is certainly helpful and the holster along with the lanyards is the bomb! Nice work buddy!

Say where do I place my order for them? ;)