Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Prudent Prepping: Making My Own Knife

The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Follow along as I build a long term plan via Prudent Prepping.

I have met quite a few interesting characters in my 20+ years as a sales rep calling on the country's largest home improvement chain, from the multi-millionaire real estate developer who drives a 20 year old pickup, to the medically-retired DEA agent who brings his working dog along with him and who 'alerts' on about 20% of the customers(!!), to the ex-corporate lawyer who is now a cabinet maker and part-time blacksmith.

The last guy, Rob, has turned out to be not just a customer in the store or the target of a sales pitch, but also a friend. When he gets finished with a cabinet commission (his stuff is that cool), he sometimes fires up his forge and cranks out pieces he gives as gifts to clients and friends. I have seen pictures of candlesticks and full-on candelabra to fun things like wrought-iron bottle openers and napkin rings.

This is a longish lead-up to the main topic of this post. Everyone has favorite knives, and their reasons for those choices are quite personal. I decided to get with the program and see what the big deal is with Mora knives, and why they had such a passionate following, by building my own knife! It is a Mora style blade, specifically a Lauri pattern. I don't know enough about the difference to speak on why one is a Mora and one is not, but I'm betting there are folks reading this who can educate me.

Rob gave me this knife blank:

Lauri Knife, Blade 3.7" Long Model #105H

From the website:
  • 3.7" X 3/4" WIDE BLADE.

When they say razor sharp, it's no joke. This blade is sharp right from the factory!

This shaving was done dry on the top of my wrist, with the knife right out of the package.

Ben's Backwoods has a large selection of knives, camping equipment and survival gear that my friend Rob says has never disappointed him in quality or their customer service. I am adding this supplier to my List of Interesting Places that may get some of my money in the future.

A bit bothersome is the lack of handle kits for their knife blanks. I've looked through the site and there are no offerings; I've even searched other places that sell kits, but there are no solid handle options, just a good selection of 'slab' or two-sided kits. This is going to be a more complicated job than expected, since I will have to buy a block of wood of the proper size, drill a hole lengthwise, shape it to a comfortable fit, and then figure out a durable finish.

There will be more updates as I get involved in this project, so stay tuned!

The other thing that I just picked up is a fun and fairly frivolous item, a MOLLE mountable bottle opener, specifically this:

Stainless Steel
Yeti Molle Bottle Opener

Product Description:
  • Yeti's lightweight MOLLE bottle opener attaches directly to your YETI Hopper, meaning you'll never again be without a way to crack into those frosty brews.
  • It's low profile to prevent snagging, attaches snugly for maximum leverage and is made from corrosion-resistant stainless steel that can take a major beating.
  • As an added bonus, you can attach it to your pack or any other MOLLE rigging.

Mounted on my
5.11 Rush Moab 6
I don't plan on opening too many bottles, but I feel that I am well prepared for any such situation now.

The Takeaway
  • Adding a knife to my gear and dusting off my woodworking skills all at once is a treat! 
  • Every purchase doesn't have to be 100% practical. Fun can be in the mix as well.

The Recap
  • Lauri knife blade: $11.98 from Ben's Backwoods
  • YETI bottle opener: $10 from REI, or $15.95 from Amazon with Prime.
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If you have comments, suggestions or corrections, please post them so we all can learn. And remember, Some Is Always Better Than None!

NOTE: All items tested were purchased by me. No products have been loaned in exchange for a favorable review. Any items sent to me for T&E will be listed as such. Suck it Feds.

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