Survival seemed to be the best place to put this one, as I don't really consider a knife a weapon as much as a tool. So, here goes...
I love knives. I collect knives. I love to sharpen knives, and I learned how from a couple master knife sharpeners. If I had to rank myself
sharpening a knife I'd say...hmmm...I think I can sharpen a knife with the best of the experts. Anyway, this is a story about one knife, well, two
actually, but the other one is a back-story.
Long (back-story) short, I lost a knife once on the snake river in a rafting incident while fishing. I was a kid, and I was crushed as my dad had
given me that knife. It was a venerable old Buck 110, my first "real" knife outside of a Boy Scout knive and some beat up old toad-stabber of a
K-Bar. My dad had originally taught me to sharpen a knife (and he was pretty good) on the old, completely dull and rusted, K-Bar. He said..."If
you can ever get this one sharp, you will have learned to sharpen a knife!
". It was a mess. Later he bought me a Buck 110 for Christmas one
year. Now, THAT was a knife! (to me anyway). I loved that thing...I actually worshiped that thing! Then one day we were fishing on the Snake River
in Wyoming, hit a log pointing up out of the water, spun the raft around and threw me out (I was on the fish too, dang it!). I went ass or tea-kettle
into the freezing ice-out early May water. I was a good swimmer and made it to shore without incident, but quickly realized my trusty Buck 110 had
left my unsnapped sheath and was gone. I could write a whole book about that knife and what it did for my love of knives, but suffice it here to say
it was soon replaced. I digress.
Fast forward many years. I fell in love with all manner of fixed blade knives (the Buck 110 is a large folder). Eventually, I would meet my wife,
the chef, and she was into knives too, but Chef knives, big dollar stuff. One time I told her I was going to sharpen one of her knives and she
freaked out. No one was allowed to sharpen those knives!! They would all be professionally sharpened!! (per her). So I asked her to just give me a
chance. She gave me about a $300 knife which was seriously in need of care and told me to have at it.
Have you ever heard in the movies when someone draws a sword out of a sheath it makes this "Schwwwwwingggg" sound? Well, that's not real (for the
most part), but when you're sharpening a knife it is. I sharpened my wife's knife and gave it back to her. She exclaimed it was sharper than she'd
ever seen it and was amazed. Heh...**brushing fingernails on chest**...yeah, that was me! So after that day, I was entrusted with all the big knives
for sharpening...and we have some SHARP knives. I could sharpen knives all day for a living, I don't care if I own them or even use them! I just
love to do it to see how sharp I can get them. (more on this in a minute)
Anyway, I've always like the knife as a tool. It's an amazing tool, and it has a variety of amazing uses. There's a particular niche for highly
durable survival type knives, high quality type knives which can do things like bushcraft and survival type skills. These aren't giant knives, but
they're usually high quality steel and pretty durable. So, for a while I had my eye on some ESEE brand knives (ESEE 4 in particular), but they were a
little expensive, not too bad, but not cheap. Not a major hardship by any stretch, but a Chef knife would be more bang for the buck.
So, one day I came across this Buck 863 Selkirk. I've always had a soft spot for Buck. But when I got it, I was shocked to see it was made in China!
Bad Ju-ju! So from then on I was pretty much intent on destroying it. I beat on it, I shoved it through steel cans and pounded the blade through
steel barrels. I chopped through copper pipes with it, batoned through oak with it, hacked things with it. I just brutalized this knife!
The other day I woke up thinking about this beaten up knife. I wondered if I could bring the edge back. I looked at it, and it was hopelessly
damaged, the edge was completely shot. The edge looked like the jagged edge of a soup can, it was ugly.
But, remember, I love to sharpen knives. So, I set out to see if I could re-establish the edge on this knife, just for fun. I had to re-profile the
edge from tip to hilt, all manually, no grinders, and then just stone the knife to where it would lift the oil out of the stone (Arkansas medium BTW)
all the way across the edge on every pass in both directions. Sharpening forward across the blade. I wanted oil and steel coming up off the stone
over the edge. I took this thing to the strop, and honed the edge, rinse and repeat a couple quick times. Now I can see light down the edge, and
this thing is WICKED sharp!! A beaten to death, Chinese 420C Stainless blade, brought back to shaving sharpness after being brutalized beyond
I'll probably still buy the ESEE 4, but at least the Buck can hang next time I need to cut a steel cable or some barbed wire fence! LOL!
on 10/20/2019 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)