I wanted a woodlore clone knife. I really like the ones by Adventure Sworn and Rook but they are difficult to get, so I decided to make one myself. I could make the blade by myself, I've made several already, but I only have a charcoal grill and hair dryer to heat treat with and that's too inaccurate to make a quality, long-lasting blade that I can be proud of and use for years to come. I looked around, posted a thread, read a lot of reviews, and ended up getting a Bernie Garland Bushcraft blade blank. Bernie Garland is a highly regarded maker from England, and his Bushcraft blades are heavy duty, hard working, pieces of art.
The blank and shipping from England cost me just about $100. It took about three weeks from the time I ordered the blank to the time that I received it. Not bad, especially when you consider that Bernie doesn't make the blank until it's ordered. I emailed Bernie several times to ask questions about the blank, and each time he answered me on the same day, sometimes within minutes of me sending him a question. I had some decorative pins that I wanted to use, and Bernie ensured me they would fit my blank with some extra room for epoxy to surround the pins and make a stronger bond.
It has taken me a while to build this knife because I've come down with carpal tunnel from my day job, so I can only work a few minutes at a time before I have to rest my right hand.
Here is the blade blank I received:
I had a tough time deciding what type of handle material I wanted. I had bought a beautiful pair of desert ironwood scales that I wanted to use, but I instead decided to go with a pair of bookmatched, stabilized, dyed green maple burl scales that I've had for some time. I didn't get a picture of the scales before I cut them, here they are rough cut to shape:
I chose to use blue vulcanized liners for the project:
I used a Loctite Ultra Extreme Weatherproof adhesive to fix the liners onto the scales. This glue is as strong as epoxy, but it has a higher and lower temperature rating than epoxy, and it remains slightly flexible, so it wont sheer right off like epoxy can do.
I glued the liners to the scales and let them sit for a while for the glue to set.