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Ben Potter
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Location: Altadena, CA
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PostPosted: Mon 07 Sep, 2009 12:23 pm    Post subject: Mariner's knife         Reply with quote

This is my take on a 19th century scandinavian sailor's knife.



Click on the image to go the gallery page with more pictures and the full specs.

Let me know what you think.

Ben Potter Bladesmith

It's not that I would trade my lot
For any other man's,
Nor that I will be ashamed
Of my work torn hands-

For I have chosen the path I tread
Knowing it would be steep,
And I will take the joys thereof
And the consequences reap.
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Randy W




Location: Columbus, Ohio
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PostPosted: Mon 07 Sep, 2009 12:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

very attractive and whimsical, not something I would buy (the case setracts from the knife for me), but I can see the craftsmanship and imagination put into the design and execution, thanks for the view
Randy Westgate
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
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PostPosted: Mon 07 Sep, 2009 11:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Really beautiful work!

I see only one real problem with it: the lack of a lanyard hole. Wink Really, this is a must, especially when you are working with the rigging.

The scabbard might look outrageous, but I actually see how this could have been made by a 19th C. sailor with a lot of skill and too much time on his hands. Although a simple leather scabbard would be more practical, I guess.
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M. Eversberg II




Location: California, Maryland, USA
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PostPosted: Tue 08 Sep, 2009 2:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Certainly unique and memorable. What's the "E" for on the blade collar?

M.

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Dan P




Location: Massachusetts, USA
Joined: 28 Jun 2007

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PostPosted: Tue 08 Sep, 2009 5:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

M. Eversberg II wrote:
Certainly unique and memorable. What's the "E" for on the blade collar?

I'm guessing it stands for "East".

The knife is cool but the case is a bit confusing. It fits the look of the knife but doesn't seem practical for actually carrying a knife on the job. On the other hand the maplewood is real nice so I can understand trying to make more of an art piece with it.
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M. Eversberg II




Location: California, Maryland, USA
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PostPosted: Tue 08 Sep, 2009 8:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Site wouldn't load so I didn't get to see that he put the compass rose on it Razz

Spiffy work, though.

M.

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Addison C. de Lisle




Location: South Carolina
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PostPosted: Tue 08 Sep, 2009 10:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I like the knife, it looks very elegant and practical. My biggest criticism is that I don't feel like the sheath goes with it. They don't visually coordinate when the blade is sheathed; they just seem like two separate pieces stuck together. Both are nicely executed though.
www.addisondelisle.com
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Ben Potter
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Location: Altadena, CA
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PostPosted: Tue 08 Sep, 2009 11:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for all the input. I will keep the suggestions in mind for the next piece.

The scabbard is taken from examples of sailors work from the period (too much time and plenty of skill).

I agree that a lanyard would be practical, but I have not seen a fixed blade Sailor's knife from time with one or a hole where one could be attached. If you know of any examples I'd love to see them.

Thanks

Ben Potter Bladesmith

It's not that I would trade my lot
For any other man's,
Nor that I will be ashamed
Of my work torn hands-

For I have chosen the path I tread
Knowing it would be steep,
And I will take the joys thereof
And the consequences reap.
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
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PostPosted: Wed 09 Sep, 2009 7:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Attached is a traditional Dutch / North German sailing knife. This is a new knife, but this pattern has been around for a very long time. The sheath is also very traditional. A marl spike is often included in the sheath, but this maker does not offer this option for some reason.

The folding knives are also traditional, and according to what I heard, the folding knives were introduced after the fixed blade knives got banned due to the amound of knifefights which took place on the overcrowded ships of the time.

Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of originals, nor a definitive timeframe when these designs were introduced.

However, knives very similar to the fixed blade knife shown here have shown up as trade knives in North America as well, so they must have been around by then anyway.

Source of the pictures: http://loewenmesser.de/Download/Loewenmesser_2008.pdf
I own both patterns, the fixed blade one by Loewen Messer, and the folder by Friedr. Herder Abr. Sohn. Both very good work knives by the way...

But a lot of the traditional Solingen factories make (or at least sell) them.



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Ben Potter
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Location: Altadena, CA
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PostPosted: Wed 09 Sep, 2009 12:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the pictures, The look like the pictures of origanals but with the (in my opinion good) addition of the lanyard hole. I have seen folders with the marline spike on the reverse side.
Ben Potter Bladesmith

It's not that I would trade my lot
For any other man's,
Nor that I will be ashamed
Of my work torn hands-

For I have chosen the path I tread
Knowing it would be steep,
And I will take the joys thereof
And the consequences reap.
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Gavin Kisebach




Location: Lacey, Wa US
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PostPosted: Wed 09 Sep, 2009 12:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The knife is of course lovely, but I do like the scabbard very much. I presume that the anchor is a loop for a belt? A lanyard on any seagoing knife is probably well advised but I would hate to interrupt the natural lines of the grip.
There are only two kinds of scholars; those who love ideas and those who hate them. ~ Emile Chartier
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Michael Eging




Location: Ashburn, VA
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PostPosted: Wed 09 Sep, 2009 1:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I actually like the sheath very much, a nice touch with the knife. Do you have any pictures of what inspired the sheath work? I am not familiar with such works, have seen other crewman carvings that have a similar spirit to them.

Thanks, and very cool work! Cool

M. Eging
Hamilton, VA
www.silverhornechoes.com
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Ben Potter
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Location: Altadena, CA
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PostPosted: Wed 09 Sep, 2009 6:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't have any pictures as the idea came from visiting museums all over the US a couple of years ago.
Ben Potter Bladesmith

It's not that I would trade my lot
For any other man's,
Nor that I will be ashamed
Of my work torn hands-

For I have chosen the path I tread
Knowing it would be steep,
And I will take the joys thereof
And the consequences reap.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Rod S.




PostPosted: Mon 14 Sep, 2009 9:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lovely work, Ben. In particular I like the compass motif on the knife's bolster, and the whimsical whale sheath swallowing the blade.
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Ken Speed





Joined: 09 Oct 2006

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PostPosted: Tue 15 Sep, 2009 10:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ben,


I think the knife is an absolutely beautiful piece of work and the sheathe ties in to the scrimshaw and other handicrafts that sailors and whalers used to produce in their spare time. The pewter bolster with the cardinal directions and the anchor belt loop are very appropriate to the whole concept.

The only criticism I have of the whole thing is that I don't care for the fire darkened decoration on the knife handle and sheathe and feel that it detracts from the overall craftsmanship and high quality of the piece.



Ken
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