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Dan D'Silva





Joined: 28 Apr 2007

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PostPosted: Sun 15 Dec, 2019 5:59 pm    Post subject: Tangs on Scottish dirk by-knives and forks         Reply with quote

Hello again. Did the by-knives and forks on Scottish dirks from the mid-18th century and earlier ever have slab tangs, or were they exclusively hidden-tang? I've come across a knife with a slab tang that I think would look good in that capacity if the grip were reshaped a bit, but I have yet to find a readymade blade with a hidden tang that would look quite right.
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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Mon 16 Dec, 2019 6:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It is impossible to say that all dirks had hidden tangs because we simply haven't seen them all! However, I have never seen one that did not have the hidden tang and I have looked at a lot of them.
Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Dan D'Silva





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PostPosted: Mon 16 Dec, 2019 3:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Understood. I'm not asking about dirks themselves, but about the small knives and forks often paired with them -- however, for myself, much the same could be said about those. I'm just hoping others have more knowledge than me.
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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Tue 17 Dec, 2019 4:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan D'Silva wrote:
Understood. I'm not asking about dirks themselves, but about the small knives and forks often paired with them -- however, for myself, much the same could be said about those. I'm just hoping others have more knowledge than me.


That includes the by-knives. Never seen one made any other way than with a hidden tang. My answer was garbled in transmission.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Dan D'Silva





Joined: 28 Apr 2007

Posts: 179

PostPosted: Tue 17 Dec, 2019 7:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Okay, thanks.

On the off chance... would you happen to know of any knife or fork blanks currently on the market that look reasonably close? The closest thing I've found with a hidden tang are old-fashioned Jagdnickers, but their integral bolsters always include prominent finger guards that I'm not sure I could grind down cleanly.
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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Wed 18 Dec, 2019 4:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Afraid I cannot be of much help. Stop making knives over five years ago and never could find a satisfactory source for the type of blade you are searching for. Best bet is the Internet and one source you might want to check out is Crazy Crow Trading Post. They do sell quite a variety of blades with hidden tangs. There was another I used for all kinds of raw materials including blades but I don't have anything relating to them now. I seem to remember it being called "Knife and Firearm Supply" or something very much like that. Perhaps some other members will chime in.

I wish you luck Dan.

Found it....www.knifeandgun.com

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Dan D'Silva





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PostPosted: Fri 20 Dec, 2019 6:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks again. I've noticed that a number of sites (including both the ones you mention) carry variations of a small clip point with a flat grind that could work if one modifies the shape of the clip. There also seem to be some period knives that look pretty much like table knives but with pointed... uh, points, instead of rounded ones.

Personally, I prefer a blade with a shoulder, like the attached one. If nothing "perfect" turns up, I think I'll probably go with a Jagdnicker blade and just practice on scrap metal a lot before trying to grind down the finger guard. It'll still have that distinctive thickened shoulder, but if there's nothing perfect, then that's how it's got to be.

A good fork is also proving elusive. There are some costly antiques on eBay, also newer ones that have a flat sheet-metal look. I acquired one of these Crazy Crow ones a while ago. Had a thought of cutting it off with an angle grinder where the scales begin, working the middle section down to a rod, and silver-soldering a threaded extension on a long scarf joint. That sound reasonable?



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Lin Robinson




Location: NC
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PostPosted: Mon 23 Dec, 2019 6:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That does sound like a possible way to solve the problem. I have found a two tine fork for you and you may have already looked at it and rejected the item. It is sold by www.townsends.us and is part of a knife and fork set. It really looks good but has a full tang. Still, your idea for the Crazy Crow item would probably work for this one as well.
Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Dan D'Silva





Joined: 28 Apr 2007

Posts: 179

PostPosted: Fri 27 Dec, 2019 2:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks good. But, I just stumbled across one on eBay that appears to have a hidden tang and is going for cheap, so I'm going to give that one a try.

The slab-tang forks and knives might make a good basis for a Saxon hunting trousse, since some of the older ones seem to be constructed that way.
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