Work is finally done on the Camping Knife Protoype.
Lets talk a little bit about the handles. My intention was for this knife to be finished with DIY micarta handles. We made another sheet of micarta out of white t-shirts that were dyed black. The resin I used is quick dry 5 minute resin. The last batch I mixed dried way too fast (about 10 minutes). This time, I mixed another batch, but put it on ice to slow the reaction time down. The resin remained workable for nearly twice as long, although it was more gummy than the air temperature batch (about 80 degrees). Our only issue was we didn’t make enough. Had this been for a neck knife, it would have been fine. A camping knife needs a handle that is really thick to facilitate getting a good grip on.
In the above photo, you can see the spacers ended up being about as thick as the handle material (which is some kind of exotic wood). It looks a little janky, but that’s what experimentation is for! All in all, I think it gives the handle an interesting look, if you picked out the right materials, a very neat effect could be achieved by laminating micarta and wood like this, until the wood swells due to humidity and temperature and separates from the micarta. For this to be a long term thing, I would use stabilized wood.
I am really happy with the look of the knife. After a camping trip or two I will go back to the workbench to further refine the design. There are already some changes I want to make: With the beast of a handle, the tang needs to be skeletonized. I like the look of a drop point, but bringing the point up may give it a wider use-case as well as extending the cutting edge a little. The index finger hole should be deeper and I would like to bring the back of the choil (not sure what the correct term is for that part of the knife) lower to act as a more of a guard.
After lots of work and note taking, it is done. All that is left to do is to put an edge on it and put this design through it paces.