Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sweeping Plunge

May 2011, I signed up for a Pay It Forward charity build off started by Lorien Arnold (Great Knife Designer). It is now an annual charity. Lorien would present 3 knife designs. The participants would choose one of the designs. Make the knife, sell it and the proceeds go to your choice of charity. Here is the original PIF thread CLICK ME if you want more detail. 

I chose this design:

The biggest area that concerns me is that sweeping plunge of the primary grind. I reached out to Matt Bailey one of my favorite makers and got some very helpful advice on how to do the sweeping plunge. after some practice (a lot of practice) I felt confident I could pull out some consistent grinds of this type. The trick is to grind a standard plunge to the apex point of your sweep. In this instance where the grind goes off the spine. 

You then need to hang the belt off the platen approx 1/4" so that it can climb over the plunge line edge you just created while working your way back toward the guard keeping the grind angle the same. This means your knife will lift off the platen a small degree until you get the grind where you want it. One of the critical tips I found was to keep decent edge pressure then as you near your target sweep check every pass to decide where you need to apply pressure. I even take my eye off the edge/belt contact and check where the belt is cutting near the spine (which I never do on standard Plunges). I also found out  you need to use a stiff belt for a smooth curve, the flimsy thin belts wrap around the platen edge too much and the platen cuts into the plunge. 

My belt process: 
Rough grind: Blaze 36 Grit, 120 Grit, Gator 300 Then Heat Treat

The Plunge is set with the Blaze belts, the Gator belts do not need to be hung over the edge of the platen too much, I hang it around 1/8" just so the belt will not cut into the steel too much. Light pressure with the gators so you don't ruin your sweep.

I have done hundreds of sweeping plunges now and I don't have to stay as rigid as I did during the first PIF knife. I can do the entire sweeping plunge without breaking it into two grinds as shown above. I still mess them up and spend a lot of time trying to get both sides to match.

Here is a quick video I made, sorry it is not that great and has some obstructions on one side but helps demonstrate the process.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

C-Tek Handle Material

I was speaking with Eric Ochs (Great knife maker) the other day and he was talking about a fairly new material called C-Tek and C-Tek Matrix. I had not heard of it before but it sounded very interesting. Within a few days I had a customer ask for it on their knife. So I ordered some in.

From Composite Craft Inc's Website:
"C-Tek Resin infused honeycomb handle material. This is a material that has been “in the works” since 1995. We recently had a resin formulated for this application and have now introduced it to the manufacturing community. Quoted by Terry Renner as being “The next big thing” in handle materials,the material is absolutely stunning in its appearance and its ability to reflect light and gives a whole new depth to the knife making art. This material is available in .125 and .250” cell sizes and any thickness up to .500” and beyond. Any color honeycomb and any color resins are also available. The possibilities are endless."
After receiving the material I had a few concerns, 
  1. The sheets I received were warped which makes working with it very difficult. I sent a message to Custom Composites and they said that it should not be that way. and that they would get another batch to me ASAP. 
  2. As you grind the material the cell walls show up on the sides as you can see in the photo above (Small silver portion on left side)
  3. I was also concerned about the small pieces of resin along the edges breaking out of the open cells if dropped. 
I found this as a great opportunity to play with the materail a little bit. I snapped a few photos of some sets I glued up...

Here you can see the warpage when I push on one side of the cut scales. I look forward to getting the new stuff.

Here you can see the Cell walls on the side of the material

Two different scale sets the one on the left has "Black" Ctek on the Base portion and "Green" on the Bolster Portion. The right Scales have "Green" on the Base and "Black" on the Bolster. The only difference is a white liner on the right set. Makes a huge difference as you can see.

Another thing I learned is that I need to cut my angles along the cell lines as to not break the cell wall because light is then reflected differently along the line. You can see this in the green on the left below. I ran the bolster cells across the base cell structure as you can see in the photo below also. which I like...  Some people may not like this.

UPDATE - 11/17/12

I heard back from the maker of C-Tek and he told me that there must have been a problem with the Resin Cure and he will be sending me another batch and to use this material freely.

I already have it on  a knife, and I am very pleased with it. The only remaining concern is how well resin stays in the open cells along the edges. My concern lays in the light colored pieces in the photo below. I am afraid that if it gets bumped the resin will release from the honeycomb.

As long as the edges are rounded down to the liner material the walls look fine.

UPDATE: 11/24/12

I took some time to take photos of the process through one knife, finishing the knife up with C-Tek.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Ryan W. Knives Giveaways!

1. Facebook "500 Likes" Giveaway

All you have to do to be eligible for this Prize is be one of the 500 Likes on My Facebook Page and you are eligible for a Ryan W. Knives Necker similar to the one in the photo below:

(Not the actual Giveaway Knife in photo)
Necker Specs:
Steel: 1/8" 1095 (With Hamon)
OAL: 6.25"
Blade: 2.75"
Handle: Stabilized Wood (My Choice)
Sheath: Premium Leather (Neck and Horizontal Carry)
Misc: Tapered Tang, Mosaic Pin

2. Rafflecopter "Year End Giveaway"

This one is being run through the FaceBook App. "Rafflecopter" to be eligible for that giveaway Click on the Link below and follow the directions. You could be the winner of one of my Custom High Uinta knives. (Similar to the one in the photo below)

High Uinta Specs:
Steel: 1/8" 1095 (With Hamon)
OAL: 8 1/8"
Blade: 3.75"
Handle: G10 (My Color Choice)
Sheath: Premium Leather
Misc: Tapered Tang, Mosaic Pin


Friday, October 12, 2012

BladeForums 2013 Annual Pay it Forward

Each year a good friend Lorien Arnold hosts a "Pay it Forward" (PiF) buildoff where he provides 3 different knife designs for makers to choose from. He leaves the details up to the maker to interpret or create. It only needs to be based on one of the designs.

"The knife or knives that you make which spring from this buildoff should either generate funds which can be paid forward, (to a charity, a person or whatever) or the knife itself can be paid forward. Use your imagination, and don't rush your decision, it doesn't matter how you are gonna Pay it Forward until the knife is made so take your time. You never know what's around the next corner, or who might need a little extra help..."

You can find the running thread here: (CLICK ME) on Bladeforums.com

I chose this Design!


Steel: 1/8" 1095 (With Hamon)
OAL: 9.25"
Blade: 4.5
Handle: Ebony & Ivory Micarta
Sheath: Leather (RH)
Misc: Tapered Tang, Sharpened Clip
Due Date: March 8th 2013

I will be updating this post with photos as a Work In Progress.... Stay Tuned

Thursday, October 11, 2012

St. Geo Triathalon

My sisters (Amy and Laurie) had decided they would participate in the SHAC Beginner Triathlon, Nikki and I decided to sign up as well...

We left Friday afternoon, the truck was loaded with bikes, bags and food. We were moving along swimmingly and then 50 miles before Cedar City a strange noise started coming from the truck. I slowed down and tried to figure out what was making the sound then BOOM the truck lifted off the ground and started swerving back and forth almost to the point that I could not control it. Something was beating on the bottom of the truck so hard that it was lifting my feet off the floor each time it hit. I looked out the side view mirror just in time to see the Drive line bouncing down the road in a cloud of smoke and pieces of Metal. Cars were slowing down and moving out of the way to avoid the shrapnel. I managed to get the truck off to the side of the road and make sure it wasn't on fire. I looked underneath and the Transfer case had exploded, wires were hanging down fluid was everywhere.... Luckily (for us) Nikki was following us in her car (she was heading back to SLC early). We loaded all that we could into her car, I arranged for a tow truck into Cedar City. We continued on to St. George. Dustin and Karen were a few hours behind us so they stopped by and picked up our bikes (for the Triathlon) Thanks Dust and Karen! In the end we felt very lucky to escape with just a repair bill... We have great family and friends that always step up to help when needed. Thanks guys and gals...Triathlon results:
Nikki Ruckerova:

  • 1st in Her Division (Female 30-34)
  • 6th in Gender
  • 18th Overall
Ryan Weeks:
  • 2nd in His Division (Male 35-39)
  • 26th in Gender
  • 47th Overall
Amy Huntley:
  • 13th in Her Division (Female 35-39)
  • 56th in Gender
  • 98th Overall
Laurie Jones:
  • 12th in Her Division (Female 30-34)
  • 31st in Gender
  • 64th Overall
We all did well considering it was our first one, we are planning on doing it again. I will be aiming for the Sprint class instead of the Beginner.
... Ryan

2010 Texas Hog Hunt


.... I Re-Posted this from my old Blog...

November 2010 -
After receiving input from various sources, I designed a knife for hunting wild hogs. These Russian hogs are plaguing many areas of the Southern United States. Info: CLICK ME

My hunting buddy and long time friend Dustin had his 40th birthday in November, I booked a Texas Hog Hunting trip through these guys:CLICK ME. We scheduled the trip for mid April. Between November 2010 and April 2011 I made (2) Two of the pig stickers, one for Dustin and one for myself. The original hunt was booked as a rifle hunt 2 hogs each. I was hoping the opportunity of a knife hunt would present its self. otherwise these knives would sit in their sheaths unused. That would just be sad!
The Original Designs

The Two Pig Stickers

April 10th The drive there
Dustin and I rented a car from Enterprise (Thanks Erik for the great deal!) for the long trip to Waelder, Texas (just outside of San Antonio) We packed all our necessities and headed out. We drove through the Arches Nat'l park and Moab UT. I spend quite a bit of time in Moab riding my KTM motorcycle. So we didn't spend much time here, we did make a quick stop at "Hole in the Rock" for Dustin's benefit. I SCUBA certified a girl that came from the Christensen "family" (Interesting story on its own) that owns this tourist attraction.
We continued on to the 4 corners monument a 15-20 minute drive off the main road. The Navajo Indians own this land and there is a $3 per person entry fee. There is some debate if the site is actually in the right location? Click Me. I personally found the monument a bit underwhelming. The various Indian shops surrounding the monument had the usual goods: jewelry, bags, fridge magnets, etc... I did find one vendor interesting, he had "Tatonka" (Buffalo) Rib bones made into knives, I wasn't impressed with the bark wood handle they had fashioned to the blade so I asked if I could just purchase the rib bone from him. He produced an unfinished one from a bag and sold it to me for $20. Should be an interesting future knife project. We stopped in Cuba, NM for some "Authentic Mexican food" and continued on.

Buffalo Rib Bone:

We made a quick stop in Albuquerque, NM. at the Hard Rock Casino and played our hand at a few rounds of Black Jack. I came out $80 ahead and called it good. We spent our first night in Socorro, NM. My first impression of Socorro was not a good one, 1am I checked into the Motel 6 through a 3" thick bullet proof glass window, parked the car in the parking lot and opened the hotel door to check out the digs. We noticed signs posted every 20 feet "We are not responsible for damaged or stolen valuables" 5 minutes later a beat up Chevy van slowly drove through the lot peering into every vehicle. I stepped out and smiled at them, making a mental note of their license plate as they drooled over the contents of our packed to the roof rental car. Dustin and I decided it would be best to pull everything out of the vehicle and keep it in the room with us for the night. After a sleepless night we awoke and headed out towards Texas.

April 11th - Still driving there
We drove through El Paso, TX. this area was crawling with Border Patrol, it was unusual to see so many government vehicles. To the right you could clearly see the Mexico border and its construction influence on the US side to the left. Continuing on we came to a gov. checkpoint where we were asked:

Officer: "Where are you headed?"
Us: "Texas to hunt hogs" (Duh we were in El Paso, guess we should have said "Waelder for a pig and a poke")

Officer: "Are you US citizens?"
Us: "Yeah"

Officer: "Do you have any pets or animals in the vehicle?"
Us: "No" (this question confused me, did they expect us to have our Paris Hilton lap dog burred under the luggage?)

While we were being questioned a dog was walking around the vehicle by its handler sniffing for what I assumed was Illegal drugs? After the officer peered into our eyes searching our souls, we were on our way.

I recieved a call from my wife warning us of Large fires in West Texas and to be careful. We saw the smoke and on some occasions fire on the hillside in the Fort Davis, TX. area South of I-10. We pulled into Kerrville, TX around 1am and got a room for the night. Kerrville seems to be a very nice town. The drive was very Desolate and dry, we were now getting not the more humid and green part of Texas which was a very nice change. I had contacted Paul Long a week before we left, asking if we could make a quick stop by his shop in Kerrville. For those of you that don't know Paul he is one of the best sheath maker's in the business. Our visit was brief but very informative and I have to say Paul is one of the nicest people out there. I will be putting the cable Damascus bowie I am working on in Paul Long pants in the very near future! I purchased Paul's DVD's on sheath making and plan on working on my sheath abilities to improve my knife offerings in the future.

April 12th - Alamo and the Arrival
We gassed up and headed toward San Antonio. we punched into our TomTom (Thanks Dustin we would have been lost without it) the coordinates of "The Alamo" and followed the nice ladies voice turn by turn until we were there. I was surprised at the location of the alamo, right amidst the tall buildings of downtown San Antonio. I have to admit I was not as familiar with the details of the Alamo as I thought I was. I purchased the books: "Three Roads to the Alamo" and "Jim Bowie" that I will get through when I have a bit of down time. The most interesting part of this history to me is the role that Jim Bowie played, due to my interest in knives. We were excited to get to Waelder, TX Ranch. We still needed to pick up our non-resident Hunting license and 4 bags of deer corn (I was not familiar with deer corn, due to the illegal use of bait in Utah). so we headed past the ranch to Gonzales, TX and hit up the WalMart where you buy both license and deer corn.

Disclaimer: If you are one of those people who don't want to see Photos and Video of feral nuisance hogs being hunted, bitten, chewed on, shot or dispatched by knife, you should probably Click HERE for the Rainbows and Butterflies area of the Internet....

On arrival at the ranch we entered the large red gate, drove down a dirt road. I love this area, the trees and shrubbery remind me of the African Safaris you see on TV. There were misc. buildings scattered around an opening. We parked the car by the other vehicles and said Hello to a few of the patrons sitting at the picnic tables. They told us Cameron was the person we were looking for and that he would be back shortly. 
Front Gate
Our Bunk House
Other Sleeping Quarters
Hanging up in the skinning area was a HUGE 420 lb. hog skinned and halved. The head was sitting on the ground, this was one of the ugliest creatures I had ever seen, next to the hog stood a 13-15yr old boy beaming with pride over his trophy pig. Next to the boy stood his Father? in his boat shoes, white Pants, dress shirt and tie conducting business on his Blackberry. I took the opportunity to talk to the boy and asked him to tell me the story of how he got the HOG! He had booked the Trophy hunt months ahead, had spent the previous day scouring the 265 Acres for the 300+lb hog to no avail. The nights were spent in a blind waiting for that all to well known sound of snorting, grunting, squealing pigs, a few small groups containing only 20lb - 150lb hogs passed through, He was there for a monster and went to bed empty handed! The next morning the ranch hands (Cameron and Jason) told him they would send him to the South East corner of the compound where the hog he is looking for hangs out. What would you know, there under a large oak tree hidden in the shrubs was what looked to be one of the many Elk scattered around the ranch (available to hunt at a price). On a closer look this was no elk but the ass end of the huge hog he was after. He shouldered his weapon and fired, the hog jumped and squealed then dropped a few feet from where he sat, kicking and grunting another shot was fired and the grunting ceased. Dad hung up his blackberry (I am just Assuming) and called Cameron telling him they had successfully killed their Hogzilla. Cameron and Jason drove to the location, chained the hog to the back of the truck and drug it behind the truck back to the lodge. 
420 lb Hog

We were excited to get our trophy hogs (No we did not pay for the upgraded trophy hog hunt), we had taken advantage of the buy one get one free 3 Day 2 night 2 hogs per hunter package. Also included was all the varmints you find during your travels. We heard a ATV coming around the bend, sliding to a dusty stop near the skinned Hog was Cameron. Now flash back to booking of the trip, I read through the website and was slightly concerned about the amount of "Religious" content. I am not the most religious person in the world, and was not interested in getting a sermon during my hunting experience. I thought it might a bit awkward and I may have to walk around on egg shells the entire time. Turns out the owner of the Ranch "Paul" was a Deacon and offers religious outings at a discount in order to "Bring our brothers and sisters to Christ". We were there to hunt! Cameron was very funny and like able, I feel we hit it off from the very beginning. He asked us if we needed to sight any rifles in. I brought my AR-15 in .50 Beo and custom T&C Contender 7-30 waters. after a few shots of each everything was dialed in. Dinner was being served, so we joined in and had some great food before being escorted to our bunk house. The accommodations were meager, but adequate. it was a bunk room with 2 bunks (4 beds) no bedding, we brought our sleeping bags and pillows which worked perfectly. Dustin and I were the only ones in the room due to the fact the ranch was not at full capacity. Bathrooms and showers we located behind the lodge. We found scorpions, and beetles in the showers so it was always important to look closely before shampooing up.
Jason was also working on the ranch, he had a dog named Zeus a 15 mo. old Pit Bull that was MASSIVE! this dog was already famous in the hog hunting community. he will be featured in the upcoming Sportsman's Channel program called Hunting Freaks that should air in July 2011.

7pm - Jason and Cameron asked us for our bags of deer corn, we loaded them into the back of a truck and they headed down one of the dirt roads. 20 minutes later they came back with a bunch of empty bags. Cameron told everyone to go to their pre-determined blinds, then told Dustin and I to follow him in our car to the "Mushroom Blind". Our blind was only 100 yards from the lodge, it was a wooden box a few feet off the ground with open spaces for us to look/shoot out given the opportunity. Corn was spread all over the ground and dirt roads in an attempt to draw the pigs in. I think the corn is actually there to feed the many other animals (Buffalo, Elk, Axis deer, Fallow deer, Blackbuck, Big Horn Sheep, White tail deer) I never saw any pigs eating the corn the entire trip.
We got settled into the blind on the chairs provided, within 30 minutes a small group of hogs came through the area, most were small piglets, but there were a few 120+ lb hogs. We decided that we would wait for that huge hog so we passed on them. We did not see any the rest of the night, but we heard shots from the other blinds in the area. Turns out the 120+ lb. hogs are the ones we want.... more on that later! Dustin and I headed back to the lodge empty handed and planned on getting up at 6am to head to the blind when the pigs were moving back to their hiding spots.

April 13th - Walk and Stalk

We slept through the 6am alarm and got up at 9am for breakfast. We were told that we would be paired up with another 2 hunters and should head South until we hit the fence then work around the compound in a Clockwise direction similar to pheasant hunting. We cam across a few Hogs on the run, but were unable to get decent shots. One of the other hunters was first to get his with a Black Powder rifle (I was impressed), it was a 130lb boar. around the fence line were poles with N,E,S,W and numbered 1-30 for each direction so N1 - N2 - N3... E1 - E2 - E3.... and so on. So we call Cameron and tell him we have a hog near W21 (Just an example) they come out in the truck grab the hog ask you what you want done with it and take it away. If you signed up for the 1 hog deal you are done, otherwise you continue the hunt until you fill your tag. I was the next to get a hog, I saw it in the trees on the East side (Where the HUGE 420 lb hogs are... NOT) of the ranch. It ran back behind us and stopped in a clearing. I felt like I got a good shot off, but the hog ran without making a sound. I checked the area and found some blood. 30 yards from where I shot the hog had dropped due to a lung shot. He ended up weighing 140lbs. I made the phone call and waited for Jason to pick up the hog. After 30 minutes of waiting the other two continued looking for their last hog (they signed up for 1 hog each) 1 hr. later Jason came and apologized for the miss communication and delay. We jumped in the truck and headed back to the lodge for lunch at 1pm.

After lunch all the hunters headed out to their assigned areas. Jason, Cameron, Dustin and I were the only ones around, I saw the opportunity to get some input on my knife designs from some experienced hog hunters... I feel the loved them. Jason (the more experienced knife hunter of the two) said "This is the perfect Hog Knife" Cameron said: "They have had people come through claiming to have the perfect knife but, they didn't work out so well because they were usually the Common Bowie design and not thin or sharpened on both sides." I explained that I initially wanted to come out and test them on some hogs, but knew that was an extra $499 per hog Upgrade. I could see the wheels turning in Cameron's head as he handled the knife. He then said "What do you sell these for?" I told him I wouldn't know until I saw how they worked. He then said "How about we trade a knife for a hog, so you leave the two knives when you are done, and we will take the dogs out and get you each a hog with a knife!" Hell Yeah!
Cameron then said to me "Ryan grab MY KNIFE" then turned to Jason and said "Lets go get Stinky"! Turns out that Zeus was not the only hunting dog Jason had there. Stinky was an ornery Mountain Cur Dog, I was unfamiliar with the breed. We loaded Zeus (Had to be lifted into the truck bed) and pulled over to an old horse trailer where and excited dog peered between the bars excited to have some company. Jason said grab a hold of Zeus' collar and hold him TIGHT. I grabbed Zeus and questioned whether this was such a good idea? Stinky ran and jumped into the truck bed, greeted Zeus with a growl and a bark. Jason yelled at him and pulled him away. Jason told us that Stinky was a B team dog, he had broken teeth and a broken tail but could find hogs as good as any. We were obviously in for an interesting afternoon.

Hog Hunting With Dogs Basics:
I was unfamiliar with the procedures of hunting hogs with dogs. Normally there are 5-6 dogs used some are Bay dogs and some are catch dogs.
  • Bay Dogs: do just that they bay the hog, in other words they are usually tracking dogs with the ability to run long distances. They find the biggest hog they can and hold it in one place by barking and circling it. Some bay dogs will even catch to a certain degree.
  • Catch Dogs: Catch the Hog. These are usually Pit Bulls or other muscular fearless dogs, they stay back until the bay dogs start barking, announcing that they have a hog bayed. The catch dogs will plow into the hog and bite the head area and hold down the hog. This causes the pig to Squeal! Because of the tusks hogs have the dogs need to wear Cut Collars and Cut Vests to avoid serious injuries.
  • Knife Hunter: Once the bay dog barks, the catch dog catches and the Hog squeals the hunter heads in for the kill. The proper knife is placed right behind the front leg, and slid through the rib cage into the chest cavity. then slid down severing the heart and lungs for a humane quick kill. It helps to have someone grab the back legs of the hog and spread the hog out.
If you want to learn more here is a good place to start: Hog Hunting

Cameron was driving, Jason, Myself, Dustin and Josh (another ranch hunter) were in the back of the truck with the dogs. We headed to the infamous S.E. corner of the Ranch. We quickly found a hog and let the dogs run. Stinky quickly bayed the hog and started barking. Zeus nailed the hog and held him by the back of his spine. I moved in and made the kill. I know I got the lungs due to the pink froth and air passing through the wound. The pig stopped squealing immediately, the knife was performed perfectly for the job, slid in easily for a humane kill. Everything happened very quickly and was over within a few minutes, the hog ended up weighing 150lbs and was known as Gimp. He only had 3 legs and I was unable to keep the meat because it was unknown what caused the deformity, so this hog was a freebie and I still had one more hog to get with a rifle! Thanks to Josh for videoing the whole thing. 

Second Warning... Some may feel this video is graphic, It contains the killing of a Feral Hog.
(It starts out like Blair Witch... Sorry! Hang in there it gets better around 1:00)

Later that evening Dustin and I headed out to see if we could get him his first and my final hog, we only had 1 hr before dinner so we ran to the S.E. corner. We were immediately on a group of hogs and tried to stalk them as best we could. All of a sudden I hear Dustin's 30-30 sound off, then again... 5 shots later Dustin had his hog, and we made the phone call. They picked up the hog and we walked back toward the Lodge in hopes that I would get my final hog. no luck!

That evening we hit the same blind as before, and were surrounded by exotics but no hogs came in, we called it a night around 1am.

April 14th - Last Day
We got up at 6am and headed to the blind, the sun was coming up to a cloudy day. the usual Exotics were finishing up the deer corn that spread out. Not a single hog came in, we headed to breakfast. 9am came and they sent the hunters out to their areas and told Dustin and I to hold tight. It was Dustin's turn for the knife hunt. We loaded up in the back of the truck, I had my rifle because I still had one hog to get. we drove to the South East section again and worked our way around the compound. Cameron got a call that a Trapper was there to deliver 4 hogs. Turns out that many/most of the large hogs are trapped in the wild and brought to the Ranch and let loose. They dumped us on the West side and told us to try to get my hog while they took care of business. I immediately spotted a large hog running to my right. I slowly followed it and got an open shot, unfortunately it jumped right as I shot and I hit it in the hind quarters. She was still running so I fired again and got her in the jaw. She went down, I ran up and put her out of her misery.... I really wish I had made a better shot on this one. Jason and Cameron returned and we headed back to the lodge. This hog weighed 160lbs. I had it Quartered and de-boned. 
Dustin was getting anxious, we were running out of time and he still hadn't been able to secure his knife hunt. We had lunch and new hunters were arriving at the ranch. Cameron and Jason had their hands full with the hog and hunter processing. Check out was 1pm and it was 1pm, Dustin asked Cameron if he should just head out for one more hunt with the rifle to get his final pig. Cameron said, if you have time just hang tight we will get you your knife hunt after we get everyone out in the field. Dustin was happy, Cameron wanted both of the knives!

I am going to have him write up his experience in his own words: (If he ever decides to Email it to me!)

We then thanked everyone at the ranch, showered, loaded our meat and headed out for Austin, TX. Dustin has a cousin named Mark that lives in a suburb of Austin that we planned on staying the night with before heading for home. We stopped at every grocery store between Waelder and Austin looking for dry ice to keep our meat frozen. Seems kids use it to make some sort of Bomb with it (Sheepish Grin). We finally a H-E-B (Here Everything's Better) Grocery store in Austin that carried it. TomTom found Mark's house and we had a comfortable nights sleep without Scorpions, Beetles and dirt.

April 15th - Headed Home
we left Mark's house around 10am. We had TomTom calculate the fastest way home and followed the directions. I started the driving in Austin, and continued North to my surprise we hit a sign that said "Welcome to Oklahoma" I found that odd then realize we had ignored the friendly lady of TomTom so many times maybe she was angry and sending us to Canada? Dustin checked the route and it had us going through Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado then Utah. I was game, I had never really been through Oklahoma and only passed through Kansas with my family years back on a trip to Indiana for my brothers wedding. unfortunately Kansas had severe weather warnings as well as tornado sightings we were unaware of. We fought a horrible headwind the entire way, Signs were all blown down along the route and we were getting  a little nervous. Luckily we made it through Kansas and into Colorado safely.

April 16th - Home
The plan was to drive as far as we could get a hotel and head home the next day. I have a close friend that was celebrating his birthday on the 16th at 4:30 pm, Dustin agreed to take over the driving during the night while I tried to sleep and I would take over at 6am when Dustin was beat. we drove the entire way through and made it home around 2pm.

This was a great experience, and I had a great time with a close friend.  If you are looking for a challenging hog hunt in the wild this is probably not your best choice. The hogs are brought in and placed in an enclosed area. The "Trophy" hogs are brought in specifically for individuals that have paid for the huge hogs. Do not come to this ranch to get Varmints, the ranch is surrounded by a 8-10ft. fence. The hogs can't get out, the varmints can't get in! You will not get any "Chances" at varmints here, we were a little disappointed when we realized this. The website has a lot of hype about varmint opportunities that just don't exist.

The staff (Cameron and Jason) were great, I feel like I made two new friends in Texas. They both went out of their way to make everyone comfortable and are accommodating when it comes to getting everyone their hogs. My next hog hunt will be through the same outfit but will only Knife hunting on one of their other ranches. We were told they go through 4000+ hogs each year and can accommodate 32 hunters at a time, this seems like it would be very crowed but they assured us that it worked very well. Don't expect to get hogs over 150lbs unless you pay for the trophy hog.

They are doing something right, because 2 of the 10 hunters there with us were return customers. As I stated I would return but take a different Hunting Package (Knife Hunt). The price per hog is a bit more than I anticipated, expect to pay around $100 per hog for processing.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Bio-Lite Camp Stove


I was able to jump in on the pre-order of this stove... I was a bit hesitant because they were asking for Payment Info before the item was even available. I had completely forgotten about it until a box showed up on my porch.

It seems like all my favorite places to camp are implementing fire restrictions. I have at least 10 different brands of fuel stoves that have their pros and cons. This BioLite is very promising!

Retail Price: $129.00 (Plus Shipping)
Nesting Size: 8" x 5" (Approximately)
Weight: 2 lbs. (33 oz.)
Fuel: "BioMass" Twigs, Pinecones, etc...
Boil Time: +/- 5 Minutes (1 Liter)
you can order yours here: BIOLITE

First Impressions:
The stove arrived tightly packed in a box, the "Power Module" nests inside the "Fuel Chamber" to reduce size. the module was wrapped with cardboard for shipping and was very difficult to separate from the chamber. I actually thought it was attached via a phillips screw for shipping. 
This caused me to read through the small instruction manual twice looking for info on how to dislodge the two... All that is needed it to pull hard in a twisting motion.

The "Copper Probe" juts out a bit awkwardly beyond the sides of the nested package, but seems to be very sturdy and not a concern for snagging or damage during travel. I would prefer the stove to be a bit smaller and lighter... I am guessing that over time that will happen. (See ** below)

First Use:
I was pretty excited to try out the "Thermoelectric Generator" that runs the Fan and USB Charging port. The stove requires a 2 Hr. initial charge via the provided USB cable, I plugged it into my Mac (PC worked too) and waited the 2+ Hrs for the blinking orange light to go solid. According to the manual this only needs to be done if the stove sits for 6 months unused.

Included in the package were some "Firestarter Sticks" I will not be using these. I will be using what is available in the wilds. I rounded up some dead twigs & dry grass (Not hard to find this year in Utah). Using my Ryan W. Knives - High Uinta Knife I created some small fuzz sticks. 

I loosely filled the wood chamber with the twigs and grass. I lit a thin long stick to use as a match lighting the bottom of the tinder bundle. Then pushing the power button the fan came on in the "low" setting, it lit fast and heated up quickly.  After slowly adding fuel (Sticks) red hot embers started developing inside the chamber. Switching the power to "High" increased the heat dramatically. After a few minutes of high heat the green "bar light" came on indicating that the unit is ready to charge electronic devices via any USB cable. (Great Feature)

**I realized that the size is just right, to enable enough fuel to be placed in the chamber. Where I feel improvements could be made (with my lack of technical knowledge showing) are in the Power Module weight and size. Weight is the bigger priority IMO... 

In the Field:
Will Update this ASAP with photos!

Monday, October 8, 2012

SPK 7.5" WIP & Passaround

I will be starting a Passaround thread of my SPK (Sportsman's Phalange Knife) in the next week. The knife is not finished so I thought it would be nice to do a WIP of the knife so that people following or participating in the passaround can see exactly what they have in their hands.

I will post the link here when I start the Thread:

Back Story:
My grandfather William Weeks was a cattle rancher (the “W” in my logo was his brand), butcher, construction foreman, oil man, owned and operated “Bill’s Bar and CafĂ©”. He was an amateur boxer, which often came in handy when things got heated at the bar…. on, and On, and ON!

He butchered his own cattle, hunted deer and elk his entire life, the freezer was always full. The knife he used and claimed as the “best working blade ever made” was the Schrade Sharpfinger 152OT. I was lucky enough to acquire most of his knives at the time of his passing. Below is his knife, the tip is broken and edge is completely gone. It will stay this way!

I was recently approached by a group of bow hunter’s known as “365 Pursuit” for a custom knife that will be their go to in the field…. My mind immediately thought of Grandpa Willie! I started researching and came across what I feel is a top authority of the Sharpfinger 152 “Codger_64” and this thread: 


The Design:

Design Features:
  • Pinky Well on Butt to aid in many of the common grips utelized with this design
  • Fine thumb jimping to aid in finger purchase in wet or bloody conditions.
  • Extra Belly to help skinning and caping
  • "Safe Choil" left dull (Like Sharpfinger)
  • Textured Bi-Tone G10 Handle
  • Tapered Tang
  • Thong Tube

Profiling and Drilling the Blank:

1. 3/16" x 1.5" x 8" Aldo 1095 Bar Stock with design traced on it. Hand punched to stop drill bit from walking. 

2. Pilot Drilled all pin holes with 1/8" Bit then the appropriate holes with 1/4" Bit. I then enlarge the holes with #30 & #F bits respectively. I make sure to have my drill press table square to the bit. Then I make sure my Bar stock is even with the top of my ShopFox Vise. This is very important when it comes time to drill the handle scales. I dont want to fight Pins at glue up time.

3. I mark pin holes with an "X" and then drill the weight reducing holes in the tang. This helps me in my brain fart moments to avoid drilling the wrong holes for weight reduction with my Uni-Bit.

4. Then using my mounted Porta-band saw cut the excess material away, I have found that an 18TPI blade tears through steel like butter. Always cut relief cuts where needed to avoid blade pinch and having to back out of a cut. 

5. Then to the KMG to clean up the edges, I use an older belt for this. I use the 2" contact wheels on appropriate curves and the Platen on the rest. Again Make sure the Plate is Squared up.

6. I am now ready to mark the center line around the entire blade. I actually mark it a little off center so I have two lines running parallel along the edge.

7. here you see the two lines made by scoring from each side of the blank... Center is in the middle of the two lines. This will help with the Primary grind and when tapering the tang.

8. I like to have visual markers to check sides for even grinds. I trace the blade on cardboard and mark the approximate plunge I want, then cut it out. I then trace it on both sides of the Blade to help with grinding.

Rough Grind and Tapering the Tang:

9. Rough ground the primary bevel with 50 Grit Norton Blaze belt. I stopped each side at the scribe line (Photo #7) to leave some thickness during HT. Mike Quesnenberry once said the "W" in RyanW must stand for WARP...  1095 is my kryptonite!

10. After I grind the bevel, the tang is still full thickness. Time for the Tapering of the tang! I feel tapered tangs are neccessary to maintain a good balance in the knife. I use a 30lb. magnet from harbor freight to keep a good grip on the tang and be able to apply pressure starting at the base and slowly work my way up the flat of the Tang. It makes it really easy to watch where you are at by using a Big Ass Sharpie marker over both sides of the tang.
--- Big Ass Sharpie ---
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11. Here you can see what it looks like as you grind up the Tang removing the marker as you grind. I first get the butt where I want it (I stopped at the scribe lines again) then move the grind up and off the top towards the edge.

12. here you see one side tapered and the other not... I then repeat the process and closely inspect to make sure all lines are even on both sides.

13. Sorry Duplicate photo... 

14. This is a different angle showing one side tapered

15. This is a photo of both sides tapered, The left scribe line is hard to see, but it tapers out away from the line at the same rate as the one you can see on the right.

16. Here is the Rough ground and tapered tang ready for the Thumb Jimping... Tonight

Heat Treat and Tempering:

17. Side "A" showing Satanite Clay Coat... You will notice the small marks on the cutting edge. I put the clay on the other side first then mark the back side where the fingers come down. This way I have reference marks as to where to put the fingers.

18. Side "B" of Clay Coat I allow the clay to air dry so I can touch it without problems. Then I put in the oven at 250F for 1hr. to harden a bit more.

INFO: Quench Process
A year ago I switched over from a propane forge to an Evenheat Oven. I have been working very hard to get the process right that came with the change. I have learned a ton and feel like I have what works for me on 1095. It creates a nice Hamon and a great cutting edge. 

Oven is set at 1475F (My oven reads a little hotter than it actually is) for 40 Minutes. It takes approximately 25 Minutes to reach temp. 
The following times are what show on the Oven "CLOCK"
  • 40 Min - I allow the oven to stabilize for 10 minutes
  • 30 Min - I place the blade in the oven Cutting edge up, Mike Q. helped me work out an issue I was having with the edge down, thanks MIKE! 
  • 35 Min - I quickly check with a magnet to see if the blade edge has reached Critical. on smaller knives it usually has become non-magnetic at this point. If it is non-mag. I start my 6-8 minute soak time
  • 28 Min - Quickly check for color and flashing motion in the steel (Darkened Room) Close the door
  • 26 Min - Quench in Parks 50 and allow to cool to room Temp.

19. This is what it looks like right out of the quenchant. Pretty Damn ugly and Prudy 

20. I then scrape off the clay and clean off the oil and looking even better now, I check for Straightness and she is dead Straight!

21. To the Grinder 120 Grit Blaze to get a glimpse of that Hamon... moving in the light it is easy to see what you have! We got Lucky... 

22. Blade Just out of temper. I make sure to bring the oven up to temp and let stabilize before placing the blade in. My first 1095 temper is at 425F for 1 Hr. let oven cool then Temper again at 450F for an hour and let cool. I usually do this over night to kill time while I sleep. This should put me in the 60 - 61 HRC range. Great for this style of knife. It is a slicer not a chopper. Fresh out of the temper we get all kinds of colors, a lot of this color is caused by oil and stuff on the steel... Dont freak out if you get too much blue in there, I trust my Oven temp and check it frequently.

23. Luckily the spine was still soft enough to do the jimping I forgot to do before HT... I saw BenT do the two large notches around the fine (30TPI) jumping and liked the Idea since this will most likely be covered in Blood. I have a 20 TPI file on order and think it will create functional teeth

24. In my research and viewing some of the different grips used with this knife i decided to put some jimping on the Spine near the tip. UNFORTUNATELY this 
was not soft steel so I did an after thought hack job with a Dremel and diamond Bit. Ugly I know but will give the users an idea if they like this feature or not.

Mike (Codger_64) gave me permission to show some of the different grips he sent me to get an idea of the versatility of this design. I will put a few up as they pertain to design features. These would seem to utilize the front Jimping and "Safe Choil", I am not sure if Codger is one that wants the jimping near the tip but I can see how they might help in these grips.
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Etching Makers Mark and Hamon:

25. Here the blade is Slowly ground down to final thickness, Making sure to keep it cool avoiding work tempering the Edge. I grind with bare hands and dip in water with every pass.

26. Here is the Machine finish in Hand to help with Scale / Size estimation. I finish grind with Gator Belts.

27. This shows the tapered tang and unsharpened edge, The edge gradually tapers to the tip to accommodate the "Safe Choil"

28. I keep referring to the "Safe Choil" it is the portion (Approx 1") of the cutting edge left dull so that one can put their finger on the cutting edge without getting cut. The original Sharpfinger has it (I don't remember what they call it). Based on Codger's experience it is an essential element, I Believe him. The mark shows where the transition from Dull to Sharp will happen.

29. This is the Boring time consuming portion of the process - Hand Sanding. I start with 320 Grit and go through about a sheet of sand paper on a blade this size. then move to 600 Grit, I use a bit less of the 600. once I have it Clean I move on to Etching the Makers Mark.

30. Etching Process (I have the Personalizer): 
  • I wash the entire blade with Hot water and dish soap then dry with paper towel.
  • Wipe area with Acetone.
  • I Then Elec. tape exactly where I want the stencil
  • Attach Negative alligator clip to Tang
  • I place the felt on the positive "Etch Block" drizzling a small amount of solution on the pad. Rubbing with finger over Felt then dabing excess off with a paper towel.

  • With the Etcher set to "Etch" I do the following

45 Seconds on
15 Seconds off
45 Seconds on
15 Seconds off

  • Then switch the Etcher to "Mark"

5 Seconds on
5 Seconds off
4 Seconds on
4 Seconds off
... and so on down to 1

  • I remove the stencil and spray with Windex (With Amonia) to neutralize the Solution and dry off with a Paper towel
  • I then start hand sanding to sharpen up the mark. Using Windex as a wet agent.

31. I had this Mark laying around from my kitchen Knives... Thought It would look cool under that Thumb jumping. I like it

32. My standard mark

My Hamon Etch Process:
I am doing what I call a "Dirty Hamon" on this knife. Going for High Contrast and less ashi activity, IMO the time involved shooting (and failing) for a "Wheeler" (and Others) Hamon is not worth it on this knife because it is going to see heavy use and get bloody. Most likely the hamon will fade into the Patina over time.

33. Here you see my Nasty Ferric Chloride Tank, with Rubber gloves and Makeup pads.

  • After the Makers Mark I hand sand it back to a Clean 600 Grit finish.
  • Wash the blade in HOT water and Dish soap, then run out to the shop and start.
  • I do a quick Dip in the FC and rub the fluid all over both sides of the blade with a makeup pad to assure I get a clean even etch
  • I place the blade back in the solution stirring it around for 5 - 10 Seconds. pull it out and rub both sides again removing the oxides.
  • Repeat a few times (5 - 10 Seconds Each time)
  • Here is where I am a bit different than others:
  • I then do one quick dip and rub one side very hard with the now saturated makeup pad. like I am trying to remove a layer of steel.
  • Dip and do the other side....
  • Repeat until you have a look you like, Usually I do this (Both sides) 5 times.
  • I then spray the Blade with Pure Amonia to neutralize FC and wipe dry with paper towel.

34. This is what the blade looks like after cleaned up with ammonia.

I then (After taking a photo) wash off the blade with water from the outside hose and dry with towel. Wife gets angry when the kitchen sink rusts from Etchant Solution!! Then use Heavy oil to coat entire blade, holes and all to prevent rust from the Ferric Chloride.

35. This is what the blade looks like after the oil is applied

36. I then leave the oil on the blade and polish the blade with Flitz.

FOR A MORE Detailed Hamon Process Check my Earlier Post: 
(The link will open a New page to view)

Here is the finished blade ready for Handle work!

Handle Work:

37. I am a very visual and hands on person. I always trace the finished tang onto paper, mark the pins and pull my materials together. Looks like African Blackwood and Curly Mahogany is calling!

38. I then trace the tang onto the material and get my angles right, then cut the materials on a Precise chop saw. I only have to cut each piece once then flip one half so the angles are right

39. Here I have all the pieces together, including the liner and spacers. rough sand all the sides that are going to be epoxied together and wipe down with acetone. You will notice the worm hole in the Mahogany, I thought I could work around it... Nope. Luckily I had another small piece that I used instead.

40. This is where I glue up the scales with two part epoxy. It takes a bit of work to get everything straight, it is critical to get all angles and edges together here. I use extra epoxy to make sure all voids are filled. I do this all on a thick piece of G10 wrapped in Saran Wrap to make sure the liners are dead flat.

41. This is what it looks like after the epoxy has cured. I then cut the individual scales out and cut off the scrap.

42. I then stack the scales liner to liner and overlay the blade EXACTLY where I want it on the scales.

43. I make sure to have the top and bottom spacer lined up before I clamp it all up. 

44. I then clamp it Square in my drill press vise and drill through the front 1/8" hole and the back 1/4" hole. these will be my alignment holes so I can do the rest of the work through the liner side.

45. I then line the blanks up on the liner side, and Clamp it up in place

46. Put the scale back square in the vise and drill the rest of the Pin Holes

47. While I have it clamped in place I use a White Out pen to trace around the Tang.

48. I then put the scales back in the Vise (Squared Up) and drill out the holes with the #F and #30 bits

49. I then make small holes in the liner, making sure to penetrate the liner so that the AcraGlas Epoxy grabs the wood scales for extra strength. Don't go too deep though.

50. I then cut out the excess material on the Band Saw

51. I then get my assembly pins and see where I want to cut the Face of the Bolsters

52. I then cut and sand to final the face of the bolsters. I will not be able to access this after it is attached to the blade.

53. I slide in the assembly pins and check the face of the bolster to make sure I have it where I want it.

54. I then roughen up all the surfaces that will be glued

55. Cut my Pin Stock to size. I am using 1/8" Nickel, 1/4" Mosaic's and Stainless Tubing. roughen up the pin stock and wipe everything down with Acetone.

56. I prefer Acra-Glas as an Epoxy... Mix it up 4:1 

57. I then spread epoxy on one scale making sure to fill all the little holes, Insert Pins in the scale then slide the blade over the pins. Epoxy the other scale filling the holes and slide it in to place over the pins.

58. I use strips of paper towel between the clamps to avoid permanently attaching the clamp to my pretty wood. 

59. I then take a small towel covered in Acetone and wipe the Blade and Bolster face. Making sure there is no epoxy in the area. I then take some 3 in 1 oil and coat the entire blade and bolster face to help clean it up.

24 Hr Cure time started at Noon... Time to catch up on my day Job!

60. After the Epoxy cures for 24 Hrs. I pull the clamps off and carefully square all the flats and around the tang on the Grinder. I then use the 10" and 4" Wheels to shape and contour the handle scales how i want them. Paying close attention to make both sides symmetrical.

61. After I have the rough shape where I want it I take Sandpaper on a roll and cut them into thin strips so that I can hold an end in each hand and round the edges using an up and down motion.

62. I then work the entire handle with a fiber backed micarta sanding block. I start with 150 Grit, then 320 Grit making sure to sand with the grain of the wood.

63. after I have a nice clean 320 Grit finish I take out the tung oil and apply it liberally and let sit for 20 Minutes. Then Sand with 600 Grit, Apply Tung oil again and let sit. and so on up through the grits until I have a finish I like.

I Finished the sheath up as well today, I did not take photos of that process!

The Finished Knife and sheath...

That Curly Mahogony is Beautiful Stuff!

And here we have my larger SPK, Along with the original Sharpfinger for comparison.

Thanks for following this, we are not quite finished. I will put a final edge on it tomorrow, which will be a little different than I usually do it. On Codgers advice I thought I would try a rough grit cutting edge. Schrade called it the "ACA" as explained in Post #48 of this thread. I am calling it "Micro-Serrations" I put the cutting edge on with a 120 Grit belt (Didn't dare go with 80 Grit) then knocked off the Burr with a cloth wheel and stropped it with a Leather Strop. 

Here is a close up of the cutting edge, very toothy and cuts extremely well with a slicing motion. 
Then This guy will make the rounds for some field use and reviews by some great Blade Forum Members. I will post up the Testers as soon as I get the last confirmation.


I recieved some great input on design features before and during the creation of this knife. I felt that it needed to put into the hands of those that know and do. 5 great people stepped up and agreed to take this knife and put it through its paces... as the feedback comes in I will update this info below.

Mike - "33875"
Oregon, USA

Well, I had really hoped to be able to use this knife on an elk or deer, but I didn't hold up my end of the bargain 

I have had the pleasure of having it for a week to admire though, and although I didn't get to use it for it's intended purpose, I have developed some thoughts on this one. I want to thank Ryan for allowing me to spend time with this one... 

I tried to take good pictures of this knife, but they truly don't do it justice.

I usually don't have a lot of patience when opening a box, that contains a new knife. Here she is on her first trip from home.

I can't honestly tell you how many knives I have owned over the years, but I do know there have been very few that I immediately bonded with, as soon as I got them. This knife is one of those few. 
It is also one of the few that I have grown to like even more, every time I held it...
I have to many pictures to put everything in one reply, so bear with me  

Knowing that Ryan was asked to do this knife for a group of bow hunters, I wanted to take a few pictures that tied it to archery equipment.

And finally, a few pictures of the knife in hand, and some thoughts on this knife...

The first thing I noticed when I unboxed this knife was, the outstanding workmanship. It looks great in the pictures Ryan posted, but it is even nicer in hand.

Being someone who has liked the original Sharpfinger for quite a few years, I never thought of trying to improve on it.
IMHO, this knife is a great tribute to the original.

I have fairly big hands, and it is very comfortable for me. As far as the notch on the bottom/ rear of the handle, it didn't really make much difference when I held it. I have a feeling, someone with smaller hands may notice it more though.

When I first started playing around with it, I tried the usual shave the arm, and push cut some paper. It didn't work well for either of those tasks. As I thought more about it, I remembered the toothy edge that Ryan put on the knife.
I contacted him and asked about this. He said that was indeed why it didn't do well with those tasks. But, he also reminded me that the knife was mainly being done for processing game.

I didn't have any game, but we bbq'd chicken last night for dinner, and the wife overcooked it a little, so it was kinda dry.
I used the knife to cut across the grain, and it worked great. I also used it to cut up some fairly thick cardboard, and it took care of that task with ease...

The chicken didn't have any sauce on it, just salt and pepper. As soon as I finished eating, I cleaned the blade, and noticed I had been the first one to
leave a mark. It developed patina very quickly. But, that is one of the things a lot of us like about 1095 
I had just never done it on a knife this beautiful...

I've never owned a knife with an edge quite this toothy before. I have a feeling if I would have gotten to use it on game, I would have appreciated it, but I guess after all these years, I'm use to having a polished edge.

I would probably order one with a polished edge, but that in no way means this edge wouldn't work very well for its intended purpose. I'm just a little to old to change my ways 

I have to say, anyone would be proud to own this knife. After seeing Ryans work up close and personal, I am seeing a new knife in the future from him.

I hope I didn't leave anything out. 

Thanks again Ryan for letting me enjoy this beauty,

Mack - "Protourist"
California, USA

I got it and I must say, I'm more impressed than I had expected. This fits my hand as if it had been made for it. I can't find a flaw in the fit and finish yet but I will be going over it much more closely. I really doubt that I'll find anything though.

After falling in love with Sharpfingers, I didn't think they could be improved on. I was wrong. Very wrong. This is a work of art that will be a dream to work with.

More to come when I get some more cutting time....


Kent - "mewolf1"
Minnesota, USA

The blade made it here today and could hardly stand it not to open it , but I waited til my girl said "well, are you gonna open it?" Drove her crazy. My first impressions were admiration of the work. Ryans craftsmanship is beautiful and the leather work stout for a long life if not many lives. The balance of this knife is spot on IMO and fits my hand the way I like a knife, creating an extention, meaning it feels "natural". After getting a paper towel to wipe the drool off my face I grabbed some pork loin out of the fridge and cut it up.

By the end of the first piece I found that I wasn't thrilled by the micro serrations. It felt draggy to me so I pulled it through a hone. Four times though lightly.This made a world of improvement and I cut up the rest.

Next I got out some Salmon I just cured up.Had to make sure it turned out OK.

This was not this blades intended use obviously, but I had to try it. Gravlox needs a thin blade.

I then went outside to clean a couple of Squirrels I picked off the bird feeder.
The first one I did across the back method and the blade zipped right through. Squirrel hide is tough stuff!

The second one I cased skinned just to use the knife more.

All in all, the game prossessing went as expected but there is more work for this knife on bigger game as pork loin and squirrel is not a challenge for this blade.
More to come.

To sum up my experience with this knife I have to say I'm honored to be apart of this pass around. The pinky dent didn't have any effect on the useability for me, but adds to the look. In taking apart the front shoulders of a deer, the front jimping is a non issue as well; not that they were any trouble, just that I am indifferent to them. The balance is awsome with this knife and the heft of such a small blade is very nice. I still maintain though that a razor edge, without safety, would be scary wicked. I say that with the utmost of respect, as this knife has so many ways to be customized without really changing the labor for the blade master i.e., "a little here, a little there".
I also forgot to say before, that from the first time I saw this knife everything says to me "out west". It is obviously gorgeous and is very useful!!

This was a bit slushy but came apart just the same.

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Shot a nice Buck yesterday. Have lots of pics of knife in use. Butcherin to follow in the coming days.

This is the biggest Whitetail I've ever shot!

First things first; off with his nuts! This went quick with this blade.

Cut down to the Pelvis

Time to head up the belly; all of this is instruction to my son as this is taking place and he does the photo shoot.

This is the point in gutting I would like a full sharp blade.

I drove the blade into the center of the pelvis and rocked it to try to get it to start splitting to no avail!! Not one knick is in the blade after working the bone!! Awesome knife!! I did finally give up on trying to split the pelvis and went on to the gut removal. Even after the workout on the pelvis, this knife cleanly removed the diaphram and wind pipe. Everyone one needs to remember that all of this is my opinion and does not reflect upon the HIGH QUALITY of Ryans work, but I believe that a razor edge would have made this a much quicker job. The thickness of this knife is something one can rely on FOREVER if cared for properly

My son is far more photogenic than I

1. Do you like the fine jimping or would prefer heaver / Bigger notches
I LOVE the fine jimping

2. What are your thoughts about the re-curve in the cutting edge, would you keep the re-curve but fully sharpened?
The recurve is awesome. With a fully sharpened blade. This way when one turns the knife upside down and running up the belly of a carcass the critters flesh will stay in the "pocket" of the recurve giving more control. Just my opinion. It too is one of the main reasons I love small blades; it gets you closer to the work.

3. Any input on the sheath after using it a little?
The sheath is what I think a sheath should be. Tougher than Woodpecker Lips The friction fit is very nice and I don't feel that I would ever be concerned about the knife falling out. I like simple. The Denim tent is made when the knife is drawn No addition are nessessary from my point of view

Joe - "JParanee"
Pennsylvania, USA
Guys, I am up next I believe but I sit here very depressed. I have been catching a very nice buck on camera the last few weeks and just had no time to hunt him. Yesterday I got home late and since the wind was right I slipped into the woods with a climber on my back. I hadn't been in the tree an hour or so when he came slipping by me hot on a doe. He stopped at 30 yds with his head behind a bush and I saw my chance. I put the arrow right into his shoulder. Even though I seemed to get good penetration the blood was sparse. I waited 3 hrs and took up the trail only to back out and wait for light. Well after looking all day I'm heart broken and truly saddened to have not recovered this deer.

I have hunted deer my whole life and this is the second Buck I have ever lost. The first time it really messed with me and this time it is worse. 

I am very excited to be involved with this pass around but it is very bitter sweet for me because unless I recover this buck I doubt I will be shooting another one this year. 

I will find something to test the knife on but right now I'm very upset.

I got it guys  

Just came this morning while I was in the woods hunting 

We did a quick sweep and push looking for the one I hit 

I had a ton of deer mostly doe and small bucks with in bow range but not my big boy so I did not loose an arrow 

Are early archery season ends Monday and we have no hunting on Sundays so I only have one more day to look for him and I'm not gonna shoot any other 

I just unpacked it when I got out of the woods and had to run to meet an insurance adjuster on one of my buildings for a storm claim

So a quick impression is that it's a very nice knife just really dull  

I just found a minute to start enjoying this little gem of a knife

Ryan makes a very nice knife and this is the first piece of his that I have gotten to fondle and I am impressed.

The first thing I did was to put it on a Jewel Stik, and a very nice edge popped up with just a few passes and a back drag.

I sharpen free hand and i can tell Ryan definitely has a good grip on edge geometry because the edge came right up to a nice biting edge in short order.

I really would prefer if the blade was sharpened all the way down but that's just personal preference and maybe as I use it I will see the logic in not doing so.

The handle is smaller than I imagined it to be but I find the shape pleasant and I like the way it tapers in the center kinda wasp waisted and where my middle finger lies feels nice and indexes well.

I will be honest, I am a big fan of simple in lack of a better word paring type utility / skinning knives like the Jurassic B&T that Jason and I just did, but that is probably because when I was younger and really learned to skin and cape it was on a Ranch In Texas where my buddy who was a surgeon on critters when it came to skinning had cases of cheap paring knives we would use and throw out.

But I can immediately see how choking up on this blade and putting your pointer finger out on the ridges toward the tip would make for a very exacting tool and I like it. I am not a fan of very upset tips on a game knife but I can see how the generous belly would really be able to cover some ground when removing large animals skin and then just choke up an index the tip to do the more detailed work

So simple put this is just a knife I would have to get used to to get the most out of its designs and over the next few days I will see what I can do.

If my plan would have come to fruition I would of had this buck on the ground and hanging on my scale waiting for this knife to arrive. But as usual plans when it comes to big deer don't work out

I looked all day again for him and we saw no sign of him on the hoof when we did a push.

Ryan your work is very nice and I love the look of the blade.......from its shape to the etch it is quite the wicked little bugger

Thanks to all for involving me and let's see how the next couple days go with it 

I know there has been a lot of pics of this knife but it is very photogenic 

I had kit out today with bow in hand and snapped a few pics

This knife is on its way to Codger and it saddened me to let it go 

Ryan is a great maker that I can see many great things coming from him in the future. His fit and finish is very good and beyond that in a sea of knives his pieces stand out as his which is an accomplishment many makers never achieve. 

His use of modern handle materials and his etched blade finishes combine an ancient and modern look that I truly dig  

I see great things coming from him and I anxiously await the day we can work on something together.

As for his knife .......simple put I love it 

As stated earlier I am used to a more paring shaped knife as a skinner etc. I wish I could of put this knife thru its paces actually caping and skinning an animal but alas I failed at harvesting my target animal and no doubt will not get a chance to put something down or at least one of my kids putting something down till later in the season.

I could easily see how I could get used to the upswept blade and by choking up on the blade I am sure detail work would be a pleasure.

What I do like about the knife is as follows 

Handle shape 

Blade shape 


Serration on the spine of blade for when you choke up on it and different hand positions 

Blade takes a keen edge quickly 

What I don't like 

Would prefer the blade was sharpened all the way down 

On a handle this size I would like all one material (personal preference) 

Although the sheath is very well made on blades this size I would prefer a horizontal sheath but again that is personal preference 

Ryan Ill be watching you and thanks so much for including me 

Michael - "Codger_64"
Tennessee, USA