I finished Michigan made knife number five today – another Scagel style knife today. This is a fun style to make for a number of reasons. First, every antler you get will be different, so every knife you make this way will by definition be unique, even if you use the same blade style on every one. I would argue against doing that, because different antlers seem more appealing with different blade styles. I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it makes sense to me.
Michigan Made Knife Number Five
The blade is a drop point blade 4 inches in length. It was made from 1/8th in O1 tool steel, hardened to 60 on the RC scale. The grind is a 3.5 degree flat grind with a convex edge. It features a handmade guard – brass. There is a mosaic pin through the guard and tang. The guard is also secured in place using low temperature silver solder. The handle is made from stacked leather with copper and black G10 accents. The pommel is a piece of a Michigan deer antler, secured in place on the tang with a brass pin.
Handle Design Can Be a Challenge
One of the neat things about trying to use a piece of antler for the pommel is that it can be challenging to make an ergonomic handle with the right dimensions to suit the piece of antler. Some antlers are girthy. This particular antler was thinner at the base with a slight curve. The knife was made for a right handed individual, so there is a slight curve away from the palm of the hand at the base. It actually ends up being very comfortable in the hand.
If the base of the antler is wide enough you could point the whole thing slightly downward, making the handle more ambidextrous. Unfortunately most of the antlers I have are not broad enough to make a decent handle in that configuration. Antlers do have the benefit of being oval shaped, lending them as pretty good starter materials for an ergonomic handle. I enjoy the challenge.
This particular knife has been spoken for.