Well, knife #2 from the Michigan shop is all done. It is a William Scagel Style Knife. It wasn’t without challenges. This is the first knife of this style that I’ve made. This is the first stacked leather handle I’ve made and the first time I’ve used an antler for the pommel.
William Scagel Style Knife
This knife is in the style of William Scagel. He was born in Alpena Michigan and he was raised in Canada. Scagel began making knives in 1910 while working at lumber camps throughout Michigan and Canada. The features that make this a William Scagel Style knife are the stacked leather and antler on the handle. He made many styles of knives and hatchets, but this is probably the one he is best known for. He was a mentor to Randall, another great American knife maker.
Michigan Knife #2
My idea to make this knife came about when someone walked into my office with a box full of scull caps and antlers. I told him I’d make him a knife with one of the antlers of his choice for the box. He picked his antler and I got to work. The blade is 5 1/2″ long and 1 1/2″ tall. It is made from 1/4″ O1 tool steel, heat treated to 60 RC hardness. The grind is a 5 degree flat grind and the edge is a convex edge.
The handle is a stick tang handle, with a 1/4″ piece of steel going through the center. I made the guard out of a solid piece of brass. I fit it to the tang with files and then soldered it into place. Following that, you can see red fiber spacer material, black G10, a piece of copper, more black G10, more red fiber and then stacked leather, brown alternating with black.
I secured the piece of antler to the tang by drilling a 1/8″ hole through the antler and tang. I then put a piece of 1/8″ brass through the holes to lock everything together.
Because this was the first stacked leather handle I had made, I had to ask my friend Mike Stewart of Bark River Knives how to finish the leather. He was kind enough to send me a stick of the buffing compound that they use.
I think it turned out pretty well. I’ll be making some more knives like these in the future. These will be a little pricier because of the work involved.