Very close friends of ours had the joy of one of their daughters having identical twin boys this past December. There’s a shortage of boys in this family so getting them two at a time was really special.
The grandparents we’ve known for over 40 years since they were teenagers. Mom we’ve know since she was born. In other words, we go back a long way.
We thought about what we could give the twins that would be special, considering the circumstances. Another stuffed animal or a cute shirt just didn’t seem to cut it. After giving it some thought, the obvious choice would be something that would have meaning to them later in life. That sounded to me like a pair of knives.
I wanted to make them a little unique. Small enough for a growing boy but big enough to be useful as they grew up and started hunting and fishing. After all, their mom grew up in a hunting family and is as capable in the field as most guys.
I put together the following story board and printed a copy for each of the boys so in a few years they read the who, what and why behind the knives.
The Story of Your Knives
Your knife and sheath were made by an ‘old guy’ who is a close family friend. We’ve known your mother since she was born and your grandparents since they were teenagers. We feel like a part of your family and Jan and I wanted you to have something to enjoy well into adulthood.
The handle of your knife is Bolivian Rosewood. The blade is 440 Stainless Steel. The pins holding the handle to the blade are called Mosaic pins. Here’s how it all came together. First, I laid the blades on the wood to trace the outline of the knife handle. Then they were rough sawn to the approximate size.
After drilling holes in the wood for the mosaic pins to go through, the handle panels are glued to the blades with a strong epoxy glue. Before the glue is dry, I put the pins in the holes and clamp everything together to dry.
After the glue is dry, the handle is ready to be shaped and sanded smooth. Once this is complete, several coats of TruOil are hand rubbed into the wood. If the finish ever wears on your handle, lightly sand them with a fine sand paper and apply a few more coats of TruOil.
I traced the shape of the knife onto a piece of leather and carefully cut it out and dyed it. I dampened the leather with water and stamped the footprints into it. The foot prints make me think of the many walks I’ve made hunting, fishing, camping and just exploring carrying my knife with me. It was an important companion as I hope this knife will be to you.
After the leather dried, holes were punched for the stitching and the edges of the sheath were glued together to get ready to sew.
With the sewing complete, I sanded the edges of the leather. Then the sheath was thoroughly dampened with water and the knife was put in the sheath. I pressed the leather tight around the knife to case it (shape it) to the knife. When it dried, I burnished (polished) the edges of the sheath by rubbing them with a round piece of wood to leave a nice smooth edge. Then a coat of leather polish was rubbed into the sheath to protect it.
And that is how your knife came into the world. Jan and I hope you enjoy it and create many years of memories with it.