Sgian dubh

I made this little knife in 1995 or 6, when I was experimenting with blacksmithing techniques. It has a pattern-welded blade, formed from twisted bars of iron with seperate steel edges, all forge-welded together. This was the only finished blade I made using pattern-welding.

I did try to polish and etch it, but because of the inclusions in the welds, and perhaps because of not using contrasting types of iron and steel (I really don’t remember how I did this one 20 years ago!), the pattern is not really visible. If the blade were properly polished and etched it’s possible that more of the pattern would become visible but I am not sure it is worth it.

After I finished the knife I never got round to making a handle for it. It sat in my tool-chest, and a few years ago I thought it would be nice as a sgian dubh, with a slender bog oak handle, so I got it out and put it on my desk, but still never got round to doing anything with it.

Well today I finally completed it. I carved a very slender flat handle from an offcut of my Scottish bog oak, and I drilled and burned the hole for the tang of the knife. I stitched a leather sheath for it. I will try wearing it next time I dress up in a kilt!

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