Damascus Striking Knife with handle
I ripped up some curly maple stock for tool handles and also found a smaller sized blank of the same ‘tiger maple’, but not a lot of stripes and fashioned a handle to match my other tool handles. I use the tapered octagonal handles like illustrated in Moxon or from the 1596 ill fated Nova Zembla expedition, I do like the Dutch influence, on all my chisel and other tool handles.
Great shape and they don’t roll off the bench. Early on in my apprenticeship I had a chisel roll off the bench and I caught it before it hit the ground and damaged the edge. I immediately changed all of my chisel handles to the tapered octagon design. Well, not exactly immediately, I had to attend to a gash on my hand and blood on the tool. The blood got removed first then I attended to the nasty wound.
Since that time, nearly 40 years ago, I have purposefully lost my ‘catch’ response. I literally can’t play catch. Now if a tool drops, I quickly and safely move out of the way and deal with a damaged tool rather than a lacerated hand.
I shaped the curly maple with a small Moxon smoother then went to my toothing plane to deal with some tear out. Worked great, then a scraper to remove the toothing marks. Then using a very fine drill and two very narrow chisels I excavated a rectangular tapered hole in the narrow end to hold the Damascus/pattern welded blade in place. Once it was fit tight, I etched the blade with a clove of garlic and used a bit of fish glue to secure it in place.
A coat of Moses T’s St. John’s Oil and it is ready to strike out.