American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Wednesday, June 28, 2006 a new blade today

The weather has cleared and so has my mood. Jim, the mailman, brought me a package today that I've been waiting for anxiously.

Inside was a blade from a young Indiana bladesmith by the name of Phillip Patton. He's 24 years old and has been making knives for seven years. The past two have been spent at the anvil and you can tell at a glance that he really knows what he's doing.

I've used the maker's own words to describe the knife.

Blade is 6-1/2" long, overall length is 12".
Spine is .210" thick at the guard and tapers evenly the whole length of the blade.
The blade 1-7/16" wide at the widest. Steel is 1095, forged from 1/4" X 2" flat stock.
I used clay on the back to produce the wavy hamon. This is my first hamon, so I was pleasantly surprised at how well it turned out. Guard is bead blasted 316 stainless. Spacers are nickel silver and black Micarta, also bead blasted.
Handle material is Osage Orange, with lot's of figure. Weight is 11.9 oz. with the balance point right at the guard.

The fit and finish on this knife is out of this world. The plunge lines are even and crisp. The juncture between the guard, the spacers, and the handle material is tight. The hamon is nicely etched showing off the line between hard edge and softer spine. Did I mention that it came nice and SHARP?! There are a LOT of more expensive custom makers out there not making a knife this knife and they certainly aren't doing it for the kind of money Phillip's asking.

Through email correspondence Phillip joked that the knife had been sitting on a shelf and was desperate to find a new home. I promised him that I'd get it out into the woods for a little workout as soon as I got a sheath made up. I fully intend to do so just as soon as my newest blade comes back from a visit with the boys at JRE Industries.

If you're in the market for a hand-forged blade, and you like to get lots of bang for your buck, I would strongly advise you to check out Phillip Patton's work.

Thanks for reading,



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