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

Monday, March 19, 2007

This is my knife

Several months back I traded a Dozier Pro Guide for this Carbon Steel Bark River Sperati prototype.

The Pro Guide was as new with an extra kydex sheath and the Sperati was already well used with a healthy patina. I still feel I got the better end of that deal. I had a knife that I didn't carry or use and traded for a knife that I carry and use regularly. The Sperati is now MY knife and the marks on the blade are, for me, memories.

The steel is, I believe, 1095 and it has taken on a rather unusual patina. Having one knife for every task exposes that one knife to tons of different substances. My blade has purples, blues, blacks, and varying shades of grey. The edge, of course, is like a mirror. I have sharpened this knife using a variety of methods but, having just purchased a Japanese Waterstone, find the 1000/6000 grit stone to leave an extremely fine edge with just the right amount of "tooth" for my use. I have taken a page out of Ray Mears' book and use some of the slurry to polish the flats of the blade which helps to bring out the various stains without removing them entirely.

The production version of the Sperati was made with 12C27 stainless and the bulge toward the tip of the blade was further reduced streamlining the appearance of the blade. I happen to prefer the prototype's front-end to the production model. I am sure the production version makes a fine knife but, given the choice, I'll always reach for the Carbon Steel version--because I've got the choice.

I've modified the blade slightly to flatten the spine at the swedge to throw sparks with my firesteel. This is the area from the false-edge grind forward. It has done nothing to compromise tip strength and adds a useful feature to my "one knife."

I've got lots and lots of knives. I've got lots of bushcraft knives. (My wife would probably argue that I've got too many knives...) This, the Bark River Knife and Tool Sperati, is the one I grab when I head for the woods.

Thanks for reading,



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