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

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Keep 'em Sharp

I had an opportunity today to sit down and do some carving on seasoned birch with my Fallkniven F1. I sometimes forget how enjoyable it is to make fuzz sticks with a truly sharp knife and the 4.5mm thick Laminated VG-10 blade has proven itself as a true performer. It handles the rough stuff like splitting down seasoned wood, the finer stuff like making fuzz sticks, and even the sparking of a firesteel to get the fire started.

It's the keenness of the edge that most interests me though. This particular F1 has been beaten, bruised, and scarred. The edge has sustained chips, the blade bears several scratches, and the handle material has torn along the spine. It has also earned the place of honor among my gear as the go-to knife whenever I get ready to head out.

I think part of the reason it's so often taken along is that I've sharpened it with diamond and ceramic stones, water stones, oil stones, Hoodoo Hones, and strops. I've sharpened it on a belt sander, by hand, and at home and in the field. I can get the edge razor sharp with any of these methods and I'm comfortable with my ability to put and keep an edge on it no matter what.

A sharp knife is much safer to use than a dull one and being able to sharpen with whatever I've got on hand increases my confidence and comfort with this knife more than any other. The simple fact that I can replace it so easily (being a production knife) doesn't hurt either.

This sharpening experience may be for naught with the new 3G F1 but I won't know until I have to try it for the first time. As exciting as it is to have a new super steel in my F1, it's still hard to think about retiring my Laminated VG-10 F1 for any amount of time. We've got history.

Anyway, sorry for the ramble. There's just something about making a curl the entire length of a 14-18" long piece of wood that really tickles me. And doing it over and over again really gets me going...

Thanks for reading,



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