Moose Knife Passaround Review Thread

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by Daniel Koster, Jun 25, 2003.

  1. Daniel Koster

    Daniel Koster Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 18, 2001
    The knife has been sent.

    Russ Kay gets it first and hopefully, he'll post his comments here when it arrives.

    Here's what I'm looking for in this passaround:
    • 1 = feedback
    • 2 = exposure to knifemaking

    1. In other passarounds, you're supposed to "review" the knife for the benefit of other potential buyers (including yourself). The manufacturer may never see these reviews (although some Spyderco reviews apparently do get read).

    Anyway, I want some honest-to-goodness feedback from you guys. Tell me what you like and what you don't like. There are some errors and faults with the knife and sheath that are fairly obvious, and others will require a more discerning eye. Some were left there on purpose. ;)

    Which leads me to #2

    2. There may be a few of you out there who are teetering on whether or not to try your hand at knifemaking. Perhaps by looking at this knife and asking questions, you might be able to get the fire burning and be ready to start one of your own.

    I want to communicate the idea that knifemaking is not "out there" but rather, it is very easy to begin. Just takes steel, wood and elbow grease! The tools practically do the work for you.

    Anyone can be a hobbyist knifemaker!

    Note: keep in mind - this does not represent professional knifemaking. It is intended to look, act, and feel like a hobbyist's knife project - because that's exactly what it is.

    Looking forward to everyone's review and commentary. This discussion is open to everybody. Let's just try to keep the "horsin' around" to a minimum, ok? :rolleyes:

    Here's the list again of participants:
    (name and bfc handle)

    Russell Kay (Russ Kay)
    TOM OBRIEN (TOB9595)
    Ginger Vigen (mamav)
    Joe Wagner (Aardvark)
    John Nix (Bruz)
    Yvsa Gigagei (Yvsa)
    Joel Sprague (ept777)
    Dwayne Puckett (Leatherman)
    Kurt Maloney (Roadrunner)
    Bob Kenny (Bobwhite)

    I still wish Brendan could have got in on this one. I know he's dying to start making his own knives. Hope things are going well.

    Josh Feltman too...which reminds me of something I did last night that will interest Josh and Joe. I broke my Drill Press. :eek: Then I fixed it... :rolleyes: ...and broke it again...:grumpy: ...and, fortunately, was able to fix it for good.

    I had mounted a 6" sisal wheel to a steel rod and was using the press as a pseudo-buffer when it seized up. I don't think it had anything to do with using it buffer-style, but it sure gave me a scare! I hate it when the blade catches in that @$#%^@ thing! Helped when I turned the speed down to ~750 RPM. Whew!


    Reference Pic:
    (just for those reading the reviews)


    Notice that this pic shows an edge bevel while the finished knife has no edge bevel on it. ;)

    Remember: Send it on the 7th day after you get it. If you get it on a Tuesday, mail it out the next Tuesday. Simple, right? :p

    Oh and try the paper-cutting thing too... :D
  2. Daniel Koster

    Daniel Koster Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 18, 2001
    Oops! Left out a big part of it.

    The Box! :D

    Actually, it's a tube this time and not very fancy.

    However, there is one crucial element in it: and empty racquetball container.

    Yes, that plastic thing the racquetballs come in. Some of you hitters out there will appreciate the smell...:eek: :footinmou :barf:

    Anyway, it's in there to protect the handle during transporation(this is to protect the knife). Also, the knife is not in the sheath and has a cardboard cover over it instead (this is to protect the postal employees...:D )

    Please keep these elements and ship the knife exactly as you got it.


    • Handle protected in the container
    • Knife is not in the sheath
    • The blade is covered by a cardboard "cheap sheath"

  3. Brendan


    Feb 13, 2002
    Thanks again Dan !!

    Maybe next time hey ??


  4. etp777


    Aug 12, 2002
    Dan, do me a favor and send me next address after me again. Due to screw up in changing computers I lost it. :(
  5. Roadrunner


    Jun 9, 1999
    Cool, eight more weeks, I can hardly wait! I'll withhold judgement till I get my hands on it, but even so you're too modest Pen. Those pics are gorgeous, I'm anticipating quite a knife from looking at those. I'm hoping to set up a little workbench in my barracks room and putting together a few kit knives, along with modifying some production knives I've got. I'd like to try my hand at anodizing some titanium handles, I just love the look of anodized titanium. Thanks again for doing this passaround, I for one am getting a kick out of it.
  6. Brendan


    Feb 13, 2002
    what exactly is anodizing ??
  7. Yvsa


    May 18, 1999
    an·o·dize ( P ) Pronunciation Key (n-dz)
    tr.v. an·o·dized, an·o·diz·ing, an·o·diz·es
    To coat (a metallic surface) electrolytically with a protective or decorative oxide.

    [anod(e) + -ize.]
    ano·di·zation (-d-zshn) n.:rolleyes: :p

    Two Dogs you also need to learn to Google or get yourself a good online dictionary.:p :rolleyes: ;) :D

    I'm looking forward to holding the Mooseknife in my old gnarly hands as well.:D
    I'm also betting that Dan is being too modest.:rolleyes: ;) :D
  8. Daniel Koster

    Daniel Koster Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 18, 2001
    Joel - email sent.

    You guys are gonna laugh when you get it - "Oh! I guess he really wasn't being modest." :p
  9. Russ Kay

    Russ Kay

    Dec 19, 2000
    Well, Pen's knife arrived this morning. I was not, for whatever reason, expecting it to be quite as big as it is, but my first impression is, Wow! This is really nice. :D

    The handle is even better looking in real life than in the picture above. It's very well suited to the blade, nicely finished, and it feels great in the hand. The brass and fiber spacers add to its appeal for me. The moose antler is really neat -- looks almost like bark mammoth ivory. Where'd you get that particular piece of horn, Pen?

    As for the blade -- guys, if you've been trying to understand what a convex edge grind is, this knife will show you. And I really like the overall shape, the way the blade gets wider from guard to sweet spot.

    So far I've been slicing up a flurry of paper strips. I'll move onto bigger and tougher game later.

    The sheath is really interesting, but I don't think it's fully successful. The inner edge of the brown leather "frame" is cut just a little raggedy, and that really takes away from the look. Also, I know from my own experience how ornery and tough rayskin is, and the sharp bend this takes over the back of the knife ends up looking not quite right. I think it would look better if the back edge had also been framed in the brown leather, so that the golden rayskin was like an inlay. Note: Do I think I could have done any better, or even as well? Nope, I do not. This is nice work, and I'm just being picky.

    Overall, I'm psyched -- and challenged :confused: -- for the knifemaking course (15 hours over 5 weeks) I'm taking at the Worcester Center for Crafts starting next week. In fact, I'm going to take this to the first class to show it off. It's a very impressive piece of work. How many knives did you say you've made, Pen?

    :) :p
  10. Daniel Koster

    Daniel Koster Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 18, 2001
    Russ - glad it arrived safe and great review to start us off!

    This one was number xvi (more on that later).

    Re: knife

    The blade should hold its edge well, but keep paper-testing it. If it starts to fail the paper-test, a good stropping will bring it back. I can't emphasize this enough - a good stropping will keep the edge from having to be reground over and over again.

    If anybody needs help sharpening this, ask first. ;)

    Re: sheath

    Here's some of the design sketches I sent to Dwayne while we were hammering out the details. As you can see, it started out with a piece across the back. However, it was so hard keeping it flat and looking nice that I decided to remove it. I agree with you, though, that it would have looked better. I probably should have made the piece thicker so that it would lay down properly.



  11. Russ Kay

    Russ Kay

    Dec 19, 2000
    In the mail to O'Brien -- sorry to see it go.
  12. Daniel Koster

    Daniel Koster Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 18, 2001

    Can't wait to see what Tom has to say about it.
  13. TOB9595


    Jan 3, 2003
    Got the knife today. Was away till yesterday with the weekend. :) You folk would love to live vicariously thru this weekend of mine :)
    Will send to Ginger on Saturday. Probably when it arrived.
    WHOOHOO!!! This is a beaut.
    Dan, you didn't list enough of the flaws tho :) :)
    Yeah Right.
    I feel really stupid as this is a great example of a knife I would be spittin blue to be able to make :D
    (Dan, did I say all this like you wanted :) :) )
    I feel stupid because I will be asking questions like the type and availibility of the blade.....
    I'll wait to use it a bit before I post more.
    Between the blade and the review by Russ, I'm in the big leagues.
    Off the the strop :)
  14. TOB9595


    Jan 3, 2003
    Well I've had this one day and I gotta tell ya...
    You will get tired of reading the word "very" :)
    I love the fit and finish.
    The handle is very well done.
    The horn fits my hand well
    The brass "ring" inlays are smooth and very eye appealing
    The 2 brown accent rings are really WOW
    Handle is smooth with no fill evident.
    The brass choil (?) anti hand slip fits the design well
    The handle is not slippery at all. Almost grippy in fact :)
    The blade is sharp and without the grooves or notches that many knifes have. This is beauty itself.
    The ONLY thing I see about the blade that I can remotely criticize is the finish.
    It seems a bit mottled almost like a spray of some sort has been applied.
    I like the blade form very much also.
    The sheath is very fine. I like it a lot including the inside visible lining.
    It seems to flow well with the horn of the handle. I like the "snap"fit of the blade. I am having a bit of a problem with the hang of the sheath on my belt. Not enough play in it for me tho still early in the game :)
    Can't put a teklok on this baby :)
    This is a knife I would love to own or better yet.....MAKE
    I'm fairly new here and did a search on this knife. Is there a post in the past that tells the making of this blade?
    Or do I bore everyone with very basic Q's regarding
    Obtaining the blade blank,
    How did you put the brass rings on without a noticeable score line
    what meaterial in the fill lines for the brown accents
    How did you finish the handle?
    I think there must be a material applied to give it the grippy feel
    What is the horn?
    Thanks for this opportunity Dan
  15. Bill Martino

    Bill Martino

    Mar 5, 1999
    If you decide to send the moose for a passaround send him here first.
  16. Daniel Koster

    Daniel Koster Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 18, 2001

    I cut up your post into parts and will respond to each in turn.

    • 1. Can you give a better description of what you mean by "mottled"? Is there something on the blade?

      Or is it the steel itself? The blade has been treated and waxed, so if it wipes off, then it's just the wax. Otherwise, it could just be that I didn't do a good enough job shaping the convex edge - not enough attention payed to removing the scratches, etc.
    • 2. Yes, the sheath is almost overkill. It's ultra sturdy because I knew this one would get carried and I wanted some "break-in" time.
    • 3. You've got the right idea. ;)
    • 4. Here's the original thread (long-winded post - don't give up, it's in there somewhere :rolleyes: )

      Here's a thread with pics and specs

    • 5. With much care. :D
      Seriously, though, I drew the outline of the antler on some paper and planned where I wanted the parts to stack up. I cut it carefully and marked 2 longitudinal lines from top to bottom to preserve alignment.

      Followed by a little sanding at the disc sander. From there, I inserted the brass and spacers and glued the whole thing up. You can see the glue-up pic in the first thread above.
    • 6. I used every finish I have...:rolleyes:
      It was not an easy process. I used a penetrating oil first to help stabilize the antler. Followed that with superglue to fill in the holes in the marrow part. Along the way somewhere, I stained the marrow part with a mahogany stain to give it more contrast. After that I used a satin polyurethane to "build it up" to help smooth it out. Then...(whew!) I used the "Walosi Special" combination of Tung Oil, Linseed Oil and Thinner to build it up more gradually (over the course of a few weeks - yes, weeks, not days). Finally, I must have waxed the handle a hundred times. Did it while watching TV/Movies. After it was completely dried and stable, I took it to the buffing wheel with some white rouge to polish it up a bit.

      Would I do this again if I made another one?

      Probably not - but only because I can just barely remember the order I did it in...!!
    • 7. It's antler - Moose antler. It looks like a horn, but only because I shaped it that way. This is how it looked originally: (got cut where the line is marked - used the right hand side)


      Don't be fooled by the pic - that piece is actually bigger around that a broom handle. I had to work it down alot - evident by the "purple" part of it (the marrow).

      Here's the first design I came up with:


      Glad I moved on and hopefully the final product is much better!!


    Every moose I've run into has been a mean, ornery, nasty creature.(maybe that's why their antler's are so tough. :confused: )

  17. Russ Kay

    Russ Kay

    Dec 19, 2000
    Tom mentioned a mottled finish to the blade, and I had that impression too. No discernible scratches or patterns, however. If I had to guess, I think it looks like its final rubdown with sandpaper (1000 or 2000 or whatever you use) wasn't necessarily all in the same direction, so there are some slight differences in reflectivity depending on the angle light strikes the blade. Or maybe it just needs another coat of wax and a slight buff...
  18. TOB9595


    Jan 3, 2003
    Dan thanks for posting the ans so quickly :)
    I'll post tomorrow while I take time to admire in the sunshine and relative coolness.
    And think of the words to describe that which I see as mottled :)
    Because it'll be a while before you get this blade back
  19. TOB9595


    Jan 3, 2003
    Yep, not scratched but mottled. As if I hit it with a spray of urethane and it dried in layers. There are some grind or belt marks running perpendicular to the blade held horiz. On one side of blade. But hey, let's get the others coming up who can describe better than me.
    I think I read in ?? that you sprayed the blade with something.
    Also a Q
    Why do you wax blades?
    This must be common in the makers world, but it never occurred to me except for carbon steel storage or aesthetics.
    If for looks... why do this ? when after use the wax is off. and not uniformly.
    I'm in a real quandary over this.
    I'm usually in New Jersey :)
    Don't try to clean the blade with a tissue lens cleaner without being focused on what you're doing :)
    no blood. But like oj the glove won't fit now :) :)
    Did I say thanks for the chance to use this? Yes I did and I really like the geometry of the blade.
    The handle is a work of art.
    Do I really have to pass it on? :)
    Take my first born in trade.
    NO huh....hmmmm
    My first and second born....
    Still no?
  20. etp777


    Aug 12, 2002
    WOn't claim to speak for Dan, but I wax carbon steel blades to help stave off corrosion. It's a little less maintenance intensive then continually having to reoil a blade. ANother thing I use at times is Bore Butter. (No comments from the peanut gallery :) ) This is a blackpowder item, used for cleaning black powder guns, but does a good job of removing corrosive oils(ie those from your hand) andleaving a protective finish on a balde

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