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 Brown Bear Knife

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BrownBear



Number of posts : 321
Age : 67
Location : Alaska
Registration date : 2017-04-19

PostSubject: Brown Bear Knife   July 19th 2017, 11:55 am

I don't like ANYTHING hanging on a belt or the outside of a bag in our dense brush, so I like a knife and small "day" horn that drop inside my bag. I cut patches at the muzzle and for years I've used a folding knife, same one I use for dressing game.  Don't like things dangling around my neck, so no neck knives or dedicated patch knives for this kid. 

Long story short, for my rainy day bag I wanted a knife that was no more than 6" long, same as my folding knife when open since I knew that was plenty big for all my chores.  The issue came to a head when I came across the scattered bones of a young brown bear last year.  Never worked with bear bone before, but the forearm bone (ulna?) sure felt right at the swollen flat end.  Time to order a blade and sit down with the pieces. 

Take a gander at how thick the bone is even on a very young bear. Hardly any core at all, and hard as ivory.  Great for knife handles. Took about an hour of noodling around with needle files to open it up for the tang. Poured a pewter bolster while I was at it, but it's only rough-shaped in the photo. Still deciding on a final shape.  Only other change I'm going to make, I don't like the pure white of the bone. Gonna work some beeswax into it one of these days.  Meanwhile that grip is all I could ask for in the way it fits my hand and is secure in use.

Cobbled together a simple center-seam sheath for it, and I'm mostly done with it. 

While we're on the subject of things inside the bag rather than outside, I'm also posting a pic of the little 6" horn I made while I was at the bench. That thing isn't much bigger than half a banana, but it holds 1,400 grains of powder when full.  Certainly more than I'm ever gonna need on a hunt, and more than I'm willing to risk on a day in our wet woods. I hacked the 30-grain measure from the horn tip.  Only 30 grains because that's the charge I use with the 45 cal GRRW-CA Squirrel Rifle for small game, and coincidentally two scoops (60 grains) has worked out just right for deer loads.

Here's the pic spread. Rather than labeling each one, I'm happy to come back and answer questions.  I'm so happy with it, I encourage anyone skinning out a black bear to salvage some of the bones for his own projects. Bear bone is really good stuff!










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Marty
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PostSubject: Re: Brown Bear Knife   July 19th 2017, 1:00 pm

Awesome accessories BrownBear...That one-of-a-kind small knife you crafted is so  Cool with the bear bone!

I'm all-in too for totting a day's "hunt pack".  Keep it simple and light.

----------------------------------------------------------------
p.s. Let us know how the darkening process goes. Smile
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BrownBear



Number of posts : 321
Age : 67
Location : Alaska
Registration date : 2017-04-19

PostSubject: Re: Brown Bear Knife   July 19th 2017, 1:05 pm

Thanks Marty!

It's about a 6 mile march over a couple of ridges to get back to the bone pile, but I'm already making plans.  Where there's one forearm, there oughta be another!

I also picked up a thigh bone (femur) on the last visit.  It's big enough I haven't yet figured out what to do with it, but I'm thinking....  Oughta carry a pack on my next visit, for sure! Very Happy
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FrontierGander
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PostSubject: Re: Brown Bear Knife   July 19th 2017, 1:30 pm

Gorgeous knife and sheath! That bone really made a snazzy looking handle. I've always avoided using bone because of how fragile they seemed to me. I may have to over come that and give one a try some time!

Does anyone know of any sketch books that give life size diagrams for knife sheaths or shooting bags?
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BrownBear



Number of posts : 321
Age : 67
Location : Alaska
Registration date : 2017-04-19

PostSubject: Re: Brown Bear Knife   July 19th 2017, 1:39 pm

@FrontierGander wrote:
Does anyone know of any sketch books that give life size diagrams for knife sheaths or shooting bags?


T.C. Albert's great book has several patterns in the back, all taken from original bags.  It's also notable for his incredibly detailed step-by-step instructions for building the bags. Best buy out there for bag builders. Just be aware that original bags were a whole lot smaller than the suitcases you see guys lugging today.

I don't know of anything comparable for sheaths, though.

As for bone, I've always been kinda with you on the fragility of bone. But my curiosity was aroused when I came across the scattered bear bones and picked one up for a closer look.  It was so heavy, it just had to be dense and tough. And I was sure right. I'm not stretching a bit in saying the stuff is about like ivory, it's so hard and dense.  At least as tough as antler tips.
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