River Grass Knife, Reworked

December 3, 2010

River Grass Knife was the first blade that I forged.  Made in 2004 from high-carbon steel, its blade and handle have the graceful curves that develop naturally as the steel is hammered thin on one edge (for the blade) or drawn out (for the handle).  At the time, I had no belt sander to speed up the polishing process, so after removing the firescale with a wire brush, I left it “as forged” and wrapped the rather rough looking handle with thin brown leather.  I added beads and ornaments to the simple loop at the end of the handle.

River Grass Knife OLD

It is a good ritual knife but I also used it for hacking through woody prickly pear stems.  But most of the time it hung protectively on the wall of my room with the blade facing the door.

I recently removed the worn leather wrap, polished the handle and the spine of the blade on the belt sander, drilled and carved three decorative holes in the handle, and sharpened the blade.  The holes and the polishing helped to reduce the weight of the handle, and the knife now balances much better and feels good to hold.  The surface of the blade retains the pebbly, shallowly pitted texture that it developed while being forged.  The only ornament is a simple square-knotted hemp loop with tassel.  The hemp is a bit rough but it matches the very primitive look and style of this knife.  The knife is 17 inches long and the hemp ornament is 9 inches long, and is now for sale so I won’t be cutting any more prickly pears with it.  (UPDATE:  SOLD on 12/06.)

River Grass Knife NEW