Longhunter's Knife and Sheath by Heinz Ahlers
by Heinz Ahlers with photography by H. David Wright
I have always liked the longknife style. The design choices for a longknife vary from a heavy bladed, thick handled, fighting knife with a cross guard to a thin bladed utilitarian butcher knife style. I believe a longhunter preferred to carry tools that could meet multiple challenges. This longknife seeks to combine everyday utility with a potential for combat.
The 9-1/2 inch blade from 1084 carbon steel tapers from just under 1/4 inch at the hilt to less than 1/16 at the forward section. Tempered under the watchful eye of master knifesmith Joe Seabolt, the blade is tough and flexible on the back and very hard on the cutting edge. There is no cross guard so the knife can function well for slicing and boning. The blade is touch marked with one of those unique Hershel House made stamps of the Woodbury School.
The handle is elk antler with a pewter filled steel ferule. The long tang terminates with an upset rivet head fastening a repurposed English silver coin serving as a butt cap. This knife has a nice balance, it will shave hair, and it looks good.
Nine and one half inches of sharp knife needs a sheath. This sheath has a thick rawhide inner liner stitched with copper wire. The outer sheath is bark tanned deer hide with a thong and a fringed stop to help secure it in a sash or belt.
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