New Trunk Knife

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BinDerSmokDat
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New Trunk Knife

Post by BinDerSmokDat » Wed Aug 24, 2022 2:32 pm

I've been wanting a sturdy camp knife for a while. The M9 bayonet I usually bring along has served it's purpose over the years but as it is one of the early issue ones now going for several hundred even in well used condition, I want to retire it.
Plus it doesn't have a lot of belly along the blade for slicing and the balance is wrong for chopping. I also want something that I can abuse a little without feeling too guilty.
I looked at KaBar Beckers, and liked them alot, but the Campanion was a little shorter than I wanted (~10") and the Bowie while longer (~14"), the shape didn't appeal to me. Plus they are pricey at around $150 and $180 MSRP respectively. You can find them a little cheaper by hunting around but still pricey.
Plus that doesn't get you Micarta or G10 handles, those are another $50 MSRP add-on.

Someone on Reddit who has both Beckers and Schrades suggested I take a look at the Schrades.
I found one that fit my needs, the Schrade SCHF52M Frontier (~13").
It had the length and shape I wanted, is 1095 carbon steel just like the Beckers and from user reports on the knife forums, takes abuse and holds an edge on par with them as well.
It came with a cheap diamond dot sharpening stone and a ferro rod firestarter.
I'll leave the sharpener in the case as a back-up or maybe use it in the garage.
I have better stones for sharpening my knives.
I'm not a survivalist and because of my cigar habit I always have a torch lighter or two so the firestriker will only come out to demonstrate what to do when you don't have a lighter. ;)
Bonus, it comes with micarta handle, all for $50 delivered.

I'm a big fan of hard sheaths for fixed blade knives.
I want positive protection of both me and the blade, especially with bigger knives.
If I tumble into a ditch, I don't want to come out with a knife through my thigh.
Or if I'm bouncing around on the trail, I don't want it getting loose and slicing up the contents of my trunk.
Both the Becker and Schrade come with nylon sheaths with a hard plastic liner.
I was not impressed with it but I found a Kydex one on Ebay for $43 delivered.
Yeah, it's almost as much as the knife but it did not disappoint.
Very aggressive engagement to hold the knife and the belt clips are spaced just right to slide over MOLLE straps.
The one negative is the high position of the clips means it rides high on the belt.
I'm OK with that because it will reside mostly in the trunk when on the trail or clipped to gear in camp.
If I'm wearing it on a belt, I'm on a rare hike and the position is comfortable for hiking/standing, just have to make sure the handle doesn't jab my love handles when sitting.

Next up I'm going to dye the micarta handles green, strip the epoxy coating off the blade and do a ferric chloride/mustard blade etch, similar to below.
So I'll have a completely custom camp knife for under $100 when I'm done.
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CamaroEric
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Re: New Trunk Knife

Post by CamaroEric » Thu Aug 25, 2022 11:12 am

That thing is crazy!

Have you seen Ontario Knife?
They have some serious knives for pretty cheap too. Like the Old Hickory 14" Butcher. People on youtube are taking down trees with it...

I use a few in my kitchen but not on the road, I hear they're good for it though.
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BinDerSmokDat
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Re: New Trunk Knife

Post by BinDerSmokDat » Thu Aug 25, 2022 1:39 pm

CamaroEric wrote:
Thu Aug 25, 2022 11:12 am
Have you seen Ontario Knife?...I use a few in my kitchen but not on the road, I hear they're good for it though.
I forgot to mention that Ontario is another knifemaker I looked at (along with Marbles, Condor and ESEE.)
I have some OKC bayonets and folders, so I'm familiar with their quality and pricing.
Their comparable line to the Schrade Frontier and KaBar Becker is the RAT or Bushcraft series.
Again it came down to price, a RAT-7 or Woodsman of comparable dimensions to the knife I have will run you $130 MSRP.

I have heard good things about the Old Hickory butcher knives with guys pressing them into camp service, but they are still kitchen knives.
I wanted a knife in the 0.19"-0.25" thick carbon steel and can take some abuse, prying, batoning, etc.
The butcher knives are considerably thinner, 0.10" and might serve as impromptu machetes for light stuff, but they aren't up for splitting and hacking larger stuff.

Incidentally Schrade sells the Thermo Plastic (TPE) handle version for $35 on their website . The micarta version is just $10 more though so well worth it and I don't think they are charging shipping, just tax. I got mine for the same price on Amazon with free Prime shipping.

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Re: New Trunk Knife

Post by Peter Pan » Thu Aug 25, 2022 2:20 pm

I go with a cheap Bahco (swedish belongs to Sandvik group) knife. Handy, sharp as heck and you get it in many hardware shops. They give for a nice "thank you present" too.
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Re: New Trunk Knife

Post by Ransom » Thu Aug 25, 2022 3:21 pm

Peter Pan wrote:
Thu Aug 25, 2022 2:20 pm
I go with a cheap Bahco (swedish belongs to Sandvik group) knife. Handy, sharp as heck and you get it in many hardware shops. They give for a nice "thank you present" too.
https://images.app.goo.gl/r3FUkVMdeYBo2JKC8
Looks just like the Morakniv I carry in my trunk. Great knife and cheap. I've got some spares for presents too.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004ZAIXSC

Morakniv.jpg
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Re: New Trunk Knife

Post by BinDerSmokDat » Thu Aug 25, 2022 10:44 pm

I decided to test out the ferric chloride/mustard patina on my pry bar.
This is the CountyComm EOD steel pry bar.
I find it is a great addition to the tool bag, it is great when you just need to put some leverage on something or prying a tight pinch bolt an axle.
It comes relatively blunt.
I put a slightly sharper edge on it so it can get into tinier crevices, but I did not sharpen it fully as other have.
As it is carbon tool steel, not stainless, it relies on cleaning and oiling to keep the rust off.
Living in the Ural trunk and off-roading it picked up some scuffs and surface rust from repeated dunkings.
I cleaned it up with some 400 grit, degreased it and dunked it in 60/40 ferric acid/white vinegar mix.
It developed a nice dark even patina after 30 minutes.
I neutralized it in baking soda, rinsed and then dabbed mustard on with a drinking straw.
I used a boba tea straw because I wanted a bigger pattern.
PXL_20220825_233334378.jpg
Then I took off the tiny little plastic skull bead that came with the kydex knife sheath and upgraded it.
Anyone who knows me, knows a cigar smoking gorilla is pretty much on-brand for me.
The close up also lets you see some light scuffing on the pry bar...I didn't clean the kydex sheath out as well as I thought and there was some grit that put light scratches on it already.
That brings to mind the next point...these patinas are very protective but not very durable.
I don't mind, because it's a tool.
If it gets bad enough, I can always sand and touch up.
PXL_20220826_024123590.jpg
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BinDerSmokDat
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Re: New Trunk Knife

Post by BinDerSmokDat » Fri Aug 26, 2022 12:50 am

I dyed the handles, it didn't take the dye as well as I had hoped, still a little light but now it's not zebra white and black.
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Lofty
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Re: New Trunk Knife

Post by Lofty » Sat Aug 27, 2022 8:14 pm

BinDerSmokDat wrote:
Thu Aug 25, 2022 10:44 pm
I decided to test out the ferric chloride/mustard patina on my pry bar.
This is the CountyComm EOD steel pry bar.

I cleaned it up with some 400 grit, degreased it and dunked it in 60/40 ferric acid/white vinegar mix.
It developed a nice dark even patina after 30 minutes.
I neutralized it in baking soda, rinsed and then dabbed mustard on with a drinking straw.
I used a boba tea straw because I wanted a bigger pattern.
I've the identical pry bar, along with a few other neat little items purchased on the County Comm site.

Rich, if you're accepting commissions, I might want to send my pry bar to you for the same treatment. I say "might" because I don't know if I want to remove my artsy-fartsy 550 cord wrap. 8)

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Re: New Trunk Knife

Post by Bilgekeeldave » Sat Aug 27, 2022 8:33 pm

This just tickled me, Maybe I found it here, I don't remember.

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Re: New Trunk Knife

Post by Happytrails » Sat Aug 27, 2022 11:33 pm

Such good knifes :)
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Re: New Trunk Knife

Post by Draeger » Sat Aug 27, 2022 11:36 pm

The Schrade SCHF series has surprised me. They are tough and cheap and very well made for the price.

Personally, a Katana in the sidecar is my preference. I would have to buy a Katana tho.
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BinDerSmokDat
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Re: New Trunk Knife

Post by BinDerSmokDat » Sun Aug 28, 2022 7:15 pm

Lofty wrote:
Sat Aug 27, 2022 8:14 pm
Rich, if you're accepting commissions, I might want to send my pry bar to you for the same treatment. I say "might" because I don't know if I want to remove my artsy-fartsy 550 cord wrap. 8)
Not taking commissions but it is very easy to do for anyone who is interested.
w@$# piece to be etched with dishwashing detergent and rinse well.
You want to remove all traces of oil, including fingerprints.
Get a small bottle of ferric chloride.
Pour about 2 parts ferric chloride and one part white vinegar in a tall narrow jar/glass.
Or use a capped piece of PVC pipe.
Dunk for about 30 mins, checking occasionally to see how dark it is.
When it is dark enough for you, rinse it in water that you’ve dissolved a spoonful of baking soda.

Dry it and try not to get finger oils on it.
Then get a tablespoon of mustard and add a few drops of acetic acid to help it “bite.”
Use a straw, q-tip, some guys use bubble wrap, get creative and dab the mustard on.
Remember it is the edges of the applied mustard, where the oxygen and acid react to etch the metal that makes the pattern.
If you just put a round dot of mustard, you get a plain circle. Anywhere the mustard cover but isn’t exposed to air won’t make a very deep etch.
Let sit 30-40 minutes and rinse away mustard. Repeat on both sides for as many layers as necessary to get the pattern you want.
When all sine, rinse the piece thoroughly, and rub with a good penetrating oil.
Ever since watching this test, I’ve used 3 in 1 and it does seem to work best.
Also, this whole process only works on a steel with a good amount of carbon.
Really mild steel will just sort of turn frost textured from the ferric chloride and will barely etch.
Same for stainless steel, the same properties that prevent rust don’t make it a very good candidate for etching.

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GHGoodwin
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Re: New Trunk Knife

Post by GHGoodwin » Mon Aug 29, 2022 7:27 am

A Randall 5" Model 5 has been my camping companion for almost 50 years. Tough work gets a hatchett which is usually somewhere around. I prefer a Japanese NATA style and have several. I'll round up some photos later.
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Rich Maund
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Re: New Trunk Knife

Post by Rich Maund » Thu Oct 20, 2022 7:12 pm

Big fan of the old Condor Moonshiner knife I have had for some years now. Came with a very nice leather scabbard. 44 series steel is easy to sharpen. Heavy enough to chop kindling, but handy enough to cook with as well. Great budget knife.
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Rich Maund
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Re: New Trunk Knife

Post by Rich Maund » Mon Nov 21, 2022 6:29 pm

I've kept a Glock knife in a tool bag for camping for many years now. Great for processing kindling and it has a bottle opener too!
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