Murphy Military Build


Super Moderator and KD Blade Show Boss
I was contacted by a fellow NCO I taught with at Camp Shelby, Ms. last night. He transferred to a new duty station at about the same time I left last Spring. He and a team will be deploying to Afghanistan in a few months and he has asked me to build knives for them. Seeing as I'm currently searching for "new opportunities", I guess I have the time to work on these. I'll be tied up working a military shooting competition for the next couple of weeks, but I will begin working soon after the competition is complete.

In the following weeks I'll finalize my design. As of now, we are discussing a pratical utility design that will be light and easily accessible. I'm thinking approximately 8" OAL with canvas micarta and kydex sheath with versitile mounting options.
Sounds like a good plan Murph. Sucks to hear you are still 'searching', but I'm glad you'll be getting back to grinding soon.

And I can think of worse-places to be stuck, than a shooting competition.
Thank you for your commitment Murph! Looking forward to seeing the pics of that project, and see your design. Also wanting to hear how the competition went!

I keep wanting to do something similar, but this year's deployment schedule has had me gone 75%, and next year's is looking like 100%. Somewhere in there though, I'd like to make a batch and handle it with some NWU Mycarta for my posse of miscreants.
Thanks for the offer Mike and Franklin. I'm really looking forward to digging into this project. I think it will be just what I need to get refocused. I haven't been in the shop since before the AKA Show when a friend and I were working on a collaboration project. We still have five more of those knives to finish up and I plan to get up to his shop to take care of them immediately following the match. Afterwards I'll jump on this project. Luckily, I have four months to get these completed.

The match was pretty boring today. I had 63 shooters on the line confirming zeroes prior to the beginning of the competition tomorrow.
Nothing new to add really, but I wanted to share a photo of the men I will be making the knives for. They are currently participating in a training exercise but had a brief moment prior to kick off to get a quick group photo and shoot it to me in a text message.

I can't say who they are or where they are heading but I'm sure you guys can figure it out their destination. As previously explained, one of the men in the photo is a friend who I worked with at Camp Shelby. He is also a Knife Dog.

I've been doing a bit of sketching and believe I have decided on a design. While speaking with my buddy, I asked him what type of knife they wanted, a combat knife or a practical utility design. He told me they were more interested in a smaller practical utility design which would be light weight and easily accessible.

My intent is to make the blades of 1095. I know there are some really awesome steels available, but for a hard use knife I feel 1095 will do well for the task. Several other soldiers and I who are avid knife nuts and users have had alot of discussions over the past year or so about knife steels and though we all love more modern air quench steels (ie. CPM 154CM, 3V, S30 and 35v etc), we find that 1095 is much easier to maintain an edge on with limited resources. The down side of course is oxidation in adverse weather conditions. Luckily, all soldiers carry CLP in our weapon maintenance kits and it works wonderfully for preventing rust on a blade. I've used it on all of my carbon blades on my three deployments with very minimal oxidation of the steel. I will etch each blade in FC in order to force patina the steel which should help as well.

For sheaths, I will be using Kydex. I'll have to play with the design a bit, but my intent is to build two sheaths for each knife. One sheath will be set up with a Tek-Lok to where the knife can be easily carried while not in full battle rattle and the other will be set up to be mounted center mass on their kit. I have some new gadgets I picked up that I'm going to try to incorporate on the sheath for their kit and hope I can pull it off.

The design I have come up with is a modification of a knife I built for myself a couple of years ago (which is the same design I modified for the first KD Military Build). The dimensions and details of the design are as follows:

OAL: 7.25"
Blade: 3.25" (5/32" 1095)
Handle: 4" (brown canvas Micarta)

I'm sure I will have some tweaking to do with the design once I begin working on the prototype. As I make modifications, I will update with photos. Now I have to inventory supplies and see if I have everything needed for the project. I know I need to give Aldo a call and order steel as soon as I have the opportunity.