My Latest Take-Down Knife

Kevin R. Cashen

Super Moderator
I had a knife that I needed to finish for a customer and the stay-at-home allowed me the time finally get to it. It was sitting in the drawer and when I had a student request a private class in take-downs in January, I used it as an example to move things along. This may be one of the most precise take-downs I have ever done. The blade is 1075, the handle is Nelsonized walnut burl, and the fittings are multi-bar O2/ASTM 203E damascus. The parts all lock in with blind pins and the handle is bedded to the tang. I took the guard to a press fit that had to be forced on and off and then adjusted it until the final Damascus etch gave it a hand pressure release. I strongly encourage every bladesmith to make at least one precision fit takedown knife, due to the skills and discipline one hones when taking fit and finish to that level.

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C. Killgore

Well-Known Member
Very clean. Nice work! I’m going to have to try to make a take-down some day.

Random question, you said nelsonized walnut burl. I assume that’s stabilized with Nelsonite? If so, I’ve looked at that a few times and wondered how well it worked. Do you have any opinions on it?
 

Drew Riley

Well-Known Member
That's very clean and classy. Just the right amount of embellishment as well, IMO. I recently watched Kyle Royer's take down build, and between seeing his and now yours, I think my itch to build one is increasing.
 

J. Doyle

Dealer - Purveyor
Really nice Kevin! I know first hand the time and precision those take.

That blade looks like it would be so fun to use.

The butt cap is really cool.
 

Kevin R. Cashen

Super Moderator
The handle is walnut burl that I vacuum, and pressure, treated with Nelsonite. Stabilized wood is fine, but I love natural materials and sometimes stabilization comes close to wood-like plastic for me. Nelsonite is a product made here in Michigan for the furniture industry in Grand Rapids. What it does is slow the rate at which wood takes and gives up moisture and thus cures the issues of cracking and warping. But when it is done the wood still feels like wood, and you can even stain it, but much more evenly, the end grain will not stain darker as the Nelsonite will stop the wicking effect. The furniture guys just brush it on, but I put all of my natural material in a vacuum chamber, that is filled with it, and then pull 20” HgV on it. Before taking it out I reverse it and hold 20 PSI on it. It takes a t least a month to dry, but it is fully Nelsonized.
 

Bruce McLeish

Well-Known Member
The handle is walnut burl that I vacuum, and pressure, treated with Nelsonite. Stabilized wood is fine, but I love natural materials and sometimes stabilization comes close to wood-like plastic for me. Nelsonite is a product made here in Michigan for the furniture industry in Grand Rapids. What it does is slow the rate at which wood takes and gives up moisture and thus cures the issues of cracking and warping. But when it is done the wood still feels like wood, and you can even stain it, but much more evenly, the end grain will not stain darker as the Nelsonite will stop the wicking effect. The furniture guys just brush it on, but I put all of my natural material in a vacuum chamber, that is filled with it, and then pull 20” HgV on it. Before taking it out I reverse it and hold 20 PSI on it. It takes a t least a month to dry, but it is fully Nelsonized.
Very cool. Thanks
 

MarcWeitz

Well-Known Member
Kevin that blade is awesome. Love the handle,..all of it really. I was waiting for somebody to ask what Nelsonite is. Thank KenH.
It seems blade smiths strive for precision and permanence so nothing will ever pop off. This is the first Take Down I've seen.
I'm so new it hurts,... why would anyone want a Take Down Blade?
 

Kevin R. Cashen

Super Moderator
Kevin that blade is awesome. Love the handle,..all of it really. I was waiting for somebody to ask what Nelsonite is. Thank KenH.
It seems blade smiths strive for precision and permanence so nothing will ever pop off. This is the first Take Down I've seen.
I'm so new it hurts,... why would anyone want a Take Down Blade?

Big boy toy, the wow factor. I have found some functional aspects, such as with ivory knives it allows maintenance and storage options, or one could easily repolish the blade. But mostly its interesting.
 

MarcWeitz

Well-Known Member
I should have rephrased that question as to what purpose does a take down offer, as opposed to "why would anyone want". Tnx. Kevin. It is an interesting knife with unique characteristics. It is cool - I'd understand an owner's bragging rights to show it off too.
 
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