Collaboration: Good Knife Co. / David Mary Custom - S.I.T.R.E.P.

Discussion in 'David Mary Custom' started by David Mary, May 20, 2020.

  1. David Mary

    David Mary KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 23, 2015
    Greetings friends, I have been given the green light by @bikerector , the proprietor of The Good Knife Co., to disclose a collaboration we have been working on together.

    The Good Knife Co.
    calpel In Times Requiring Extra Preparedness​

    How the project came to be
    Chad was kind enough to purchase my first AEB-L machete, and provided me valuable feedback on its design, and since that instance, we have gotten along well and found common interests in bushcraft, bikes and blades. Being a natural entrepreneurial leader, Chad encouraged my knife making, and even hinted last year at a project of his own he was starting, and then mentioned interest in a collaboration, and nowhere we are. We decided on a Utility Fighter.

    After a concept discussion back and forth, we came up with the general parameters of the design, and I set to work to bring them to life in steel. Here is a pic of the (at that time, almost completed) prototypes, which I have since shipped to Chad for his testing and review, and (correct me if I'm wrong Chad) pass around. There may be further refinements to come, based on such feedback.


    These protos are made from high carbon steel from sawmill blades.


    They wear feature my first ever Boltaron sheaths. I really like working with Boltaron as a sheath material, more than with Kydex, and it also has better properties for working and for durability as a sheath.


    These blades feature, not exactly a swedge, but a radiused spine towards the tip, which aids in penetration, without a significant reduction in the strength or rigidity of the point. The spine is still sufficiently squared past the thumb ramp to enable striking a ferro rod, or shaving fluff sticks.


    The butt features an exposed pommel tang, which has both a flat for hammering, and a point for use as a glass breaker, depending on the angle of the strike.


    The prototype handle is a comfortable black canvas micarta secured with carbon fiber tubes.


    At present, the discussion between Chad and I revolves around having AEB-L blanks plasma cut heat treat by Jarod Todd, and then sent to me for grinding, handling and sheaths. The midtechs will have some slight differences, including pinhole arrangements and possible skeletonized handles. Chad and I are in the process of discussing the business logistics, and I am quite excited and honored to be a part of the equation in bring you the Good Knife Co. Sitrep.

    Stay tuned for further details, and thanks for looking.
    shoegazer, woodysone and bikerector like this.
  2. chugokujin


    Dec 21, 2002
    Congratulations to you both. Looks to be a real fine knife. The slots in the tang should make it a nice weight to tote as an EDC.

    Thank goodness, I got my orders in early. David has been busy lately and looks to be even busier in the time ahead.
    I'll be tuned in.
    woodysone, bikerector and David Mary like this.
  3. woodysone

    woodysone Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    Looks like a great edc survivor type knife, with Chads designs I think you’ll have a winner.
    bikerector and David Mary like this.
  4. David Mary

    David Mary KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 23, 2015
    I agree completely!
  5. bikerector

    bikerector KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 16, 2016
    Hey all, I wanted to poke in and explain a little about the "why" of the knife. Many know I'm a fan of fixed blades and specifically fixed blades centered around outdoors shenanigans, woodcraft, camping, hiking, and hunting even though I don't hunt nearly like I used to. During my exploration of knives I tried out the KABAR USMC and liked what it could do in the woods despite being tagged as a fighting knife, to some degree at least. So, I wanted to get a fighter/utility knife and the most important part is I wanted it to be in stainless because of the ease of maintenance and the ability to store it in places we don't frequent, like go-bags, trunks, or packs. AEB-L is the obvious pick for me as it's very tough and the HT can be tailored to our desires pretty easy.

    So, we wanted the function of the USMC in a stainless steel and that was the starting point. I've worked with a lot of most-use knives in the 5-10" blade size but I had no experience really with the fighting considerations of a knife other than if it had a guard or not. You'll see David's influence on the design heavily with the fighting aspects like balance, angles that help in that type of use, and so on. For my part, I'm a big proponent of comfortable handles so we took a handle design of mine, from the Michigan Utility Knife, and upsized and adapted it for the uses of a hard-use medium-sized fixed blade that will be abused. Knives I was looking at as inspiration, most of which I've used, include the USMC, ratweiler, RMD, Buck 119, Tops Al-Mar SERE operator, CPK fighter and UFK2 (haven't used a CPK), Esee 6, BK9 and BK5, Kephart knives, my Michigan Utility knife, and David Mary's AEB-L Machete. There may be more but from the list you'll see more camp/woods knives in there than combat/fighting knives and I think you'll see where my bias lies.

    I think if you consider the USMC, the thing that sticks out in terms of use is that it's amazingly versatile and capable of many different tasks and it will hold up to those for years. So that's what we're after. Thin enough to be easily used for food but still able to baton a brick without assploding (edge damage likely though), all many of fire making tasks except those that require a sharpened spine (probably available on special request), light chopping like for rough shaping logs and sticks and light de-limbing, opening boxes, some prying and drilling, hammering and smashing with the pommel or blade spine, and kind of anything a non-knife nut or knife nut would do with a knife. It's intended to be a working knife but it needs to be a knife before it's a prybar, drill, froe, axe, and so on and I think you'll see that with the grind and stock thickness. One thing I'm not familiar with as a task for combat/fighting use is breaching doors and things so that's probably one use I can think of that this won't be capable of that I've read of military or law enforcement using knives for but we're going to see what it can handle with the thinness that it has.

    One thing the above proto has that the final version doesn't is the full-height grind; the final will be either a saber or high-saber to allow better lateral rigidity and overall blade strength while still being able to slice well. One thing I'm really interested in trying is the convexed spine. I'm a fan of the Kephart design for function even though I think it's overall a bit ugly (I have 6 or so Kephart-inspired knives so not too ugly) and one thing that I picked up on from Ethan Becker about the original was that it had a double-convex grind and from what I gathered the convexed spine was to aid in slicing and weight reduction without hindering strength much. I also like the idea of the convexed swedge because flat ground swedges are uncomfortable on my fingers when pushing with my thumb for carving and notching tasks and that will be needed with this knife. I suppose some of the radiused spines on many of the Italian knives (lionsteel, viper, etc.) helped shape that desire, and even some of the more recent Busse knives have that feature.

    To conclude, I wanted a multi-functional stainless knife that's pretty darn close to a one-stop-shop knife and it should excel at a few things while not excelling at everything. It should be a great slicer and the handle should be very comfortable, the two biggest priorities once we got the "most-use" requirement met.

    I'm excited for this collaboration with David Mary as he does a very nice convex grind and has good experience with AEB-L. I've been excited to watch his progression of knives listed on the knifemaker's market the past couple years and I think he's going to be another staple knifemaker on the forums for the foreseeable future.

    I hope I didn't bore you and I'll be back to edit my grammar later once I've had a little more coffee. Thank you all for reading this far if you made it. Cheers!
    woodysone and David Mary like this.
  6. David Mary

    David Mary KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 23, 2015
    I didn't think of that, what a fantastic point!

    Oh my what a kind thing to say. It would be an honor.

    Great idea, me too! Cheers!
    bikerector and woodysone like this.
  7. bikerector

    bikerector KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 16, 2016
    I've had some fun using this guy. David puts a mean edge on his knives and this one is no different. I was skeptical of the thin edge but it's been stable through some medium baton of wood and chopping of cedar and some green branches around my yard for cutting the new growth back into the woods a little. It made me think this thing would be really good for making a live camouflage construction like one might use for hunting.

    One added benefit I found of the exposed tang/glass breaker/skull checker is that it makes a pinky rest for a rear chopping position. I chamfered it a bit for added comfort and I may grind in a little contour to make that an intended feature.

    I kept the 2nd proto clean and had it in the kitchen. No surprise that the nice edge and sweeping belly was a rockstar on some meat and veggies. I started feeling the thickness during deep cuts into pork loin to make steaks but that's to be expected.

    So far it's meeting expectations. I need to do some rougher tasks with it to see what it might take to break it but I'll baton it through some logs that are way too big for it first, along with beating through some knots and prying some wood.
    David Mary likes this.
  8. bikerector

    bikerector KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 16, 2016
    I will be looking for some testers of these to get some input. If anyone wants one to try out, please PM or email me at [email protected] by 6/12/20.

    A few specs:
    Weight: 8.0 oz
    Blade length: 6"
    Overall length: 11"
    Blade width: 1.75" at widest spot
    Blade thickness: 1/8" (final version is expected to be .138" vs .125" (1/8") of proto).
    Last edited: May 25, 2020 at 7:00 PM
    David Mary likes this.
  9. David Mary

    David Mary KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 23, 2015
    I'm glad you're enjoying them. That's what it's all about!

    Left one small part out... though it's in your sign anyway...
    bikerector likes this.
  10. David Mary

    David Mary KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 23, 2015
    I'm liking the sounds of this! What if we change the breaker so it has its own "finger groove"? It could also be chamfered as well. And we would still have both the pointy or the flat part to use, as desired.

    Breaker tang contour.jpg

    My guess and my hope is it'll hold up to those things, and would require outright abuse to break it.
  11. bikerector

    bikerector KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 16, 2016
    That's exactly what I'm thinking of. With a glove it feels fine flat but bare-handed you get a little more wear on the hand with the flat surface, even chamfered. But, the chamfering made a world of difference in my thoughts on the exposed tang regarding whether to leave it or grind it off.
    David Mary likes this.

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