COOP PHOTOS ADDED Post-Blade Show Keith Fludder/MGregory Knives Collaboration Kwaiken

Discussion in 'Custom & Handmade Knives' started by Matthew Gregory, Jun 22, 2017.

  1. Matthew Gregory

    Matthew Gregory Chief Executive in charge of Entertainment

    Jan 12, 2005
    After Blade Show this year, I was lucky enough to host my buddy Keith Fludder, an outrageously talented bladesmith from just outside of Sydney, Australia. He suggested we work on a joint project in between seeing the sights in my neck of the woods. When he made the suggestion, though, he had already been thinking and preparing for it...

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    Keith made a BIG iteration of one of my kwaiken out of his gorgeous mosaic damascus in 1084 and 15N20! By the time he arrived here, it was surface ground and ready for us to dive in. He also brought a gorgeous block of Ringed Gidgee to use under the tsukaito.

    After discussing the project for a bit, Keith filed in the shoulders for the 'armor piercing tip' that this knife would feature, and then I ground all the bevels to pre-heat treat dimensions. We decided to take the beveled spine to a steeper angle, and although it isn't sharp, it could be made so in a heartbeat. Here's one of the few 'work-in-progress' shots we had enough foresight to take:


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    We were nothing short of horrible about taking photos. I have no excuses, except perhaps to say that we were engrossed in the process, and when we weren't, we were tired as hell from the forced marches I required him to endure to sap the energy of my bullmastiff. Good times!!!!! The weather here was beyond bizarre - most mornings were in the low 50's (that's around 12ยบ for you Celsius folks), and in most cases raining. We had to come up with an extra layer for Keith, as his winter temps are around this. I think it was killing him to see me hustling around in shorts and a t-shirt. After all, this IS Buffalo. :D

    On one of the rare days when it was nice out, we took the day to visit Letchworth State Park, also known as the "Grand Canyon of the East".

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    Rather a unique geographic feature, as it's a 17 mile long cleft in the earth with cliff faces which can be as high as 550 feet - and it just seems to appear out of nowhere, right in the middle of the rolling landscape of New York.

    Found this oak burl, there, too, but we couldn't figure out any way to hide it in our pockets to snake some handle material...


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    Once the blade was heat treated and finish ground, it didn't take long for me to hand sand it, and taper the tang, then Keith etched it and showed me how to darken it with gun blue.




    Not much longer after that, it was time for me to put him on a plane bound for home, and I was tasked with the responsibility of finishing the rest of the project. I shaped and reverse-tapered the gidgee scales so that there would be a gentle forward taper and a swell at the butt for a more secure grip. The scales were then epoxied in place, and indexed with hidden pins:


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    Then it was time to wrap the handle. I elected to use a fantastic pair of sterling silver lobster menuki for this knife:


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    There was a tiny sliver of gidgee left over from cutting the block down, so I snagged it and made a dias for the matched menuki for the upcoming 'Hartsfield-style' saya.


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    The saya is formed of aluminum, lined with ultrasuede, and covered in the gnarliest, cracklest sharkskin I've ever seen - almost like CrocoShark!

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    ...and then we add a bit of sageo, assemble everything up, and we get this:


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    And the final product (almost), 13 inches total length, 7-1/2 inch blade, point of balance at the forward edge of the Turk's head knot:

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    Love this detail shot of the armor piercing tip and the spine:


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    I'm waiting for Keith's maker's mark to hit me, then it'll get a few final details and then... I'm not exactly sure. I want it to get to Coop for real photos, and there was a suggestion made to me yesterday by a good friend to do a video on it. We shall see. Regardless, it was a blast having Keith here - our approach to things is VERY similar, and holy cow! does he make some nice looking steel!!!!! Not sure how I've managed to get such good friends in the knifemaking world, but I'm better for it.

    Thanks for looking!
     
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  2. JParanee

    JParanee Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 23, 2006
    It's wonderful buddy

    Gorgeous piece
     
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  3. Dawkind

    Dawkind Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Apr 3, 2000
    Wow!!! That's fabulous my friend!!!

    Quite the collaboration and well worth the 'forced marches' and other assorted physical hardships you two went through....I'm pretty sure Keith won't be returning....probably reading this now and fit to be tied!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2017
  4. Steven65

    Steven65 Traditional Hog Platinum Member

    Mar 11, 2008
    Fabulous collab Matt. Just awesome!:)
     
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  5. Matthew Gregory

    Matthew Gregory Chief Executive in charge of Entertainment

    Jan 12, 2005
    Ha! No, I'll bet he says he had a blast. Lots of good long hikes,d espite the crummy weather. Good times!

    Thanks, my friends. :)

     
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  6. Lorien

    Lorien KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 5, 2005
    you guys are a couple of beauties!
     
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  7. john april

    john april KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 27, 2006
    cool blade, love the tip idea ! everything looks great. i am also impressed with the sanding stick in the second photo that has the tsuka wrap and rayskin on it :D
     
  8. Dawkind

    Dawkind Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Apr 3, 2000
    HA!!!! Missed that....good eye! :D
     
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  9. Matthew Gregory

    Matthew Gregory Chief Executive in charge of Entertainment

    Jan 12, 2005
    Don Fogg's idea, I just took it to extremes. That's a section of 5/16" thick C channel that I cut down the middle, removed all but some 'thumb-tabs, worth of C section, and then wrapped as you see. It's one of my secret weapons for getting hand finishes on some of these stupidly-high wear resistant steels I seem to be drawn to. The thickness and C channel makes it considerably stiffer than just a straight bar of steel...


     
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  10. keithf

    keithf

    992
    May 29, 2006
    Thanks for the kind words on our work, I really did enjoy the forced marches and would return in a heart beat, as long as Matt doesn't wear shorts and a T shirt while I have 3 layers of clothing
     
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  11. Stickytoes

    Stickytoes

    47
    Mar 21, 2012
    Beautiful craftsmanship from a couple of cool cats.
     
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  12. El Bandit0

    El Bandit0 Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 4, 2013
    Stunning work Mr. Gregory, the Gidgee is entrancing.
     
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  13. CPK Mark

    CPK Mark

    62
    May 24, 2017
    Fantastic work Matt and Keith. Really digging that tip!
     
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  14. El Bandit0

    El Bandit0 Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 4, 2013
    Mr. Keith, that damascus pattern is beautiful and the AP tip looks like it would punch a hole in just about anything!
     
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  15. SpySmasher

    SpySmasher Lead Guitar

    Sep 1, 2016
    Yes, very cool shot.
     
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  16. parfums95

    parfums95

    Aug 24, 2008
    very nice Matthew ...
     
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  17. v8r

    v8r

    559
    Mar 6, 2009
    Thumbs up on that one all around!
     
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  18. Scott Hanson

    Scott Hanson Moderator Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 6, 2014
    Stunning knife, a job well done.
     
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  19. fitzo

    fitzo

    Aug 14, 2001
    Nice knife, Matt. Very nice, indeed.

    I am happy that it seems there is always one of your creations on the first page of Customs on those extremely rare visits I make to BF. I am always impressed even more than the last knife. :)
     
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  20. billf

    billf Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 9, 2003
    Matt and Keith

    Really enjoyed your little "journey" here and of course the final project:thumbsup:

    Great job all the way around - I'm just a little sad that the beautiful Gidgee is largely obscured....the gidgee menuki was a cool idea, though:D

    Bill
     
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