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Wooden Pocket Knives & Gift Boxes

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Project by BrentB posted 06-01-2016 03:44 PM 1171 views 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here are some examples of wooden pocket knives and gift boxes. Generally when I give someone a pocket knife I make a pocket knife gift box out of the same wood used for the handle. I put the pocket knife in a leather pouch made by Case then put it in the box. However in these examples the wood used for the gift box is different than that used for the pocket knife handle.

The gift boxes are made of Mesquite Burl. They are approximately 5×2x2. I like to incorporate live edges with my Burl boxes to juxtapose the beautiful bird’s eye inside with the harsh exterior of the Mesquite. For the finish I used Shellac and the French Polishing technique.

I only recently tried my hand at making wooden pocket knives. I like to refurbish pocket knives for friends and give them new wooden handles (scales). My two elementary age nephews showed some interest so last Christmas I got each of them a well known brand wooden pocket knife kit along with a well known brand real pocket knife kit. I figured they should learn about the internal workings of a pocket knife using the wooden kit before trying the real thing. After seeing the wooden kit knives put together I thought to myself they sure could look a lot better if someone took the time to make them. I figured there must be lots of folks out there making wooden pocket knives as a hobby so I got on-line and searched for examples. Much to my surprise I found very few examples. In fact, most examples were from fellow LJ member Vernon.

These pocket knives are made from two types of wood. The lighter colored wood is White Pine and represent the stainless steel parts of a pocket knife. I like to accent the spring with a little file work.

The handle on these particular knives are made from some really old Bodark and there is an interesting story behind this wood. My home was built in 1898. My neighbor’s house was built in 1886. A couple of years ago he was under his house doing some leveling and replaced a Bodark pier with a concrete pier. Using Bodark for piers was very common in those days because its durability and he gave it to me. I put it on the band saw and crosscut the top so I could count the rings and found it to have 146. Consider the house was built 130 years ago and the Bodark tree was cut down at that time and used as piers then add 146 years for the ring count; that means the Bodark tree started growing in 1740, which was 276 years ago. Thirty six years before the original 13 Colonies declared independence from England. When this Bodark tree was 12 years old Benjamin Franklin discovered electricity when flying his kite in an electrical storm. I made my neighbor a plaque for letting me have the old growth wood.

There’s not much of it left. The rough end was in the ground. It’s not too worn considering it’s been in the ground for 130 years. My neighbor told me I could have more next time he goes under his house. My house has them too, but it’s too hard for me to get under my house.

New growth Bodark shown in the photo below looks a lot different compared to the old however I suppose the years of weathering and soaking up minerals from the soil has a lot to do with it.

-- Brent, Johnson County Texas......Resawing is like a box of chocolates, ya never know what you're gonna get.





14 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

16592 posts in 2499 days


#1 posted 06-01-2016 03:54 PM

Very nice knives and boxes, Brent. They sure are beautiful gifts!!
Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View SCOTSMAN's profile

SCOTSMAN

5839 posts in 2979 days


#2 posted 06-01-2016 06:37 PM

Very nice I wonder about Bodark I never heard of it before. Anyway I have made my grandson a few things before
mainly wooden tools he loved them. Yesterday his Father my middle son who is a consultant psychiatrist in Glasgow where his wife lucie does exactly the same job. Anyway he and I were talking about the things I got him when he was a young boy. To my surprise he told me all about a tool box full of toy wooden and metal tools I bought him all those years ago, he said he really loved it.

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Tommy Evans's profile

Tommy Evans

136 posts in 1568 days


#3 posted 06-01-2016 09:59 PM

Bodark
aka: Osage Orange
aka: Maclura pomifera
aka: Bois d’Arc
aka: Horse Apple
aka: Hedge Apple

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

3152 posts in 1598 days


#4 posted 06-01-2016 09:59 PM

SCOTSMAN Bodark was used by the Scots as clubs many years ago due to it being so hard.
No doubt you have one hidden in the house somewhere!!

I also think it is aka Osage Orange. (Looks like Tommy has confirmed this)
Anyway a great project post interesting historical story as you must have already appreciated with your dedicated research and recognition gift.

-- Regards Robert

View oldrivers's profile

oldrivers

686 posts in 960 days


#5 posted 06-01-2016 10:12 PM

Beautiful work you have here and I love the history behind this wood as well as the Benevolence aspect of it being gifts of love. The Bodark or Osage-orange (M. pomifera )has been known by a variety of common names in addition to Osage orange, including hedge apple, horse apple, bois d’arc, bodark, bow-wood, yellow-wood, mock orange and monkey ball. When my Grandson was young I made him a bow from a piece of Osage orange I had cut, hey, that bow would send an arrow with vengeance my Daughter (for safety reasons) would not let him use it until he was a bit older (Mothers wisdom excelled Gramps LOL) Congratulations on a job well done.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View poospleasures's profile

poospleasures

542 posts in 1878 days


#6 posted 06-02-2016 12:43 AM

Very nice work. Your boxes and knives are very well done. As you said I have looked for other wooden knife makers without success. It is so good to see your post. I do understand the ends and outs of these projects as have completed about 900 to date. Keep up the good work an always try to make the next one better than the last. I wish we had some of that fancy wood here in Ky. Keep posting and in touch.
Vernon

-- I,ve had amnesia for as long as I can remember. Vernon

View BrentB's profile

BrentB

49 posts in 140 days


#7 posted 06-02-2016 02:35 AM



Very nice work. Your boxes and knives are very well done. As you said I have looked for other wooden knife makers without success. It is so good to see your post. I do understand the ends and outs of these projects as have completed about 900 to date. Keep up the good work an always try to make the next one better than the last. I wish we had some of that fancy wood here in Ky. Keep posting and in touch.
Vernon

- poospleasures

Wow…nice to hear from you Vernon. Your work was my inspiration to try my hand at making a wooden pocket knife. I only hope to do half as well as you some day. Thanks for the kind comment. I really appreciate it.

-- Brent, Johnson County Texas......Resawing is like a box of chocolates, ya never know what you're gonna get.

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

3152 posts in 1598 days


#8 posted 06-02-2016 08:10 AM

Hey now there is an archers bow no doubt the Scots used them as well.
By the sound of what oldrivers posts if the Archer didnt put you away the club sure would!

-- Regards Robert

View BrentB's profile

BrentB

49 posts in 140 days


#9 posted 06-02-2016 01:05 PM

I read about another use for Bodark that surprised me. Below is a quote from “Preserving Texas History”.

In November, reporting to the council that the project was nearly completed, Mayor Cabell claimed it would be “durable and far superior to any wood pavement that has been laid down thus far.” City Engineer Johnson reported that the new paving, which he referred to as bois d’arc, “will be a street of which Dallasites will be proud.” The mayor recommended paving Main Street from Jefferson to Sycamore. By 1886 the Dallas City Directory proudly reported, “Three miles of bois d’arc pavement, thebest in the world, have been put down in these two years.”

-- Brent, Johnson County Texas......Resawing is like a box of chocolates, ya never know what you're gonna get.

View BrentB's profile

BrentB

49 posts in 140 days


#10 posted 06-02-2016 01:17 PM

I found a couple of photos of existing Bois d’Arc street pavers.

You can see these below the current asphalt.

-- Brent, Johnson County Texas......Resawing is like a box of chocolates, ya never know what you're gonna get.

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

22554 posts in 2260 days


#11 posted 06-02-2016 01:30 PM

Wow! Brent, this is a beautiful box and makes a wonderful gift box as well as a gift by itself.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View BrentB's profile

BrentB

49 posts in 140 days


#12 posted 06-02-2016 01:46 PM

Thanks Charles!!

-- Brent, Johnson County Texas......Resawing is like a box of chocolates, ya never know what you're gonna get.

View majuvla's profile

majuvla

8390 posts in 2261 days


#13 posted 06-02-2016 02:26 PM

This box is awesome, especialy the wood it’s made of. This opening handle looks nice too.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View david38's profile

david38

2318 posts in 1737 days


#14 posted 06-02-2016 03:19 PM

beautiful

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