My swap submission...The Cholla Tanto!

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Project by KelleyCrafts posted 11-11-2017 05:19 AM 973 views 2 times favorited 28 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My turn to share my swap submission. My package went to Vernon (poospleasures) this time around. Vernon isn’t incredibly active on the forum so stalking him to see what he would like for bonuses and stuff was difficult but I did notice he makes a lot of wooden knives so I sent him some knife scales I made as a bonus.

The main course was a kit knife. I wasn’t able to take on making the blade myself this time around, don’t worry though, I didn’t cop out on everything else. I made the scales out of some cholla skeleton that I harvested myself. I stabilized it, and then cast it in a gold pearl resin. Turned out very beautiful I think with the mosaic pins.

Making my own scales is one thing but it’s still not making a knife from scratch so I had to add a custom sheath to the mix. I originally fought with leather for awhile but it wasn’t looking good enough for me so I decided to get some kydex and make a custom sheath with a belt clip. I have Black and Tan kydex, I ran some tests and the black kydex doesn’t show the laser marks so I went with the tan to put his name on the sheath.

I personally think this swap produced some of the greatest work as a whole than I’ve seen in other swaps. Everyone went above and beyond in challenging themselves and I just couldn’t be happier to be part of something like this with a great group of guys. Thanks everyone. It was amazing.

-- Dave - - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

28 comments so far

View Kelly's profile


1918 posts in 2852 days

#1 posted 11-11-2017 06:04 AM

Wow. Just damn wow.

View bobasaurus's profile


3377 posts in 3092 days

#2 posted 11-11-2017 06:08 AM

Dave, that turned out really nice. Never seen stabilized cactus before, it looks great. The pinecone is interesting stuff too.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View Jerry's profile (online now)


2553 posts in 1556 days

#3 posted 11-11-2017 06:23 AM

Really beautiful knife! Amazing!

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

View HokieKen's profile


4625 posts in 1046 days

#4 posted 11-11-2017 11:15 AM

Awesome stuff Dave. The scales are incredible (both sets) and the knife is a well – chosen design IMO. The personalized sheath puts the whole package over the top!

If you guys like these scales, check out Dave’s shop linked in his signature. The stuff he’s made with AZ cacti and pinecones is gorgeous! Use code USAVET for 10% off in November ;-). (Dave’s not allowed to pimp his own site so I will!)

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

1562 posts in 490 days

#5 posted 11-11-2017 11:36 AM

Nice work, Dave! I see you’re getting lots of mileage out of stabilizing various things. And kydex now too!way to add skills to the repertoire.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View helluvawreck's profile


30164 posts in 2774 days

#6 posted 11-11-2017 12:37 PM

Wow! Kelly, this is such a beautiful piece. I love it.

elluvawreck aka Charles

-- 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 jeffswildwood's profile


2837 posts in 1885 days

#7 posted 11-11-2017 01:03 PM

Dave this is a beautiful knife! All the way down to the mosaic pins. The sheath really tops it off. Nice! Thanks for being a big part of the swap.

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View doubleDD's profile


7126 posts in 1951 days

#8 posted 11-11-2017 02:05 PM

Beautiful knife, scales, and a personalized sheath. Vernon is a lucky guy. I know he’s use to wooden knives so I hope he doesn’t cut himself. LOL.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View doubleG469's profile


439 posts in 352 days

#9 posted 11-11-2017 02:21 PM

Dave well done sir, this is a great set. You know you can always send me one! I would gladly accept the package.

-- Gary, Texas "That’s just my $.02 and I have no personal experience so take it with a grain of salt ;-P, HokieKen"

View recycle1943's profile


1620 posts in 1530 days

#10 posted 11-11-2017 02:28 PM

I spoke with Vernon a couple days ago and he tried to describe this knife. He did a pretty good job but didn’t come close to how beautiful it really is.
To say he is extremely happy would be an understatement – - -

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View KelleyCrafts's profile


2705 posts in 647 days

#11 posted 11-11-2017 02:30 PM

That’s really good to hear Dick. Thanks for posting that. That’s what I would consider a swap success, that’s always my primary goal when doing these things.

-- Dave - - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

View KelleyCrafts's profile


2705 posts in 647 days

#12 posted 11-11-2017 02:30 PM

Thanks for all of the kind words everyone. I really appreciate it.

-- Dave - - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

View AZWoody's profile


1265 posts in 1132 days

#13 posted 11-11-2017 03:55 PM

That is amazingly beautiful

View KelleyCrafts's profile


2705 posts in 647 days

#14 posted 11-11-2017 05:30 PM

Thanks Woody. Thanks spammer dude, I was wondering how I was going to pick my football boots.

-- Dave - - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

View duckmilk's profile


2662 posts in 1232 days

#15 posted 11-11-2017 06:15 PM

I really love the shape of this knife and especially love the cholla handle! Beautifully done Dave!
What do you do to stabilize the cholla?

-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

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