Category Archives: Modification

A Traditional “Rag Knife”

A traditional style of farm knife made from a broken American scythe blade, usually used for topping root crops.

The blade below crack was cut back to the spine, which was forged out into a tang. Normally this would have been simply wrapped with rags to form the grip (which is why they were called rag knives) but we used a reshaped billhook handle instead.

The tang is peened on the end and the grip tightly wedged from the top inside the ferrule for an extremely tight and secure fit.

A Rag Knife A Rag Knife A Rag Knife A Rag Knife

Solving the Tomahawk Handle Knob Problem

Shown here is a 350g Rinaldi “Calabria” hand axe with a modified handle. A common complaint raised regarding slip fit handles is that (despite their virtues) a knob is either small or totally absent, meaning there is little or nothing to stop the hand from slipping off the end of the handle if a loose grip is used. A simple tapered cross-pin at the end of the handle creates a removable solution to this problem.

A tapered hole was bored with a small step drill and a wooden pin, tapered to match, driven into the hole. The single-sided pin with the projection to the outside of the hand is the most comfortable and secure arrangement vs. a finger-sided or double-sided projection, and if the head must be removed from the handle for use as an independent tool the wooden pin is easily driven out so it does not obstruct the removal of the head. This provides several notable advantages over the use of a lanyard: the user’s hands may slide freely along the handle as needed to adjust grip position, the handle may still be immediately released in the event of an emergency or accident, and the pin allows  the end of the handle to be tucked under a belt and have it stay there nicely if the user’s hands need to be free without setting the axe on the ground.

Right Side Left Side Left Side of Pin Pin viewed with the bit of the axe facing the viewer. Pin viewed with the bit of the axe facing away from the viewer. Angled detail view, right side. Angled detail view, left side.