My involvement with Bruce has been going on while,
but until now - with Bruce's consent - I've kept it very private because
I didn't want folk wrongly assuming that I would profit from my
close involvement with Bruce. I'm proud to be associated with him as a friend
and an owner and user of several various knives I made for him.
Bruce is a very kind and affable man, yet steely and resolute
in character. He really cares and is very modest and unassuming
and I'm very glad to be one of his friends. What
he does is very adventurous, but he regards himself as an Explorer with
real concern about the people he stays with, their culture
and the environment, as evidenced by his Tribe and Arctic TV series.
He's forever on the go, so I was very pleased that he had a chance to
come and visit me late December 2015. With my having been unwell and
feeling down for some months, his visit proved to be a good tonic as it
helped to lift my mood considerably.
Apart form the knives I made for him, Bruce asked
me to make him a number of knives to be used as gifts in connection with
a filming project he was involved in, a Quest far more involved than
anything he has done before. I can't deny that I was well chuffed with
the chance to be of service to him, although I had some doubts about my
ability to make the number of knives he was suggesting. The brief was
that the knives must be tough, low maintenance and easy to sharpen. I
already had just the model that would be perfect for the tasks they
might be put to - the Talisman MK3
in 440C steel with Canvas Micarta handle material. After I messed about
with four MK3 Talismans I decide to make some changes to the handle to
more secure, safe and comfortable grip. I was
required to make three batches, with each batch being
distinctive in handle material colour. I also made one of each batch for
myself as a memento. Some of the supporting team also had knives from me, which were
also well received. With Bruce being so modest, he didn't want his name
on the blades and wasn't sure that my name was to be included either!
Although I did end up with my name on all the knives, Bruce's name was
only on the second batch - reluctantly so. Anyway, Bruce told me that all the knives I
made for gifting to the three main Tribes aroused a lot of excitement
and much appreciation - so mission accomplished as far as I was
Well, not quite! I had more to do as it was
decided that I would make a further 11 knives to be used as gifts for
the 'Quest' project sponsors. These knives had to be special so I was
given a free hand to do whatever I felt would be right to fit the
occasion. This time I could put Bruce's and my name on the blades. The
actual knives are all shown below and should speak for themselves
really... All that remains now is for me to be told when the film
premier is, as I, together with my wife, are both invited.
I would very much have liked to name a knife after
Bruce, but out of respect for him and knowing he's not commercially
oriented, I haven't even broached the subject with him. In any case,
I've plenty to be going on with as it is, the last thing I want is a lot
more orders that I can never hope to deliver on.
BELOW ARE THE 12 GIFT TALISMAN MK3 AND THE ACTUAL
THREE BATCHES I MADE FOR THE PROJECT.
EXAMPLES OF KNIFE HANDLES
PRIOR TO FORMING
1. Pau Rosa;
2. South African Olive Wood; 3. Mountain Ash Burl; 4. Tulip Wood;
5. Zebrano; 6.
Danish Bog Oak; 7. Figured Bocote; 8. Red Narra (Amboyna);
Spalted Beech; 10. Indian Rosewood.
SAME SAMPLE OF KNIFE HANDLES
FORMED AND PRIOR TO OILING
SAME KNIVES POST OIL SOAK AND
WET SANDING PROCESS
THE VERY SAME KNIVES AGAIN
OILED UP AND HARD WAXED
JUST NEEDING FINAL TOUCHES
As can be ascertained, the difference in colour of
the woods from their raw state to having been through the oiling process and
hard waxed buffing is considerable. Which is why I suggest that when choosing a wood
one should make allowances as to how the knife handle will actually darken
and end up
Quest Tribe knives, as I'm calling them, are as shown below. There are three
distinctive batches. Pity that I didn't think to make some decent photos
of them at the time, butt I was busy and thought nothing of it.
knives to the left are the ones I played about with to arrive at the
final design profile. I actually altered a couple of the blades as well,
but as can be seen in the actual batches, the profile is not too
dissimilar to the Talisman MK4 in the handle area. The
blade and the contouring is somewhat more pronounced.
batch is named after the Tribe they were gifted to.