My Guardian Mk1

 

THE GUARDIAN MK2

 

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Guardian Mk2

 

Please see the 'NEWS & IMPORTANT INFORMATION' page before contacting me - thank you.

 

So, how is the MKII Guardian different from the MKI version? The main difference is that the MKII version is made from AISI D2 Sheffield steel as opposed to 15200 Bearing Steel. Another change can be seen if one compares the MKII blade shape against the MKI, where it'll be seen that the MKII has a slightly upturned tip and is therefore not as pointed as in the MKI. This little change makes for a longer edge and a stronger tip. The other main change involves contouring the handle some more along its length. This alteration has worked out really well as it provides for a more anatomically correct working grip that is safer and comfortable in continuous use.  

 

This is my Damasteel Guardian version

While D2 Guardians follow a standard pattern, anything I make from RWL-34 and Damasteel is more of a close simile. So the end result could be slightly smaller or slightly larger depending on the original size of the Billet I have to work with.

 

The Guardian and Valiant as a set

In the above image the handle's contouring of both knives is quite obvious, as are the tips of both blades, being upturned.

 

Click here for:  PRICING AND KNIFE BUILD OPTIONS

 

This one is in Thuya Burl

 

Same knife showing the Brass butt plate.

 

 

At one time, my Sheaths were simply made, tough and workman-like and held the knife securely.  Nobody ever commented negatively about my Sheaths, but even so, very few were remotely near being distinctive or personalised.

 

 

 

Over time however, I began to appreciate that the appearance of a Sheaths is just as important as the knife it holds. It's for this reason that I offer to customise Sheaths in a unique and personal way - and at no extra cost! 

 

 

 

 

The Guardian MK2 in the making...

 

   

 

 

The GUARDIAN MK2 Knife

in

5mm thick AISI D2 steel

 

Thickness of steel: 5mm

Overall length: 235mm

Blade length:110mm

Handle length:125mm

Width at Choil/Back plate: 31mm

Type of grind: Single Scandi down to 0 degree.

Fittings: Three Pins and Lanyard Tube

 

 

GUARDIAN MK2 STANDARD KNIFE 

STANDARD KNIFE PRICE

OPTIONAL EXTRAS

IF REQUIRED

 

A STANDARD KNIFE IS A COMPLETELY FINISHED KNIFE WITH ONE OF THE STANDARD HANDLE MATERIAL FROM THIS LIST WITH BRASS PINS and BRASS TUBE LANYARD HOLE and a STANDARD FULL SIZE SHEATH WITH A FIXED BELT LOOP.

 

 

 

165

 

PRICE OF EACH INDIVIDUAL EXTRA TO BE ADDED TO BASIC KNIFE COST

 

INTEGRATED FIRESTEEL LOOP

 

 5

MATCHING FIRESTEEL

 

10

MATCHING CERAMIC ROD SHARPENER   10

ADJUSTABLE BELT EXTENSION LOOP AND 'D' RING

  5
1 BOTTLE OF EEZOX OIL   5
MOSAIC PINS instead of Brass/Cooper/Steel pins   5

*** Please add 10.00 to above prices towards part p&p to standard UK addresses. Knife sent via Royal Mail Special Delivery - Insured and next day delivery by 1pm.

 

*** Please add 15 towards part signed for p&p for non-standard UK and Overseas Destinations.

 

NB: The GUARDIAN MK2 is only available in 5mm thick D2 steel. Dimensions shown are all approximate.

PRICING AND KNIFE BUILD OPTIONS

 

 

Please scroll down if you're interested to know about the origins of the Guardian

 

 

My very own Mk 1 Guardian # 01

 

 

This is my very own 52100 Bearing Steel Guardian, serial number 01.  The handle materials are Stabilised Curly Birch and Malachite. Everybody who sees this knife falls in love with it. One day, it'll end up as a favourite with a new owner...

 

 

 

 

 

The Sheath is from 3.5mm Veg Tanned leather and as can be seen, hand embossed in great detail.  It has a standard short belt loop and also an extended dangler loop on a 'D' ring.

 

 

The First production Mk1 Guardian

in 52100 Bearing steel

 

 

 

This the very first production Guardian from 52100 Bearing steel - which I'm very pleased with.

 

The handle is in nicely figured Cocobolo, with three brass pins and a brass lined lanyard hole topped by a solid brass cap.  This handle configuration turned out to be really nice and comfortable and will fit small and large hands alike.

 

The Blade is 105mm long, 28mm wide and 4mm thick.  Overall the knife is 220mm long.

 

The Firesteel has a matching Cocobolo handle.

 

The Sheath is British Bushcraft style in 3.5mm veg tanned leather, double row, double stitched with Firesteel loop. Belt loop will take a 2" belt easily.

 

This one above is destined for Mike in the USA...

 

This is the last MK1 Guardian that I made.

 

 

 

 

The handle is quality Amboyna burl over red fibre liners. For some time I had intended to keep this knife for myself, but I've got this model in both Bearing steel and Damascus steel, I decided to let it go.

 

Just like the first Guardian, this one too went off to the USA to John Gager and this is what he said about it...

 

"I wanted to mention that the knife is fantastic and it makes most knifes look like amateur hour. I own some very nice knives but this is at the top of the list and is one solid tool. I am looking forward to using it this summer while camping in our mountains. Thanks again and I will send you an update to let you know some of my experiences"

 

Best Regards,

 

John Gager

 

Examples of MK1 GUARDIANS

 

In Cocobolo

 

Standard Scandi hanging type sheath with knife's cutting edge facing up, but it can also be turned to hang facing down.

 

Sheath with knife's cutting edge facing down and integrated Firesteel loop.

 

 

Here is a comparison between the Leuku, Guardian, Talisman and Shadow.

 

In comparison to the other blades the Leuku (top) stands out as being very different in size and shape.

 

The main difference between the Guardian and Talisman is in the handle configuration - one is flared with a flat end to take a butt plate and the other has a flat back with a round end.

 

The Shadow is different again, it has a longer cutting edge, slimmer profile and handle is contoured somewhat with a rounded end.

 

 

 

NB: As these knives are individually hand made, all sizes are approximate and some minor variations from blade to blade and knife to knife are to be expected...

 

Also... Handles made from natural materials may have some very minor faults which add to the character of the finished piece.  If you want as near to a blemish free perfect finished handle, please do not order a handle made from natural material.  With Burl wood especially, minor voids and other irregularities are inherent.

 

Another Black Buffalo horn Bearing Steel guardian for Richard...

 

 

 

A Guardian in Purpleheart

 

THE RETURN OF ONE OF THE ORIGINAL GUARDIAN KNIVES BACK INTO MY PERSONAL COLLECTION.

 

Much to my delight I came across a Guardian (serial number 04) on British Blades that was for sale. As I never did keep one of the original ones for myself to work with I snapped it up and bought it. On receiving it I gave it a good once over to get it back to as new condition and I'm now very pleased with myself that I got it.

 

GUARDIAN #04 IN TOP QUALITY MASUR BIRCH

 

 

 

My first MK1 Guardian/Valiant set that I took to Oz.

(Now with my friend Bruce Parry)

 

 

 

THE GUARDIAN

(In Damascus)

 

 

This Sheath can be worn 'short' directly on the belt through the small (2 1/2") permanent loop or, 'long' by using the extension loop, which can easily be detached by undoing the 'Chicago Screw' if required - but not really necessary as the long loop tucks in behind the sheath anyway.

 

 

Updated Guardian Damascus blades

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sheath for these two knives were designed to be worn in two positions.  It can be worn 'short' directly on the belt through the small (2 1/2") permanent loop or, 'long' by using the extension loop, which can easily be detached by undoing the 'Chicago Screw' if required - but not really necessary as the long loop tucks in behind the sheath anyway.

 

Although they can't be seen, the matching Firesteels handles are not matching in material only, but in their make up too.  The handle is in two parts with a red liner in between capped with a solid brass plate through which the Firesteel is inserted.

 

My original PFK-1 (Guardian prototype) in Bearing steel.

I suppose it wasn't a bad effort for a first attempt considering what I had to work with at the time.

 

This one, from the second batch, is mine of course, hence the PFK1.  It's in Bearing steel.

 

 

The very first Guardian prototypes I built - Top one in Bearing steel, bottom one in Damascus steel.  The top knife is actually slightly smaller than my current production versions.

 

A note about handle shapes...  While everyone knows what a hand looks like, you'll be surprised how variable the actual size and shape is between individuals.  It therefore follows that there isn't such a thing as a perfect universal knife handle, just as there isn't one knife for all situations. To make matters worse one has to also take into account the various personal preferences...  As a consequence, as many other things in life, every handle is a compromise to some degree and it is only those who make their own knives or have their knives made to suit their hand/preferences will ever come close to having their ideal knife handle...

 

My main preference for a handle shape is the coke bottle shape, adjusted of course to suit small, medium or large hands of the end user. Although the difference in size between small, medium and large handles is not great, it's sufficient enough to make a real difference in feel and use. I also choose to make the handle long enough for a good safe grip and leave a gap between the handle and between where the forefinger would normally rest and the start of the cutting edge...

 

 

The top knife is in Brown Mallee Burl and the bottom knife is in Amboyna Burl - both over red fibre liners.  The handle is a slim coke bottle shape with the incurve to the pommel being longer and gentler as I found that it works better for me.

 

The bolster is not in full brass, but is a 3mm plate (as for the butt) recessed and pinned within the wood scales.  I wanted to see the effect of having different sized brass plates and unfortunately I can't make up my mind which I like best!

 

 

 

 

BFK Mk II Project

First batch of knives for testing

 

 

Blades in SAE52100 Bearing Steel

 

These knives are upgraded prototypes of an already well known field knife, the Bearclaw Field Knife (BFK) that I have been requested to have a go at making to order by Gary Wale. 

 

As with any knife, the knives have to undergo various practical field trials before they can be approved as a direct replacement to the original carbon steel bladed knife - hence the Mk II tag.

 

So far the results have been very positive, but there are going to be some minor alterations to the shape and depth of the grind.  It is after all a MK II and that's what the testing is for.

 

What really mattered to me was that I was 100% certain that the basic design concept of this knife was well suited for use in Bushcraft type situations. So much so that my own user knives are of this type! They're more fiddly to produce, but as I wanted to be making them on an individual basis, time was not going to be too much of a problem. There are very few basic designs that could not be improved in some way or other and so it proved with this early Guardian version... The Talisman remains my all time favourite, but the Guardian runs it a close second.  

 

 

Second batch of BFK II's -

with changes to the grind...

 

As can be seen when compared to the first batch of prototypes, the main difference is in the size and shape of the grind.  The handle has had an upgrade too.

 

The most important aspect of the BFK II is that of the blade material itself, which is after all the most important component of any knife.  I've chosen SAE52100 Bearing steel over 01 Tool steel as I've worked with both and I much prefer SAE52100 Bearing steel because it is superior to 01 tool steel - in my view at least.  But  Don't take my word for it, do your own research and satisfy yourself that I base my claim on practical and technical facts.

 

Now, when you compare the above 5 BFK's to my own BFK II on the top right (I called mine  PFK1 actually), you'll notice that the fixing of the handle is different.  Let me explain why...

 

1.  My brief was to try and make the BFK II's as close to the original BFK as possible because that's what people know, ordered and obviously expect.  So that's what I tried to do, except for the steel upgrade of course.

 

2.  My knife has more fixing pins because the handle is in two parts basically.  While each part would have been OK with just two 5mm and one 5mm pins respectively, I went a bit further and added two 3mm to the horn and one further 3mm near the pommel end.  Even if the scales were all in one piece, I would still have secured them with three pins and not two - but that's strictly my own opinion and preference. As a minimum I would want three main pins to help further secure the handle.

 

Feedback on the second batch of the BFK II's - Nearly there, but not quite! Everything was OK except for the grind.  The requirement is for a 100% straight sided Scandi grind and although the knives are very sharp, when inspected closely they still had a tiny micro bevel which I need to rectify.

 

This project was proving more demanding than I originally thought because I'm having to try and clone another knife, not just the once, but many times over and I wasn't really geared up - machinery wise or temperamentally - for this sort of thing.  I had hoped that as my attempt would be making a MK II version I'd have some leeway - but it didn't turn out that way.

 

So, after discussing the matter with Gary, it was agreed that on account of my health situation and limited resources, I would not remain involved with the the BFK II project in the long term as it was proving a bit too much for me on a permanent commitment basis. I knew then that I could only handle individual orders and do so a hobby basis.

 

In addition to the four of the knives shown, I've some BFK II prototype blades left, which I hand ground and polished.  As agreed with Gary I'll be disposing of them privately sometime during May under my own name.  Thereafter, the blades in their original form will not be made available to anyone.

 

Generally speaking, the design concept of the original BFK is very good.  However, as with any design there is always room for improvement, hence my desire to use Bearing steel.  I had wanted to use three pins on the handle and not just two, on account of the length of the handle.  However this was one suggestion too many that deviated from the original brief and was also a sticking point.  To this day, it is a rare thing that I do not use three pins and a lanyard tube on any of my full tang knives.