When I was selected to build the ABS Mastersmith Folder of the year for the year of 2013 I jumped at the chance. In the first place it's an honor for me to be to be allowed to build this knife. In the second place by accepting I was forced to go ahead and do something I had been wanting to do for a long time. (This thing was to design and build a folder especially for dressing deer sized game.) I started forging the damascus steel onNov. 27, 2012. I finished the knife on Jan. 5, 2013. I knew nothing of building a folder when I started but I had enthusiasm and some friends who were good folder builders and they were willing to share their knoledge with me.I worked on this knife on my sevendieth birthday, Christmas Day ant New Years Day. I was obssessed, possessed and having more fun than I had had in a long time. Building this knife was like riding a long, long, long stretch of white water rapids. Sometimes it was scary but I was always excited to see what was waiting around the next bend.
This is a slip joint folder that I designed to be used for skinning and dressing game of the whitetail deer size. It has a drop point so as to be able to slide point of the blade along under the skin without damageing the meat below.The cutting edge at the point has a deep belly so it can be used to slice in tight places.The blade is plenty long enough to do the work of dressing and short enough not to be unwieldy. The upward curve on the spine of the blade behind the point is designed as a place to index the forfinger of the hand holding the knife. Being able to use the knife this way helps the person doing the dressing to be able to work by feel when working inside an animal or if blood obscures the working aera. It also helps keep the forfinger away from the cutting edge. Forward of the upward curve in the spine the blade has a false clip to narrow up the point for delicate work. The blade has a concave grindwith a compound radius to give the blade a thicker cross section all the way to the point for strength. The knife isn't designed to be flipped open. The cam in the slip joint design has been slightly modified so the knife won't snap shut untill the blade is almost closed. This makes it unlikely that the blade will snap shut on someone's fingers. The cam works the same way when opening the knife but with a little more lift to make the knife harder to close by accident. The spring is a little stronger for this purpose also. The hinged area is beefier than a standard slip joint. It has a larger diameter pin and an oversized tang for more berring surface. The handle has a lot of drop to make it user friendly. The knife is relitive thin and flat so that it can be carried in the pocket without being uncomfortable or to heavy. It's still thich enough to be comfortable to grip while being used. The three finger grove profile of the handle makes the knife easier to index in the hand when working and also keeps the hand from slipping up onto the blade.
The blade and the sides of the handle are made fron ladder pattern demascus steel I made in my shop. For the spring I made a piece of twist pattern demascus. The demascus was made up of 300 layers of 1084 & 15N20 highj carbon steel. The scales of the handle were made of curly maple that has been stabilized. The knife has my JLairson logo on one side of the racaso and my Master Smith stamp on the other side. On the spring on the inside of the knife it's marked "FS #1" for Folding Skinner Number One.