Knife Making

A Reader Made This: Mark N’s Sgain Dubh.

Image courtesy Mark N.

One of our recent Questions Of The Day has prompted a bit of a response. Reader Mark N. sent me a photo of this Scottish sgain dubh he made from a kit. 

Mark wrote me:

This is my Scottish sgain dubh. The handle came from a blank of Scottish bog oak, although the blade was rough and had to be finish honed. I don’t have the tools to make a blade, or even to grind one from a blank, but I have a fascination for the blacksmithing knives and swords.

By the way, this knife was a kit from a company in Inverness, Scotland, high above Loch Ness.  I made this for a neighbor to go with his regalia. Very fun project–and my first effort at something like this.  Not a bad result.

Not bad indeed! There’s no need to apologize for not starting from scratch, though. A rough knife kit is a great introduction to the art and science of knifemaking for those of us who don’t own a blast furnace, power hammer and bench grinder.

There must be more home-made knives out there? Send your stories and photos to


5 responses to ‘A Reader Made This: Mark N’s Sgain Dubh.

  1. That is a great looking knife and especially for a first project. I’m very impressed. Are the cuts in the blade jimping or is that a saw back feature along the edge? It looks to me like it is probably a saw back though I’m not sure.

  2. Would not mind knowing the name of the kit he used, been looking for a usable Sgain Dubh. As well as on that just looks nice to wear when kilted up.

  3. Aharon, that’s jimping. Although, the notches are only on the sides and don’t go thru the top of the blade. On the one I have, they alternate, leaving a wavy 1/16″ flat on top.

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