Knife Stories

Knife Porn: T.M. Hunt Custom Nessmuk

My friends, please join me for a spell. Last week, Todd Hunt made his writing debut on these very pages. We are glad to have him; he is a heck of a knifemaker and has a lot of knowledge to be shared. Now I would like to share the story of a very special knife that he created for me not too long ago.

Of all the classic knife patterns in the world, the Nessmuk has got to be my favorite. George Washington Sears’ eponymous fixed blade is practical, yet graceful. I have quite a few ‘muks in my collection, but most are modern interpretations of the design.

Until recently, I didn’t have anything that echoed the stag handled illustration in Sears’ book “Woodcraft and Camping,” (free ebook here) and I had started to look for something to fill that gap in my collection.

Shortly thereafter, Todd Hunt posted a photo of a small, stag-handled hunter he had finished up for a retiring firefighter, complete with a brass guard and fileworked spine. It was then that the wheels started to turn.

Having previously met Mr. Hunt at the Beckerhead gatherings, I knew his style and the man himself had what it took to make something truly remarkable.

Last fall, I approached Todd about building the Nessmuk, and he was thankfully very receptive. I came to him with a rough drawing of what I was looking for, including a few little details like a mosaic pin and red spacer by the guard, but I made it clear that the sketch should be just the jumping off point.

The rest I left up to him. I told him to have a little fun with it and do whatever he felt the knife needed. Just make it awesome! I didn’t want a David C. Andersen design, but a true T.M. Hunt piece through and through, and he went above and beyond.

Now, despite being a paid writer, I have never felt I was all that good at conveying emotion through the written word. I can’t even begin to tell you how completely and utterly floored I am by what Todd created. Everything he did with the knife is stunning.

The flow of the blade as it lines up with the piece of stag… the curves are outstanding! Oftentimes with natural materials, the piece will dictate they way the rest of the blade will flow, and this one integrates perfectly.

Rather than a brass collar on my initial drawing, he went with a full finger guard, with a peened front and “rising sun” filework on the sides. Gorgeous work. The thick red spacer is the perfect accent.

The rope-style filework on the spine is deep… intense, and the antiqued finish on the O1 blade looks great. Nice and rustic. He even continued the filework to the bottom of the ricasso.

Best of all, Todd threw in a few surprises as a wedding gift for me. Todd has been known to incorporate a heart motif into some of his designs, and on this Nessmuk he inlaid two brass hearts in the pommel monogrammed with my and my wife’s initials.

He carried that over into the sheath as well, with a snakeskin heart inlaid on the leather. That sheath in and of itself is a work of beauty and I can barely begin to describe how completely it complements the knife. The leather thong with the antler tine ends is an especially nice touch.

Now the hard part. I’m going to need to find some sort of display case for this superlative piece of working art!

I can’t thank Todd enough. This is one of those lifetime highlight pieces for sure. I can imagine my grandchildren showing this knife off to their children. I’m truly grateful, beyond what words – meager as they are – can possibly convey.

Thus ends my love letter to Todd Hunt. You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

Discussion

3 responses to ‘Knife Porn: T.M. Hunt Custom Nessmuk

  1. Mr. Hunt did one helluva job on that knife. It’s so nice to see a craftsman put his heart and his mind into his work. Good job Mr. Hunt!

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