Praise the knife gods for Old Hickory! These USA-made blades are not only a good, affordable product as-is, but they also are a perfect platform for modification and DIY projects. The knife world would be a darker place without them. Thankfully, I’ve got a new one to tinker with!
I recently acquired a “cosmetic 2nd” Old Hickory 14” Butcher Knife for a song. My old Tramontina machete that serves as my main yard work slasher has a 14-inch blade, and I’ve been intrigued by the idea of using one of these butcher knives as a substitute.
It will need a new handle of course… my testing of the Old Hickory Cleaver as a small chopper revealed that the cutlery rivets holding the hardwood scales to the tang aren’t up to the job of outdoor work. Once I have slapped on some micarta, this knife is going to be a beast! Even knowing the specs I couldn’t help but giggle as I unwrapped the blade. This thing is fit to dismember a baby Brachiosaurus!
The only cosmetic issues I could find were some surface scuffs and rust, (which I will be able to clean up) and crookedly finished scales (which is moot, since I am rehandling it).
When I modded the aforementioned cleaver I was only working with the Ken Onion WorkSharp Blade Grinding Attachment, which did a fine job for what it was, but now that I have a big boy grinder and more knifemaking experience under my belt I am looking forward to this project. I shall dub it “The Old Hickory Butchete Experiment!”
I’ll try not to draw this out too long.. hopefully I will be able to share the finished product with you sometime next month. Watch this space.