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"Orion" obverse side view in 440C high chromium stainless steel blade, hand-engraved 304 stainless steel bolsters, Rio Grande Agate gemstone  handle, hand-carved leather sheath inlaid with frog skin


"Vulpecula" obverse side view in D2 extremely high carbon die steel blade, hand-engraved 304 stainless steel bolsters, Petrified Fern fossil gemstone handle, hand-carved leather sheath inlaid with rayskin
"Vulpecula" Fine Handmade Knife
  • Size: Knife: Length overall: 8.5" (21.6 cm), Blade Length: 4.25" (10.8 cm), Thickness: .186" (4.7 mm)
  • Weight: Knife: 6.7 oz. (190 grams) Sheath: 4.6 oz. (130 grams)
  • Blade: D2 extremely high carbon die steel, hardened and tempered to 60HRC, mirror polished
  • Bolsters, Fittings: 304 Austenitic Stainless Steel, mirror polished, hand-engraved
  • Handle: Fossilized, Petrified Fern Jasper Gemstone (New Mexico, USA)
  • Sheath: Hand-carved leather shoulder inlaid with ray skin
  • Knife: There is a constellation in the northern sky called the Little Fox, or (in Latin), Vulpecula. This little fox is a great knife, with a clean straightforward drop point design and a comfortable, modest working shape, made with premium materials, and high finish and embellishment. The blade of this Vulpecula is D2, an extremely high carbon die steel with a longstanding reputation of supreme edge holding. I ground the blade with a deep, matched and accurate hollow grind, for nice thinness behind the cutting edge, so the low angle single bevel edge is as keen as a straight razor. I created a deep choil to terminate the cutting edge and aid in sharpening. Being D2, it will hold the edge for a very long time indeed; the steel has very high carbon content and with 13% chromium as well, the chromium carbides throughout the steel create a matrix of hard, wear resistant particles this steel is known for. It has the characteristic orange peel granularity (see photo below) that instantly identifies this special steel. Though it's not considered a true stainless steel, it is highly stain resistant, requiring only modest care. The high chromium content inhibits corrosion much more than plain carbon and most other non-stainless steels. This is a serious working blade, and it's fully fileworked with a tumbling block pattern for a masculine appeal. I fully tapered the tang for good balance, and the blade is bolstered with high chromium, high nickel 304 austenitic stainless steel, a zero-care stainless that will last for generations. The bolsters are contoured, radiused, polished and finished for comfort and easy cleaning, and I've hand-engraved an interlocking and overlapping leaf pattern in them. Most other makers and engravers won't touch this steel; it's too tough and resistant to cutting for them to dedicate the time and effort, but I love the durability, permanence, longevity, and beauty of this steel. The bolsters are dovetailed and bed a pair of fascinating fossil handle scales of fern wood, millions of years old. This is a true petrified wood, from some unknown and mysterious fern, and I found this particular rock while hunting gemstone in the southern mountains of New Mexico. The strange pattern of growth of the plant shows sweeping curves of development with curious tick-marks along them, completely different from the rings of trees. One of the most fascinating things about this fossil is that it is filled with worm holes, all replaced by chalcedony, jasper, and agate quartz through millions of years of geological process. The worms must have loved this fern a lot; it's riddled with the round structures. I polished the gemstone to a bright, glassy finish, and the jasper is hard, tough, and will easily outlast the knife and generations of owners. The knife feels light yet solid in the hand; the balance point is at the front bolster/handle scale junction.
  • Sheath: The sheath must be commensurate with the knife, so I created a high-backed sheath out of heavy leather shoulder, and hand-carved the inlay design to match the engraving on the bolsters. Into the sheath face, back, and belt loop, I inlaid two colors of ray skin, tan and brown, echoing the color of the gemstone nicely. The tiny bones and pattern of the rayskin even looks like the wormholes in the petrified fern, and the 15 individual inlays are cleanly spaced throughout the sheath body. The sheath is thick and strong, made of 9-10 oz. leather shoulder, dyed black, and sealed with a glossy finish that resists dirt, moisture, and aging. I stitched the sheath with black polyester for durability and strength; the edges are rounded, contoured, smoothed, and sealed.
  • A handsome and masculine knife of superior blade steel, intricate engraving, fascinating fossil gemstone, and a matching durable and tough leather and exotic skin sheath

Thanks, J. S.!

I picked up my Vulpecula today and I love it! The knife and sheath are both beautiful - even your excellent photography does not do justice to the real thing. This knife will be in my family for decades to come.
Thank you for all your hard work and dedication!


Please click on thumbnail photos
"Vulpecula" reverse side view. Sheath back and belt loop have inlays of rayskin matching knife handle "Vulpecula" spine edgework, filework detail. filework is a tumbling block design, full around tapered tang. "Vulpecula" inside handle tang detail. Bolsters are dovetailed to lock handle scales, all surfaces are contoured radiused, smoothed and polished for comfort "Vulpecula" obverse side handle view. handle is rounded and comfortable, solid and well-fitted with all surfaces finished "Vulpecula" reverse side handle detail. Handsome and tough jasper gemstone with deep hand-engraving in stainless steel "Vulpecula" reverse side gemstone handle detail. Note curious growth rings in petrified wood with numerous worm holes filled with agate and chalcedony "Vulpecula" obverse side gemstone fossil detail. Worm holes throughout petrified fern wood give fascinating view to prehistoric world "Vulpecula" 5 power enlargement of front bolster engraving in 304 stainless steel. Note curious wormhole pattern in gemstone and agate seam "Vulpecula" five power enlargement of rear bolster on obverse side. Hand engraved stainless steel is zero care and very tough "Vulpecula" 5 power enlargement of reverse side front bolster. Seamless fit against fascinating petrified fossil with hints of red in chalcedony, agate, jasper quartz "Vulpecula" five power enlargement of reverse side rear bolster. All handle surfaces are contoured, rounded, finished, polished for comfort and smooth transitions "Vulpecula" blade point view. Blade is super hard and incredibly wear resistant D2 die steel for supreme longevity, edge holding, and cutting use "Vulpecula" sheathed view. Sheath is deep and protective, with just enough handle extenstion to allow easy unsheathing "Vulpecula" sheath back view. Inlays of brown and tan rayskin are in belt loop and sheath back, stitched with heavy polyester for strength "Vulpecula" sheath front detail. True inlays are set in 9-10 oz. leather shoulder, dyed black and sealed "Vulpecula" sheath mouth view. Sheath welts are thick and heavy for durability and longevity, all surfaces rounded, smoothed, and sealed "Vulpecula" This specially positioned photo shows the deep granularity pattern D2 is known for, in the darker areas of the blade. This is characteristic of this extremely high carbon die steel due to the chromium carbide content.

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