Our new shop

via Our new shop

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Our new shop

Our move from Palmer, Alaska to North Wilkesboro, North Carolina has been a long process in finally getting somewhat settled in. Our knife shop has been closed for over a year and a half. We are now in our double wide and the shop was put up last Friday. I am setting up work tables and starting to get our tool mounted and organized. I am thankful for this and all of God’s blessings this holiday season.

Dressing for cold weather

When cold weather hits we of coarse have to add more clothing to hold in our body heat. Our body is what is warm and we have to keep that warmth in. I won’t go into great detail about heat loss, but there are several factors such as wind and moisture. Living in the Matsu Valley in Alaska for 15 years I had the opportunity to try different layering methods. I start with a base layer of polypropylene or mix of polypropylene / wool for my body. I wear merino wool socks with insulated boots. For the next layer I wear pants according to what I am doing and a fleece or wool shirt. I wear a down or fleece vest often to keep the core of the body warm. I then wear the appropriate jacket or coat. I do not wear cotton as it holds moisture against the skin and water is our enemy in cold weather. The outer layer depends on wind, rain, and temperature. A simple wind breaker over other layers makes all of the difference in the wind. Make sure when you layer that you do not constrict your blood flow, especially footwear with layering socks. If your foot feels cramped up in your shoes your socks and footwear is too tight. I learned this from experience. Experiment with loose fitting layers and add the right shell for the weather, whether cold, wind or rain. Also staying dry is staying warm. Our bodies loose heat 25 times faster when wet. Stay dry and warm and use layers instead of a t shirt and big coat.DSCN8271

Knife Handles

Knife handles are over looked a lot of times but are a very important part of the knife. The handle dictates how comfortable and user friendly the knife is. You can think of the handle as the steering wheel or handle bars of a blade. There should be a guard , either built into the design or added to keep the hand from slipping onto the blade. The handle should also be comfortable in the hand. A curved handle fits the hand naturally better than a straight one, but either will work. Sometimes this is simply a user preference thing. I design my handles for comfort and function. Imagine a full tang knife with no scales on it. It has been done but they are usually neck knives that are made for your own paracord wrap or customization. As someone who watches Forged in Fire, I have seen several contestants who lost simply from handle design and construction.  On your next knife purchase consider handle design as well as blade style.