As many of us can attest, we sometimes make decisions in our formative years which in hindsight we realise were wrong. In my late teens I received a gift voucher for a clothing/sporting goods shop which was going out of business (and is now long gone).
Upon arriving in the store, the shelves and clothing racks were already looking pretty bare. A quick check confirmed that the clothing left was suitable only for the characters in Gulliver’s Travels, ie, for little people or giants.
With dismay I walked to the front counter which looked as barren as my bank account after Christmas, where I saw a shiny, Kershaw folding knife, sporting an attractive looking clip point under the glass counter-top. It featured a 90mm blade, weighed 120 grams and came with a nylon belt-sheath. It was terribly overpriced but was approximately the budget of my gift voucher so I bought it.
Over the next couple of years it saw little use and languished in a cupboard drawer, until I started taking rabbits for the pot. I was then seeking a small folding knife to clean the rabbits. The blade appeared to be of a reasonable quality and kept its edge well, but I found the clip point in my unskilled hands meant I was prone to stabbing myself. So I replaced it with a drop point knife which better suited my needs. It once again languished in a cupboard drawer.
Fast forward to many years later and I was using a Stockman knife which lived in a fixed, horizontal leather pouch on my everyday-wear Stockman belt to clean rabbits shot on my property. This knife also featured a clip point and once again I found that it was quite good at sticking holes in me (some people never learn), and I was reminded of my old Kershaw.
As a tradie I’ve acquired a reasonable collection of tools and perhaps some know-how along the way (rabbit cleaning skills notwithstanding), and I came up with an idea to ‘FF’ the knife, (‘Fix it’ or ‘Flick it’) once and for all. I set about marking the blade with a sharpie where I thought I wanted the clip point to be and began the process of reshaping it on my bench grinder.
As long as I repeatedly dipped the blade in water to stop it from overheating, it was actually quite a simple process. The accompanying photos show that the change was subtle but has resulted in less band-aids being required through its use. I then set about doing the same thing to my Stockman knife, which was also a success.
Now I’m not entering into the debate regarding the pros and cons of the various knife configurations and I’m sure there are a group of cutlers out there who would consider what I have done to be disrespectful to the makers of these knives. But for me I was able to put two knives which previously saw nothing but the inside of a drawer into regular, useful service.
I guess that’s one of the fortunate things about accumulating a few years under your belt; you can recognise some of the errors made in your youth, but if you’re lucky, you can accumulate enough smarts to remedy them.