Arizona Desert Ironwood and Mammoth Tusk Ivory Damascus Sgian Dubh for sale
I am now offering my Mammoth Ivory Sgian Dubhs exclusively through my own website.
I have made the primary outer handle of this Sgian Dubh from some Arizona Desert Ironwood Burl (Olneya Tesota).
The tree is extremely long lived and the wood is no.8 heaviest wood in the world just behind Snakewood. This is the first time i have used this wood and it is number 75 of hardwoods used to date, it works unlike any wood i have ever come across. It carves like a piece of plastic, the hardest plastic that you could ever encounter, i can't stress enough how HARD this wood really is!! The colour is mid to dark browns with black and an intense gold iridescence that has a beautiful sparkle in sunlight. The burr is the tightest i have ever seen with an extremely intricate grain. This is easily the most expensive piece of wood i have ever bought and now i see it finished, it was worth every penny.
I have combined the Desert Ironwood Burl with some Siberian Mammoth Tusk Ivory. I heard about this material a couple of years ago from a knife collector and have been in awe of it ever since. I have researched it extensively and among the top knife makers in the world, it is the most expensive and exclusive material that they use. It was inevitable that i was eventually going to use it in my work. This piece dates between 10000 to 12000 years old and was described by the seller as immaculate. There are obviously many grades of this material and very often, being buried in mud for thousands of years hasn't been kind. I looked at many pieces that looked flaky and delaminating and decided for what i required, only the best would do. Of course you pay for the best, especially with this material but quite frankly, when it arrived i was amazed with the condition. It was rock solid and smelt fresh, like it had come off the animal yesterday, quite amazing really. Colour is white to light cream with a subtle and unique grain. It works very much like Ebony wood, perhaps a touch softer, carves beautifully and finishes super smooth with a light lustre. It makes for a truly striking contrasts with the Desert Ironwood and Blackwood.
For a professional finish i have used African Blackwood as a centre to lock the knife tang and the outer scales together. All the Blackwood i use is FSC 100% and comes from community-managed forests in Tanzania, 100% of the revenue from wood sales goes back to the local people involved. This true Rosewood has a beautiful grain, jet black streaks intertwined with dark iridescent brown. It also has a high natural oil content that makes it very resistant to moisture and is extremely hard and finishes to a high lustre. There is no more perfect wood to be combined with Desert Ironwood.
One of my favourite and most special knives in my range to date. It has been an absolute privilege to work and combine these materials to make this piece.
The blade is made of Damascus steel. Damascus steel was first made over 2000 years ago and has a legendary status, it is referred to as the steel of the Ancients. It is thought to have originated in or near Damascus, Syria. During the Crusades, the Crusaders where in awe of this steel that they witnessed slicing through their own lesser quality swords. The exact process of making Damascus steel was lost around 1750 AD but it became very popular again in the 1970s with various craftsmen claiming to have rediscovered the process. The process involves taking multiple layers of metal and folding them together and bonding them by forge welding. If done correctly the metalsmith will end up with a blade that is both hard and flexible and of course have the swirling Damascus steel pattern that is so sought after. Each blade has its own unique pattern, just like a finger print. I have sourced top quality 15N20 Damascus steel blanks, they have a higher Nickel content for extra hardness and are simply stunning to look at, an absolute must have for any knife collection. The blades will be supplied unsharpened but if required, they can be sharpened and will hold a razor edge. If Damascus steel is ground to sharpen then the pattern will disappear, to people unfamiliar with this metal, quite a distressing thing. After sharpening, application of hydrochloric acid will instantly make the pattern pop again. There is one draw back with Damascus steel, due to the high carbon content it will rust and rust quickly. If the blade gets wet it must be dried quickly and if stored for a period of time, especially in an environment that could get damp, simply rub a little clear oil onto the blade to protect it. I have set it in the handle so that it measures just under 3.5" to comply with current UK knife laws. I have left the blade unsharpened as Sgian Dubhs are mostly ornamental.
To finish and protect the handle I could not use polyurethane varnish as this would turn the Mammoth Ivory yellow. So in this case i first apply a sealer of Shellac and Cellulose Thinners only to the wood centre, this brings out the colour and creates a stable base. Then i apply two types of industrial wax, the same as used on my antler kilt pins. This gives a hard wearing finish and an attractive sheen not dissimilar to a polyurethane finish.
It comes complete with an attractive embossed black leather sheath and a black presentation box. The Sgian Dubh measures:
Overall Length 175mm x Width 27mm x Depth of 12mm
Blade Length 87mm x Width 25mm
As with all of my pieces i have applied my company logo "UBC" with pyrography, in this case on the bottom rear of the handle.
The knife shown in the pictures is the one you will receive.
More pictures available in the gallery. https://www.ullapoolboxcreations.com/gallery/arizona-desert-ironwood-burl-and-siberian-mammoth-tusk-ivory-damascus-sgian-dubh-for-sale
£200 free world wide delivery
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