Robbie and Krista have been working hard making a series of medieval knives with wood-burned handles to use in our medieval kitchen.
Since many ancient knife shapes have not changed over the centuries, they start the medieval knife-making process by scouring dump shops, antique shops and op shops for blades, then set to work making them as authentic as possible.
Robbie begins by removing any modern hardware such as plastic handles or screws, getting back to the naked blade and tang.
Using a buffer, he removes any markings from the blade such as stamps or brand names.
He then uses a grinder to make any necessary alterations to the shape to make them fit known medieval knife examples.
While some knives, such as the bread knife below, may not be period, they are still helpful when cooking during non-public times in camp. When we have our medieval display open to the public, any non-period knives are hidden away, with only their medieval handles open for viewing.
Once the blades are up to snuff, Robbie chooses wood or leather for the handle, cutting it to shape and sanding as necessary to make it fit the blade perfectly.
Then he draws medieval-style designs on the handles, drawing on historical resources to get the images just right. The designs are chosen to reflect the purpose of the knife.
Once the images are etched into place, Krista heats up her wood-burner and carefully burns each image onto the handle.
After the design cools, they give each knife handle a coating of protective varnish and give the blades a final polish.
Next they will design and make sheaths or a roll-up carrier to transport the knives in a manner that protects the blades from damage.
If you’d like more detailed information on how to make a medieval knife, leave a comment here or email us at blackwolfcaravan at gmail dot com
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