Sunday, November 29, 2009


"That's not a knife...this is a knife." - Crocodile Dundee

Today was a Baja Mermaids reunion at the homestead...Stephanie had her friends from the great Baja Mermaids trip of October over for food, drink, and knitting. The house being awash in estrogen, I retired to the Man Cave, the garage. Don't get me wrong, I love these women -- they're amazing -- I just didn't want to rain on their parade.

I made something for Lissa (Chief Mermaid) to hold her collection of opercula, a talisman particularly meaningful to her. Between heats for her little bowl, I torch cut a piece of spring steel, liberated from a dumpster behind a truck stop years ago. I made a little knife blank, and started the heating, pounding, grinding and filing process. I was astounded at the rapidity with which this one came together. Something clicked and the blade was rough-shaped and filed down within an hour.

I had tempered the blade so it was ready for sharpening. I optimistically took a few passes over the edge with a ceramic sharpener. Ten strokes later, it shaved my forearm as neatly as a Bic razor.

There's a certain magic to taking something from a dumpster and making it into something useful. Scientists from the Dark Ages would call it alchemy, the transformation of one element to another. It's all spring steel; now it's just useful, or at least it will be once it has a handle on it.

Now to find a home for it. I need another knife like I need, sharp cutting implement.*

Respectfully submitted,


*I was going to say canoe, but I want to keep my options open, y'know.


Silbs said...

You are a man of many (amazing) talents.

canoelover said...

I'm a dilettante. :-)

Steverino said...

Thank you for the link to opercula. I had no idea they were so fascinating and versatile. Heck, I actually had no idea what they even were!