... kiss my Contemporary Ars (this, too, shall pass)

Knívleysur maður...

Other: blacksmithing (my first attmpt at...):

Click for bigger size.
Utility knife ("clip knife"), after archaeological find
(not polished, filed, or sharpened).
Hand forged iron. 95x25x3mm. 2019.

This knife is modelled after a (locally) well-known utility knife found by Archaeologists. Read on for information about this knife...

In the image above, the knife is seen as "straight from the forge": it has only been worked with a large hammer, no other tools. In order to make it a working knife it needs to be sharpened - in order to make it pretty it may need a little polish.

This is a popular item for replication. At The Danish National Museum (and elsewhere in Denmark) you may also buy replicas of this knife.

In the photo below, my version is shown with two versions from The National Museum:

Click for bigger size.
3 x utility knife replicas (my version rightmost).

Functional design

You will note that there are minor differences in design - in-between the two National Museum knives and between those and mine as well.

One National Museum version has a straight edge blade, the other curved - one has an open handle, the other closed. Both of the National Museum versions have a curved transition between blade and handle, mine is more angular and shorter, my version having the most curved blade of the three.

I am sorry to say this but it seems the otherwise bright people from the National Museum have simply not understood what this really is. It is a clip knife. However, both National Museum versions sport a "clip handle" that simply does not clip.

The main feature of this knife -- the very thing it is designed to do -- is that it easily slips onto a string (or thin rope - and stays put.

For the open handle version, if you try to clip it onto a rope with a diameter less than ~ 6 millimeter the knife will escape, and you will lose it.

For the closed handle version, the "curl" is so close to the blade that if you try clipping the knife onto a string you will risk damaging or cutting the string altogether - that, or your fingers. Also, it will clip thin strings only - it is not possible to clip larger diameter strings or ropes, as when doing this the resulting pressure on the "curl" will make sure the handle remains closed instead of opening it.

My design, OTOH, just works. A 3mm cotton string clips easily and smooth into the handle and stays secure while a 6mm hemp rope does exactly the same, only with a little extra effort. This is due to (1) the 5-6mm distance between blade and curl, and (2) the closed handle. Both are necessary.

As for the "curved transition" mentioned above, the purpose of this design feature is to make sure you do not damage the string when you "clip" and "unclip" the knife - however, in order to work it does require (1) distance between blade and curl, and (2) a closed clip (handle).


This was my very first attempt at blacksmithing (!) I'd like to extend a grateful thank you to John Andreassen of Oubjerggard, Orø and Orø Vikingelaug for help and instructions enabling me to actually create this item from a small iron bar, and to do so safely.

2019.07.30 16:15 in Other

Please comment

9 + 6 = (required)