Last time I read The Name of the Wind, I realized I wanted to make a knife like Denna’s.
It’s described in Chapter Seventy-Three, “Pegs”:
“She reached deep into her pocket and brought out a long, slender piece of metal, glittering all along one edge…. Her knife wasn’t much larger than mine, but her’s wasn’t a folding knife. It was a straight piece of metal, with thin leather wrapping the grip. It clearly wasn’t designed for eating or performing odd jobs around the campfire. It looked more like one of those razor-sharp surgical knives from the Medica.” (p. 528 in the Trade Paperback).
I decided to try making one. After about 5 sketches, I cut a blank out of steel and ground it to shape. After a dozen iterations or so, we agreed it matched the description from the book as well as we could envision.
Heat treatment of this particular steel (S35VN) requires baking it at 1990 degrees F for 30-40 minutes, then, once removed from the oven, cooling to below 150 degrees in less than a minute. Once cooled, the knife steel is brittle (like glass) and must be tempered by re-heating. This particular knife was tempered to about 1050 degrees 2 times. After tempering, the final grind is put on the knife, and then it is rough sharpened.
Wrapping the handle was interesting: Pat wrote “with thin leather wrapping the grip.” What kind of leather? What color? Was it spiral wrapped or some kind of design?
We decided strips of grey pigskin looked cool in a crisscross pattern.
We also decided we really didn’t want anyone trying to carry this knife concealed (illegal in most states), so it is not fully sharpened and there is no sheath for it.
It wasn’t until the next day, looking at it again, that I realized it would make a great letter opener.
So this is a protype and has some warts, but we thought it might be fun for someone to use as a letter opener, or perhaps display, so we are including it with our other Worldbuilder donations.
Image provided by Worldbuilders.