Awhile ago, when my father got sick and ended up in the hospital, I commissioned Spike to make me a knife that I could give my father as a thank you for all that he has done for me over the years. He made me, the man I am today and I hope that I have lived up to his example of honor and loyalty. My father was a 5 tour Vietnam Naval combat corpsman attached to the Marine corps, He has received 12 Purple hearts and 42 combat air medals for flying Medi-evacs, he was shot down 5 times and captured and escaped 3 times, He was the last Naval medical personnel in Vietnam when the war ended. He re-enlisted and went back to Vietnam so that he could bring my mother and sister back to the states with him. They were on the second to the last plane out during the evacuation. The last Americans in country were the Marines and embassy personnel. The man is considered a true hero by many Marines and quite a few Vietnamese on both sides. I have been fortunate enough to have met several of the men whose lives he saved during the war. Yet, he never speaks of it and asked about his medals, he gets angry and says he only got them because he survived and others died. They are the heroes, he was only doing the best he could.Well, my father is a true hero to me, despite the tall tales and bravado that fathers have for their sons, The out and out lies and the pranks. The discipline and embarrassment, the toughness that is pounded into you, despite all of that he made you the man you are and I wanted to say thank you.
That is the background set for the making of this knife. I asked Spike to make me something that looked like it was made a hundred or even a thousand years ago, something with a sense of age to it, I sent him a couple of hippo teeth because I thought they would help with the theme and they had a good feel to the hand, I told him I wanted to keep the tip raw and he could do whatever he wanted with the body of the handle. I gave him a photo of a Teruyasu Fujiwara Gyuto and told him I wanted something similar, but with a Spike twist. I was not disappointed with what he came up with. I call her "Fang"
I will let Spike give you all the specs on the knife.
I received it about a week ago and have been using it ever since. When I opened the box I was struck by the beautifully rustic saya that accompanied it, I wasn't expecting that. It had a perfect friction fit and no pin, I will let Spike tell you what wood was used, as for the life of me I can't identify it. The handle was a thing of beauty, it really did look like it had been around for hundreds of years especially with the hand done scrimshaw. The dragon and the spiral pattern come from a very old family piece a sigil , so to speak. It fits perfectly in the hand and has a warm feeling that only ivory can get. The copper/bronze bolster was lightly sanded with emery, so it had a satiny rustic look to it, like some sailor might have done. The blade was battleship grey from the mustard patina? An appropriate melding of form function and materials. The fit and finish is immaculate as any jeweler worth his salt would do, You see Spike approached this as a jeweler not a knifemaker you can tell in the aesthetic it is different somehow. If I didn't know what Spike was, I would still know that this knife was made by a jeweler. It is elegantly beautiful with the rustic qualities of a working mans knife.
I have used it all week in my kitchen for just about everything. Proteins to desserts to vegetables. I have to say that right out of the box I shaved all the hair off of my cooks arm and he was scared. This thing slid through everything and nothing stuck to the blade and if it did the next sliced pushed it off with no resistance. I cut potatoes, garlic,mushrooms,carrots, butternut squash, chickens, steak, fish, squid and proceeded to peel tomatoes with it and it was a dream. The edge is sharp wickedly so, but not polished, it is toothy the way i like it. It lets you know you are cutting something and it feels magnificent in the hand. That big tooth of a handle is surprisingly ergonomic and quite comfortable after cutting for 6 hours straight. I think my father will love it with his arthritic hands. The edge retention is good, I have used it for six days straight and haven't put it on the stones yet. I would say we are about 85% as sharp as we were. If I put it on the ceramic hone I hit 95%. I have always loved Spikes 01 steel, his HT is always dead on and his blades are the least reactive 01 I have used , after almost a week I barely have anymore patina then it came with. Spikes patinas are always so uniform and clean it is amazing to see in person.
All in all, I have to say this is one of the most comfortable and aesthetically pleasing knives I have had the pleasure to use. It is one of the best cutters I have ever used and I am jealous that I am giving it to my dad. If I ever get the funds again I am going to commission another one for me. I now have had the pleasure of using two of Spikes works and Both of them excel at what they do, he is a true craftsman.he cares and it shows. I highly recommend That if you are looking for something highly unique that nobody else has, you should without a doubt see Spike and have him make you something special. Thank you, oh so very much my friend,
"Honor above all else, except loyalty"