View Full Version : 2nd Customized William/Henry

Osprey Guy
11-23-2002, 01:35 AM
As previously mentioned, the first customer's boss, the manager of the knife store, was so impressed he asked me to customize his WH as well. His is similar, although a little smaller.

We decided to focus on the handle for now and my customer requested that I use some mosaic abalone scales I had recently picked up at the New York Custom Knife Show. You can see from the 1st photo how plain the original scales were...I came up with the idea to build a "platform" of sorts.

Originally I was going to make it the same perimeter as the scales and make it out of nickel/silver. I started out doing just that...then about 2:00am late one night I had the idea to switch over to brass. I cut out a piece and made it slightly oversize so as to "creep" out from under the abalone. I loved it right away...the yellow of the brass really enhanced the colors of the abalone. I added fiework for interest. (again, like his coworker, he requested my "S" pattern).

It was quite tricky maintaining a balance of space around the scale which was made of three pieces. In addition, to give the glued pieces added strength and so as not to have anything showing in between them and the brass platform, I glued the two pieces of abalone and the MOP onto a matching brass shim (,0003")...just thick enough to hold everything in place, but not visible under the scale.

The customer was "Thrilled!" ...and he's decided to engage me to make a brass, fileworked backspine after the 1st of the year! I'll post the pics when it's done!:D

The completed scale next to the original bocote scale

The view from the top:

Another (slightly oblique) top view:

from the side:

One more (sorry about the pics, I was having lighting problems):

This turned out to be far more work than I expected due to "surprises" I created for myself. It was however really rewarding work, and as the customer (and his assistant) work in a busy knifestore (chain) there's a reasonable chance for me to expect to see more work;)

Thanks for looking...


Yeah Baby!:smokin

PS. I wish I had better photos so you can see the color in the was very intense blues, purples, etc...
This will give a slightly better idea...but still nowhere the intensity:

Colin KC
11-23-2002, 02:21 AM
Dennis, that's a fantastic "customized"
Although the style is not to my taste, your "peekaboo" brass platform is inspiring.

You've turned a "plain Jane" into the full blowed Mansfield;)

11-23-2002, 05:57 AM
It's a winner!! You have a good eye for detail, as well as a great eye for styling. That matters the most!!! I'm impressed, and so is your customer!

Good thinking out of the box. :)


Kelly Carlson
11-23-2002, 08:30 AM
Dennis - a beautiful embellishment of a basic, simple design. You're attention to the details and design really do turn this W/H into a very desireable knife. I suspect you'll have a lot more requests from the other store managers, once they see this example.

Bob Sigmon
11-23-2002, 10:12 AM

You really "Got it goin' on". Great work. That's a lot of holes in that Abalone and they look really clean! Great job. And of course your fileworked platform is striking. I know that it looks even better in person with the colors from the abalone playing off the brass.....SWEET!

Bob Sigmon

ron p. nott
11-24-2002, 07:57 PM
Dennis .... Out standing .. i do like that .. How are you doing on the lock back......

11-28-2002, 03:43 AM
Man, that's pretty nice!


Osprey Guy
11-28-2002, 12:25 PM
Thanks for all the nice comments.

I should have qualified that the 1st and 3rd pics were shot before I went back and significantly sanded down the abalone and MOP. On my way to delivering the knife, I had it in my hand while driving and decided it was too thick. I turned around, went home, and took it down quite a bit more, thinning it more toward the edges while I was at it.

I like the thinner version much more.

Working on the William Henry's is a pleasure...even these less expensive, "entry-level" Japanese models are very nice for factory knives...indicative of why WH is so successful! (The rest of the line comes out of their Santa Cruz, California shop)

Now they just need to subcontract some of their knives to me for embellishment work!:lol


Yeah Baby!:smokin