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Fine Embellishment Everything from hand engraving and scrimshaw to filework and carving. The fine art end of the knifemaker's craft.

View Poll Results: Should this knife be engraved ?
Yes, engraving would add to this knife 24 82.76%
NO, engraving would be too much on this knife 5 17.24%
Voters: 29. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-20-2009, 08:59 PM
SVanderkolff's Avatar
SVanderkolff SVanderkolff is offline
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Mildmay, Ontario, Canada
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Should this one be engraved, that is the question

This knife is 7 1/2" long with 440C blade and 416 front and rear bolsters. The inset is mammoth tooth and the pins are gold. The spine of the blade is fileworked in a vine and thorn pattern. The question is, Should it be engraved? I am not sure. Would engraving be too much? Guilding the lilly as it were. Your opinion is most welcome. And for those that think it should be engraved who would you suggest should do it?

Stephen Vanderkolff
Please come on over and check out my website.

Last edited by SVanderkolff; 04-06-2012 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 12-20-2009, 09:36 PM
reefera4m reefera4m is offline
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Posts: 102
Re: Engraving

I could go either way. It's a beautiful knife just the way it is and anyone who owns it could be rightfully proud. On the other had, engraving can add a 'personalized' touch that compliments the beauty. And for me that would be the key - a personalized engraving done for the ultimate owner.
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Old 12-21-2009, 02:46 AM
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McAhron McAhron is offline
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Location: Under the Redwoods in Beautiful La Honda CA
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I think without engraving it looks unbalanced with too much steel,so I would have it engraved.

N'T McAhron Sqwaukin Vulture Verrinder
"to create is to make art"
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Old 12-21-2009, 09:17 AM
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Andrew Garrett Andrew Garrett is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Nampa, Idaho
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As soon as I looked at this one Steve, I saw a knive very reminiscent of a sgian dubh style.

That led me instantly to visions of very elegant and fine celtic knotwork.

Yet, the mammoth is active enough that you don't want to compete with that pattern by filling up the steel bolsters with even more activity.

I would ask my engraver of choice to go with thin and elegant celtic that doesn't cover more than a third of the surface area of the steel on either end of the mammoth.

Regardless of how that artist interprets that request (linear down the middle of each panel or even corner to corner seems right to my eye) you will end up with what I think would be very proper visual balance.

Another option is to request that the background not be relieved and blackened. That would soften the blow to the eye if you wanted more figure without more 'Hey look at me!'.

I hope I wasn't to analytical.

That's a beautiful blade my friend! Good luck.

Andy Garrett
Charter Member - Kansas Custom Knifemaker's Association

"Drawing your knife from its sheath and using it in the presence of others should be an event complete with oos, ahhs, and questions."
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Old 12-23-2009, 03:01 PM
Kirby Bletcher Kirby Bletcher is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Elizabethtown PA
Posts: 465
Some times Steve its best to let it go for a while. May be see what kind of input you get from customers at your next show.

I remember a while ago I had a nice interframe on my table at a show and a customer was trying to decide if he wanted the knife or not. I told him that I had the knife for a while and if it did not sell at this show I would engrave it for the next. I'm not sure whether he didn't like my engraving or what but when I told him that he took out his check book. Engraving is not for everyone and can price a knife right out of a potential buyers price rang. Your customer can always have it done later and no doubt it will look good ether way.

Merry Christmas

Kirby Bletcher
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Old 12-23-2009, 08:03 PM
ron p. nott ron p. nott is offline
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steve .. I would say yes . some nice engraving with gold in the leafs and the spine would make a beautiful knife out of what is already a very nice knife , but this is coming from an engraver and kirby is right , not every body like engraving but that may be what it takes to get some one attention and have a sale for it , I can do it for you . take a look at my web site and see what I have done to other knives .. ron p .

ron p. nott
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Old 12-25-2009, 06:15 PM
russt russt is offline
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Location: Denver
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Very Nice! I don?t think engraving would take from it at all ? just at to its beauty.
In my opinion, I think a full blackened background would look nice.

Russ Zima
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Old 01-05-2010, 11:49 AM
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SVanderkolff SVanderkolff is offline
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Location: Mildmay, Ontario, Canada
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Interesting, the results here are almost all for engraving, 13 to 1. Results form Bladeforums is about even half for half against. Still haven't decided. I think I will take it to a couple of shows and talk to the customers about it.

Stephen Vanderkolff
Please come on over and check out my website.
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Old 01-05-2010, 08:32 PM
fatzombie fatzombie is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Roswell, GA
Posts: 43
I like to use a phrase I heard one time at a custom wood shop. I saw a beautiful piece of wood on the back shelf covered in dust. When I asked the craftsman who is a friend of mine what his plans were for it he just shrugged and said "Im waiting for that one to talk to me". I instantly knew what he was saying. Probably most around here understand that completely. I guess what Im trying to say is there is no need to rush your descision as you will know what to do when its time. Beautiful knife as it is but I can see it with engraving too. If you must make a descision, sell it like it is and let the buyer wait for it to " talk" to him.
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Old 01-31-2010, 12:32 AM
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samuraibill samuraibill is offline
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I agree that the balance is little off. I don't think anything crazy would be need to make it POP. I am digging this knife very nice.

William "Bootstrap" Turner
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:18 AM
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Teknition Teknition is offline
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Location: Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
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This is just my opinion, so take it for what it's worth.
I think it is a good lookin knife (Fit and finish are good) but the visual balance is off (from what has become the standard norm). The bolsters are too large and the mammoth is too small. I dont think any quality or quantity of engraving is going to make the knife appear balanced. I would sell it as is and aim for better balance on the next one. If you decide to get it engraved, I dont think you could go wrong with R.P. Nott.
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Old 11-13-2010, 12:52 AM
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jeffbuzzz jeffbuzzz is offline
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I think it looks great the way it is
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:16 PM
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Reverend Greg Reverend Greg is offline
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Location: Jonesboro Ga
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I think some sort of engraving that echo's the pattern of the scales,It would sort of make the knife an"integral"

Once you have ruined your can live relatively free
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Old 03-31-2011, 04:36 PM
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ARCustomKnives ARCustomKnives is offline
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I'd say it depends on the engraving.

Another option may be to simply mill some lines (or some other simple design) into the liners, just to help balance them out a little more.

All of the being said, it is an amazingly beautiful knife as is, but I think you could add just a little bit more to it and really set it off.

-Andrew Riley

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword.... (Hebrews 4:12)

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