Traditional Slovak shepherds Opinel :)

For almost twenty years there has been a broken blade collecting dust. This high carbon steel blade came from an Opinel pocket knife. It was high time to do something about it.
The blade was grided little bit and rammed into a wooden block.


After shaping the handle I realised I could try decorating the handle with tin. I sketched a simple pattern and cut it 2 - 3 mm into the wood.

Knife with carved handle

In order to cast the tin, I wrapped the handle with paper and secured with rope.

Tin cast

After puring and cooling first hints of decoration appear. Apparently I did not pay enough attention while preparing the paper mould and thus the tin extended well above the surface of the handle.

Tin cast

Excess tin was ground and the pattern surfaced. The result is rather uneven. It seems I was not careful about cleaning the carving.

Decorated knife

Although I am not too thrilled with the result, the result is satisfactory given that it is my firt experiment with the traditional tin casting technique. The knife has usable dimensions (blade is 65mm long and overall length is 160 mm) and has excellent high carbon blade.

My Opinel