Saturday, March 05, 2011

Mora Neck Knife

For a few years in the early part of this century I was a Boy Scouts scoutmaster. It was a lot of fun and I think I was able to pass on some useful stuff to boys in my troop. One thing I instituted early on in my tenure was an addition to the weekly uniform inspection. In addition to checking for proper wear of the uniform at weekly meetings and prior to campouts, we would do a “Fire and Steel check”. When a Scout leader said “Fire and Steel!” the Scouts would have to hold up their knife and a means of starting a fire.

As an aside, I laugh (if I didn’t I’d likely weep) at folks on the Internet who say things like, “Boy Scouts cannot carry a sheath knife” or “Boy Scouts cannot wear camouflage”. My Scouts did both – and yes, at District events also.

Anyway, back to the post: I have always liked Mora knives. They are inexpensive and work well within their intended parameters. I do dislike the sheaths, however. They are cheaply made and look ugly. So, I decided to make one of my Moras “cool” from a scouting perspective.

Basically, I modified the sheath and hung cool do-dads on it. First I cut off the belt loop and then affixed a long leather thong to the sheath by wrapping it first with dental floss and then covering the whole with epoxied on leather. I left enough extra to cut fringes. You will notice the necklace is adjustable for length – sometimes I wore it over just my Boy Scouts shirt, sometimes I wore it over (and outside of) my parka.

A good friend gave me the little leather pouch which holds blood tubes stuffed with PJBs (petroleum jelly coated cotton balls) and a piece of wax impregnated cardboard. Both are excellent for starting fires. I also have a small Boy Scouts ferrocerium rod “sparker” and a striker fashioned from a bit of hacksaw blade (it works well at sparking and I could possibly use it as a small saw also). You will notice the handle of the knife is covered in part by a piece of bicycle inner tube. You can read Viking Pocket Fire to see how to use it. Yes, I modified the knife handle a bit – just sanded the paint off, then carved it a bit, sanded some more and stained it – all to “make it mine”.

My Mora is made from carbon steel and has a full, though skinny, tang. I sharpened the upper “false edge” and blued it with some liquid cold blue. I keep it oiled with vegetable oil so I am not afraid to slice and eat an apple or something. This knife can get wicked sharp – another long story entails me slicing my thumb to the bone –yes, to the bone (my bad). But it does need to be touched up a bit while in the field so I also attached a DMT flat diamond hone. If you click on the photo it will enlarge - you may notice that the top/back of the knife is nicked. I have started a few fires with flint (real flint - the rocks, not ferrocerium)with this blade as well.

Because I don’t want to open cans with my Mora, I also attached a P38 can opener. That completes it. Sure, I could have added other stuff. A whistle comes to mind but I really wasn’t trying to create a “survival necklace” I just wanted to have some useful stuff handy when I needed it. And that’s the key to my little contraption – I actually used the stuff on my neck knife ensemble. I doubt I would have used a whistle.

And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife, take thee a barber's razor, and cause it to pass upon thine head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hair. – Ezekiel 5:1

If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.
If they really interest me, I may even post them.
You can reach me at Joe

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Prepared Americans for a Strong America


At 5/3/11 13:37, Blogger PJ said...

I LOVE me some Swedish steel!! You can't go wrong with a good Mora knife.

The bit about the Boys Scouts reminds me of another blog.

Laugh to keep from crying about sms it up.

At 5/3/11 15:31, Blogger Gorges Smythe said...

The Mora is a great little knife to begin with. Personalizing it makes it even better.

At 6/3/11 16:06, Blogger Mattexian said...

I tend to use pocketknives for my sharp-n-pointy, and like an Opinel as a plain carbon steel blade. It takes as good a fine edge as a Mora, and I carry a ceramic rod of the same size for touch-ups. (Plus, when I was in Scouts, after a particularly wet campout where it was discovered that several of the guys didn't have a good knife on them, one of our advisors gave them each an Opinel. I missed that campout, so I didn't get one, instead coveting them until I got my own 5 years ago.) I like the BSA HotSpark too, especially after finding out how to *properly* use one (was introduced to them while in Scouts, but didn't find an effective method until several years ago online). I haven't found much use for a whistle either, tho one would be an emergency item only, not an everyday use thing, like when I've got a mini-LED.


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