Self build survival knife
by James C West
(Chatham County North carolina)
I recently picked up one of those survival knives (at a local swap meet for cheap) that you see in magazines with the compass on the end of the handle and a twist of top where you can fill the handle with things one might need. The problem with these knives are they do not hold up well if you are going to baton with them. After looking the knife over, I thought of a better way of having a survival knife that would stand up to the pounding one gives such a knife in the wilderness.
I had an old hickory butcher’s knife laying around so I took off the wood scales (grips) and cut out an elongated hole in the tang. Next I took some antler and cut that in half and with a dermel router I hollowed out another elongated hole in both pieces of the antler. I matched up the holes in the tang with the antler grips/scales, marked them and drilled them. I picked up some screws with gourmets at the hardware store to secure the pieces back to the knife.
Now what I had was a good knife that would hold up to modest batoning and in side the grips I had an area to place survival gear (fishing line, small hooks, button compass, bank line and a flint rod).
Give it a try!