Written by Maria Zarah

Steve Bliss – Signature – BT-247

We make a knife we call the BT-247. It’s a great skinner that was inspired by a client who works at Buffalo Trace Distillery. It is one of our best sellers as it is a great EDC that works well on so many fronts. Well the other day I was looking at that knife design and starting wondering if I could improve on if and make a compact gut hook model.  So I began to get dirty.
In good conscious I must disclose my personal views on gut hooks.  I don’t care for them.  I grew up gutting using a blade between my fingers and I always will.  That’s not to say that the hook doesn’t work, it does  but it needs to maintained well and to do that takes a patient sort of fellow who bought a gut hook sharpener like this here.   Moving on…

I started with our BT-247 template and laid out  the hook placement then drilled and formed the blade accordingly. Once I had the form and grind in place I acid etched the Damascus. I’m a fan of the firestorm pattern so that is what I used.  Once I etched it I saw a couple spots I wasn’t happy with so I remanded the blade. While sanding I had an idea. I have been playing with a way to infuse copper into the high nickel content areas of the blade and thought I’d give it a go on this one.  Seems to have turned out well.  I buffed the steel pretty hard to check the depth of penetration and I think I’m onto something interesting.  Traditional Damascus is cool and draws a lot of attention to a nice knife but this is a “double take” sort of attention.  I’ll be interested in your feedback.

For the handle I wanted something unique.  I have a personal bag of rare woods I have been toting around from country to country so I dumped out my stash on the shop table and see what might work.  There was this one piece that I found somewhere that escapes my mind.  It s so old it sounds like a piece of steel when you tap on it.  Almost petrified. I think it was from Africa and is some form of black ebony. Anyway, I cut and worked it into submission to the form of the knife.

To pin this thing I decided to use 5/32″ diameter brass.  I like the subtle approach personally and I tend toward the classic style in my work.

This one of a kind exotic knife is listed for sale here. Feel free to contact me if you want something custom as I enjoy designing for the needs of our clients.

I’ll place some images below of the process and knife for your viewing pleasure.  I hope you like the outcome.