Simply Impressed

If Gavin Rondeau of Three Acorns Crafts ever decides to leave helping humanity behind and selfishly pursue woodworking and tool making full time watch out world.

I met him a few summers ago at a Mike Siemsen Baby Anarchist Tool Chest class I helped out with. We traded some healthcare warrior stories and I was struck by his spirit, enthusiasm and energy. When we spoke about spoon carving he showed me the knives he had made himself I was impressed. Smithing is one of the skills I lust after so I know just enough to realize how tricky blade-smithing can be.

A little less than a year ago I saw on Gavin's Instagram feed a trio of knives he finished for a friend. They were a riff on a a sailor's rigging knife, a style that has always reminded me of my beloved Viking Seax, I emailed him and asked if he wanted to make another, how much?

He wasn't asking enough and I couldn't sleep well if I took advantage of that.

Instead I offered a Maker-Trade and he seemed to accept the terms. I built a carved document box and sent it his way, He forged me a knife and sent it my way along with a couple spoons. (Gavin carves some very nice spoons!)

I was excited when the package arrived, but when I opened the box and unwrapped the mountain of bubble wrap I was amazed. One of my daughters diplomatically pointed out "Dad, you've said 'Wow' like a hundred times already. . . "

Not just one knife but two! I guess he really liked the box. 

The unexpected carving / utility knife is elegant and perfect. There's some techniques to the horn part of handle I don't even understand (yet). The handle is faceted but comfortable. I sound like I'm trying to sell you on it but I'm not. You can't have it. It's mine!

The best part of this is over the years my Morakniv 120 has become a shop staple. I use it all the time. However I like to keep my bag of spoon carving stuff portable and ready to take from the shop to the back porch, or camping, or wherever. That means I am perpetually looking for that damn knife. Gavin's extra gift has fixed that problem. Now I have a dedicated pointed knife for the shop, It can live in the tool chest and I will use it until I sharpen the blade to a stub. 

But the rigging knife.

Oh man I do not have the words.

I asked for it with a shop knife in mind, When it arrived a while ago I strapped it on my belt and I haven't taken it off. When I hang up my pants to go to bed at night, the knife is hanging there too. I wasn't looking for a new EDC, I already carry my beloved Kersaw folder everywhere, but I can't seem to help myself. It just feels right hanging at my side. 

The thick wedge cross section makes it look and feel tough but the balance is as elegant as the detailing he put in to where your fingers fall in use. 

Moulded leather sheath. damn I sound like HSN again but still, you can't have it.

Still what I know about knives and knife making is the tempering is the trick. The blades vary in thickness along the length and it's easy to leave the tip soft and flexible or make the blade too hard and brittle. I think Gavin has this shit figured out, both knives seem perfect to me. They sharpen easily, (I've only really had to hone them so far) and hold a sharp edge even when asking a lot of them, (I pushed them a bit)

My wife sometimes comments that I'm difficult to impress, I can't really argue with her, but Gavin had no trouble here. My hat is off to you sir. I didn't even get the chance to write about the spoons you sent, which are satisfying objects all by themselves. 

Thank you Sir,

Incredible work, again simply impressed. 

Ratione et Passionis


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