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An oddity of a knife

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  • An oddity of a knife

  • #2
    Re: An oddity of a knife

    BOTH are very cool, Al! Thanks for sharing.

    "Santas for the Soul" &&Original Carvings by Teri Embrey&&[email protected]


    • #3
      Re: An oddity of a knife

      Al - I think you just won the tool race ... no matter how many I buy there's no way I can top that.


      • #4
        Re: An oddity of a knife

        Whoa, Al! That is really interesting! Are knives of that shape still used? Or has the Ulu superceded it?


        • #5


          • #6
            Re: An oddity of a knife

            Al, I planned to forge a few Ulu's today but I wore out my arm yesterday. Today, these make great veggie choppers and meat slicers. I don't think I will call it by its proper name or people will think it is culturally focused and not want them. :


            • #7
              Re: An oddity of a knife

              If I wanted to 'Flense,' how would I go about it? Does it have to do with dental care?
              I Cut It Six Times And It's Still Too Short!!!


              • #8
                Re: An oddity of a knife

                Nope, that's flossing! Flensing is the removal of tissue and fat from hides, prior to tanning. In whale harvesting, I believe it is the removal of the blubber from between the skin and carcass. This was done with large curved blades on the end of what looked like a hoe or rake handle.

                Unless you are doing any tanning by hand, most of this work is done by machine, now. A good skinning knife still has a scimitar shaped blade though, and these may have derived from this ancient style blade, at least here in the North American region.

                Personally I wouldn't want to flense; it's a MESSY process, but hey, if you'd like, have at it! hehehehe



                • #9
                  Re: An oddity of a knife

                  Al, Is 'flensing' and 'fleshing' the same thing?


                  • #10
                    Re: An oddity of a knife

                    Al, you're doing a great job on the knife and I loved the 'history' lesson, thanks!! Callynne


                    • #11
                      Re: An oddity of a knife

                      Daryl, flensing is a term usually applied to the removal of blubber, tissue, or skin from a whale or seal, a holdover from the whaling industry, and is probably of dutch origin. My reference to this as a flensing knife is based on what my dad told me and further confirmation by that archaelogical team.

                      I would think that it is most likely an assessment of the general shape of the blade, as this looks a lot like a miniature version of the huge flensing knives used in whaling. Some of those knives looked more like a sythe, only sharpened on the outside, rather than the sweep edge, and this is the same configuration on a much smaller scale.

                      As this particular blade is around 2-3000 years old I can't relliably come up with an exact use for it, but it appears as though it would have been useful in skinning animals and fleshing hides, which would correspond to the 'flensing' of whales.

                      The original blade seems to have been ( I hesitate to use the word crudely, but that's what it looks like to me) hammered into shape, as there are remaining surface indentations, similar to those marks left by a ball pien hammer, when working copper. My bet would be that it was pounded into shape using one of the many rounded Lake Superior rocks that litter the shoreline around here. It has a shank that is roughly square in profile, and sweeps in a shallow arc, as if to secure it from twisting in a handle. This particular blade seems to have been sharpened on both the inside curve and the outside, but it is also the victim of a lot of years of corrosion, so the edges may have been deteriorated to a sharp edge due to chemical decomposition.

                      I have never seen or heard of another such blade ever being found, and the survival of this one may have been due to the location it was found. The old blueberry plains were originally part of the huge white pine stands that spread across the Upper Penninsula, and are composed of very fine dry sand, which probably would have helped preserve it.

                      My dad kept copious notes on most everything he did, but most were lost after his untimely death, so my recollection of the background on the blade is strictly verbal, and as it was relayed to me when I was around 8 years old, there may be all sorts of 'discrepencies' in interpretation.

                      I do know that copper artifacts, made in this area by the ealy Native americans have turned up as far away as Florida, Arizona, and actually into Mexico. This type of native copper can be assayed almost to a particular local area where it was mined.

                      Some of the copper pieces can still be found lying on the surface, and large pieces of flote copper turn up regularly in odd places. I found one about 8'x4'x1' a few years back, alonside the main highway, here, probably turned over by a snow plow in the winter. there is an interesting method that was used by the ancient Natives for 'mining' copper and I'll email that to anyone who is interested.

                      Boy, did this get off the carving theme!



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