Leading Edge

So as some of you might know we at the diary have our own media company, Diary Media.

Its not like other media companies, we specialize in all  things rural. Not just country side but everything rural. and we promote it not by some glossy pictures and a bit of promotional blurb, we use the products out clients sell, or make in this case,

Its no good saying this product is absolutely fantastic if it never left the office.

You might of seen Young Rob (Giggles)of late with his own brand of sharp ‘n’ pointy thing, the Ole hedge Creeper Knife, Made by Young Dean Smallwood of ADG Custom Knives.

Well Dean is a very talented Knife maker, and a leather smith, as he makes all the sheaths to go with them sharp ‘n’ pointy things.

 

He along with being a client, he  is a good friend to a lot of people, including the folks in the following article.


Tales from the Cotswold Edge.

Musings of a West Country knife maker.

Stave one

“Wonders of Lewis

Blowing my mind

Five after midnight

And the sun still shines”

 

A few lines from a song by The Waterboys from their wonderful album, “Dream Harder”.

Strange how music joins so many things together like an ethereal glue. People, places, tastes, memories, the good times and the bad.

This song has been playing around in what’s left of my brains for last couple of weeks, ever since an old friend got in touch via Facebook to discuss building him a knife for work. I don’t think we’d spoken for fifteen years and that was at the campsite of a 4-wheel drive show somewhere in the Midlands where our internet Land Rover group had a get together.

There was alcohol.

Lots of alcohol, so I’ll leave the standard of the conversation to your imagination. After 3 days the show ends and about 40 odd folks from our group travel back to their homes, some much further than others.

Normal life reluctantly starts again and in a flash 15 years hurtle by.

 

I was never a great fan of social media in the early days. (And if that statement doesn’t make you feel old, nothing will) I wasn’t interested when Julie posted that she’d just bought lettuce from Sainsburys or when Mike published yet another photo of a petrified cat on a skateboard.

I couldn’t see the point of it.

It was going to be of no use to me. Never again!

Eventually after chatting to a friend I was reluctantly persuaded to get back onto facebook, after a long absence, in order to show the world what I was now making. I’ll be honest, it’s been a great experience so far and I’ve made many new friends, contacts and yes!! Sales.

 

Did you know that my knives are great for cutting a huge slice of humble pie?

 

So, it was facebook that got me back in touch with my old mate Graeme from the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides or Western Isles of Scotland. The conversation soon got around to knives and what he was looking for. Ideas and suggestions went back and forth until eventually a design was agreed on and the build began. It had to be compact with a 4 – 4.5” blade. Strong as it was to be put to work on thick ropes when used on Salmon farm repair contracts. Visible because the light fades quickly so far North and have the family name and clan motto, “Sgorr–a–Bhreac” etched on the blade.

 

This was the result…

Made from 4 mm thick O1 tool steel for extra strength, it has Kirinite scales (Handles), a type of tough yet flexible acrylic in the oddly named “Toxic Orange” together with luminous liners that glow in the dark to make it easy to find in the fading light. A lanyard tube is fitted so a cord can be attached to prevent it falling to the ground (or sinking to the bottom of a loch)

 

I sent Graeme some photos of the build and eventually posted it up to the Islands when it was complete along with a leather sheath and Nordic style belt dangler.

He messages me a few days later and was really pleased with it. So much so he immediately ordered two more for his father and son but, with different coloured scales. Purple and yellow for his father and blue and white for the son. I remember recommending an interestingly patterned green and white but, that suggestion fell foul of certain Scottish football loyalties and was quickly and sternly declined!

Agreeing not to post the photos of them on social media just in case they were seen, these were for Christmas, they were posted and went down a treat on the big day.

This was just as well as I later found out that Graeme had been winding both his father and

Son up concerning his new knife. Pulling it out And polishing the blade whenever they were

nearby.

One morning he looked at his knife and said in an exaggerated tone, “Ahh a lovely day, I wonder

What I’ll cut with my new knife today”? “All ties with the family if you carry on about it”

came his son’s irritated reply. Little did they know that I was working on their

own blades at the time.

 

It was during the build that I realised I didn’t have a name for these blades, Graeme’s had his surname and motto on one side and “ADG Custom Knives” on the other. I thought about it and decided that, as they were his initial design then he should name them.

After giving it some thought he came back to me with, “Muirneag”.

He told me it’s a special place to the people there

and is the highest point in the Northern region

of the Isle of Lewis.

 

Nearly all my knives are named after deer and Antelope so it makes a nice change and it’s an

honor for me to know that these knives now carry a name that really means something to the

people who will use them in the shadow of the Muirneag.

Bye for now,

 

Dean – ADG Custom Knives.