Making your own utility knife in brass using common shop tools

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/02/14/making-your-own-utility-knife.html

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if it’s not retractable it might be nice to also make a belt holster or sheath for it. (starts adding leather crafting items to cart)

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Picked this up at a rummage sale. Never seen one before, but it would be an interesting project to reproduce.
VintageBoxKnifeWeb

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Re: gifting knives
We have this superstition in our family that gifting knives1) is bad luck, so every time a knife changes hands, a symbolic amount is “paid” for it.
Anybody else ever heard about this superstition? Because I can’t rule out that one of my great-grandfathers simply made it up.

1) As in “proper knives”, including kitchen knives, but excluding cutlery and such.

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Yup. Basically a penny in exchange, or it’ll sever your luck or your relationship (depending on who’s telling it). And any kind of wallet or purse is the reverse – it should always come with some sort of money inside, or it’ll always be empty.

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As a hobbyist knifemaker I run into this a lot. It’s a tradition that one exchange a coin for anything with a blade (knife, scissors, etc…) if it’s basically given as a gift. I’ve only applied it to friends, but recently gave my cousin some kitchen knives, and (unsolicited) received an envelope with a quarter for each knife taped onto a card.

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@MalevolentPixy, @Bobo
Looks like great-granddad is in the clear…
This is also more widespread than I thought by far.

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Yeah, my cousin thought it was a Japanese tradition, but I’ve always heard it in a European context up to that point. That being said, we’re 4th generation, so I’m sure the waters are muddied a bit about what traditions came from where.

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I come from a long line of butchers on my mother’s side, I used to speculate that people spending a lot of their time around sharp knives might have something to do with it.

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I’ve heard this in the context of many European cultures, including English, Welsh, and French.

I read somewhere, and I have no idea if it’s true, that in Japanese culture it’s an insult to give a knife at all, payment or not.

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It is a quite common tradition here in France and we say it is that then the knife cannot “cut” the friendship/love between the two people.
A symbolic Franc used to be given in exchange. Now, even big manufacturers of fancy knives (like from Laguiole, France) have incorporated that superstition in their marketing strategies.

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Neat but…I don’t want a utility knife that will make me sad when I can’t find it. I think that they’re like scissors, just keep buying them until there are enough that you can always find one.

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I’d feel bad when driving the knife in a heavy cut with a hammer. Pretty though.