A Home Grown Sgian Dubh

by Colin Lagerveld
(Liverpool, England)

A Home Grown Sgian Dubh

A Home Grown Sgian Dubh

I thought I was finally "kitted out" when I purchased my day jacket and waistcoat, but soon realized that my silver, amethyst topped Sgian Dubh would not be appropriate for the occasion.


My search on "the net" produced a good choice of bone/stag horned variations, indeed so many that choosing became a problem of its own.

It was during a tree trimming session in my back garden, that a fiendish plan took form.

I noticed the familiarity in the shape that exists between the joint of severed branches, and that of a horn from the head of a deer, (see photograph).

I decided to try my hand at wood carving.

The end result would not have to be perfectly symmetrical, as this is highly unlikely in the case of stag horns.

After finding a suitable branch of Oak, I set to.

Fortunately, I am aware that the best time to carve some woods is while still green, the dryer it is, the harder they become to work.

My tools were simple, as the object of the exercise was to make the process as cheap as possible.

A small vice found in my shed, a pruning saw, a large course wood file, the various tools hidden in my Swiss Army penknife and some good old fashioned sand paper, did the trick (to my satisfaction anyway).

To give the illusion of stag horn, I applied acrylic paint, from my artist paint-box.

I painted the whole handle black and then dry brushed over it in various earth colours, a technique I used in my model soldier painting days. Small copper rivets were used for decoration.

One of a pair of silver Regimental lapel badges, was called into service for the top. A scrap piece of black leather for the sheath, completed the task.

The chance of it being recognized as something home made, is unlikely as a mere inch of the handle is seen when worn.

As for the blade..... any full blooded haggis would have little to fear from it.

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Another Fine Article from Colin
by: David

Colin you never cease to amaze me, and you have done it yet again.

I really enjoyed your article, and photo of the finished Sgian Dubh.

Your step by step description of how you hand made it, was fascinating, and I'm sure your fellow readers will enjoy it as much as I did.

Thank you again, for your valued contributions to my web site.

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