Sunday, 23 March 2014
I have to confess I'm a bit of a car boot sale addict. Laura and I like to start our Saturdays (when the weather is ok) in a field at 7am, rummaging through what most people would think is a load of junk. Car boot sales are a great place to buy old tools and I've found many a bargain in the past. It's mostly the kind of tools that are common place, hammers, saws, planes, hand drills etc, but every now and then I pick up something a bit different. Yesterday it was a Mocotaugan, or as it's more commonly known, a crooked knife. These are a traditional tool of the native North Americans.
They are used palm up and are drawn towards you like a one handed draw knife. From what I understand they are almost always user made. This one is pretty beat up. The blade is heavily pitted on the back and the edge is ragged as you would expect. The handle is made from antler. There is a short bevel bevel on the back of the tip of the blade, which is something I haven't seen on one of these knives before.
I'd love to know the history of it, who made it and why? Was it inspired by the mocotaugan or did the maker just need a tool for a particular task and this was their solution or is it a completely different tool altogether? Whatever it was, my plan is to sharpen it up and use it as traditional crooked knife. Hopefully it will work well, but at 50p it's worth a shot.
If you want to learn more about the mocotaugan there is a fantastic book that you can download for free here. New ones are sold by Jarrod Stonedahl, who also runs courses on how to make them.