Northwest Bush Blade

Northwest Bush Blade

Saturday, April 2, 2011

High Cascade Bush Knife

© Jeff Crowner 2009

This is a blade I developed to be workhorse for the wilderness survival community. Made of Bucorp K110 (D2) steel, it features a simple-yet effective-geometry intended to expedite camp tasks such as whittling, skinning, foraging and the like. Compared to generic bushcraft knives like the Mora line, this is a robust tool built to last a lifetime. I personally carry this one when i go into the mountains here in Oregon for extended periods of time.  The blade is well balanced, is available with a variety of grip options and makes a good companion to the Little Bear survival blade-between the two, there's not much you can't get done.  I and others have extensively tested this and the Little Bear with awesome results.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Beaver Creek Cutter (Designed by Gayle Bradley)

© Jeff Crowner2010
This particular blade was designed by one of the greatest competition cutters,  Blade Sports' Gayle Bradley.  Gayle is a friend of mine and gave me permission to make this blade.  I made this one out of a convex grind D2 blade and Terotuf handle scales.  Obviously designed to be a chopper, I have carried this one as a pack knife up in the Cascade Mountains and employed it in shelter construction. It has a million other applications as a real working tool and can be configured however you prefer in terms of grip material, sheath and other optional add-ons. Thanks Gayle for your generosity to the knife making community.  You are one of the best!

Rupa Rupa Jungle Blade

© Jeff Crowner 2009
The Rupa Rupa Jungle Blade is a design I came up with a few years ago specifically for jungle applications in the Amazon basin.  There are few of these being used in the Amazon right now as I write this post.  This particular one was made for a serious wilderness survival instructor for serious use.  The blade is a CPM 3V steel with TeroTuf handles made by CIP composites in Eugene Oregon.  I've made many other Rupa Rupas in a variety of other steels, but this here is a race horse of a knife with the CPM 3V. Conceived and constructed solely for survival personnel where their tools mean the difference between life and death.  One can make many shelters, perform basic defensive techniques and process a lot of game with this blade and never worry about chip out and breakage.  All the Rupas have a convex grind down to the edge and are Cryo treated with my heat treats.

Baby Bear Survival Neck Knife

© Jeff Crowner 2010

This Baby Bear is made with Bucorp N690 stainless steel blade and comes with a kydex sheath.  I developed this blade with Joel Lisson of REACT Wilderness Survival and training systems for real world users not weekend warriors. What I mean by that is that most 'neck knives' are really just jewelry--no thought has gone into how they might actually be used. And that's fine if that's what you need. 

This blade has been tested in the field by several top survival instructors. It's been used in processing elk and deer, constructing traps and making friction fire as well as various other tasks in austere environments.  The simplicity is is in the ergo blade.  Many other neck knives do not feel right in the hand or just can't  measure up to real use in the field.  

The slight drop point tip aides in working angles on wood or game and the subtle re-curve extends the  whittling ability, thereby reducing energy expenditure. The holes add grip ability with the blade in addition to reducing weight around the neck. Having no scales one can boil it in the field for sanitation purposes related to food procurement or field medicine. Finally, the notch in the base of the grip works as a great striker for your ferro rod fire starting. 

This is what Joel, myself and other serious wilderness survival guys and gals, operators, LEO, hunters and SOF carry around their neck.  I will have one on the table at the upcoming Eugene knife show.  I cannot keep up with orders on this particular design.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Bucorp D2 fighter

© Jeff Crowner 2011

This blade is made off of one of Wayne Goddard's fighter patterns.  I have used a training version in my Kali classes with great success.  This blade is wonderful and light in the hand making it very quick.  The handle is deceptively comfortable in both grips.  I made this one out of Bucorp K110 (D2) steel.  The handles are red G10 from Alpha Knife Supply.  I am currently making some with OD Green G10.  Thanks once again Wayne for influencing me with the blade craft.  Wayne is pure genius.  Wayne Goddard has done more for the knife world than most anyone else.  We as knife makers owe him many thanks for the research and development done within this realm.  Thank you Wayne and Phyllis Goddard for being so giving to others.

© Jeff Crowner 2011
This blade is a Bucorp N-690 stainless steel fighter.  I have included filework on some OD Green G-10 handle slabs.  Everything is handmade and heat treated by myself.  I will have this one featured on my table N-12 at the OKCA knife show second weekend of April 2011.  Please stop by and take a look and pick it up.....

© Jeff Crowner 2011
This piece is a Bucorp K-110 (D2) fighter with G-10 scales.  This one has a very fast light feel due to the tapered tang on it.  I will get a pic later of the tapered tang.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Khukri "My take on it"

I pondered awhile on what would make a good Khukri for bushcraft and self defense.  I came up with this design first in a polycarbonate trainer blade which I used in my local Kali class for three months. The trainer felt comfortable in my hand and performed well so I made a few small refinements leading to what is the current profile of the real fixed blade. 

This thing really bites into wood very well.  For that matter the blade bites into just about anything you can throw at it.  It is very well balanced not wanting to twist in your hand when chopping. Of course it is differentially heat treated with a triple temper.  The finish is a mustard type and the handle is grey Terotuf with a red spacer.  I will offer these in L-6, 5160, Elmax, K110 or CPM 3V.   The handle material will be optional with Terotuf or G-10. 

Hope you enjoy!  Jeff Crowner

Friday, January 21, 2011

Modified Rupa Rupa jungle blade

© Jeff Crowner 2010 
Today I went out and tested a new blade I made for Wilderness survival shelter making.  I Thought about how well the Rupa blade performs for how small it is.  I then put a more jungle handle on it for more options with its use.   I took the Indonesian influence for handles and simply grafted it on the Rupa blade and presto!  Me and a couple of amigos used it today and were really impressed with the performance.  We used it for cutting of doug fir for shelter frame work all day.  The edge held up superb and is still razor sharp thick with pitch.   What is really cool is the balance of the thing.  When you choke up on the handle towards the blade, it is so balanced from the handle weight to blade ratio, small task can be done easily with a large blade like this.  I found that with the handle set up,  you just move the hand back to the rear and wow!  Chopping power is like a much larger blade.  I put horse matte on it to grip when wet up here in the NW.  The handle material also takes a little out the shock to the wrist when power cutting.  I found that the slight S-curve really gives it a nasty sweet spot for the power chop.  The S-curve also serves well when using the tool as a draw knife stripping bark.  I am really satisfied with the prototype.  I highly recommend this blade for serious Wilderness Survival people....The blade is a differentially heat treated saw blade with a cryo dip.  The handle is horse matte rubber....Jeff Crowner

Review of the Northwest Bush Blade

The first thing that you should know about me is that I am a bonafide knife snob!  Over the past twenty five plus years of teaching and working in the wilderness, I have tested, been frustrated, and disappointed by knives that did not live up to their billing.  One blade might have great steel but the geometry is all wrong, causing you to expend too much energy to complete a simple task.  Another blade might have great geometry, but could not hold an edge, thus creating a whole other list of problems and dangers.  The testament to this is the several cardboard boxes full of knives that set in my garage as failures.

I met Jeff Crowner a while back in a local knife store in Bend Oregon.  He was showing the proprietor his wares for sale.  The proprietor had called me in to give my opinion on Jeff’s blades.  Upon hefting the Northwest Bush Blade, I was pleasantly surprised at the weight, feel, and balance of the blade.  The blade geometry was such that I recognize the potential of this blade as a serious wilderness knife.  I asked Jeff to tell me about his construction methods.  Jeff spent the next half hour explaining his steel selection, deferentially heat treating, blade grinding for proper edge geometry, handle selection, and mustard patina finishing.  All through our conversation, his passion the blades and his humility shone without.  When I asked him where he learned all of this, he explained how he studied with Wayne Goddard (If you do not know who that is, you do not know knives). At this point, I thought to myself, this might be the real deal.  I purchased a blade from Jeff, and explained that he would hear back from me in a few months. 

I took the blade to work with me.  The blade was used to construct multiple tools (bow drill set, digging tools, walking sticks, shelters etc).  In each successive class of students, I simply handed them the blade, and put them to work.  I then exchanged the blade with a hatchet, and let them complete the task.  On the following days of each class, I allowed the students to pick which cutting tool that they would prefer.  Unless pounding was involved, the Northwest Bush Blade was the most chosen implement.

Finally, at the conclusion of my summer teaching season, the blade has been used 28 days of constant use in the field, and I have yet to sharpen it.  As of yesterday, it will sever a two by four in eight to ten swings.  This blade has been used for everything from peeling bark off of lodge pole pine, to slicing jerky for the drying rack.  It has always worked, is still sharp, and is still in one piece.  I can give no higher praise to any blade than that.
If you are looking for a well designed sturdy work tool, the Northwest bush blade made by Jeff Crowner would be my first choice and recommendation. 

© Jeff Crowner2009

Joel E. Lisson  (Lead Wilderness Instructor of Oregon Firearms Academy, and Co-Owner of REACT  Training Systems).

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Northwest Golok

© Jeff Crowner 2009This is my personal camp blade.  I call it the Northwest Golok.  The basic design has been used for centuries among various southeast Asian cultures. I took the essence of the golok and put my own spin on it and it seemed to work out great.  I have used this one for various tasks in field and it has done well.  The blade is differentially heat treated saw blade steel with a mustard patina finish. The handle is custom shaped horse-matte.  I've let some others test and chop with it and the reports have been all positive.  This is the one I carry for now in my ruck as it continues in testing.  I am currently experimenting with other closely related designs.

Little Bear Survival Blade

Bucorp Elmax Stainless with OD green G10 scales

Blade is Bucorp N-690 Stainless with black G10 scales kydex sheath
Elmax stainless blade OD green G10 scales

CPM 154 Stainless with OD green G10 scales and kydex sheath

ATS 34 Stainless with a paracord handle kydex sheath  © Jeff Crowner 2010

This is called the "Little Bear."  I designed this blade with Joel Lisson of REACT Training Systems. Our goal was to create a blade tailored to the needs of his wilderness survival instructors and students. Whittling, skinning, camp chores and, if need be, defense--this is a good all around blade for outdoor use. Between Joel and I, there must be more than fifty combined years of experience dumped into the design. The name derives from the title given to Joel years ago by a tribe of Northwest Native Americans. He had been hired to re-teach them the primitive bushcraft skills of their ancestors. Afterward,  the elders dubbed him Broken Bear, a great honor. Myself and some of the wilderness instructors decided the name also fit the knife. Joel accepted it as well, after some ribbing. This is another one you might see on television at some point. I use CPM 154 or Elmax, though I have made them in carbon too.  The handle material can be either Terotuf, Micarta or G-10.

Crowner Korambit

© Jeff Crowner 2011
This particular piece is made for a very high level Silat teacher by the name of Maha Guru Richard DeBordes.  I have included a picture of him with it. A Gift for Maha Guru Richard Crabbe De-Bordes from the Texas Region Silat Practitioners : Pencak Silat Dallas and the Tigers Den. Custom made for his hand .Micarta handles, Tec-Lok system, made of Elmax steel with differential heat treat...near indestructible...razor sharp. By Jeff Crowner. An awesome karambit. feels wonderful in the hand. Maha Guru has serial no 1 in this series. It would appear that he enjoys the blade. The blade steel is BuCorp Elmax with a OD green G10 handle material.  It is one of my favorites to use and train with.  Very well balanced and light. 

© Jeff Crowner 2006

This particular piece has the Silat/Kali practitioner in mind.  I took about five years of constantly changing lines and blade shapes/sizes to come up with the right fixed blade korambit.  The blade has been tested by a wide variety of Silat people and operators with good success.  The blade is L-6, differentially heat treated and clothed with Terotuf scales from Columbia Industrial products.   This piece is for serious operators and advanced practitioners or the blade arts. I can make it in either chisel or flat grind.  Micarta/G-10 is optional for handle material....

© Jeff Crowner 2010

New York City Survival Knife

© Jeff Crowner 2010The picture above shows a couple of customer owned New York City Survival Knives. This particular client goes by the "Two is one, One is none" rule and so prefers a set of knives--one carbon steel and one stainless for differing environments and applications.

If you look closely you can see the line where the red one was differentially heat treated. Both of these are dressed in TeroTuf grips but the blue one also carries a liner which makes the grip a bit thicker. The version in 5160 has my standard mustard patina. The stainless version is actually made of Elmax, which I consider one of the premier stainless materials on the market. It has incredible edge-retention qualities as well as durability. It can be cryogenically and/or differentially heat treated.

The New York City Survival Knife is in fact a Wayne Goddard design that he gave me exclusive permission to produce. I've put my own spin on it and am really happy with how it has turned out. So are clients--those that can talk about their work and those that can't--if you know what I mean.  I added pics of my personal one with red G10 scales.  The blade is made of CPM3V.  This blade is what I usually train with when going live blade.  It is a hardcore blade.  The added filework adds gripability to the smooth G10.  Come by and check it out at the OKCA show second weekend of April 2011 Eugene Oregon. 

My Experience with Crowner Knives

The old bladesmiths used to come up under a master in the classic apprentice/mentor relationship. The products they put out reflected not only the talents and work of the individual, but that of the collective knowledge being passed down through a long lineage. Lessons and innovations learned the hard way. Being one of Wayne Goddard's best senior students and close friends, Jeff's knives carry that kind of old-school weight.

It seems to me that if you were to provide any two knifemakers with the same quality of raw materials and ask them to produce a certain kind of blade for a certain kind of job, you'd be leaving them with just two critical areas in which they could outdo one another: design and craftmanship. Expertise in these aspects is born only out of experience and to some far lesser degree, raw talent.

When I talked to Jeff Crowner about his designs and posed some pointed questions about his choices in material and geometry I realized pretty fast that I was talking to someone who not only knew exactly how to make knives properly, but also someone who knew how to employ them expertly. Without going into too much detail (Opsec/Persec/Etc) I'll say that if I'm going to have to throw down with somebody in a dark alley with blades--Jeff is the absolute last person I'd want to square up with. Period. So you'll have to take me at my word that in this respect too, Jeff's combatives knowledge follows a centuries old tradition. His roots in the Indonesian and Filipino blade arts go seriously deep and his ability to wield a blade is profoundly scary.

All I can really say is that as a bushcraft and survival instructor, tracker and private security professional, knives are an essential part of my toolbox. I carry and use blades every day in work and personal capacities. I follow the adages to 'Always upgrade your weaponry' and 'Buy cheap, buy twice.' I research and fact-check and test and re-test all of my gear before it sees the field. If something works I stick with and in the end, I place the highest importance on real-world reliability and performance. Overall I am convinced that with respect to modern, custom edged tools and weapons there is nothing that compares with Jeff Crowner's work.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

NorthWest Bush Blade by Jeff Crowner

© Jeff Crowner 2009
My Northwest Bush Blade.  The blade is a CPM 3V with a Terotuf handle material made by CIP industries.  This particular piece is in the hands of one of the world's top survival experts. I'll keep it quiet for now, but who knows it might even end up on his TV show. We'll keep our fingers crossed!

The Northwest Bush Blade design was formulated by myself and thoroughly tested by REACT Training Systems' Joel Lisson with great results. Joel is probably the top survival instructor in the western United States and easily one of the best in the world. He's been at it for more than thirty years, teaching primitive and modern survival techniques to everyone from SF to Alaskan Bush pilots. He carries a Bush Blade made of 5160 spring steel in his classes and lets his students use them as well....What do you think?
Here is an example of a modified handle on a NW Bush Blade attached to gear from my friend John Hurth owner and chief instructor of TYR Group human tracking school  He uses his knife for real world situations. Check out his web site which is full of information to a precious skill that should be sought after by Law Enforcement and Military alike.  Thanks John for the pics.

© Jeff Crowner 2009
This a Differentially heat treated saw blade NW Bushblade.  Maroon Linen micarta handle slabs.