With a lifelong passion for making knives, Clive Witton has relied on Columbia Metals as a supplier of nickel silver for almost 10 years. When embarking on a recent project to make a Drop Point Hunter, a design made famous by legendary American knifemaker Bob Loveless, he naturally looked to Columbia for supplies. The drop point has become a classic hunting knife designed for practical use in extreme situations so it needs to be tough and durable.
“The knife I made has a blade 4.5” long and the full tang handle has a distal taper – in other words, it tapers from the guard thinning to 1.5mm thick at the end of the handle and of course towards the tip; at the guard the blade is 3.5mm thick,” notes Clive Witton, proprietor of Invicta Knives. The handle is formed from Forest Green Micarta which was Loveless’ favoured colour.”
Nickel silver accounts for only a small – but important – part of the knife; the guard prevents the hand slipping forwards during use and the Corby Bolts provide absolute security for fixing the handle. The blade is made from a premier grade cutlery stainless steel that has been subject to heat treatment for added strength and cutting edge retention.
“I use nickel silver for the guard and the Corby Bolts because it is corrosion resistant, very easy to machine, has sufficient strength for the application and is aesthetically pleasing, providing an excellent visual contrast with the other materials,” continues Clive.
“Columbia Metals is the only company that I have found in the UK that can provide the small quantities I need with material certificates and full traceability. I much prefer that to a material that has no certainty around its actual origin nor its composition. Provenance is very important for me and for my clients.”
About Invicta Knives
Invicta Knives is run by Clive Witton, a knifemaker based in Kent. Clive undertakes the entire process from planning and design to forging, heat treatment, machining, assembly, finishing, sharpening and the leatherwork; he has created a wide range of implements for various applications.
NS101 is a 10% nickel-containing alloy and the most commonly used grade of nickel silver in round bar. With a pleasing silvery gold colour, it is readily formed into complex shapes by hot stamping and also offers a good machinability. Columbia Metals stocks NS101 and the European CW402J equivalent from 1/8” to 1.1/2” diameter.