The hilt of this hand forged athame came from a recovered bog oak log dated at 5460 years old. This natural material has been traditionally used in Scottish Dirks, Celtic Skindos, and other knives of the Celts. Bog oak is not a specific species. The term denotes oak that fell into the low oxygen environment of a bog and rested there for thousands of years before being harvested. The extreme low oxygen preserves the wood while bog peat provides an acidic environment which allow iron salts and other minerals to act as a natural dye. Over thousands of years, this action transforms the oak from a light brown to a dark brown and in extreme cases black. The hilt was hand carved and finished with a traditional tongue oil. The pommel and bolster were both cast in place with lead free pewter.
This is a full tang knife. The pommel and bolster were both cast in place with lead free pewter. Before pouring the pommel, the tang stuck up past the hilt. A notch on either side of the very end of the tang provided a locking point for the pewter pommel to latch onto. For stability and strength, the hilt was then back filled with high strength resin from the blade end. It was then sealed with the pouring of the pewter bolster.
The 11″ blade was hand forged from 1075 high carbon spring steel. It started life as a 1/4 inch flat. After forging and finishing the ridge is still almost a quarter inch thick. It was thrice normalized. Once after forging, once after finishing, and then again for good measure. It was quenched and then drawn / tempered twice for a hardness of about 55 on the Rockwell scale. This makes for a good balance between edge retention and ability to be resharpened with a wet stone.
This hand forged athame has a 3″ hilt. It is intended for a fairly small hand. It is one of several hand-made athames I created and offered to a female patron who wanted an athame as a gift for her initiate. I created several so she would have a choice.
While I no longer consider myself to be following a specific spiritual path, I continue to adhere to the principels I presented in A Wiccan Bible. In fact, I believe the 13 years of relative public silence I have spent raising kids, critters, and crops has brought me closer to those ideals. I suppose if I were forced to put a name to my religion, I would say with a wink that I am Catholic in an Aradia sort of sense.
Blessed be and Live Free,