Ken, what an informative piece. I've known Bois d'Arc trees all my life and now I know the why in their name. Horse apples make good targets.Mumbleypeg wrote:1. A "cattle knife" should have a spey blade. Unfortunately the term has come to be more based on the shape of the frame than on its original purpose.
2. Yes, "hedgeapple" is the same tree as Osage Orange. The tree has dense orange colored wood, nearly impervious to decay, rot and insects. It was originally native to the middle part of the continental U.S. Widely prized by native Americans for use in making bows, hence its also being known as "Bois d'Arc" (wood of the bow) which was a name given the tree by French trappers who also traded with the native tribes. Because native American tribes (attributed to the Osage tribe) traded the wood and seed with other tribes the tree was spread geographically to other areas, and another of its names "Osage Orange".
However probably the biggest contributor to its spread is the trees' thorns and dense growth habit, which made it useful to farmers and homesteads as a barrier fence or "hedge row" . If planted in a solid row it becomes a near impenetrable barrier. Hence another name for the tree - "Hedge" . Farmers and ranchers also used the tree for making fence posts and for use as foundation piers for buildings. When burned the wood has extremely high BTU but it also pops and throws off sparks/cinders so needs a good screen or enclosure.
Following the Depression Era "dustbowl" the U.S. government promoted planting of the tree in rows as shelter belts from wind. Female trees bear fruit which is round pale green and softball-sized. Hence another name for the tree is "hedgeapple" . Although not a preferred food for livestock, horses and cattle will sometimes eat the fruit which gave it yet another common name, "Horse Apple".
Same tree, many uses, many names. More than you wanted to know I suspect. And it does make nice knife handle covers. Should be near-indestructible.
Roland, some people consider them 'weed' trees as they are so thorny and so messy. They produce a lot of their 'fruit' that has a milky issue when bruised and they rot on the ground. You might not want them after they start. IMO.kootenay joe wrote:Thanks Ken. Not more than i wanted to know but more than i knew there was to know. All very interesting. The pictures of the #29 with this wood make it look rather plain and not interesting. Likely better in person when you can see the grain. Vintage USA knives with wood handles are either ebony or cocobolo. Wonder why Osage Orange was not used as it is a native USA tree and likely easier to obtain and cheaper to buy.
I would like to get some seeds and see if they can survive in Southern B.C. now that our winters have become rather mild.
Osage Orange was the only one I wanted. I think the character of the wood & the satin bolsters go well together. My covers have a nice dark grain that stands put over all the other aspects of the knife. I’m almost staying away from Northfield’s because of the polished blades. Just my tastes changing I guess.kootenay joe wrote:I guess you do like this pattern as you have 5 already. To me the Tidioute in Osage Orange wood looks too 'plain': bolsters not grooved, no swages on blades, plain shield and plain looking wood. The others all have details that add interest to how they look. For example the acrylic Tidioute has color and swirls in the handles, etc.
Does anyone else also feel the Osage Orange just looks too 'plain' ?
Sure like the coloring on those.RalphAlsip wrote:I received my Tidioute example today and I like it. Fit & finish is good, size is good, pulls and snap are good for my preference, and there doesn't appear to be any blade rubbing that is apparent from the few times I have opened and closed the blades. When I learned it was a 3 backspring knife I was concerned it would be too thick relative to the length, but it feels very balanced and well proportioned. The blades still have the oil on them.
I have a second bone handled one that I would sell you at cost if you don’t score the one that you like. I ordered one from KSF thinking I didn’t have one on reserve at Ck. And guess what, I did.kootenay joe wrote:I am hoping i might get lucky and manage to score the Northfield version with stag handles. I have not bought any of the Stockyard Whittler releases so far as i can only buy one. The stag ones will be the 'final inning' so if i strike out there, i am totally out except for secondary market.