Over a year ago, someone suggested that I make something on the pattern of the Scottish sock knife, known from ancient times as the Sgian Dubh (pronounced “ski ‘n do”). So, after reading up on it, here is an attempt.
The “sock knife” allegedly had its origin as a combination utility/defensive blade, that was carried in a pocket on the inside of the coat, or on the inside of the sleeve in the armpit area. Then, the custom was that when entering a friend’s house, any concealed weapons would be exposed. In this case, the Scotts were wearing the traditional kilt, which left the calf of the leg exposed. So, the knife and sheath were removed from the coat, and stuck in the top of the sock, while visiting friends.
I’ll be the first to admit that this knife may not be very true to the traditional definition of a Sgian Dubh on many of the finer points, but it should perform the function.
This knife is made from a 14-inch Simonds file, oven tempered. Another knife had been made from the front portion, and this was the left-over, including the file tang. The tang extends through the handle, all the way to the thong tube. I had to trim the tip off of the tang to clear the way for the thong hole. The bolt and guard (if it can be called that) are brass, and the mortised slabs are walnut Dymondwood.
The blade is 4 inches long, 3/16-inch thick, and 1-5/16-inch wide. The file teeth on the spine provide a comfortable degree of jimping, for thumb traction. The knife weighs about 6.7 ounces, and the wood-lined leather sheath comes in at about 1.7 ounces. The friction fit between brass and leather is mild, but enough to keep the knife from bouncing out easily.