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Circle J balisong in Afghanistan (made by Ohio teenager)

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by MatthewVanitas, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. MatthewVanitas

    MatthewVanitas Senior Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    Washington DC (!)
    Over the course of last year, a BladeForums member posted several pics of rather primitive handmade balis. His earlier ones were pretty rough, but even in the first four or five he showed great improvement. I contacted him and chatted about knife ideas for a bit, and he ended up deciding to take the next step and start using some serious tools and components, ultimately building his own belt-grinder from spare motor parts.

    After I deployed, I ordered a balisong from him, and the below knife came in the mail a few months back. 3.5" high-carbon bowie/yatagan hybrid blade with blood-groove, skeletonized brass handles (sandwich construction), traditional latch. The brass handles give it a solid weight for flipping/tricks, the blade cuts well, and overall fit and finish (though not quite up to Benchmade standards) is quite impressive for a handmade knife from someone who can't even vote yet.

    (note in the pics that I've subjected the knife to a vinegar patina. It's high-carbon, so I figured this coating would help protect the metal. I just went to the chow-hall and dumped some vinegar in an empty water bottle, left the blade to soak a couple days. You can get more ornate patterns with yellow-mustard smeared irregularly on the surface, but that takes more effort)

    All in all, I'm very pleased, and have contacted Circle J to order a Sharpfinger-inspired fixed blade. I also have a bottle-opener balisong from Circle J waiting at my cousin's house in VA, just for kicks, and a Svord friction folder he fitted to an antler tine for me.

    If anyone else is interested in a balisong or other unusual custom knife, at an extremely reasonable price, and from a young knifemaker who just might be a big name someday, PM me and I can put you in contact with Circle J.

    His recent quoted prices on a baseline 4" bali were around $70, $45 for a Sharpfinger-inspired skinning/utility knife. Upon return to US, will post pics of my other Circle J custom knives.

    Attached Files:

  2. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    0 hrs east of TN

    Very cool! Thanks for letting us see it and learn about a new maker.

    I'm going to have to get one. Do you think he'd like to learn to forge?

    How's the weather in Afghanistan these days?

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