My dad's two favorite hobbies are cooking barbeque (especially brisket) and owning good knives. Darren's recent thread about the trout knife he made for his dad gave me the idea of making my dad a knife for his birthday (next month).
I found a cryogenically treated 440C stainless blade blank at Texas Knifemaker's Supply (www.texasknife.com) that looked like it'd make a nice brisket knife. I used some of Barry Richardson's desert ironwood for the handles. Throw in a few stainless steel pins, some epoxy, and a few hours of rasp and sandpaper work, and here's the end result:
I sculpted the handle to fit the hand a bit better. It doesn't show real well in the pics, but this will give you an idea of what I did. It feels real nice to me, and since his hands are about the size of mine, I think he'll like it too.
And another view...
I used no finish on this. I just sanded to 400 grit and went straight to the 3-wheel buffing routine -- tripoli, white diamond, and carnauba wax. The ironwood polishes up like cocobolo, so a membrane finish seemed unnecessary. I didn't do any sharpening. My dad's much better at it than I am, and he'll enjoy the project of getting this one tuned the way he likes it.
My dad has a number of nice carving knives, including one or two I've bought for him, but I can guarantee this is the only knife in his collection quite like this one. I'm pretty sure the fact that I made it will make it that much more special to him.
And I'm liking this knife-making stuff. I've already ordered a few more assorted knife blade blanks...I think I'll see how they sell at the next show I do.