Earlier this year I decided that it was time to fix the handle on an earlier knife, AR7. I just wasn't very happy with the way the whole thing went together, and it didn't feel right in my hand. So, despite the effort that had gone into it, I chiseled off the handle, and knocked off the guard.
After some thought, some time, and some more thought I decided to regrind the blade. After several iterations, I ended up with the current shape, which I like a lot better. I also shaped a new, simpler guard. I really liked the old guard, but it was a pain to try to fit a handle around.
I decided to go with redwood burl from northern California for the new handle, it is a pleasure to work with and finishes very well. The new handle feels much better in the hand, is buttery smooth, and gorgeous. I added a corby-rivet in addition to the epoxy to hold the handle on securely. Unfortunately I ground away a little to much of the rivet on one side so the center is visible. C'est la vie. Overall I was very pleased how it turned out.
After finishing it, and resharpening it, I lent it to my coworker Frank to take with him on his cow elk hunt. Above is a picture of the knife on the fresh kill. Looks good so far. I hope to hear good reports on its edge holding and performance in skinning an elk.
Here is the old blade and handle. It was perhaps more exotic, with its tiger-eye and two tone wood, blued blade, and curved guard, but not nearly a cohesive as the revised model.