Cholla Damascus 3" Lockback
Showcasing the beauty of cholla, this is a truly one of a kind knife. The cholla is accented with blue or black epoxy. The blade also has a unique look with the damascus style.
Cholla Cactus (Genus Opuntia) cholla cactus represent more than 20 species of the opuntia genus (Family Cactacea) in the North American deserts. Cholla is a term applied to various shrubby cacti of this genus with cylindrical stems composed of segmented joints. These stems are actually modified branches that serve several functions -- water storage, photosynthesis and flower production. Cholla Wood is the inner skeleton of a specific type of cacti plant.
About the Process:
1. Rock cutting - All rock and shell are bought in their raw form and cut to the desired shape on a bank of Diamond saws ranging in diameter from 6" to 10". Choosing the prettiest stone or shell is very important in this function, as "if a stone is ugly, you can do everything right, but it is still ugly. If it is beautiful, you can do everything wrong but it is still beautiful". The best of course is what we strive for-beautiful stone executed beautifully!
2. Assembly - Here is where the real art is. All stone/shell are hand sanded and hand fit onto a panel. This is then sanded and fitted for the particular knife. Then the panel is clamped down on the knife with a proprietary adhesive. Designs are pre-planned and executed by craftsmen that have worked here, some for over 28 years.
3. Hafting - this is the process of shaping the handle to conform to the knife shape. The handle and knife are actually finished at the same time. Santa Fe Stoneworks use many different types of grinders and flat sanders to achieve this. It is very satisfying to see a knife blank with a bunch of stone and shell glued to it, then bring it to life through the hafting process.
4. Finish - After the knife has been hafted, they then do a quality check for chips, cracks or flaws in the stone. Repairs are made and then the knife made ready for polishing on several Scotchbrite machines. The polishers are 30" Muslin wheels with jewelers rouges for the finish polish. The knife is then steam cleaned to remove any debris from going through the process. Quality Control-the knife is then inspected & oiled, made to "Walk & Talk" (Open and shut correctly) and bagged for shipping.