This Sgian Dubh was custom made for Cameron’s birthday.
We carved his handle from 4200 year old Culloden Bog Oak and inlaid it with a Sterling Silver insert, which we cut and engraved with his clan crest.
A pommel stone was cut from Angus Black Marble by our friend Nat at Scottish Gemstones.
The leather sheath is embossed with the stag from the clan crest. We crafted the blade from Damasteel (Swedish Stainless Steel Damascus).
Cameron kindly wrote a review of his Sgian Dubh:
“For anyone wondering if they are after a custom sgian dubh or if they are worth the price I hope this post will help them decide if it is right for them, but if so I highly recommend Rainnea with Rab and Co`s work.
I first contacted Rab over a year before the blade was finished and this was due to me wanting to have all the funds for the sgian dubh ready before he even started working on the blade. From this I can say that Rab and his team are incredibly patient when it comes to customers requests, even when I was wanting to see different parts on the handle, and when I had more questions about specific options for the blade. Once I had everything sorted for my specification, the construction of the knife didn’t actually take too long, about 4, maybe at a push 5, months for anyone on a time limit, and the quality of the piece is amazing. For anyone wondering about the cost, my design wasn’t too expensive but also wasn’t the cheapest they can go with the total being under £700.
For anyone worried that the blade may slip out of a leather sheath, for my blade at least, I can say it won’t happen without someone pulling on the knife. I also have my clan crest and name embossed into the leather sheath and I have to say it’s amazingly done with all the lines being clearly visible but not so deep that I might be worried about the leather warping/cracking in the future. The leather they used is quite stiff/rigid so keep that in mind if you were wanting something as soft as the leather typically found in jackets and wallets but the leather used is smooth and quite comfortable in a sock.
I opted for my blade to be sharpened and I can say I am very pleased with the result, however for anyone wanting it to be razor sharp I’d say to mention it in your request. My blade is sharp enough that I wouldn’t want to run my finger down it but not so sharp that I’d be afraid to even have the thing in my sock. My blade material is a stainless steel Damascus and the pattern choice available for this material was impressively varied however don’t expect a limitless supply, the material is still difficult to make. The forge work is very well done, along with the etching to show off the pattern. I can run my nail down the blade and feel the different material lines but they aren’t worryingly deep, just enough to feel the pattern and the blade doesn’t feel flimsy by any mean.
My handle is a bog oak, which they do have the age and location data if you’d be after that type of information on your sgian dubh, with my clan crest inlaid in silver into the handle and I chose to have no pins. The inlaid silver work is very impressive with the finish on the silver being almost like a mirror, to the point that in some photos the silver looks a bit photoshopped. The edges on the silver are very well done with none feeling like they could cut you or that make the blade uncomfortable to hold properly. My ferrules are also silver and the engraving work on the ferrule at the blade is very impressive. The detail work again is incredibly smooth, like everything on the sgian dubh to be honest, and very defined with nothing feeling like a half-assed attempt.
The stone in the pommel is very well finished too for what I was after, with the surface being completely smooth like a fireplace with the little flecks of colour popping in the sunlight. However, if you are wanting a stone that is perfectly flush with the pommel ferrule I`d say to ask for it specifically but if you do maybe expect an increase to the cost and build time as the task of fitting the stone does have the possibility of damaging the stone or whatever design you choose for the ferrule. My stone however looks perfect unless you deliberately look at the join between the stone and the ferrule, that is when you see that it isn’t a perfectly smooth and flush curve into the ferrule all the way round the stone. There are a few spots on mine where there is a flat dip but this with the grinding/polishing chamfer round the ferrule just shows that these sgian dubhs are made by hand so every one is unique, even if they have the same design.
Finally, the packaging that the blade came in is amazing. It was well protected and recyclable with the blade itself being inside a little black cardboard box with a tartan bow wrapped round it to keep it closed. This box also has the specification for the design inside it, with the material list and age and location data where appropriate. It also has a small paragraph explaining the history behind the sgian dubh name and information on how to maintain the knife over its lifetime.”