Tag Archives: Shaman

THE TREE REX Part 2 – Beveling THE SPINE.

The Tree Rex is certainly my favorite hard work folder from Spyderco. Sal Glesser has made a real beauty able to deliver a lot of power.
The handle is especially thicker and rounder than any other folders proposed by the Golden Company. The pseudo wooden slabs which can be rinsed in water with zero issues. (I have erased the smell with some alcohol solution) and the mighty blade made of a very lovely steel: REX45 got that “touch” of Speed Star aka M2HSS I have loved on Benchmade AFCKs and Nimravi. The steel is easy on leather and bites steady when whittling with control. The best wood chisels are made from M2HSS.

But they are some hot spots on the spine and on the choil. I use my thumb to pushcut in wood and a square spine is painful after a while.
Knowing the Rex45 is a 8% Cobalt steel, I have decided to send it in the wind and with some water to prevent dust. The very hard steel (66,5 HRC) was eventually rounded to my taste.

Rounding the spine to a be less aggressive was done using 600 grint sand paper. Eventually I have used the sand paper to do some convexing.
Soon a Jade stone will be tested for mirror finish on the edge.

The TREE REX also known as the Shaman in CPM-REX 45 and Dymondwood.

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This is the C229RWDP Spyderco Shaman in CPM-REX 45 Satin Plain Blade, Rosewood Dymondwood Handles and it is a KnifeCenter Exclusive.
Like the previous Crucarta, Micarta Cruwear Shaman, this is a very rare animal and a king in his family. Of course they are discontinued too. You can notice my Crucarta has now convexed edge where the Tree-Rex is still wearing her factory edge.
There is also another difference you can notice: the pivot screw !

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The handle of the Shaman is appealing for beautiful textured handle. Micarta is such a pleasure but faux wood like this Dymondwood is also a pure pleasure under the thumb.
I have been able to see a broken pakkawood endura handle so what is Dymondwood ?
“”Dymondwood” is the tradename for a product that was produced by Rutland Plywood. Essentially, it is a lamination of very thin veneers, usually birch, impregnated with a resin. The designation Walnut, Cocobolo, etc refers to the color of stain used, not the species of wood. It is a very stable product. Unfortunately, the Rutland factory was destroyed by fire about a year ago. As a result, the future supply of Dymondwood is in doubt.” dixit Bertl on the Bladeforums. This one is rosewood Dymonwood and it looks like real wood to me in rich brown colors and not as orange as the pictures. So it is an excellent surprised. This is the pleasant feel you can get from a rifle, it is warm and pleasant to the eye. “Generally the terms Rosewood, Cocobola, Heritage Walnut, Cherrywood etc are dye colors, not wood species.” said another forumite on the same page.

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The factory edge is even and really really sharp. Just some pass on leather and I got a clean razor which cut the hairs without scrubbing the skin. It is amazing.
So I have decided to round the edge of the spine but keep the edge as it is for a change.

CPM REX 45 is a new steel to me. According to crucible: “CPM REX 45 is an 8% cobalt super high speed steel which has excellent hot hardness along with good wear resistance and toughness, making it suitable for difficult machining applications.A data sheet.
It has red hardness comparable to that of M42 but offers abrasion resistance even better than that of M3. With its excellent red hardness, good wear resistance and good toughness, CPM Rex 45 is suitable for high cutting speed applications.

Carbon 1.30%
Chromium 4.05%
Vanadium 3.05%
Tungsten 6.25%
Molybdenum 5.00%
Cobalt 8.00%
Sulfur 0.06 (0.22%)

As far as I understand a sprint run with orange G-10 and the same blade will be available soon and lot of REX45 knives are coming.

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On the Spyderco Forums you can find a great test of that steel by Deadboxhero comparing REX45 and CPM M4.
Eventually he found M4 works great with coarse edge and REX45 with polish edge. That what I was looking for as polishing edges is my guilty pleasure.
So far, I’d say people will enjoy the properties of Rex 45, while M4 prefers a more toothy finish Rex 45 will prefer the opposite which is unique amongst Crucible steels let alone US steels. It’s interesting to a US steel closer to the properties of a japanese steel which have more of a bias toward Polished edges.” wrote  Deadboxhero.

REX45 seems to be the same as HAP40 found in the Endura review, but HAP40 was 63HRC when REX45 heat treated by Spyderco is pushing the envelop to an incredible 66-67 HRC as hard as this Japanese ZDP189 Rockstead Higo… For the record the Maxamet blades are at 70HRC and brittle as ceramic in my record.
Also the 4% chrome makes it a staining steel and I expect to find a patina after to use.

My friend Max Wedges has given me that advice about cobalt:
Careful with the knives you use with food (specially acid food). The problem is that COBALT is a Cancer agent. For any steels that are sharpened often & go close to food, I avoid ALL Cobalt steels (Tungsten Carbides are less of an issue). If you sharpen you always get some “swarf” residue on the blade… better clean it properly before use: use a cotton swipe with alcohol & a drop of tea tree oil, after carefully washing & drying the blade (& avoid the grinding dust like the Pest it is). M4, M2 Steels have no Cobalt. CPM S110V, N-690, VG-10 do, so I use the older S90V, S35VN, RWL-34/CPM154, 440-C or AEB-L for food knives. Were I a knife maker, I would totally refuse the use of any steels containing Co. Moly is related to Tungsten: these are much less harmful, and are bound into Carbides… but Cobalt forms no carbides & gets airborne easier. Be wise?

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That’s very interesting ! It is something to discuss.
How a steel could harm your health is a subject which I have not seen yet on forums.
Steel is not neutral. If you cut a green salad with carbon steel, the leaf will get brownish. The same cuts with a stainless steel and the salad will stay green for hours. Steels are not neutral with the medium they cut. Is a Powder Tech steel using 8% of Cobalt be poisonous ?

However, if you sharpen a knife, you are grinding the steel with an abrasive. Even a slightly abrasive chef’s “steel” (a rod used to sharpen and condition chef’s knives before using) will leave a residue of the blade steel and the abrasive (silicon carbide, ceramic, aluminum oxide, other steels, etc.) behind. This residue is called swarf. How many chefs have you seen whip a knife blade on a rod, then go right to cutting your brisket? How many wipe the swarf onto a grimy rag that hangs over their shoulder or around their belt before cutting your salmon? How many actually go to a sink and wash the knife with soap and water before returning to the block or cutting board?
From The Special Case of Cobalt by Jay Fisher provided by Max Wedges.

Guys who purport to be experts—posting particularly on knife forums—claim that concern about cobalt is all amped-up hype. It’s easy to find endless discussions, particularly about VG-10, and the concern about exposure to cobalt. The uneducated flock to these forums; they are not experts, they do not read scientific studies, they do not believe the CDC, the American Cancer Society, or any of the numerous organizations that warn against cobalt exposure. “Show me the reports,” they say, yet they are unable to find the very references that the rest of us can easily locate. The reports are numerous; the professionals don’t just make this stuff up, but you have to read.

They claim that you would have to grind up and eat knife after knife in order to be exposed to enough cobalt to cause cancer. They know this because they are toxicologists (ahem), and know that metal exposure recommendations are a conspiracy by nut jobs (uh-huh). I guess all the nut jobs work for the CDC and the American Cancer Society… right?

They sometimes go on to compare cobalt to chromium, vanadium, and other alloy elements, saying that they are just as dangerous. This is typical ignorance on forums. All of these elements have been extensively studied, and cobalt has been found to cause cancers, while the others have not. This is the reason I state over and over, “Don’t get your information on a forum of any kind!”

Experts, professionals, and scientists don’t post there; open forums are mainly occupied by the uneducated and unknowledgeable anonymous masses, hobbyists, and part-time knifemakers and enthusiasts who know very little about knives overall. If you believe them, then you’ll believe that the best steels are hammered together in an open fire, just like it was done in 1875. You’ll believe that the entire modern metals and machining industry does not know anything, that some oaf with a hammer can make an improved axle, planer blade, or turbine part. After all, you saw it on the History channel…

Sorry to be so blunt, but if you are reading this, you deserve to know the truth. Or maybe the thousands of professionals at the CDC, IARC, NCS, NIOSH, and in the research community are all wearing tin foil hats… sigh. Welcome to the internet, where the idiots get the same voice as the intelligent, damn the truth!

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So guess what ? In my great wisdom (ahem) I have asked the question on the Spyderco forum 😀
Knowing Japanese Chef knives are often HAP40 and VG10. Even my Ikea Chef Knife is VG10… Let see what they think about Cobalt in steels:
https://forum.spyderco.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=85929

Even Pekka helped there:

Me: Do you think Cobalt dust could be dangerous ?
Pekka: Every dust is ! I do not believe that anybody get cancer if they sharp knife sometimes of month… if they do not collect all dust for they sandwich :) There is lot of f.ex. nickel in steels and chromium etc. all are very bad for health.

Me: How do you protect yourself?
Pekka: I do not breathe ;) serious I use mask with motor. But no gloves, I do not like gloves, I lost my feeling, as you know I do everything with freehand method, no jig etc.

So eventually we can eat with our knives but not eat our knives… ;)
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And also Sal Glesser which was one of the rarest bringing zero assumption or opinion but facts.
Most of the other comments were just mostly about bragging on other way to die like:
“Compared to driving in city traffic, I would say the danger from cobalt or anything in your knife is truly negligible.”
“I would assume it’s perfectly safe when bound together with iron.”
“The oxygen your breathing right now is also causing oxidative stress and damaging your cells and DNA with free radicals. Yet, we keep breathing.”
“Life has a 100% chance of death, get over it.”
“There is cobalt in your food and organs. It’s essential to live. Got B12?”

 

Yes, being deficient in vitamin B-12 causes physical and psychological symptoms, including nerve problems, fatigue, and difficulty thinking…
And yes we got so many chemicals in our bodies but it’s a matter to have them in the right proportion in the right place.
Oh well…
Fortunately Sal Glesser saved the day:

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“Fun subject. Figures it would be Nemo to bring this up from the depths. :p

I remember Nemo and I discussing Eric Taberly’s death in the sea, because he spent so much time at sea. So in the end, what gets you is what you do the most? That concept brings up some interesting thoughts? :eek:

We have to put warning labels on our products because they might be sold in California and there is sever punishment for not warning the people about the danger of the chemicals in our products.

In Manufacturing, most grinders and mills are used wet. Masks re a good idea if dry grinding. I breathed in a tiny amount of G-10 dust once and it did make me sick.

sal”

I guess we were the only few there to see that thread as a “fun” subject as there is the new cartesian way to answer questions of the Internet:

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Someone even has written:
“As Sal said, what gets you is what you do the most. Now that is actually worth thinking about.”
Hummm, I guess many forums specialists will eventually die from masturbation as their armchairs are mostly harmless to their health… No reason to be afraid from any poisons, then.
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And Sal final word on that subject:
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OK, so back to this wonder of a knife: I have changed the position of the clip to a tip down carry because I have found that the Spyderdrop openings are really easy and fun on the shaman. The steel backspacer give momentum and the compression lock is a breeze to operate.

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This knife got zero lateral play too. It can really be open as fast as the good old Millie. For the record 25 years ago Sal’s was beating in speed every owner of automatic knives while opening his own Military. Spyderdrops are really an advantage in putting your tool in action very fast. Also the fact the clip is not a deep carry clip makes the spyderdrop a breeze to execute. Actually it is fun with the Shaman !

 

As illustrated: the clip is not deep carry but, oh well it is a big knife which rides small in the pocket.

 

Trying the edge on some hard chestnut wood and the cuts are deep and steady. It will be a pleasure to use ! It also bring the same smoothness I have had enjoyed on M2 High Speed Steel found on Benchmade knives back in 90’s. Once cut the wood chip feels smooth under the thumb.

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A funny thing has happen to my parcel when flying from the Knifecenter to Paris: it has gone West instead of East and has landed in Hawaï, Honolulu ! Thank to Kristin at the Knifecenter it has been rescued and after one week of storage in Hawaï has been able to fly from the other side of the planet and land to mailbox in 48 hours.
For the record, Hawai as the place where Jurassic Park has been filmed. It was logical for my Tree Rex to go there first. 😉

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Crucarta’s Family — The Spyderco Shaman reveals its power.

Since its arrival my Crucarta has been used hard, fallen twice on rocks and pavement and been immerged in dirty water.
Well this Shaman is made for that.
In fact I have notice how well it could inserted between my CPM M4 Millie and my CPM 3V Tuff.  Theyu both could be his parents.
Knowing the Tuff is Ed Schempp design for a “Built As A Tank” folder and the Millie “Built As A Tool” Sal’s Glesser design, the Shaman got the best of both world:
A tank knife built as a tool: a solid folder which is really sharp.


This is not the easiest design to achieve. The result is a very powerful folder: solid in term of lateral strength and razor sharp for deep push cutting.
So yes, the Shaman is outstanding bring the slicing power of a Millie with the toughness of a Tuff.
CPM Cruwear is the right choice as it is really standing between CPM M4 and CPM 3V.
It is tougher than CPM M4 and less tough than CPM 3V and in term of pur edge retention it is also in between both.

Being clumsy and getting clumsier, my Shaman has fallen on tiles and rocks twice.
No damage after a very close inspection. Nothing on Micarta or on the blade. The recess steel spacer is immaculate too. The blade is not Stonewashed on the Crucarta sprint run, it it gets some scratches from use but nothing really bad so far.
It has been used on wood, dirty roots, plastic and kitchen duty.

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For those who know how tricky a coke bottle butt push cutting can be… The Shaman  is “that” powerful.

I had notice some hot spots to my delicate hands.
The were easy to erase on the micarta handle.

A gentle filing is eliminating them and the rounded handle does marvel in terms of confort.


I have used the same diamond file, and it was a longer task, to file the teeth of the blade’s spine as I use my thumb for my push cuts. Also you can notice there is a flat place for the hand before the lock as I mentioned it in my previous review about the Para3 Lightweight which lack of that “flat bed”. It changes every thing in terms of confort when cutting in repetition hard thing without gloves.

Eventually IMHO the real son of the Shaman is designed by Sal’s own son: Eric.
TheLil’Native is really playing in the same league in term of strong workhorse folder but at a lesser scale. Like its father it conserves a thick spine for a very strong tip.
The Native and the Chief on one side with their thinner blade and lockbacks and the Shaman and the Lil’Native and the other.

Like father, like son. Les chiens ne font pas des chats as we say in French.

Massive Attack: First Glimpse at Sal’s Shaman Sprint Run C229MPCW

“The first drawing of the Shaman was dated December 17, 2014. That can give you an idea of how long I work on some of these creations.”
Sal Glesser.

Thanks to Tom Song and Howard Korn from the Knifecenter, I have been able to get one of the most coveted Sprint Run from Spyderco: The micarta cruwear Shaman.
Without Tom and Howard always excellent service (I know Howard since the very beginning of his Internet venture), it would have been mission impossible.

It was announced at the 2019 Minimeet by Eric Glesser and every ears were pricked up.
Since it has appears in the very frustrating way being immediately unavailable since the demand was so high.
But here it is after a long journey. This is my first Shaman actually as I was waiting for the first Sprint Run to jump on the bandwagon.

This folder got a massive blade on a smooth like butter pivot. Perfectly centered. And the blade is razor sharp. There is a lot of heft in that knife which is the absolute opposite to the Police “Cheetah” model. The Shaman is an outdoor’s folder dream. You can use it hard and clean it easily. I would compare the way it moves in the hand to the mighty Lionspy.

I regret the clip is not one of the wired but, hey, their must be reason to offer four positions.

The micarta is not polished like a Bark River Knife would be. It is rough but pleasant under the thumb. The handle is thick and made for hard use. I mean it is pleasant to old tight with no hotspot so far.
Now I need to use it but is a very solid folder not destined for the city.
More to come, stay tune… 🙂

 

 

“My designs begin with an “idea”, hard to put into words. The final design says it better than words can. I also refine that design (idea) over time to make it closer to the pure form originally envisioned. The P4 is in it’s 4th refinement and in my opinion, closer to my original “idea” than ever.
While the P4 is very different from the Shaman, they both embody the “spirit” of what I was thinking of for their purpose. I’ll start with pencil and paper, CAD it, make plastic models with Peter from CAD drawings, often for months until I get as close as I can at the time to my “idea”. Like carving an elephant; take a piece of material and cut away everything that isn’t elephant. Once the design is close to it’s “pure form”, I’ll refine the materials based on the original idea and run with it. I don’t have the “eye” of a Lum, so appearance plays little in the fished outcome.”
Sal Glesser.