Natural Sgian Brew, Sgian Dubh, Scottish knife, skene dubh, Scottish gift,
wedding gift, groom gift, best man gift, mens gift
The Sgian Dubh is a ceremonial dagger that is traditionally worn (tucked into
the sock) as part of Scottish Highland dress along with a kilt. The translation
in Gaelic is knife or dagger for "Sgian" and black for "Dubh". Sgian Brews have
become a popular alternative, used perhaps in a non-knife friendly event or
just as a talking point.
This Sgian Brew is part of my well established range of Natural Antler Sgian
Brews. The antler came from a stag that roamed the hills above Lairg,
Sutherland. This is an extremely rugged part of Scotland and I'm sure it makes
the Stags and their antlers extra tough! Antler is one of these materials that
is a joy to work, approximately the working hardness of Oak, it responds well
to careful working with both machine and hand tools. My wood Sgian Brews tend
to be very exacting in their shape where as antler, due to its flowing curves
can offer a more natural handle which is exactly what has been achieved in this
knife. I have been getting more and more requests for a more natural finish on
my Antler Sgian Brews. I have done as little finishing on the antler handle as
possible to keep the natural look but, enough sanding to remove any harsh edges
or lines and make the knife ergonomic to hold and comfortable being worn.
Colour-wise, Antler tends to be predominately creamy white, sometimes with
tones of pinkish brown and even some green.
For a professional finish i have used some local Scottish Wych Elm as a centre
to lock the brew tang and the outer scales together. This particular piece came
from a tree that grew near Forres, East Coast of Scotland. Wych Elm is the
highland cousin of European Elm, ranging from light to mid and dark browns,
often with streaks of green and a golden iridescence. This piece is a nice dark
brown making an eye-catching contrast with the Antler.
To finish and protect the handle I could not use polyurethane varnish as this
would turn the antler yellow. So in this case i first apply a sealer of Shellac
and Cellulose Thinners only to the wood centre, this brings out the colour.
Then i apply two types of industrial wax, the same as used on my antler kilt
pins. This gives a hard wearing finish and an attractive sheen not dissimilar
to a polyurethane finish. The blade is Stainless Steel and measures under 3.5"
to comply with UK knife laws. It comes complete with an attractive embossed
black leather sheath and a black presentation box.
The Sgian Brew measures:
Overall Length 170mm x Width 29mm x a max Depth of 21mm
Blade Length 80mm x Width 25mm
As with all my pieces i have applied my company logo "UBC" with pyrography, in
this case on the bottom rear of the handle.