Opinel x L.L. Bean Moosehead Knife
Century old maple logs from the bottom of Maine's Moosehead Lake start a second life as limited edition knives
This new collaboration combines two of our favorite things: the French Alps and obscure logging terminology.
Case in point: sluicing. Confused already? Keep reading.
In the early 1900s, summer laborers in Maine would trade in their farmer's tans for icy sawmill sluices each winter. These watery thoroughfares were used to transport freshly harvested logs down the length of Moosehead Lake to awaiting sawmills. During the sluicing process, the occasional waterlogged timber would sink to the lake’s bottom, lost forever. Or, rather, a century or so.
Those maple logs were amazingly preserved in the oxygen-poor environment at the bottom of the lake, and as a result, a handful have been recovered and recently crafted into beautiful knife handles by French knife-maker Opinel.
Located in the foothills of the French Alps, Opinel has been designing and manufacturing knives since 1890, so needless to say, they make a really great knife—London’s celebrated Victoria and Albert Museum even named Opinel’s iconic knife one of the 100 best designed objects in the world. We have to say, the clever use of reclaimed wood in the Moosehead Knife is pretty damn good too.