I've always appreciated the look and feel of a good knife. Being raised in a country setting, a knife was a necessity, not just for looks. When I found out about the bladesmith school in Old Washington , Arkansas, I was amazed that there was such a school.
I tinkered with making knives, but wasn't happy with the results. Finally my wife, Kay, insisted that I schedule a class with the school. It was the most interesting two weeks of learning I can remember.
Joe Keesler and Greg Neely shared their love for the forged blade and still are willing to offer pointers when we meet at events. A year later I was able to take the Damascus class under Bill Fiorini. This just broadened the possibilities!
I try to be a regular visitor to The Riverside Machine Shop where Al Lawrence hosts a monthly meeting of knife makers that discuss the different aspects of the forged blade as well as fit and finish. People like Mike Williams, JR Cook, Roger Massey, Jerry Fisk and lots of others share a wealth of information that money couldn't buy. I owe these good folks my thanks.
I'm a member of the American Bladesmith Society with a Mastersmith rating, which I received in 2009. I'm also a member of the Arkansas Knifemaker's Association. I know some fine makers in Oklahoma and look forward to getting to go to some of their events and joining their group.
My favorite steels to use in my knives are 5160 & 1084 for the carbon blades. For my Damascus, I like several, among which are L-6 & 1095, 1080 & 15N20, and others. I use a lot of stabilized woods, stag, and bone for handle materials. I will consider others, of course.
I don't farm out any of the different aspects of my knives. I do ALL the work on my knives. I believe this will advance my skills and set my knives apart. I offer sheaths with my hunting knives because they are hard to use without one and I make them to be used. I do have a professional leather craftsman, whose name is Kenny Rowe, make the sheaths to fit the knife, because this makes the package complete. Anyone who knows his work can testify to the quality.
I will be attending some of the knife shows and hope to meet a lot of you fine people in person.
If you have any questions at all about me or my knives, call or email me and I will get back to you. Thanks for the visit.
Background Photo by Rick McFarland and Mark Benz