Highlander, Masters of the Universe, Willow, Clash of the Titans, Conan the Barbarian…
Heroes and their fantastical blades…
All of these have seeded the mind of a youngster with a deeper fascination of cutting tools. They’ve always felt like more of a trusted companion helping with an important quest or task. As I’ve aged I have stripped down the bejeweled blades seen on the television and have immersed myself in the craft of the bladesmith.
I started experimenting with knife making in November 2011. With lots of research and a bit of luck on Craigslist I acquired a Craftsman 2×42 belt grinder. Steel was promptly ordered, ruined, and discarded. My first efforts were bushcraft and Scandinavian style blades. I’d always been fascinated with forging so I signed up for Blacksmithing I & II classes at the Metal Museum in the spring of 2012. Shortly thereafter I attended the Little Rock Knife Show and was exposed to a whole new level of craftsmanship. The knives I had seen there were both beautiful and balanced. This was the first time I had felt firsthand the difference between a sharpened piece of steel and a finely balanced cutting tool.
By the beginning of 2013 my grinder was upgraded and my enthusiasm remained. I started to really read into metallurgy and chemistry as it relates to knife making. Heat treating is still one of my favorite aspects of knife making. I am proud to say I do my own heat treating using a Paragon knife maker’s kiln and test the cutting performance of each knife as well as its Rockwell hardness. To me heat treating really is the most magical part of the process.
I also invest a lot of time using knives. Specifically taking survival/bushcraft related courses, camping, hiking, hunting, and cooking. This is all fuel for the design process and a crucial element in improving my work.
At this point I’ve had the blessing to work with many great craftsmen such as Tobin Smith, Andrew Meers, Chad Nichols, Donovan Phillips, Jim Crowell, and Jason Knight. I am a perpetual student of this craft and strive to continually learn and improve.
I mark my blades and other creations with the Fibonnaci spiral which I have freed from its rectangular cage. To me this symbolizes the flow of balance…whether it be spiritual, physical or mental.
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