Forging Custom Knives

The Joy of Fine Steel

The Knife is perhaps the single most useful tool made by Man. Whether a shard of bone, knapped flint or forged crucible steel, the knife is a tool exquisite beyond reason. I take tremendous pleasure in making all kinds of knives – I’ve forged custom knives for cooks, woodsmen, swordsmen and soldiers. Blades that are all very different, and all DSC04563somehow the same.

Like any fine tool, a good knife becomes an extension of ourselves the instant we begin to use it. It feels instantly familiar, something lost and unexpectedly found. It is not out of selfishness that people tend to guard their knives so carefully, lending them rarely if ever. A treasured knife is no longer a tool or even a companion, but an extension of yourself.

A superlative blade may be more expensive than its mass-produced cousin. Forging a superior knife requires a high degree of artistry and technical skill, which may be acquired only through years of study and experience. Skills that allow any person commissioning a custom knife to have it suit their purpose perfectly.

This is what I aim for with every knife I forge. Even the knives I create with no person in mind have a matching owner out there, one unique person who will fit this blade better than any other.

cedarburl  After all, every custom knife has a character of its own. Minor changes in a design, the material of the handle or even the way it is sharpened can change the “feel” of a knife beyond recognition. There are infinite subtleties of function and design: The size and profile of the handle, its relationship to the edge; the thickness, taper and shape of the blade itself – all these things and many more must be carefully balanced to give the desired result: A tool that will be useful for our lifetimes and beyond.

A knife that I guarantee will – when cared for properly and subjected to only mild abuse – long outlast its original owner.

 

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My Work

Fenris Ring & earrings

Pieces commissioned to match the Mjolnir MkIII. More than 6 carats of black diamonds in matching finger- and ear-rings.

Surt’s Razor

A big knife for a big serviceman. Parkerized
5160 steel with a cloth-resin grip.

Katana

Entirely hand-forged and polished – an exercise in patience. 11,000 layers of 1090/1040 steel kobuse-welded around a soft-iron core. Dimensions taken from a Kamakura-period Bizen. Fitted with a quilted-maple saya to reflect my western sensibilites.

Mjolnir MkI

Sterling silver Thor's Hammer pendant.
A significant pair of ravens adorn the face.

Surt’s Horn

An elaborate drinking horn, leaning toward Jelling motifs.

Silver Filligree Cuff

For a lady's upper arm.

Mjolnir Mk II

Second in my series of Sterling silver Thor's Hammer pendants. Fenris the wolf leers from the face.

Lacey Cross Monument

A large, contemporary Celtic Cross
for a family memorial.

Fire-tool Stand – Detail

Detail of a stand for fireplace tools,
showing complexity of finials.

Hammer-Poll Patriot Tomahawk

A hammer poll version of a famous movie tomahawk. Client request.

Steel.

Colonial Fire Tongs

From a set of 18th c fireplace tools.
Wrought with precision.

Small Knives

Three small hunting knives, all 5160. From top, hafts are antler/cedar burl, Koa/Maple/Brass and Walnut with copper pins.