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On Knifemaking

Updated: Oct 17, 2021

Born by necessity, the Knife was probably one of the first tools man ever made and looking across millennia, we find it in every culture, fashioned from various materials, whatever was locally available, like flint, obsidian, bone, and even bamboo.

Two Flint Knives from Mud Lake in Ohio, a small Patch Knife and a Wood and Bone handled Sheffield Blade.

Since those times of prehistory, the knife has evolved and has come a long way, where today there is a vast range of shapes and sizes, according to their purpose: from a chefs’ broad blade to a hunter’s field knife, and from an EDC to a custom made one that might reside in a collector’s display case.

I like making knives and because I’m neither a metallurgist nor a blacksmith, I don’t attempt to forge my blades. Instead, I buy blank blades and I shape them myself, concentrating my efforts in fitting them with a handle using wood, bone, antler or horn. What I’m after is a pleasing shape and a handle that fits the hand “like a glove”.

For working knives in the shop, I find carbon steel from old discarded files and power hacksaw blades a great blade material due to their ability to take and maintain a sharp edge.

A true Neck Knife.

Did you say "Neck Knife?" Circular Saw Blade Steel, Walnut and Bone.

Kiridashi, High Speed Steel unknown Wood and Bone.

Two Friction Folders made from one Nicholson file, Black Locust and Bone handles.

Damascus Blade with Elk Powder Horn handle and Fire Steel.

Damascus Blade, Maple Burl and Elk Horn handle.

A boxed showpiece, Damascus, Maple Burl, Ivory and Turquoise Inlay.

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