I am Mel Pardue, Custom Knifemaker from Repton, Alabama. I would like to tell you a little about myself and my background.
My first attempt at making knives was in 1957, needless to say looking back, they were rough by todays standards. Most of my early knives were made from old cross-cut saw blades or any other suitable material that could be easily found just lying around.
My first contact with a Custom Knifemaker was while living in Tampa, Florida in 1974. That contact was with Mr. Frank Centofante. I truly believe that without his help and friendship, I would not be here today, involved in Custom Knifemaking and the Commercial Knife Industry. My hat goes off to Frank for the help and friendship he extended to me during those early years and continues to this date.
I joined the Knifemakers Guild in 1976, I have enjoyed a great deal of success through this association. I have served several terms as a director of the Guild and I am currently the Vice President of the Guild. I also support the American Bladesmith Society,, and The Alabama Forge Council. I am a member of AKTI, and a Life member of the National Rifle Association.
My education and career background is in Mechanical - Civil Engineering and Land Surveying and have been involved in this field since 1957. I teach Knifemaking courses at Tex-Arkana Community College and the Alabama Forge Council several times a year. I also teach from time to time in my own shop. Teaching is very gratifying and I enjoy it immensely.
I also design knives for Benchmade Knife Company located in Oregon City , Oregon,.
I attend about four knife shows a year.
I have a lovely Wife "Dodie", and four children, Joe, Gabrielle, Lisa and Jason. I have three wonderfull Grandsons, Elijah and Zack and Christian.
Best to all,