When it comes to my custom knives I like to keep all the work done in my own shop, by my hands. That’s part of the fun of a handmade, custom knife. So I don’t like to use computer-controlled numerical equipment. Because of this, my knives have that handmade quality, feel, and fit and finish. I do my best to make every knife as perfectly as I possibly can on the day it’s made. My skills change and grow constantly as I strive to improve my craft.
That’s not to say that I wont employ new technologies. As I learn new skills, collect new tools and equipment (come on! what man doesn’t love new tools) new techniques will be utilized. I’ll update my shop and process accordingly at that point. There are some amazing machines, and manufacturing techniques out there in this big wide world. As I can, I will do my best to learn and master those.
When I design a knife I set out to do a couple things. First and foremost, a knife is a cutting tool designed to separate materials. Thus, that’s the first thing I consider when I start designing. Once I have a nice blade shape, I add a handle. Handles are a finicky part of knife design. It’s of the utmost importance to how the knife fits and feels in your hand, as well as in your pocket. Because of this, I spend a lot of time on the ergonomics of the handle, in both the open and closed positions.
The really tough part is making it all look good. I’m a firm believer that form should always follow function. However there are times when occasionally function is… unpleasing to the eye. Through art and engineering I craft a tool that has evolved into a piece of functional artwork that can withstand the rigors of every day use.
This is an especially fun section for me. I like to use top quality materials, the best of the best, and nothing less. Different steel’s have different qualities and functions, so I’ll use just about anything you might want. If your not sure, lets have a chat and figure out what you intend to use the knife for, and see what suits you the best. Some of my personal favorites are 52100, CTS-B75P, CTS-XHP, CPM-154, 3v, M4, PSF-27… this list could go on a long time…
When it comes to handles, titanium is my foundational material. All my knives start with a titanium base: the most lovely of transition metals with an atomic number of 22. For knifemaking I use the alloy Ti-6AL-4v 6% aluminum, 4% vanadium, 0.25% (maximum) iron, 0.2% (maximum) oxygen, and the remainder titanium. I’ll write an article at some point explaining why its the one I choose and utilize.
I also use, timascus, zirconium, copper niobium alloys, g10, niobium, carbon fibers, phenolic composites, meteorite, gold, silver, stainless steel, Iron, copper, bronze… the possibilities really are endless. I will also employee a variety of natural materials, wood, mammoth ivory, etc.