29 Jul

New classroom, new shop!

I just left a meeting and wanted to share that all future knife making classes will be held at a new location in Manheim, PA. This new 1470sq ft facility will add much needed space over my existing shop, allow me to bring all of my equipment into a single location and students will get to learn on some bigger professional tools. Over the next few months this space will be transformed into a functioning blacksmith shop for myself and swordsmith Jeremy Eichelberger. Jeremy and I have worked on the idea of collaborating on projects a lot over the past year and this new space will make that happen. We’re also putting our schedule together to attend a few fall/winter knife shows; exciting times, stay tuned! Here’s a peak of the new shop and I’m sure I’ll be sharing more with you all as it comes together!

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29 Jul

A recent custom order

I had the privilege of working with John Finley of tfxstudio making a knife for his wife. Normally, I’d have posted the process of creating this piece here, but as it was a gift, I wanted no chance of ruining the surprise. I gave John daily updates and he decided to take everything I had sent him and wrote a wonder blog piece documenting everything for his wife to read later. You can the article here.

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26 Jul

What’s in a knife? Or, figuring out the cost of a hand forged blade.

The past two weeks I’ve been rather busy, working on getting our booth back up to shape for the opening weekend of the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, spending time with my kids, tidying up my demo area, getting it ready for a few new additions sometime in August, weeding, painting and all that other fun stuff. I also took another custom order and figured I should do it now, before the hustle and bustle influx of orders comes in from the opening weekends. While doing this order I was emailing the client frequently with updates and pictures as I typically do, but it got me thinking about what really goes into one of my knives and how I arrive at price. So here’s a little insight into my process: Read More

13 Jul

Now on Etsy!

My good friend Jim is helping to take some of the load off my back so I can do more making and less marketing. Jim has just posted a handful of my knives, including cable damascus, which are available on Etsy at Arkham’s Miscellany. Jim has them on hand and will ship directly to your door. As my Renaissance Faire season approaches I’m finding that I have less and less time to be online doing what’s necessary to move product. As time goes on, Jim will be doing knife shows in the western part of Pennsylvania for me so this is just a logical step until the next show presents itself.

12 Jul

Making a San Mai Kukri – Part 3

Today I’m posting a follow up to Part 1 and Part 2 of my san mai kukri commission. I was teaching a knife making class this weekend with two teenagers, one of which was my son, so I didn’t have all the time in the world to work on it but there were a few moments when I got to demonstrate a few things and I took advantage of them. Struck while the iron was hot, as we say. Anyway, I got the heat treatments done, polish and the first etching. Also, not pictured, I got the handle roughed out and ready for attachment. I’m going to be casting some pewter for the bolsters and for the cap – hopefully tomorrow. Here’s the new pictures, enjoy!

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Hand polishing. I like to use a push stick to make the job a little easier.

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This is the blade prior to the first etch in ferric chloride. I cleaned and degreased before putting it into the acid.

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After a few light sandings with 400 grit during the etching process.

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A close up of the broad section of the kukri. The 15N20 is the bright, silvery layer and the 1084 is the darker layer. Later, after the handle work, I’ll put the final edge on it and give it another round in the ferric chloride.

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A shot of the reverse side. I still love the randomness I get when making san mai, and after all, I do it purely for artistic reasons.