How I Started Making Custom Knives
I’m lucky and live in the beautiful Ozarks of Mountain View, Arkansas where people from all over the world come year round to vacation and of course hunt and fish. I love to hunt and I was having a lot of problems finding a good knife to skin out a deer that would stay sharp. I bought several expensive knives from well known companies but each and every one of them would go dull after using them a few times.
Finding My Passion For Knives
During this time I worked at one of the last American Blacksmith Shops in America where we hand forged everything from high end furniture to custom chandeliers. Lucky for me one day a Master Bladesmith came to our company and put on a knife making demonstration. I was amazed watching him taking a piece of steel and turning it into a beautiful and functional blade right in front of my eyes. The performance, the craftsmanship, and artistry he showed while a Bowie knife was amazing! I was instantly hooked!
By the way, the Master Bladesmith was the Famous, Jim Crowell
Shortly after watching that demonstration I knew I wanted to learn how to learn the art of knife making, and I joined the American Blacksmith Society a short time later and became an apprentice.
Becoming A Bladesmith Apprentice
Being an apprentice means you have to forge two blades for two years before you can go for your journeyman stamp. The Journeyman involves forging a 10″ blade, selectively heat treating the blade & the blade must be able to chop through Two 2×4’s and Still be sharp enough to cut a 1″ hanging Hemp rope.
Then you put the tip of the blade 1/2 into a vice and bend it to a 90 degree bend without the blade breaking, and it all must be done with a Master Bladesmith present to verify the results. It’s not an easy thing to do, and this is what separates good blades from decent blades.