About my Knives
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Please Read Before Placing Your Order:
My goal as a bladesmith is to make a knife that is sharp, highly functional and as unique as the person who owns it.
The combination of my 73 year-old hands; 150+ year old barnwood; and the occasional “artistic touch” of a long-dead beetle does not make knives that are for everyone. For this reason, the best way to purchase one of my knives is to spend a Saturday morning in Richmond, Indiana at our Farmers Market where you can select the specific knife on display that is right for you.
If making a trip to Richmond Indiana is not possible–we are not on everyone’s tourist destination map–please see the following schedule for on-line purchases.
Ordering My Knives On-Line: 2022 Schedule
January 1-31: No on-line orders accepted.
February 1-October 31: Unless noted otherwise, please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery.
November 1-December 31: On-line orders accepted with knives delivered between January 15 and February 15, 2023. (If placing a “needs to be delivered by Christmas order” be sure to do so by the end of October.)
Return Policy: Not the Knife You Want?
If for any reason the knife that arrives in your mail box is not “right for you” do not be shy about returning it. Simply send me a short email explaining the reason (and “any reason” or no reason at all is perfectly fine with me) then send it back via Priority Mail. When I receive it I will send you a full refund–including the cost of return postage.
1095 High Carbon Steel Blades: What You Need to Know
High carbon steel knives have long had a reputation for being the “blade of choice” by professional chefs, hunters and outdoor enthusiasts. The reason is simple. First, they “maintain their edge” better and longer than stainless steel blades. Second, a high carbon steel knife is easier to sharpen to a razor-sharp edge.
Caring for Your High Carbon Steel Knife: Three Simple Steps
Like your grandmother’s cast iron skillet, a high carbon steel knife requires more care and attention than a stainless steel blade. If, however, you take the following three steps to care for your knife it will serve you and your family well for many generations to come.
Step 1: Store your knife in a safe and dry location.
Step 2: Clean your knife by hand and dry thoroughly following use.
Step 3: Periodically place 1 or 2 drops of oil on each side of the blade then lightly rub the oil into the blade with a dry cloth. (My personal preference is canola oil.)
This 100+ year old cleaver is still used today by Quaker John Helding: the great, great grandson of the blacksmith who forged this heirloom high-carbon steel blade.
“My traditional style kitchen knives would feel very much at home in your great-grandmother’s kitchen.“
I craft each knife handle from “scratch” starting with large beams of reclaimed barn wood dating back to the mid-to-late 1800s. Rather than cover up or discard signs of each barn’s history–such as patterns left on the wood by a burrowing beetle or marks from a “square nail” crafted by a local blacksmith–I incorporate whenever possible these rich “bits of history” into each of my knives.
Reclaimed Indiana Barnwood: Three handle options made with wood salvaged from Indiana barns are currently available: Mid-to late 1800s Wormy Oak; Early 1900s Walnut and Cherry recently salvaged from an Indiana barn built in the early 1850s.
Reclaimed 100+ Year-Old American Chestnut: My American Chestnut knife handles are made from a small supply of timber salvaged from a wood-framed structure built over 100 years ago in western North Carolina.
Authentic American Chestnut (as opposed to other species of chestnut) is rare and hard to find. Considered the “King of Hardwoods” during colonial times when over four billion trees were found throughout the eastern United States, the American Chestnut was decimated by a blight in the early 1900s. Today the species is defined by the American Chestnut Foundation as “functionally extinct” since the blight fungus kills off mature trees but not the tree’s root system that can produce sprouts and a tree-like shrub.
Why I Construct My Knives With Treenails (Rather Than Brass Pins)
With rare exceptions virtually all knifemakers use some form of metal pin in the construction of their knife handles. After seeing that the barns from which I secure my wood where often constructed with very large wooden pegs, I did extensive research on the history of treenails (more commonly known today as handcrafted hardwood pegs) and decided to make the use of treenails a signature feature of my knives.
I made the decision to construct my knife handles using treenails rather than brass pins for two very practical reasons. First, as experienced woodworkers will tell you, hardwood joinery results in a stronger and longer-lasting seal than screws and brass pins. Second, I like the unique look of treenail pins and the fact that they enable me to make a one-of-a-kind knife that can be used daily and also handed down to future generations.
I handcraft each treenail one-at-a-time from a block of Brazilian Cherry: a wood I find provides a “strong seal” (which is critical) and is a joy to work with. While the use of treenails in construction of my knife handles is a signature feature of my work, I also offer the option of standard brass pins if requested.
Forged Finish (Drop Points and Kitchen Cleavers)
My 100+ year old Fisher-Norris anvil and decades old hammer proudly display the many hairline cracks, pot-marks and worn edges accumulated over time. Each imperfection is the result of a former owner pursuing their craft as a blacksmith “shoeing” a neighbor’s mule; making a tool for the family farm; or repairing a wagon wheel for a stranger passing through town.
The lost memories and life experiences embedded in my tools over the past 100+ years are passed on through the markings which I intentionally leave on each of my rustic-style hammered blades. Like a human fingerprint, they are a unique feature of each individual knife that can only be formed with my vintage hammer and anvil.
100% Life-Time Warranty:
If, for any reason, you are not completely satisfied with the knife when it is received please feel free to return it within 90 days for a full “no questions asked” refund. Each knife you purchase is also backed by a 100% Life-Time Warranty that covers any breakage or damage due to a defect in material or workmanship.