About my Knives

Christmas Shopping? Due to unexpected demand, all Christmas orders must be received no later than November 27.

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 olive oil on each side of the blade then lightly rub the oil into the blade with a dry cloth.

This 100+ year old cleaver is still used today by John Helding: the great, great grandson of the blacksmith who forged this heirloom high-carbon steel blade.

The use of treenails (also known as trenails, trennels or nobs) can be traced back over 7,000 years.

Handle Construction: 

I craft each knife handle from “scratch”. In most cases, the process begins with a beam of timber reclaimed from one of the many old barns built by Indiana farmers and settlers in the mid-to-late 1800s. Rather than cover up or discard signs of each barn’s rich 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.  

Four wood options are currently available: Reclaimed Oak, Reclaimed American Chestnut, Reclaimed Walnut and Brazilian Cherry. (A Special Edition Drop Point is also available for a limited time in Hedge Apple and Black Palm.)

Treenail (“Hardwood”) Pins:

Until the early 1900s treenails (more commonly known today as handcrafted “hardwood pins”) were widely used in the construction of everything from barns, covered bridges and railroad tracks to wood-framed houses, hand tools and fine colonial furniture.  While the practice of using treenails on a mass scale has largely been abandoned due to the convenience of modern-day nails and brass pins, handcrafted hardwood pins are still used today in the wood boat-building industry and by woodworkers around the world. 

Four factors determine the fastening capacity of a treenail:  size; wood density; moisture content; and grain alignment.  I craft each treenail by hand from a block of partially dried Brazilian Cherry (a species 30% denser than most North American cherry).  As a final step, the bond between the knife blade, wood handle and treenail is reinforced with a high-grade 2,000 lb. epoxy resin.

The use of treenails in construction of my knife handles is a signature feature of my work.  I do, however, also offer the option of standard brass pins. (Note: A Special Edition Drop Point is also available for a limited time with my own-design mosaic pins made in-house.)

Blade Markings

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.

Special Limited-Time Offer:  Place an order for two or more knives (any style–mix or match) and automatically receive a free Quaker Paring Knife with your purchase. 

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.