DIY knives


January 23, 2003, 01:31 AM
this is prob'ly a question more suited to bladeforums et al, but does anyone make unfinished blades like bob engnath used to? he had a petty extensive line and his catalog rocked! i was hoping that someone has taken up his mantle and started producing some of his designs especially the clay tempered japanese styles

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Don Gwinn
January 23, 2003, 09:47 AM
I honestly don't know, but I know a guy who can show you how to forge your own knives on the cheap. He charges if you come to his shop to learn with him, but his website and forums are free and he gives away the store. His name is Tim Lively and he works out of Arizona. He learned from Tai Goo, who started things with a style called "Neo Tribal" in which the smith tries to do things only as they could have been done a hundred or a thousand years ago. Tai does it because he feels closer to the art, but it also has the advantage of being a good way to get started for cheap. Tai doesn't use the name "Neo-Tribal" much anymore, and Tim doesn't speak to Tai, but they're both interesting artists. Tim makes mostly bowies and hunters in the style of a couple hundred years ago but often with more primitive methods than those smiths used. He likes an "aged" look and usually hammers the blade to its final finish. He does no grinding at all and nowadays does almost no filing or polishing on the blade itself. Tai does the same but places a higher value on a "polished" look. He says, reasonably, that the ancient smiths didn't make knives that looked 200 years old from the start and that they valued a clean, polished look just like we do now--and he achieves it with their methods. It's often hard to believe that some of his knives haven't been ground on a Burr-King (and they'd be awfully hard to do that way) but he does it with nothing but hammers and stones.

An example of Tim's work. This is called the "Woodlander" and he's asking $1000 for it. There's probably about $25 worth of materials in it, but the expertise to make it with no electricity, no sandpaper, no epoxy . . . .

Don Gwinn
January 23, 2003, 09:57 AM
And here's one by Tai. Remember, no grinders, no sanders, no sandpaper. He gets the blade about 99% as you see it with the hammer (somehow) and the rest is done with various stones.

January 23, 2003, 09:17 PM
Check Darrel Ralph is designing these, and having them produced. Have heard nothing but good things about them.

Also check they have some nice ones, one especially nice D2 fighter kit blade. D2 is a great steel, and the design of this piece is wonderful.

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