Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Price Guide


These are minimum prices. Depending on design, features, and materials, your price may be higher. Prices do not include shipping.

At this point I have no interest in making mirror or satin finished blades. I prefer the practicality and aesthetics of a forge finish, and frankly no customer has wanted to order anything from me that wasn't forge finished in a while. Every knifemaker has his area of focus, and mine will be on forge finished blades. Axes are a bit different and tend to have smooth-ground finishes.

A forge finish is easy to maintain and is difficult to damage. Many people, including myself, enjoy the primal look. A good forge finish displays the smith's skill with a hammer. It is smooth, showing no random hammer blows, textured only by the scale that forms from heating the steel to be able to hammer it into shape. I soak my forge finished blades in vinegar overnight in order to eat the scale off, leaving the textured steel exposed.

Steel will be 80CrV2 for knives and 4140 for axes, unless otherwise discussed. Handles can be wood, Micarta, natural cord wrap, or hardened paracord wrap. I make my own Kydex sheaths and work with several different leatherworkers to make make leather sheaths if desired.

Kydex sheaths are typically $40, not including carry hardware, with sheaths for longer blades starting at $50. Leather prices vary depending on maker and design. I have no markup on leather sheaths; typically I pay the leatherworker and then charge the customer what it cost me, although I will put a customer in direct contact with the leatherworker if so desired and they can pay directly if they would rather.

A fully sharpened top edge adds $30 to the base price for shorter blades, and $50 for longer blades.

$165 - 4"-5.5" knives. These are hand forged works of functional art. Very capable tools, they are also beautiful. I will work with you on design and materials to make your own knife that will serve you well the rest of your life. The knife will be delivered shaving sharp.

Cord wrapped handles start at $165 and Micarta or wood handles start at $185.

$185 - 6"-10" These are predominantly camp knives and fighters. Camp knives, used for chopping primarily, are typically balanced so that the blade is heavier. Fighters are more balanced between the handle and the blade, keeping them quick and lively in the hand in spite of the length of their blades.

Cord wrapped handles start at $185 and Micarta or wood handles start at $205.

$300+ - 10"+ Big choppers, machetes, and swords. Serious brush tools. Zombie killers.

Some options to consider:

Bolster - I put these on hidden tang knives but not on full tangs. The bolster is the metal support that strengthens the end of the wooden handle where the tang enters the wood. An actual bolster is the same basic cross section as the handle behind it. A single guard drops down on the edge side of the knife, helping keep the user's hand from sliding onto the blade. A double guard rides above the spine of the blade as well, really locking the user's hand from forward movement. I use either copper or steel for my bolsters and guards. A bolster will cost less than a single guard, which will in turn cost less than a double guard.

Lanyard hole - This allows you to add a lanyard for either added retention, aid in pulling the blade from the sheath, or simply decoration.

Handle material - There are many kinds of materials out there. Some of the most beautiful exotic hardwoods are also the most rare, and will have a higher materials cost.

The Wasteland Crow Project

For those of you not keeping up with the Wasteland Crow Project, these are the blades that I made for it: a golok with a 13.5 inch blade and a sharpened forward edge, and a small, pointy, very sharp companion. Noah, of Wasteland Leather, is busily putting together the beautifully corroded Apocalyptic Survivor carry system to go with them. Check out his in-progress pictures over at The Wasteland Crow Project.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Variations on a theme

This is another little everyday carry knife that was commissioned by someone who saw my girlfriend's knife and wanted something similar. This was actually made before the electrician's knife that was inspired by my girlfriend's knife.

The blade is forged from car spring, forge finished, with the cutting edge and false edge hand filed. The double guard is a flattened piece of railroad spike, and the handle is Osage orange (or "bodark" if you're Texan) and mesquite. The sheath is Kydex.

A forge finish leaves the texture of the oxidation (scale) that forms when the steel is heated. Some people like it, some don't. I like it. I find it a very durable finish, and a good way of adding visual interest. A well-done forge finish shows what the knifemaker is capable of doing with his hammer. Any mis-placed hammer stroke is going to show up for the whole world to see. A good forge finish is smooth, with no random dents from poor hammer control. It is simply a light texture from the scale. After forging a blade that I'm forge finishing, I soak it in vinegar overnight. The vinegar eats the scale off and leaves the steel unaffected.

The customer went from not carrying a knife for several years to carrying this daily.

Monday, April 5, 2010