Knife making is a specialty unto itself, with designs that reflect the tens of thousands of uses us smart monkeys have figured out for this incredibly useful tool. I like traditional designs and carbon steels, but have done a couple of stainless blades – including the sheepsfoot sailing knife below for the captain of a tall ship off the coast of Maine.
For a while, I was making a lot of blades using the wheel bearing races & transmission parts from old Land Cruisers (In those days, I had a ’73 FJ40; these days it’s an ’85 FJ60). It’s a good, tough steel that does a decent job of holding an edge. One of the first ones I made was the little two-finger knife below, which is still one of my favorites. In a simpler time when I worked on Capitol Hill, I used to wear this one on my belt under a suit, and the Capitol Hill Police never once objected to the 1.25″ blade that I’d toss in the bowl with keys and change for the trip through the X-Ray.
II’ve done a few knives for friends, and for various silent auctions and raffles; the middle knife above found a new home raising money at the Catamount Cruiser Challenge in New Hampshire.