My knifemaking journey started with a friend who collected custom knives. At the time I could not afford to collect knives myself. In 1995 I decided to start making my own. By the following year I had begun my addiction to the forged blade. I did not know any local makers at that time, so most of what I learned came from books and even more so from trial and error.
I made my first billet of damascus by hand in 1997 on a dare from a friend who said I could not do it. I was successful and after that first billet I was hooked on damascus and I have not looked back since.
I received the opportunity to go full time in 1999, thanks to the support of my loving wife and family. That same year I stepped out into the knife community by doing my first show and joining the American Bladesmith Society. Since then I have developed good friendships with many knifemakers and enthusiasts alike.
Damascus is employed on 90% of my knives in various patterns. My preferred steels for damascus are 1084 and 15n20. For straight steel knives I have and will employ 1084, 1080, 5160, 52100, S30V, 20CV and Talonite. I strive for the perfect combination of design, purpose and aesthetics in every knife I create. Rather than working with set patterns, I choose to work with styles of knives. This way each knife is a one of a kind creation.
Among the styles I frequently create are utility knives, bowies, tantos, hunters, daggers, art folders and fixed blades as well as numerous others.
I do all of my own heat treating which ensures the performance of each and every knife I produce. Routinely I test blades for quality control purposes as well as for future knowledge and developments. My metallurgical knowledge has been acquired not only from studying books and reference manuals but also through years of trials in my own shop always striving for that perfect heat treatment.
In 2001 Bill Cottrel, Chuck Bybee and myself developed a process to make Titanium Damascus or TImascus. This has been one of the greatest journeys I have been on. We have not yet set the boundaries on this beautiful material and only the future can tell what we will accomplish.