Auxiliary Manufacturing Handmade Knives

Handmade tools for your pocket and home

Why I do this... or My dreams realized... or Cooking's fun but making knives is more fun

Michael Jarvis

My first knife was a buck 110, given to me by my father in preparation of my first hunting trip. I had already learned to shoot, cleaned my rifle, rolled up my bedroll, and now it was time to learn to sharpen my knife. I’ll never forget my dads old and chipped sharpening stone, but man did he make it work. In no time both his and my buck knives were razor sharp and ready to field dress my first deer. While I wouldn’t get my first deer that year my love of knives was born.

While my mother didn’t approve of my new found love of knives she accepted it as boys will be boys. Throughout my youth I collected whatever knives I could get my hands on, finally time went by and i was out of high school and already had plenty of restaurant experience under by belt, so it only made sense to further that by going to culinary school, where I truly began to hone my knife skills.

After a quite a few years of post school cooking, cheffing, and managing, I discovered the world of handmade custom knives and was immediately obsessed. I picked up a few here and there where I could, but that still didn’t scratch my knife itch. So I decided I’d look into how hard it would be make my own knife. I stumbled upon the biltsharp tutorial and learned a lot of the process, for that series.

On my next day off I went straight to harbor freight and picked up a 1x30, I had already ordered a small piece of 1080 online and was ready to get grinding! Here I am on the front porch of my apartment grinding my first knife (a mini clever at that) on my little grinder. I had already built a brake drum forge, gotten some hardwood lump charcoal, and some old oil from the restaurant I was working at during the time, so I was ready to heat treat too.

Now my knife is ground and heat treated, although I had virtually no temperature control and used a trusty magnet on a stick to know when to quench, it turned out pretty ok, considering I had no idea what I was doing. I got it glued up as soon as I could with some un-stabilized poplar (have I mentioned I had no idea what I was doing?). Once shaped and sanded, I threw a very sloppy edge on it, then BOOM! My very first knife was born. It wasn’t pretty or very functional, but man I was happy and I knew I had to find a way to make this my life.