Information

All manner of information about Blacksmithing and metal work, including articles, photos and videos. We aim to add to this, so keep checking back! 

How long does it take to make a knife?

Contrary to what you may have seen on TV, the average knife takes 15 to 20 hours of work. We hand-forge all of our blades, then grind them to refine the shape. We hand-make all the fittings, handles and sheaths, harden and temper, then polish and sharpen ourselves too. Then in the case of a Damascus blade, we actually make the Damasucs steel here in our workshop too. This can be a very labour intensive process, and the time depends on the complexity of the pattern, but can take up to a week. This is why a knife with a Damascus blade is typically double the price of one with a plain high carbon steel blade.

We quite often get asked why a hand made knife is so expensive. As you can see, there is quite a process and if you multiply the number of hours by your hourly rate from your job or profession, you will see that most knives are actually very reasonably priced. 

How do I buy a knife?

To purchase a knife:

To purchase a knife from the existing stock in the "For Sale" album, please email/phone us with which knife you are interested in and your name and address. We will then send you a total price including postage options and our direct deposit details. We will also need your driver's license number for proof of age. 

Payment methods: 

We currently accept direct bank deposit, Paypal or cash on pickup(if you are in the area).

To order a knife:

To get a knife made for you, please email us and we will go from there, as all orders will be different. We require a deposit up front and this will then put you on a production list with a completion date.

*We currently have a few months wait on any new orders*

Taking care of a high carbon steel knife

If you have bought a knife from us, it will be made of high carbon steel not stainless steel. We recommend to not wash it, merely wipe it over as soon as you have finished using it and put it away. You can wash it by hand if need be, but do not leave water on it, so no soaking in a sink of dishes and don’t leave it to air dry on a draining rack. Wash and dry it straight away.

 No matter how well you take care of your knife it will turn a dull grey colour over time, it will mark and not stay shiny. This is normal, there is nothing unhygienic about it, it is just the nature of the steel. Some foods, like lemon and onion will mark it instantly due to the acidic nature of them. You can polish it back to a high shine finish again, (using a grinder or polisher) but it is unnecessary for the performance of the knife, it is purely cosmetic. This is what most European knives are like, what is known as black steel.  To speed up the process and have a uniform colour, rub the blade with a cut onion half. We do sell a super eraser which is a diamond impregnated rubber which will erase some marks to a certain extent, but there will always be a patina visible.

Read more: Taking care of a high carbon steel knife

Hand Forged Beauty

This is an article on the knife making process written for a local advertising lift-out - Big Boyz Toyz.

Do you want a chef’s knife made from the leaf spring of your first car? Or do you want a hunting knife with an antler handle that will suit your left hand? Sure! This is the domain of the custom knife maker.

With our society’s obsession with readily available, mass produced items, we have lost touch with the creation process. Not all knives are created equal. In fact when it comes to hand made knives - no two are ever the same. 

There are many steps in making a hand forged knife; the whole process can take from a few days for a basic chef’s knife, to possibly weeks of work for an intricate Damascus blade. (This is a beautiful patterning made by layering and joining different types of steel together.)

Read more: Hand Forged Beauty

Basic Glossary

Alloy: a mixture of two or more metals, or of metal and non-metallic elements.

Anvil: the iron or steel block with a hardened steel face on which the Blacksmith forges hot metal.

Anvil tools: tools with a square shank to fit the hardie hole of the anvil. These include hardies, fullers and swages.

Farrier: a Blacksmith who specialises in shoeing horses.

Forge: verb: to work hot steel with a hammer; noun: both the fire used to heat the metal and the workshop in which this takes place.

Hardie hole: the square hole through the face of the anvil, designed to accept the shank of the hardie and other tools.

Quench: abruptly cooling hot metal in oil or water.

Tempering: reducing the dead hardness of steel (quenched from red heat), in order to soften it to the required degree of toughness.

Taking care of your wrought item

Your wrought item is made out of mild steel (and not "Wrought Iron") and to prevent your item from rusting it has been coated in a mixture of linseed oil and turps or beeswax. This will provide a protective but not permanent coating (especially if exposed to the weather). The reason behind doing this and not just painting it, is that the natural coating will still let the steel underneath oxidize creating that lovely deep rich black patina that comes with aged wrought iron.

Rust is the oxidization of the iron atoms (FE) in the steel to form iron oxide and will mainly appear around welds, joins and wear areas, and will spread from there. That's why, especially in cars, rust is referred to as cancer. 

If you notice any rusting on your item do not despair, rust only affects the very surface of the steel to start with. If left, it will penetrate deeper into joins and welds where it cannot be reached without major effort.

 

Read more: Taking care of your wrought item