I make knives part time, working as a behavior analyst for developmentally disabled persons as my day job. I take making knives seriously, and I try to learn a little from every experience. My knives are at the same time tools and works of art. A pretty knife that doesn’t hold an edge isn’t much of a knife. On the other hand, an ugly knife isn’t any better than what can be bought at the store for much less. I try to make every knife both functional and beautiful.
I currently live in Hawley, TX, a few miles north of Abilene. I’m married with two boys in elementary school. My knife hobby supports a full schedule of fishing, hunting, church work, and playing with my kids.
I am a voting member of the Knifemakers’ Guild, an Apprentice in the American Bladesmith Society, and the president of the Texas Knifemakers’ Guild.
I have hunted and fished since before I can remember, and have had knives around my whole life. I ground out my first blade in high school, from a file, but never finished it. In 2003 while trapping furbearers, I got to skinning so many raccoons that I couldn’t keep a sharp knife around. I needed more knives, so I put a handle on that blade from high school. I consider that knife #1. Memorial Day weekend 2008 I went to my first gun show, in Ruidoso, NM. I saw a table full of custom knives, picked up a few, and thought, “I think I can do that.” I made my first 19 blades with files and sandpaper, then got a grinder. Since I mostly write paperwork and “help people” for a living, I love knifemaking because it gives me the chance to produce something tangible. I can see knifemaking progress on a daily basis, and I love it.
I make knives using both stock removal and forging techniques. Visit my “How I Build a Knife” blog post for an older step-by-step picture tutorial of the knife making process. I most often heat treat my own blades in a digitally controlled kiln and use dry ice for cryogenic tempering. Steels I use include 1080/1084 carbon steel, D2 tool steel, CM 154 and 440C stainless steels, and occasionally files or other “found” steel.