A few weeks ago my friend Larry posted a photo on his facebook about a handmade knife he’d just received from a friend of his. I asked about it and he put me in contact with Kevin from Winter Park Forge. For those folks who know me, they know I’m a huge fan of handmade knifes and hell just about anything where you can see the craftsmanship that went into it. I’m in love with the processes that lead to a finished product. When I was a child, my grandfather gave me a few handmade carving knives. Looking back, I’m amazed I was trusted with these tiny little blades that you could shave with. I remember sitting at my desk in my room and staring at the metal of the blade, the grain of the wood handle, and the way it all came together to allow me to hack out carvings as I mimicked my grandfather’s beautiful woodworking skills. I still own those knives and they’re still as sharp as a shaving razor. I’ve bought manufactured carving knives in the past but they don’t work like those handmade ones. They’re missing the soul. It’s as simple as that.
So, this new tanto neck knife. It’s awesome. That’s not hyperbole either. It fits in the palm of your hand but it’s size to weight is deceiving. This thing is solid. I dig solid. My plans for the knife were to have a nice blade I could carry in my boat bag or around my neck while on the water. It’s not made it there yet. I’ve been showing it off too much to friends so it sits on my mantle waiting for the local rivers to not look like chocolate milk.
Here’s a few words from Kevin:
The process: Trace the pattern on 52100 ball bearing steel. Rough cut the knife profile. Clean up the shape and grind the bevels. Trace out the handle scales. Cut them out on scroll saw. Then it’s heat treatment time. Triple normalizing relieves stress points in the molecular structure of the steel and refines the grain. Then the hardening… Heat to 1950F then quench in warm oil. The knife is then tempered in an oven at 350F for two, one hour cycles. The scales are glued and pinned, shaped and polished. The sheath is pressed from thermoformed plastic and finished.
If you’d like to get a badass custom knife made, make sure to contact Kevin at Winter Park Forge. I’m glad I did and now I’m trying to decide what other knives I’d like to have made.