The Knife Making Process

Uniquely Handcrafted and Built to Last a Lifetime

Each knife starts out as a block of wood, a sheet of steel, and a length of leather. Frank crafts the knives the way his father and grandfather did — each of the 73 steps start to finish.

Each step is done by hand. The process starts by profiling the pattern on the steel on a belt grinder. Once Frank creates the basic shape of the blade, the metal is coal fired in a 140-year old forge, heated to 1650 degrees.

From there, the blade goes into a special formula of oil. After this “quenching” process, the blade needs to be strengthened, so it’s cleaned and then goes into two cycles of a tempering oven at 450 degrees. This process puts resilience back into the blade, spreading the molecules out so it doesn’t chip or break and so it holds a sharp edge. Frank hardens his knives to a Rockwell scale of 58-59 — so each knife is extremely durable and holds a sharp edge, but is also able to be sharpened when needed.

Once a blade comes out of the tempering oven, it’s cleaned again. Frank then draws the outline of the handle on the wood, cuts it out, and glues it onto the handle before pinning it. He then shapes the handle on a belt grinder, and then polishes it with a finer grit.

After it’s cured, Frank then applies an antique gunstock stain to the handle, then polishes and buffs it. He applies a crystalline wax to create a shiny finish and to protect the wood and blade.

The leather sheath is also created by hand, by Cristy Fleming in Spartanburg, SC. She uses a vegetable-tanned leather that’s safe for the blade.