ABOUT ME

Passionate About my work

A little more about me and the methods I use to construct my knives axes and tools.

As far back as I dare to remember, I have always been passionate about making things from raw materials.  I love to design and invent, to that end, I have spent my working life doing the same. I have looked for other avenues that are more challenging and ways of learning new skills.

This led me some years ago into knife making and then swiftly on to pattern welding steel more commonly known as Damascus.  This is a continuing steep learning curve which suits my need for a challenge.  I think a lifetime is too short to learn everything involved around this subject and the process of forging.  When you couple this with the production of knives the possibilities are endless. I veer towards the artistic  side of making knives by combining Damascus or San Mai with a mixture of materials for the handle.

I make Knives, axes, swords and general woodworking tools for spoon and bowl carving, and draw knives for wood carving and shaping.I will take on any build for a tool I can make, so please drop me a message and see if I can help.

There are countless steels and designs to work with because no one knife or blade fits every task, no sooner have I finished one my mind is on another knife for a different use.  I enjoy knowing the blades I make will be used and if used for their purpose will last a lifetime and beyond.

You do put a lot of yourself into hand making a knife and the workmanship should reflect this on each one.  I am happy knowing that when a knife leaves my workshop, I could not improve it beyond what I had intended.

In the main I like to use and work with 01 steel, it is a wonderful knife steel that is easy for the knives owner to sharpen and maintain.  It also holds a good edge and has most things I look for in a good steel.  I am very  confident in my heat treating and tempering, each blade is Rockwell tested on my own machine.  You can also be confident knowing the steel is set up to its optimal performance. But I do use many different steels in the production of my knives such as carbon types, 01 ; 1095 ; 15n20 ; 80crv2 ; 52100.  Plus various types of Stainless Steel.

Damascus steel or pattern welding

 I hand forge from 15N20 and 1095 which are both good steels in their own right, these two steels combined together  beautifully complement each other in the final etching process.  Knives made from this process are unique, there will be no two the same no matter how hard I try.  Each hand forged billet is like a fingerprint unique to the blade it becomes.  To that end, these knives are more expensive due to the sheer amount of work involved in producing the steel to make the knife.  I enjoy working the steel on the anvil and seeing the finished pattern emerge.  The process of pattern welding can be fraught with problems, you have to build on your failures and learn from them. Because i forge my own Damascus I can offer things like cladding damascus onto a mono carbon core such as 1095 steel. This means the pattern is visible on each side and the steel in the centre is consistent and can be heat treated to any hardness you desire. This kind of steel is known as  San Mai.

Please do not confuse most of the mass produced damascus steels and knives you see on ebay and some online knife sales sites most always termed 1095 / 15n20  These steels are totally inferior to hand made Damascus which is why they seem cheap in comparison to makers knives. With research you can track these knives back to India and Pakistan where it is mass produced from low quality steels and poor methods of manufacture.

San Mai steel.

I now offer San Mai steel in various choices such as stainless clad carbon and damascus clad carbon, A stainless jacket lays on each side of the carbon steel, this prevents rust on this section whilst giving you the edge of a carbon steel blade, it also allows for some really striking patterns very unique to other blades. Some pictures can be seen in the Gallery.

Recycled steels.

 

I re purpose many kinds of steel such as files, leaf springs, anything that can be used in the production of a blade or tool, i do like to combine steels like wrought iron with a high carbon steel to create patterns.

 

Manufacture.

My knives and tools go from raw material to finished product in house, every part is done by hand.  I do my own heat treating and tempering including Rockwell testing on my own machine. Each blade is tested at various stages, all knives require a hardness to suit the task they will perform, I can achieve this with a high level of accuracy. To get the best from a knife it is important to understand the steel type and the heat treating of it, only then can you get the absolute best cutting edge and edge retention. factory built knives may offer lower prices but many times this comes at a cost to the above, you are never sure where a knife was made and what process it underwent before it is sent for sale, expect low standards of steels and heat treating from some foreign factories.

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© 2020 Loz Harrop