Damascus steel handmade knife by Bill Wiggins

Damascus steel and fossil mammoth ivory knife made by Bill Wiggins of Haywood County, North Carolina.

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ABS Mastersmith Dan Warren pocket knives

Two slip joint pocketknives by Dan Warren, American Bladesmith Society Mastersmith. The handle scales are mammoth ivory and the larger knife is just over 7 ¼” overall when open.

Small custom folding knife by Dan Warren ABS Mastersmith

Small custom folding knife by Dan Warren ABS Mastersmith

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A new custom pocket knife

 

 

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Mother of pearl handled Daddy Barlow by American Bladesmith Society Journeyman Smith Mike Christenson. This is a big folder, 8 ¾ inches open and 5 inches closed. The flat ground blade is made from 154 CM and is .091 thick at the ricasso. Workmanship is excellent; the blade has a half stop, and is perfectly centered when closed. The bolsters are cut at a 45 degree angle for a matching bevel on the handle scales to fit under. The knife weighs 5.4 ounces. Mike is a friend of mine and lives in the same mountainous area of North Carolina that I do.

Bill Wiggins Paring Knife

Stock removal knives and kitchen cutlery represent a departure from the forged hunters and choppers that Bill Wiggins usually makes. The example of Bill’s stock removal knives that I am currently using is a paring knife. It is made from carbon steel with beautiful stabilized maple handle scales.

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The knife is 7 3/16” overall in length, and weighs 1.98 ounces. The 1084 blade is 3.375” long, .780” high, .063” thick at the spine just ahead of the handle scales, and .028” thick when measured .250” back from the cutting edge. That geometry tells me that the knife should work well in the kitchen.

The handle is coffin shaped, and the scales are bonded to the tang as well as being secured by two stainless steel pins. The handle is .597” high at the front and .980” at the highest point. It is .478” thick at the front and .627” at the rear. The sides are gently rounded and there is a flat that runs around the perimeter of the handle. The handle is very comfortable in use, and the flats provide excellent indexing.

I tested the knife for edge holding by cutting cardboard packing box material, some of the areas where I cut had glue laminating two thicknesses of the cardboard together and in other places there was packing tape to be cut through. Without going into specific numbers of feet cut, this knife cut as many feet of cardboard as any knife that I have tested this way. When I stopped the knife was still cutting but there was a small area of the blade dulled. It was the area that had performed most of the cuts. That area of the blade would no longer start a cut in thin paper.

While I was doing the cutting I did not notice any “hot spots” or discomfort caused by the handle shape. But to be fair I was wearing Kevlar gloves to protect against accidental cuts to my hands and the glove might have provided some cushioning effect.

Re-sharpening was very easy. A few strokes on a medium Spyderco Stone to eliminate the dull spot and then stropping on compound loaded leather did the trick. The knife was back to shaving arm hair and slicing telephone book paper.

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Overall, I think that these knives offer excellent value. The three people that I know personally who are using them, are very happy with these little paring knives.

Currently Bill offers these knives in several versions which include 1084 or damascus steel, “belt finished” or “hand rubbed” blades. Prices start at $70.00.

In addition to paring knives he is making other kitchen cutlery as well. Bill can be contacted at wncbill@bellsouth.net put “knife” in the subject line.

Disclaimer: Bill and I are friends but the views that I express here are my honest opinion and not colored by our friendship.  

copyright Bill North 2015