Australian Blade Ed 3 Dec 2017

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Welcome to the third edition of <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Blade</strong> and the last for <strong>2017</strong>.<br />

This year’s been a busy one in the <strong>Australian</strong> knife community. For the first time, the American<br />

<strong>Blade</strong>smith Society held an introduction course over two weeks at Eveleigh Works in Redfern, Sydney.<br />

We’ve seen some outstanding knife shows held in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and one is about to be<br />

held in Canberra. In regional locations, handmade <strong>Australian</strong> knives are exhibited at local agricultural<br />

shows and markets. Right across the country, knifemakers and knife aficionados gather informally to<br />

hold our own private workshops and exhibitions, accompanied by backyard cooking and ice cold<br />

beverages. <strong>Blade</strong>s, Beer, Bundy and Bar-B-Ques - Living the Dream!<br />

But despite the distances that divide us, we are a united lot for several reasons. One factor that binds<br />

us is the willingness of members of the <strong>Australian</strong> knife community to chip in and help one another. I<br />

choose the term “<strong>Australian</strong> knife community” deliberately to include not only knife makers, but<br />

knife aficionados and others who willingly contribute, assist and support knifemakers in our fields of<br />

endeavor. We have world class makers like Steve Filicietti, Peter Del Raso, Bruce Barnett and Keith<br />

Fludder all assisting us lessor mortals with advice and techniques. Aficionado and collector Andrew<br />

Smith works behind the scenes assisting makers and at the Sydney Knife Show. Michael Masion,<br />

another aficionado and collector publishes <strong>Australian</strong> Knife and found it within his heart to provide<br />

all the Adelaide show photos for this issue of <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Blade</strong>! Such willingness to help and share<br />

demonstrates just how healthy our <strong>Australian</strong> knife community is and bodes well for our future. Last<br />

and by no means least and as Peter Del Raso acknowledges in his article, there are some supportive<br />

and understanding the knife widows out there.<br />

So to all these folks – thank you! Your contributions are noted and you are valued!<br />

I'm very pleased to advise that ABS Master Smith and 17th Generation Yoshimoto <strong>Blade</strong>smith, Mr<br />

Murray Carter accepted an invitation to write an article exclusively for this edition of <strong>Australian</strong><br />

<strong>Blade</strong>. Mr Carter is well known and respected at an international level and would have to be one of a<br />

handful of authorities on Japanese bladesmithing, outside of Japan.<br />

This issue covers the Adelaide Knife Show, which for the<br />

past 25 years has been hosted by Peter and Maxine Bald.<br />

That must be some sort of record and is a very fine<br />

achievement!<br />

The last edition of <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Blade</strong> fare-welled Perth<br />

bladesmith Jack O'Brien. That edition also featured a<br />

marlin handled Bowie by Joseph Bethune (pictured<br />

right) protégé of <strong>Australian</strong> knifemaking pioneer,<br />

George Lee Sye. We understand that since the last<br />

edition, Joseph has crossed Bifröst and now joins Jack<br />

and George. Our sincere condolences to Joe's family and<br />

friends.<br />

Hammer fast, grind hard!<br />

Chris Harriss

Contents<br />

Welcome ……………....................................2<br />

Contents…………………..............................3<br />

QMAC Stories…………................................4 to 8<br />

Murray Carter on Cold Forging……….........9 to 11<br />

Adelaide Knife Show………………….......12 to 15<br />

Scott Broad……………………………......16 to 19<br />

Peter Del Raso ……………………............20 to 24<br />

Heat Treating by James Johnson ……........25 & 26<br />

Phil <strong>Ed</strong>wards……………………………...27 to 30<br />

Book Review – <strong>Blade</strong>smithing with Murray<br />

Carter….......................................................31<br />

Knife Laws …………………………….…32 to 33<br />

Work in Progress by Chris Harriss. <strong>Blade</strong> steel is Sandvik 12C27. Handle is desert rose flowers cast in resin

Queensland Metal Artisan's Collective<br />

Going to the dark side…<br />

Note - Sometimes all it takes is for something to<br />

QMAC<br />

catch your eye and your interest to bring on a journey.<br />

Some journeys take place in a Maserati, and others in a<br />

horse and cart. But sooner or later, those that are<br />

predisposed to the unfortunate obsession with knives either<br />

spend a fortune collecting them, or they spend the<br />

equivalent on the elusive art of making them.<br />

Since the formation of QMAC almost a year ago, I have become aware that all of our members have a<br />

story. It’s clear that although years may pass, the passion for the craft may subside to a single coal, the<br />

right circumstances can bring it raging back in a surprisingly short time.<br />

Dion’s story: A knifemaker re-booted<br />

The second knife I forged, first attempt at chef’s knife (I’m not showing anyone the first!!!) 5160 – done<br />

about 8 months ago, still busy polishing.<br />

A long, long time ago (about 31 years to be a little more specific) , in a galaxy, or at least a continent,<br />

country and culture far, far away (Zimbabwe to be precise) while going through some significant<br />

adjustments in his life, a young man came across the path of three guys at a local agricultural show who<br />

made knives. Life was about to change for the better!<br />

Unable to secure employment after leaving school, having moved to a new city and exceedingly short<br />

of friends this meeting was life changing. Friendships forged and I started to make knives!!! I<br />

clearly remember, under the mentoring of my mate Steve Wilde (now in Mackay) I learned how<br />

grind, file, heat treat (using a forge made from an old lorry rim), polish, fit handles and brass, make<br />

the odd sheath (all stock removal). Life was good! But, things were about to change.<br />

Between a car accident which injured Steve’s shoulder leading him to close his knifemaking business,<br />

me getting gainful employment (as a trainee in the computer division of a bank – which meant shift<br />

work, a 6 day work week and studies) and, most significantly, the entry of a young lady into my life.

ack to the young lady. I am of farming stock and, even though many of my school holidays<br />

Now…<br />

spent on my grandparent’s dairy farm and I could milk a cow better than any of them, I was that<br />

were<br />

I would inadvertently leave some one off –<br />

and<br />

big thank you.<br />

a<br />

Alas, knifemaking came to an end. At least for a long while.<br />

lowest life form at the bottom of the food chain - a “townie”! I was dating their younger daughter.<br />

However; all was not lost.<br />

Two small things made a big difference. First, I taught their daughter how sharpen a knife better than<br />

any of her uncles, cousins, brothers could and second, for Christmas, I gave her younger brother, one of<br />

the early skinners I had made.<br />

Fast forward 30 years and half a world away.<br />

After years of work, raising boys, studies,<br />

travel and resettling to Australia. I have no<br />

idea how, but we've ended up at the knife meet<br />

at Graham and Gill’s home that became<br />

QMAC. It’s been like coming home. So<br />

much to learn and re-learn. What an<br />

incredible bunch of the most helpful people,<br />

passionate about what they do. If I had to list<br />

the names of those who have freely given time,<br />

materials and expertise the list would be long<br />

I would also like to acknowledge the<br />

enthusiastic support of a certain farm girl.<br />

The first knife I ever made (yes, the drop<br />

point is Loveless inspired), the steel is EN45<br />

(from an old car spring – we used what we<br />

could) unfortunately it spent the best part of<br />

12 years in its sheath before I was reunited<br />

with it recently and has some corrosion.

after<br />

QMAC Note - We must not forget, the art of knifemaking has as<br />

much impact on wives and partners than on any passionate golfer<br />

and has possibly more capacity to turn them into fantasising about<br />

putting their dearly beloved’s produce to good use. Tip to all<br />

knifemakers –<br />

a couple of practice runs, ensure that one of<br />

your first priorities is to make a chef’s knife for her. She won’t care<br />

what it looks like, she will be comforted by the fact that somewhere<br />

in this all-consuming obsession you thought of her.<br />

Arlene’s story<br />

Move over golfing widows - memoirs of a knife makers<br />

“widow”.<br />

Many years ago a foreign princess met a foreign prince – he was a “townie” and she was a farmers’<br />

daughter, but he made knives, so therefore, they reluctantly accepted him into the fold.<br />

Fast forward 30 years on, after a 25 year break in the hobby to earning a proper living to raise two boys,<br />

and in the land down under, she finds herself learning about a passion that she once thought was gone<br />

underground, but is fiercely alive.<br />

Now, she finds herself surrounded by deep and meaningful discussions about:<br />

Needle files - pictures of badly done cross-stitch come to mind<br />

Blowers - 80’s hair-do’s coming back?<br />

Thermocouple’s – kitchen utensil?<br />

Linishers – electric lint removal tool?<br />

Stock removal – moving cattle to another part of the property?<br />

The princess can now impress the nerds in the IT department with tales, accompanied with impressive<br />

images on google, of handmade knives that the prince has promised to make after many shopping sprees<br />

spurred on by conversations with QMAC knife makers.<br />

The fellow knife makers resemble a bunch of Vikings and she has never seen a more committed motley<br />

bunch with so much passion for fire, brimstone, 5160 and other steels.<br />

Many bedroom conversations revolve around future projects in the workshop, to the point that it was<br />

even suggested she change her fitness regime from pole dancing to anvil dancing – really the imagination<br />

of a besotted knife maker.

story<br />

Adam’s<br />

received my first knife over forty five years ago, and almost<br />

I<br />

QMAC Note - When listening to the stories of other members in<br />

our club, it is interesting to see that the art of knifemaking can be<br />

a consistent and lifelong journey towards the nebulous goal of<br />

perfection.<br />

immediately sought to improve upon it, constantly working on<br />

design. Many of my school hours were spent sketching ideas out<br />

when I should have been listening to my teachers.<br />

Spending many hours fishing, camping and hunting showed me what worked and what could be<br />

improved upon. Studies in Western Fencing styles with my father, then later in many Eastern Martial<br />

Arts, lead to more ideas. Knives I owned were modified. Prototypes were made in cardboard,<br />

plywood, timber, whatever scraps I could scavenge.<br />

Trying to find the perfect knife eluded me constantly. The only way was to make what I wanted<br />

myself, but I did not find anyone willing to teach me at that time.<br />

At the same time, 1000km from where I lived, the pioneer of the modern <strong>Australian</strong> Knifemaking<br />

movement was struggling with similar concepts about knifemaking. I never met George Lee Sye, did<br />

not in fact learn about him until about 15 years later, but a quote attributed to him "There is no point<br />

owning a custom knife unless it is better in every way than a factory made knife" perfectly described<br />

what I was striving for.<br />

During the 80's I subscribed to various American knife orientated magazines. I learnt a lot from them,<br />

and will always be grateful to the people who produced them, but also realised I did not want to fall<br />

into the trap of making what was trendy, or copy a popular maker's work.<br />

It was also about 1982, that I bought my first straight (cutthroat) razor, and taught myself to shave.<br />

Crudely and painfully, and with no knowledge of proper razor maintenance and sharpening.<br />

Over time I began to set up a workshop in rented properties where I lived, and began the slow and<br />

painful progress of teaching myself. My workshop was broken into and my tools stolen a few times.<br />

Many times I would have given up if not for the support and encouragement of my parents, and later<br />

when i was fortunate enough to meet her, my wife. Today my children have joined my wife in being<br />

my greatest support and encouragement.<br />

Today there is a world of information available to everyone on the Internet on both knifemaking and<br />

straight razor shaving. It is just a matter of sorting through it to find the truth and avoid the opinions of<br />

"armchair experts" and those who just do not yet have enough experience to understand the many facets of<br />

these crafts.

The Queensland Metal Artisan’s Collective has been a wonderful encouraging group of like-minded<br />

people with a wealth of varied knowledge that all the members share freely.<br />

I have now been producing my own knives for nearly 20 years and have learnt a lot. Some I forge, some I<br />

make via stock removal. All are made to be used. I utilise a variety of materials for handles ranging<br />

through natural and synthetic. <strong>Blade</strong> steels I have also used a large variety of, but have found that modern<br />

steels are such reliable, consistent steels that take and hold superior edges if treated correctly, that I only<br />

use a couple depending on the nature of the knife, and whether it is a forged or stock removal piece.<br />

Favourites are W2 and 1075 for forging, and RWL34 for stock removal.<br />

The majority of the knives I make are for kitchen use. Everyone needs a kitchen knife. I still like to make<br />

camping and hunting knives as well, as I simply enjoy them. I have also expanded into making straight<br />

razors. Often, but not always, my razors are expanded into sets where I make a paddle strop and shave<br />

brush to go with them.<br />

At this point in my life I do not take custom orders, but make pieces as I feel moved to, and then make<br />

them available for sale on my table at knife shows. All my original work bears my maker's mark and<br />

comes with a certificate of origin. They are made to be heirloom pieces - something you can use for a<br />

lifetime and then leave to the next generation to be used.<br />

Today I live in Queensland with my loving Family. I am a member of The Queensland Metal Artisans<br />

Collective and a probationary member of The <strong>Australian</strong> Knifemakers Guild. I consider myself a spare<br />

time maker and pay attention to detail, so have no specific volume targets. I make one piece at a time by<br />

hand, each one unique.<br />

Still searching for that perfect knife. Life is good.<br />

Adam Grosskopf

On Cold Forging<br />

ABS Master Smith and 17th Generation Yoshimoto <strong>Blade</strong>smith Mr Murray<br />

Carter writes exclusively for <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Blade</strong> on cold forging.

Cold Forging<br />

Article and photos by Murray Carter<br />

The term “cold forging” refers to the deformation of steel at temperatures below the recrystallization<br />

point, above which would be called hot forging. In traditional Japanese bladesmithing, blades are<br />

commonly cold forged by hammer at room temperature after annealing but before the quenching and<br />

subsequent tempering process.

After having forged and completed over 25,000 blades during my 30 year career, I have come to identify<br />

four distinct purposes of cold forging: to flatten, to finish, to shape and to refine. These four goals must be<br />

balanced with the real possibility of damaging the steel from over working it. I recommend that the<br />

bladesmith cold forge one knife out of a batch of similar knives to the point of failure (cracking) to<br />

discover where the threshold is for that particular steel type. The remaining blades can then be cold forged<br />

just shy of the failure point for best results.<br />

The most basic result of cold forging is that the thicker, or protruding areas, get hammered down to the<br />

thinner, or lower portions of the blade which results in the flattening of the blade. Systematic hammering<br />

over the whole blade will result in an attractive, smooth surface finish that will not need to be ground or<br />

polished on the finished blade. Minor widening and curvature can be added to the blade, i.e., more<br />

hammering can be done to the cutting edge of a blade to curve it upwards like a scimitar, or more<br />

towards the spine of a blade to curve it down like that of a sickle or kopis shape. Lastly, the hammering<br />

of the blade after annealing results in blades that have better balance between edge sharpness, edge<br />

retention and ease of sharpening.<br />

It is important to see cold forging as a significant contribution to the overall final performance of a<br />

blade, but rendered meaningless if ideal forging, annealing, quenching and tempering procedures are not<br />

realized. Like a champion in figure skating, a perfect score is only realized when the performance is<br />

flawless from start to finish.<br />

Murray Carter<br />

ABS Master <strong>Blade</strong>smith<br />

17th Generation Yoshimoto <strong>Blade</strong>smith<br />

2038 NW Aloclek Drive #225<br />

Hillsboro, Oregon 97124<br />

www.cartercutlery.com<br />

Office: 503.466.1331<br />

Cell: 503.816.6556<br />


Adelaide Knife Show - 25 years old!<br />

Article by Peter Bald, photos by Michael Masion<br />

This year the Adelaide Knife Show celebrated its 25th Anniversary! The Adelaide Knife Show was the first<br />

knife show in Australia and has continued to be one that is supported by knife makers both experienced and<br />

new to the game. The knife show is held at the Arkaba Hotel at Fullarton in South Australia and happens in<br />

the first weekend of November each year.<br />

This year we had 32 exhibitors displaying hand made knives, factory made knives and an extensive range of<br />

knife making supplies from steels to grinding machines. One of the big supporters of the show is Corin<br />

Urquhart from Gameco, his company supplies the biggest range of knife making materials in Australia and<br />

brings so many supplies to the show that he has a truck parked in the car park of the Arkaba from which<br />

people can purchase their knife making requirements.

The Saturday morning of the show is a very busy<br />

time; we start with the knife awards where the knife<br />

makers are asked to submit knives into five different<br />

categories (Forged, Hunter, Chef’s, Utility and<br />

Folder) and then the knife makers themselves are<br />

asked to vote on which knife they believe to be the<br />

best in each category. Being judged by your peers<br />

has been the recognised method of assessment for<br />

many years. This task may sound easy but in reality<br />

it offers quite a challenge. As the years pass the<br />

standard of knives submitted for judging has steadily<br />

improved to the point where very close inspection of<br />

the smallest details is necessary to separate one from<br />

another in terms of quality.<br />

This all happens before the doors are open to<br />

the public. This year’s winners were Peter Del<br />

Raso (Hunter and Utility), Jason Weightman<br />

aka Towball (Forged), Peter Bald (Folder) and<br />

Warrick <strong>Ed</strong>monds (Chef).

The doors opened at 9:00 AM and a steady stream<br />

of highly excited knife lovers flowed in. We were<br />

well and truly underway! The anticipation of<br />

being able to pick up and closely inspect<br />

wonderful examples of finely crafted knives was<br />

evident on everyone’s face, knife sales were<br />

happening all around the room and there was a<br />

buzz of excitement in the air.<br />

This year we had an additional award provided by<br />

“<strong>Australian</strong> Knife Magazine” for the sharpest knife at<br />

the show. Fundamentally the test involves measuring<br />

the amount of force required for the knife to cut a<br />

very fine filament. The device is called a Bess<br />

Sharpness tester. Mike Masion and Tim Love were<br />

very busy throughout Saturday testing vast numbers<br />

of knives to determine their sharpness.<br />

The winner of this completion was Peter Bald<br />

with a Damascus san mai chef’s knife that<br />

scored 35 which is in the range of double edged<br />

razor blades. The blade of that knife had been<br />

forged and heat treated by Barry Gardner of Jam<br />

Factory / Seppeltsfield Winery fame.

Saturday was very busy and quite intense at<br />

times with people four and five deep at many<br />

of the tables and in reality that Saturday was<br />

probably the busiest that we have had in the<br />

history of the show! Sunday morning started<br />

off predictably quiet (Adelaide being the city<br />

of churches and all that…..) but it got going<br />

and provided another good day for all<br />

concerned. The tally of knives sold never got<br />

fully completed however the records show<br />

that well over a hundred hand made knives<br />

were sold and a very large number of factory<br />

knives and in particular folding knives.<br />

Feed back from participants and the<br />

visitors alike were very positive and<br />

without exception all of the people I<br />

have spoken to have said that they are<br />

looking forward to next year’s show.<br />

That being said I will continue to<br />

convene the Adelaide Knife Show<br />

while the enthusiasm and preparedness<br />

of knife makers to participate<br />

continues.<br />

I would like to thank everyone who<br />

showed an interest in the show and<br />

supported us in any way, our Facebook<br />

page went ballistic leading up to and<br />

during the weekend of the show and<br />

the “Adelaide Knife Promotions” team<br />

is already underway with preparations<br />

for the next year’s event.<br />

Thanks to everyone…<br />

Peter Bald.

Broad<br />

Scott<br />

Eye for Detail<br />

An<br />

Introduction by Chris Harriss, article and photography by Scott Broad<br />

The Flinders Ranges comprise the largest mountain range in South Australia. The Adnyamathanha ("hill<br />

people" or "rock people") are the Indigenous <strong>Australian</strong>s who have lived in the Ranges for tens of<br />

thousands of years and still reside there today. The Ranges are steeped in Adnyamathanha mythology.<br />

"St Mary's Peak is called Ngarri-Mudlanha. Ngarri means 'mind', Mudlanha means<br />

'waiting'. We're never allowed to go up there because it's Ngarri-Mudlanha - 'waiting to<br />

take your mind'. 1<br />

The Ranges stretch over 430 kilometres (265 miles) from Beetaloo in the south to the dry salt lake country<br />

of Moolawatana in the north. The region experiences summers usually exceeding 38 °C (100 °F) and winter<br />

days that peak around 13–16 °C (55–61 °F). Rainfall is erratic at around 250 mm (9.8 in) annually, with<br />

most of it falling in winter.<br />

This is the part of Australia that knifemaker Scott Broad hails from. Scott’s a part time maker with an<br />

incredible eye for detail. Every now and again you come across a maker whose work stands out above the<br />

rest. Scott is of that ilk. Scott’s knives are so highly prized that periodically he has to close his order book.<br />

The following is his story.<br />

1. Joe McKenzie, Adnyamathanha elder quoted in Charms of the serpent by Max Anderson, http://www.traveller.com.au/charms-<br />


"Well, living in the Mid North Flinders Ranges, hunting<br />

was something that was always going to be in my blood<br />

and you can't successful hunt without a good knife. My<br />

passion for custom knives really started many years ago.<br />

I remember as a child walking passed a shop looking in<br />

the window and thinking 'Wow look at those handmade<br />

knives! They are just incredible! How nice would it be to<br />

have something like that while out hunting?'<br />

But they cost so much."<br />

"About twenty five years later in my thirties and I was still<br />

heavily into my hunting. I thought “Bugger it! That's<br />

something I want to get into!” My father still had the business<br />

card of a knife maker in Adelaide by the name of Peter Bald.<br />

So I contacted Peter. I didn’t know it at the time but this man<br />

would not only become a good friend and true mentor, but<br />

someone who's fit and finish still inspires today."

hours’ drive from the city - well over the years I’m proud to say I have had<br />

"Living in the Mid North Flinders Ranges has its challenges. I’m quite a<br />

drive from most other makers so catch ups are a rare thing. Being four<br />

to work a lot of stuff out myself through trial and error. But you don't learn<br />

if you don't try!"<br />

"The all-round hunting knife is still my true passion today but living where they call the outback meets<br />

the sea, I have over the years branched into filleting knives, station knives and butchers knives."<br />

Click here to see Scott flex testing one of his filleters.

"Probably the most common steel I use is ATS34,<br />

CPM154 and 154CM. I've found these three to have<br />

great machining quality but most of all good edge<br />

retention. I'm now predominantly running with<br />

CPM154. I find this steel very nice to hand finish<br />

and will produce a stunning mirror finish. My knives<br />

are all professionally heat treated by Hill’s in<br />

Melbourne to around 59-60rc plus a cryo treatment."<br />

"I must admit, I do love a nice piece of burl<br />

wood! I'm a true believer the knife has to<br />

be just as beautiful to the eye as in the<br />

hand. Over the years I mainly used<br />

Honduran Rosewood, Arizona Ironwood<br />

and many others but think if I had my pick<br />

the Rosewood is most spectacular."<br />

"I’ve always had inspiration by makers like Peter Bald, Rob Brown, Bob Loveless, Thys Meades, and Peter<br />

Del Raso, purely through their pride in fit and finish and attention to detail. Fit and finish is something I<br />

pride myself on I like to have that attention to detail and have always try to challenge that on every knife<br />

with passion and pride."<br />

Just for fun Scott drives trains across outback Australia and<br />

features here on Discovery Channel incorrectly named<br />

"Jamie Warren". Click here

Peter Del Raso<br />

Article and photos by Peter Del Raso<br />

Hello to all the blade connoisseurs out there and many thanks to the <strong>Ed</strong>itor for inviting me to<br />

contribute to this issue of <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Blade</strong>. As well as a few words about me, I hope what<br />

follows serves a retrospective overview of knifemaking in Australia as I have experienced it<br />

over the last 25 years or so, and how much things have changed.<br />

Like most makers my interest in knives started as a boy. A steady TV diet of Pirates, Tarzan,<br />

Shintaro, and Cowboy and Indians will do that to a kid. I remember my first holy grails were a<br />

selection of Puma knives displayed in the front window of Complete Angler. Living just<br />

around the corner, that shop was a wonderland for a nine year old. Knives, guns, fishing<br />

tackle, and spearfishing gear…..pure Heaven. Add to that my own shotgun at 14, a love for<br />

camping, an over developed obsession with fishing, and you have the perfect recipe for an<br />

unavoidable lust for the perfect knife.

My patterns today still include what most people regard as hunting and camping knives but I<br />

prefer higher end designs. They are more challenging to build but also far more satisfying<br />

when they are done. There are a handful of folders and a few forged blades out there, but I<br />

would realistically have to say I am a stock removal maker of stainless fixed blade knives.<br />

I made my first knives in my early teens but didn’t fully invest myself until my early thirties.<br />

A chance encounter with a copy of “<strong>Blade</strong>” magazine in 1992 pretty much tipped me over the<br />

edge. Reading it over and over I decided “I’m going to have a crack at this”. With that<br />

magazine as my only source of information I set about building a grinder. Thanks to an<br />

Industrial Design Degree, that wasn’t too much of a stretch. Dodgy welds and all, it’s still the<br />

same grinder I use today.<br />

<strong>Blade</strong> steel was off-cuts of Bohler K110 (D2) and 420C scrounged from a machine knife<br />

manufacturer. They were also kind enough to help me with heat treat. I took my first five<br />

knives to a Gun Show as I had been told there would be knifemakers there. Up until then I<br />

had no idea there were other people making knives. To say I was a little overwhelmed by the<br />

work I saw is one hell of an understatement. Most of them were <strong>Australian</strong> Knifemakers<br />

Guild members and many of them founding members. Later I learned most were the who’s<br />

who of makers in Australia and had an average of twenty years’ experience. I can’t help but<br />

feel they were cheated by their era. I think it’s a shame the internet was still in nappies and<br />

they missed out on the opportunity to have their work seen by the world.

To their credit they were very gracious and welcoming considering they had never laid eyes<br />

on me before. One, Bruce Crawley, even invited me to his shop to run over a few things with<br />

me. Next thing I knew I was being told I had to join the Guild. Also the first ever Guild Show<br />

(1993) was only a few months away and I needed to build as many knives as I could to<br />

display there. Awestruck and having no idea what I was getting into, like a putz, I agreed.<br />

Looking back now it was the best “worst” decision I ever made. I learnt heaps really fast. A<br />

few years later in 1999, Bruce and I travelled to <strong>Blade</strong> Show in Atlanta where we both sold<br />

well and set up some great contacts. A week later we followed up with a second show in St<br />

Louis where we both picked up a swag of awards. We joked with the American makers they<br />

were probably going to lynch us in the carpark but they replied we deserved them and<br />

obviously they had to lift their game. That was a great day.<br />

I refer to those first ten to fifteen years as the Dark Ages. So far removed from what’s<br />

available today and so much harder to get started. Machinery, materials, and information<br />

were very thin on the ground. Like me, most guys had to build their own grinders. Popular<br />

steels and handle materials all had to be shipped from the States. The only instructional<br />

information to be had was in a few books. The only thing we could buy cheaper in the States<br />

was grinding belts. Including shipping they were still half the price of buying them here.<br />

Setting up today is still not cheap, but if you have the coin you can be up and running in a<br />

couple of weeks these days, all from local suppliers. As for information I don’t think it is<br />

possible to watch or read everything that is now freely available with the tap of a screen.

The number of makers giving lessons is probably the single best development for<br />

knifemaking. Being able to have a go and seeing what is involved before forking out for<br />

equipment and materials is just brilliant. Most of the classes revolve around forging and<br />

seem to be riding the 180 degree flip away from stock removal and stainless blades. For a<br />

very long time only a few makers forged and that was late in their careers. Pretty much<br />

every new maker I meet these days is starting much younger and going straight into forging.<br />

Hamons, patinas, Damascus, and san mai are everywhere and becoming the norm. Hollow<br />

grinds and full tangs are giving way to flat grinds and hidden tangs. It’s starting to feel a little<br />

weird being in the minority.<br />

After at least 60 shows and a bucket of awards I feel I can say for sure, good intentions<br />

don’t count for much in this caper, sheer pig headed determination is what you need. It’s<br />

hard work that eats up all of your spare time and you need to have a very understanding<br />

partner. You also need to have variety in your work if you are going to attend shows. Your<br />

market outside of shows may mostly consist of one style of knife and filling those orders is<br />

fine. A table full of one style of knife won’t do you any favours at a show. The greater the<br />

variety of baits you put out the more fish you will catch. Not only will your table be more<br />

interesting to buyers and other makers, you will expand your skill set by working outside your<br />

comfort zone.

I’m a great supporter of shows and think all makers benefit from the experience. New<br />

makers especially should get to a show, for years they have been a catalyst for fast tracking<br />

skills and ideas. Seeing what is being made and getting honest feedback from makers,<br />

instead of your mates who know less than you, is one of the best things you can do for<br />

yourself. Ask for and be prepared for an honest critique. Don’t be intimidated; remember<br />

they are on your side and want you succeed. I take on very few orders these days preferring<br />

to make what I want, go to a show and sell directly to a customer, nothing beats it. I have<br />

never liked having the spectre of orders hanging over me, sucks the joy right out of it. In<br />

recent years the Sydney Show really got things moving again. The flow on effect benefitted<br />

and invigorated all the other Shows, attendances and sales were up across the board. With<br />

the Show circuit growing again it’s great to know there are more than enough opportunities<br />

to sell face to face and not having to rely on orders.<br />

From where I stand the future is looking pretty good, it’s never looked better and never it’s<br />

been easier to get into knife making. Equipment and materials are readily available, you can<br />

learn by joining a group like the <strong>Australian</strong> Knifemakers Guild or any of the others that are<br />

starting to pop up, or take a few lessons before you decide to take the plunge. Thanks to the<br />

internet getting your stuff seen is virtually free and only a few clicks away. The only thing you<br />

really need to remember is the plural of knife is knives. If you can do that you are good to go.<br />

Peter Del Raso<br />

<strong>Australian</strong> Knifemakers Guild<br />

Victorian State Rep.

Treating Stainless Steel<br />

Heating<br />

Beginner’s Guide<br />

A<br />

Article & photos by James Johnson<br />

So, you have made a few carbon steel knives and<br />

you’re wanting to try working with stainless and<br />

heat treating. Here’s the process I use and thought<br />

I would share and give a few tips on the way I heat<br />

treat in particularly, Sandvik 12C27 and Damasteel<br />

RWL34.<br />

When heat treating, you can use a gas forge<br />

setup but I prefer to use an electric kiln as in a<br />

Paragon or Evenheat kiln, as they can maintain<br />

good control at high temperatures which is<br />

needed for heat treating stainless.<br />

Firstly, I start with a piece of annealed (soft)<br />

steel and profile the basic shape and prepare<br />

the surface using a belt grinder or hand tools<br />

depending on what you have available.<br />

Once you are happy with the profile, drilled the handle pin holes and stamped any makers marks, etc.,<br />

it’s time to make an envelope from 309 stainless foil. This can be bought from Gameco or any quality<br />

knife making supply stores and will protect the blade from producing scale due to the oxygen in the<br />

kiln. Place the blade in the envelope and seal by folding over the edges of the foil (also, you can put<br />

a small piece of paper in the envelope to burn any oxygen that may be in the envelope). From there<br />

you place the blade into the kiln and set the desired temperature and hold time.

Temperatures for the hardness you would like to obtain can be found generally on the<br />

manufacturer’s websites. Once the hold time (amount of time needed to harden the steel) has been<br />

completed it’s time for quenching. Take the envelope out of the kiln using pair of tongs and heat<br />

resistant gloves and “quench” between two pieces of one-inch aluminium plates. The blade will cool<br />

within seconds. Check for straightness or warping and them it’s time to temper… (lowering the<br />

hardness of the steel to make less brittle basically) for 2 hours depending on the recipe.<br />

From this point, it’s time to start grinding. I generally grind my thinner blades post heat treat as<br />

there is less chance of warping and the thicker blades grind in the bevels to about 2mm on the<br />

cutting edge preheat treat. Make sure not to overheat the blade as that will affect the temper of the<br />

steel, so have a bucket of water handy to dunk the blade in. Once you are happy with the grind it’s<br />

time to spend hours hand sanding to get the desired finish and then to work on the handle.<br />

Although this is just a basic guide, I hope it helps those new to the knife making game.<br />

Happy Grinding…

somewhere.” Well we’re pleased to advise we’ve tracked him down<br />

Phil <strong>Ed</strong>wards<br />

A quest for precision<br />

<strong>Ed</strong>itor - On the back cover of the last edition of <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Blade</strong> we<br />

the photo below with the invitation “We'd love to hear<br />

published<br />

from the maker of this knife, Phil <strong>Ed</strong>wards. There's a story there<br />

to Central Queensland and this is his knife making story.<br />

I met a bloke by the name of <strong>Ed</strong>die Danko who was a<br />

retired engineer in Cairns. I met him when I answered a<br />

newspaper ad. <strong>Ed</strong>die was selling a bandsaw which I still<br />

have today. He’d built a two man submersible<br />

submarine and he was making model steam engines,<br />

knives and pretty much everything engineering. That<br />

was his hobby, you name it he could make it. <strong>Ed</strong>die was<br />

an Austrian, living in Austria when the Second World<br />

War broke out. Austria was part of the German army as<br />

well, you know. He told me some stories about that too.<br />

You know with the kids playing in the old tanks,<br />

cannons, and transport vehicles when the war was over.<br />

They would go play around in the storage yards and<br />

everything that was left when the war was over. So I<br />

was this young bloke looking for knowledge, I would go<br />

to his place and he would come around to mine and we<br />

would have a coffee. I didn’t do much talking, I did all<br />

the listening. Even when we had phone conversation,<br />

once you get started talking to him you shut up and he<br />

just talks, you'd be on the phone about two hours easy,<br />

you know and all I’d do is just listen.<br />

Well <strong>Ed</strong>die Danko introduced me to Peter Span and we went around and there obviously <strong>Ed</strong>die was<br />

telling me about forging steels, you know. Laminating steels. So we went around there and Peter Span<br />

was forging, he wasn't laminating, he was just forging steels you know, making knives out of rasp<br />

files and all sorts of crap you know? We made all different types of knives. Since I’m talking about<br />

these two blokes, I’ll give you the run down on the first Damascus knife I made. So I went around to<br />

Peter’s place and Peter helped me make a stacked block of spring steel and nickel. You wouldn’t<br />

guess where the spring steel came from (laughs) about seven layers. I used his coke forge. He had<br />

built his own power hammer and it worked a treat. It was the first time I used a power hammer. I<br />

forged the stack into a billet of steel and then drew it out at Peter’s. The actual knife I made in the<br />

photo I forged at home including the guard and pommel. I haven’t used a power hammer since but I<br />

wish I had one sometimes, I think I’m starting to look like a Soldier crab.

I left Cairns and spent a number of years out bush working on cattle stations, maybe five years or six<br />

years, something like that I think it was. I learned a lot out there though. Driving trucks and operating<br />

machinery. I did a lot of council work you know. I worked for Cairns Earthmoving Contractors as well.<br />

I did a lot of work with them pipe laying. In the end I just had enough. All I wanted was a trade you<br />

know? Something else because blokes would call me Jack of all trades, master of none.<br />

And that was pissing me off. So I thought about what I wanted to do.<br />

I met Doug through Charlie Marino’s CRM<br />

Gun Sports. I went in there one day and saw<br />

a set of knives on display that were made by<br />

Doug. I got Doug’s number and rang him<br />

that day. I met him the following weekend<br />

and I showed him some of my leatherwork,<br />

as well as him showing me his knives. We<br />

struck up a deal that day. I’d show him some<br />

leatherwork and he’d teach me how to make<br />

a knife using the stock removal method.<br />

Doug was a fitter and turner. Yeah, that's<br />

what I want to do, because I know the<br />

precision and accuracy in his work.<br />

When I looked at Doug’s knife pouches I<br />

was impressed, and I remember saying to<br />

myself “he doesn’t need any help with<br />

these”. They were as good as his knives. I<br />

thought a deal is a deal so I showed him a<br />

lot of the books I had on leatherwork and<br />

left them for him to read. I went through<br />

them and just pointed out some other ideas,<br />

but other than that he was already doing an<br />

awesome job.

Every weekend I would go to Doug’s and work on my design. He showed me a lot when it came to<br />

hand skills. I had to cut the profile out with a hacksaw and file the profile. I learnt how to use different<br />

machinery in the workshop including a knife grinder he had built himself. I learnt to hollow grind,<br />

polish, drill holes with precision, properly use a hacksaw, angle grinder, different types of files and<br />

manual polishing with different grits of wet and dry including using the buffer. I learnt skills from<br />

Doug that were priceless. If he could see a scratch in my knife I had to go back and polish it until it was<br />

perfect. I built a great friendship with Doug as I did with <strong>Ed</strong>die. Two very influential mentors I had the<br />

pleasure of learning from in my life.<br />

Becoming a Fitter/Turner was my calling card. So I thought that's what I want to do and <strong>Ed</strong>die Danko<br />

put me on that bit of path at the same time as well. I wanted precision you know, accuracy. I wanted to<br />

machine stuff, I wanted, you know - quality in my work. So started ringing the workshops around Cairns<br />

looking for an apprenticeship. So I ended up getting my start with Cairns Water. I did a year and a half<br />

there. Then I did a bit at Tescorp Hydraulics, didn't go too well there. Anyway, I went and saw Brad at<br />

Cairns Spring Works and ... actually I showed him some of my knives to soften him up a bit. So, Brad<br />

took me on as an apprentice, and I finished my trade with him. I came out a full-blown fitter and turner.<br />

In my whole working life, I haven’t met another boss like Brad. If anyone wants to work for a bloke that<br />

has great knowledge in engineering and is an absolute pleasure to work for I would tell you to see him. I<br />

have no regrets finishing my time with him.<br />

I learned a lot of the basics at Cairns Water and I did learn a lot from the trades there. Yeah mate, yep.<br />

Learned a hell of a lot more being an apprentice for Brad though. There was the variety of everything.<br />

You know, Brad didn't say “No” to nothing mate. Whatever walked in that door we did. I remember<br />

doing that big drive gear, final drives on the dozers. Doing the duo cone seal lip. Machining them out<br />

then re-welding it all back in and then machining the actual duo cone seat back in. I remember doing<br />

that. I'd make gears and all sorts of stuff there, springs, I'd make springs. Got better with hydraulics and<br />

pneumatics as well from Brad. I actually come out of there with more knowledge on hydraulics and<br />

pneumatics than I did at Tescorp. I think it was because I was an adult apprentice that made it hard for<br />

me there. Didn’t get much tutoring as an apprentice, thrown straight in the deep end with not much<br />

knowledge and skills for the work they wanted me to do.

Kris - 67 layers of low carbon, nickel and 5160, handle - ringed gidgee and iron wood with nickel silver<br />

spacer<br />

When I finished my apprenticeship, I left the Spring Works and went out to the mines. I went down<br />

to Mackay and ended up getting a house at Finch Hatton and then worked away doing different<br />

rosters and shifts. I went contracting for the first seven years or whatever it was, six or seven years I<br />

think it was. I started working for G&S Engineering and spent a lot of time on shut down works,<br />

you know working on drag lines, shovels and bloody wash plants and all that sort of crap. I ended<br />

up getting hooked on wash plants I learned how all that works, how to fix it how to repair it how to<br />

run it you know. Processing, learned a lot about processing, got a lot of certification and all that sort<br />

of stuff too you know. Did a lot of plant operating too, you know with dozers and such, that's all<br />

part of it. And now I’m with the reliability engineers at Kestrel. Good bunch of fellows.<br />

I like where I am now, central Queensland, so I can do a fair bit of hunting there. I haven't been out<br />

the reef in a long, long time maybe later, might think about that. I'm looking at getting my,<br />

hopefully in the end I’ll get my engineering degree in mechanical. That's what I'm working as well<br />

at the same time, also running the martial arts club down there as well. I'm also a sole trader in<br />

custom knife making and martial arts so they are joined business.

commences his book by detailing his early life and schooling in Nova Scotia, Canada and how<br />

Murray<br />

came to enrol in karate classes. This kindled the beginning of a lifelong fascination and study of all<br />

he<br />

Japanese. In turn and upon finishing high school, Murray travelled to Japan and enrolled in a dojo<br />

things<br />

Kumamoto. Within his first two or three days Murray stumbled upon a bladesmith shop in<br />

in<br />

This twist of fate led to a six year apprenticeship, where on the eve of the seventh year<br />

Kumamoto.<br />

was informed “You are to be the 17th generation Yoshimoto <strong>Blade</strong>smith.”<br />

Murray<br />

<strong>Blade</strong>smithing contains seventeen chapters that include safety, steel selection, forge welding,<br />

Carter’s<br />

techniques, heat treating, straightening, grinding and drilling to name but a few. Murray’s<br />

lamination<br />

are laid out in logical sequence as are his writings within and his book is supplemented with a<br />

chapters<br />

of colour photographs. Murray spent eighteen years in Japan living and working as a village<br />

multitude<br />

book combines both Japanese and Western techniques and comprises a true essay where East<br />

Murray’s<br />

West. <strong>Blade</strong>smithing is an informative and entertaining read and is a valuable edition to not just<br />

meeting<br />

knifemaker’s library but anyone with an interest in knifemaking. Signed copies are available on<br />

the<br />

website, click here.<br />

Murray’s<br />

Book Review<br />

bladesmith and is the only Caucasian recognised as a Japanese bladesmithing master.

A<br />

and the like as pictured<br />

Spidercos<br />

in Queensland, can land you a fine of $12,190.00 or two years in prison. 2 This is because in the<br />

above<br />

State, single handed opening knifes are easily classified as “Category M” weapons. That means<br />

Sunshine<br />

need a “Category M” weapons license to lawfully possess one. It doesn’t matter that you can walk into<br />

you<br />

of Knives and buy one of these knives off the shelf. The fact that you can buy one does not make it<br />

King<br />

to possess one!<br />

legal<br />

order to legally acquire a “Category M” weapon from the knife shop in Queensland you have to have<br />

In<br />

permit to acquire that knife and the knife shop has to be a licensed dealer. 3 For the knife shop to<br />

a<br />

same law applies<br />

The<br />

online knife sellers. Selling Category M weapons in the course of business without a dealer’s license<br />

to<br />

King of Knives have a dealer’s license? Will they ask you for a permit to acquire before selling you<br />

Does<br />

knife? I’ll bet London to a brick on they won’t and London to a brick on they don’t!<br />

the<br />

sorry<br />

that’s<br />

relevant question is “Why isn’t the law enforced so that those that sell them without a dealer’s license<br />

The<br />

prosecuted?” Well the answer is not simple.<br />

are<br />

Chris is a part time knife maker and publishes <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Blade</strong>. When he isn't fooling with knives or writing about them,<br />

1<br />

is a solicitor of the High Court of Australia, the Federal Court of Australia, the Supreme Court of Queensland and is<br />

Chris<br />

Knife Laws<br />

Single Handed Opening –<br />

Queensland Perspective Part II<br />

lex et asino<br />

Chris Harriss 1<br />

In the first edition of <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Blade</strong> I discussed how possession of<br />

legally sell these knives “in the course of business” they need a dealer’s license. 4<br />

and without a permit to acquire, constitutes an offence. 5<br />

I can hear the cries of disbelief and howls of protest already. “But they wouldn’t be allowed to sell them if<br />

–<br />

it wasn’t legal!” No –<br />

a reasonable yet naive belief.<br />

a lawyer of the Supreme Court of New South Wales.<br />

2 Section 50(1)(c)(iii), Weapons Act 1990.<br />

3 Section 35(1)(b), ibid.<br />

4 Section 68(1), ibid.<br />

5 Section 50B(1), ibid.

police are not bound to enforce every infringement of the law they come across and have a discretion<br />

The<br />

deciding whether to act or not. In the case of the latter and by way of contrast to the former, police<br />

in<br />

such the concept of the police<br />

As<br />

not to enforce the law is something utterly foreign to the average person, hence the cries of<br />

choosing<br />

and protest. According to commentators “Full enforcement” of the criminal law is a myth 7 and<br />

disbelief<br />

an unrealistic expectation on the police. 8<br />

places<br />

as discussed in the first edition of <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Blade</strong>, the legal definition of a single handed opening<br />

Now<br />

that is a Category M weapon is unclear. This is due to poor drafting of the relevant weapons<br />

knife<br />

and a lack of case law to guidance in its interpretation. Such poor drafting results in an<br />

regulation<br />

in defining the substantive offence and illustrates one of Goldstein’s limitations that can<br />

ambiguity<br />

“the police seeking or achieving full enforcement”. This may explain the apparent lack of<br />

prevent<br />

of knife retailers that sell Category M knives without a dealer’s license. On the flip-side it is<br />

prosecution<br />

factor may explain the apparent lack of prosecution of knife retailers is that Queensland is the<br />

Another<br />

state burdened with legislation that restricts single handed opening knives. As noted in the first<br />

only<br />

opening knives that can be opened by gravity, inertia or centrifugal force…<br />

“…single-handed<br />

many lawful uses, including for use in outdoor recreational activities such as camping,<br />

have<br />

knives are not prohibited in any other state or territory. So while the rest of Australia applies a<br />

These<br />

approach, Queensland lags behind. I can only speculate but it might just be that the Queensland<br />

sensible<br />

Service tacitly acknowledge the stupidity of the Queensland legislation by not enforcing it against<br />

Police<br />

who sell these knifes without a dealer's license.<br />

retailers<br />

any event and regardless of what the the rest of Australia does, if you have possession of or sell a<br />

In<br />

M knife in Queensland without the relevant license, you are breaking the law.<br />

Category<br />

Goldstein, Joseph, "Police Discretion Not to Invoke the Criminal Process: Low-Visibility <strong>Dec</strong>isions in the Administration<br />

6<br />

Justice" (1960). Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 2426, page 543.<br />

of<br />

Goldstein, Joseph, "Police Discretion Not to Invoke the Criminal Process: Low-Visibility <strong>Dec</strong>isions in the Administration<br />

8<br />

Justice" (1960). Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 2426, pages 560 and 561.<br />

of<br />

Chris Bowyer, Acting Director, Restricted Goods Policy, Trade and Customs Branch of Department of Immigration and<br />

10<br />

Protection (15 <strong>Dec</strong>ember 2015) Department of Immigration and Border Protection Notice 2015/40 “Amendments to<br />

Border<br />

Firearms<br />

decisions not to act “are generally of extremely low visibility.” 6<br />

“In addition to ambiguities in the definitions of both substantive offenses and due-process<br />

boundaries, countless limitations and pressures preclude the possibility of the police seeking or<br />

achieving full enforcement. Limitations of time, personnel, and investigative devices-all in part but<br />

not entirely functions of budget-force the development, by plan or default, of priorities of<br />

enforcement. Even if there were "enough police" adequately equipped and trained, pressures from<br />

within and without the department, which is after all a human institution, may force the police to<br />

invoke the criminal process selectively." 9<br />

such poor drafting that facilitates the classification of these knives as weapons.<br />

edition of <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Blade</strong>, the Commonwealth government permits the import of these knives and<br />

recognises:<br />

mountaineering and hiking.” 10<br />

7 Bronitt and Stenning, Understanding discretion in modern policing (2011) 35 Crim LJ 319 at page 320.<br />

9 Ibid.<br />

the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 –<br />

and Weapons.”

again to all who contributed. If you'd like to contribute to the next edition - March 2018 message<br />

Thanks<br />

<strong>Blade</strong> on Facebook or email qldfossicker@bigpond.com<br />

<strong>Australian</strong><br />

Adam Grosskopf razors

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