We are joined by knife collector Justin Laffer for another Collector Spotlight episode. Justin shares his perspective with us on a variety of topics relevant to the knife community and the current state of the custom knife scene. As always, Justin is eloquent and well-spoken as we hit some key touchpoints facing both collectors and makers today. It’s a fun, rambling conversation and we hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Follow us on Instagram @markofthemaker or join our discussion group on Facebook.
You know you’ve seen them before – knives that have “that look” and give pause to even the casual observer. We dig into the topic of scary knives, whether from horror movies or designed with specific scary intent. This one’s a bit of a ramble that we recorded on Halloween. Do you have a favorite scary knife? If so, sound off on our Instagram @markofthemaker or join the Mark of the Maker group on Facebook for some conversation.
The crew faces a challenge: What knife would you buy if you had $25 to spend? How about $100 or $300? We won’t pretend our choices are the “best” for the money, but each has a reason why they were chosen. A fun episode for us and some choices you might not expect. Join us in our Facebook group “Mark of the Maker” and let us know what your picks are!
In our second Minisode, Tom Krein talks about the Crossada and how James Keating and his iconic fighting knife design have influenced his own work. We’ll use these short minisodes to help fill in some gaps about influences and their role in forming a knifemaker and their aesthetic.
We are joined by collector and maker Andy Frankart for a discussion about knives, collecting, and his perspective as the maker of probably the hottest and most collectable non-knife EDC items out there. Andy shares insights with us about how he came into the knife community, some specifics of some great pieces in his own knife collection, and what it was like to see his brand explode. Fun stories, some personal history and a great conversation.
In our first minisode, we explore influences. Sean dives into a savage scene from one of his favorite books and we talk about how the knife in this scene influenced his work at the time. We’ll use these short minisodes to help fill in some gaps about influences and their role in forming a knifemaker and their aesthetic.
We are frequently asked to provide a list of knife making book references. There are some great text out there on making knives, so we’ll try to keep this post updated with some links to help. Some of the books are out of print, but many are still available. As Sean noted in an early episode of MotM, you may also be able to find some great references by visiting your local library or requesting books via inter-library loan.
One of the key go-to references for people wanting to learn the craft of tactical folding knives is “The Tactical Folding Knife: A Study of the Anatomy and Construction of the Liner-Locked Folder” by Bob Terzuola. This book is usually tough to find, and has become a bit of a collectable in its own right. Probably one of the most expensive books here, but one that any aspiring folder maker should own: LINK
The folks that publish Knife Magazine and the Knife World books have an excellent collection of books available for knife makers. Included are the “$50 Knife Shop” by Goddard and “How to Make Knives” by Barney/Loveless as referenced on the podcast: LINK
Sean recommended “Step-by-Step Knifemaking” by David Boye. David is an influential force in the knifemaking world and the father of Boye Dendritic Cobalt (also known as “BDC”), a cobalt alloy with high corrosion resistance and aggressive cutting performance: LINK
Also recommended is “Custom Knifemaking: 10 Projects from a Master Craftsman” by McCreight. This book covers a series of projects that help new makers learn new skills through each project: LINK
Tom managed to trigger a worldwide sellout and market escalation on “Knives and Knifemakers” by Sid Latham, but there are copies out there to be had with a little looking. A great source of inspiration and reference in this one, find a copy if you can. They seem to come up fairly regularly on eBay and in Amazon’s used book section: LINK
The “Knives” annual books are another great source of inspiration, information and contact details for various custom makers. These are great finds at your local used book store, garage sales, eBay, etc. The Knife World folks have a fairly extensive collection available and work to keep copies of these older books in stock: LINK
As always, check out Blade magazine and Knives Illustrated in a addition to Knife magazine (formerly Knife World) mentioned above. There are often articles included to give both makers and collectors a few tips and help keep you apprised of knife trends and the marketplace.
A membership at USN or BladeForums is a solid investment, as both forums have dedicated areas for knifemakers to ask questions and share information. A quick search of the forums can turn up super helpful information and guidance directly from some of the world’s top makers. There are new questions, but honestly many basic questions have already been asked and answered, so a little legwork on your part will likely turn up info to help you with whatever it is you’re working on.
Hope the references are of help, we’ll try to update the list as appropriate.
We dive into the diverse and fascinating world of ethnic knives – knives and designs that come from specific regions or cultures around the world. We discuss the origins of these designs and how many of them influenced knives used to this day in both functional and fighting roles. Also discussed is the upcoming Gathering X show in Las Vegas. We offer advice for Gathering newcomers and some reminders about show etiquette.
Our friend and knifemaker Lucas Burnley joins us for a conversation about life, influences, knives and other projects like his immensely popular Cypop. We go pretty deep on this one and Lucas shares both insights on his creative process and how he works to keep his perspective fresh and skills sharp. You can find Lucas on Facebook at Burnley Knives, on Instagram @burnleyknives or at his website burnleyknives.com
The crew takes on a lengthy list of Q&A, submitted by both collector and knifemaker listeners. We discuss a wide variety of topics from design to motivation to professional courtesy, and a few stories about mishaps in the shop. If you’d like to add a question of your own for consideration in a future episode, join us in our Mark of the Maker Facebook group or follow us on Instagram @markofthemaker.