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This was originally written for a website article... but it sums it up nicely!
Musings/wafflings of a full time/part time knife maker
What the hell is a full time/part time knife maker??
Well it’s like this, I make knives. Bushcraft, hunting, fishing and chefs knives and most things with a cutting edge. I’ve even been asked to make a Bonsai chisel before!
I also am a full time dad, it’s a careful balancing act that I do while my better half goes out to do a proper job, something I have never really had! So its school hours only then if I have a lot on I do leather work in the evenings and the rest of the time I look after the kids.
So, who am I?
I am a 42 year old chap who has done just about everything without finding something I actually like. I’ve been a sailing instructor, chef, student (I do have a degree in Environmental management) I've worked offices, sewage plants, cut the grass for the council etc etc. The last REAL job I had was as a postie for 11 years. I enjoyed the job, less so the management (no, for legal reasons I won’t discuss it!!!) this ended up with me leaving through ill health….
So what to do? Not a bloody clue! We had a daughter on the way, due 2 months after I left the post office. I wasn’t in any fit state to think about much beyond trying to get out of bed and function as a human. Then this happened-
I had been making knives as a hobby for several years and a pal of mine caught wind of this and asked if he could test one out on his next outing, he is a bit of a collector of all things sharp and shiny… he loved it and asked if I could make him a different one, which he took out and gave a real beasting to, it survived and Dave suggested that I should make a few more and maybe advertise them to sell.
Now this was a fairly daunting prospect. I had avidly watched the videos on YouTube by people like Jacklore, LB custom Knives and Walter Sorrels and many more that I could find. Working out the ways and wherefores of knife making beyond messing about with a little homemade and bodged together workshop and tools.
I had spoken to loads of bushcraft, hunting and fishing people, shops and suppliers about what was useful, what sells, and what people wanted… and more to the point what to charge!( I used to question paying £150 for a handmade knife, now I realise that is CHEAP! )
So I came up with a plan: Make knives, charge a packet and get rich! It’d be EASY! Ha. Ha. Ha!
I spent the next 6 months or so designing what I thought to be a good set of knives of various size and weight, from a mini neck knife to a huge great beast of a chopper, all of which went to Dave for testing and feedback was given, changes were made and the fettling began.
It didn’t take long to realise that I couldn’t make the quality I would expect from a product like this, with the tools I owned, so I went shopping…. A lot of shopping…. And as expected not everything could be bought from the UK.
So wind forward a couple of years and October 2016 I “went Pro” I am now the Overlord and Owner of Ammonite Knives, maker of most things sharp and shiny my knives have been well received by those that have them and those that have seen them
I am still learning (everyday I learn something new) sometimes it saves money, most times it costs me but will never happen twice. Whiles I am no leathersmith I am pretty good and getting better every day. Even though, as those that know me are aware, I HATE bloody sewing!
So what’s for the future? More knives and shiny leather things, fame and fortune…. Or at least enough money to take a pay packet every month.
I am trying and mostly succeeding to live with severe Depression (manic depressive knife maker? What could possibly go wrong??)
And I am definitely trying in vain to keep up with the whirlwind that are my kids.
The follow on?? 3 years down the line and I'm still here! find me on Facebook and Instagram