When it comes to damascus, I tend to lean towards a simpler random or a twist pattern that goes with the overall simplistic scheme of my knives. These blades are worked and finished in a similar fashion as the carbon steel ones. I use stainless steel, mostly Damasteel stainless damascus, for folders, art knives ( for ex. Skull Cleaver and Druid Sickle) and some full-tang dress-knives, my Tuxer model, or upscale hunting/skinning-knives
For the handles and wooden sheaths I use rare exotic hardwoods, ancient ivories and bone material from all over the world. Even large pieces of natural amber has found its way onto a couple of my knives. A few wood favorites are Snakewood for its amazing striped grain pattern, Masur birch, Eucalyptus , and Redwood burl for its sometimes silky appearance.
DISCLAIMER: All natural materials, such as ivory and bone come from long dead specimens. I do not use anything that is “fresh”. Nothing is harvested from animals that have been hunted and killed solely for their tusks, bones, hides etc.
I spend a great deal of time locating the right pieces of handle material, particularly fossil walrus ivory but also musk ox, different types of high density bone material and amber, to name some. In the last few years I have gotten fonder of working with materials of the rare sort. It gives the knife an even more unique look to add a piece of walrus or bone that you cannot find just anywhere. This can be seen on my knives with great frequency these days, often in great colors stemming from the mineral rich soils where the fossil material was once buried for many many years–sometimes thousands of years.
I carve all my fittings in wax; everything is carved individually for each knife– I do not use any molds. I then cast them using the lost wax casting method. That means the wax carving is placed in a flask, plaster is then poured in and allowed to harden. Later, the wax is melted out of the flask leaving an imprint in the hardened plaster. After baking the plaster in a high heat oven for serveral hours, the flask is ready to receive the melted metal pour. When the metal has cooled down a little, I quench the flask in water, thus desolving the plaster “mold” and leaving me with the end result, the fitting for a knife. This process is exciting and nerve racking at the same time, as there is little or no room for error. I always feel very relieved when the casting is a success! The metals I cast are copper, yellow & white bronze and sterling silver-these can be antiqued, blackened or left in their natural state.
Aside from the casting equipment, I have a belt grinder, drill press, band saw, buffer, disc sander and some great ideas for new projects!
Thank you for your interest in my work!