The internet is a big place. Of course, it's not really a place, but
an entire planet, filled with computers with millions of new ones added
every year. It may not even be limited to this world, as I suppose that
the guys on the space station have internet access too! Naturally, there
are a lot of players: people who search the internet looking for
specific information. If you think they are looking for items, products,
services, or friends, you are mistaken. What they are looking for is
information, and it is information about those items, products,
services, or friends that they will find. Understanding how this all
works is a challenge, one that all web developers and people with a
substantial internet presence are continually learning. You don't simply
learn how to build a website, it is a continuous, ongoing, and evolving
process, and nothing seems to stay the same!
When I first started on the net, there were simple hit counters to
tell visitors and the site builder (or administrator) how many times the
page was downloaded into a browser. You may still see these funny little
antiquated boxes today on sites that have not been updated or modernized
in the last ten years. Hint: if you do see them, know that they are way
behind on their web site functionality! This is because now, hits are
not the center of attention, and the entire web process has evolved into
a complex function set of variables that it takes frequent and time
consuming study to understand. There are visitors, sources, referrals,
and timing. There is content drilldown and site optimization. Your
favorite knifemaker tries to keep up with what information is
important, but know that this is a wildly evolving process that demands
Some people claiming to be internet experts say that my site is
dated, is an older looking site, has an old layout, an old presence, and
doesn't keep up with what is hip, slick, and cool. To them I say hip,
slick, and cool means distracting links attached to floating elements,
bad code covered by sub-programs nested in applets and redirects, small
pages that are too busy to understand, much less navigate, and flashing
add-ons that confuse and frustrate the reader when they're just trying
to get to some good information. Yes, my site is old, but I do use
modern, validated code, with cascading style sheets, and dynamic web
templates, and I assure you that the people who read this don't really
care. They just want to find what they are looking for: knives, and read
about knives without being distracted by commercials. So, despite the
dated look of this very site, it is as powerhouse of traffic,
gaining tens of thousands of new viewers and millions of hits every
month. Besides, I'm a knifemaker, not a web developer using templates
and display tactics to express my web design savvy; my design savvy goes
into the knives themselves, not just the presentaion. You can't own
a web site, you can't use one to open a box, defend your life, carry
into battle, dress an elk, or invest in for collection. A web site is
just information and pictures, which represent a real thing... like a
Of course, you don't want to think about all that, you probably just want to
see and learn about knives, services, and knife related topics. If
you've come here because you put a search term into a search engine
(like Google, Bing, or Yahoo), it has led you to this site because words
you used are similar or directly related to the content I have here. Do
you ever wonder what other people are plugging into their search engines
to get here?
Most of the terms are very applicable to what I do, and I post the
most frequent of these on my home page in the "Quick
Facts" box. Here are some examples, terms that rate highly every
month for bringing your browser to my site (actually my site into your
- Jay Fisher
- Jay Fisher knives
- custom knife sheaths
- knife designs
- parts of a knife
- knife patterns
- handmade custom knives
- knife blades
- knife templates
- Jay Fisher knives for sale
- knife handle material
Okay, you get it; the list goes on and on. This is very good; if you
type these terms into your search engine, sooner or later, the search
engines will recommend this very website, because it offers great
content to satisfy your search for information on these terms. But do
you wonder what unusual terms will also lead a search engine to
recommend this site? I do.
Perhaps the reason these programs will often recommend my site is
simply because it is the largest, most substantial single knife maker's
web site of any knife maker in the world. If you think it's not, please
do tell me of another with about 500 pages and 13,000 photos of their
work; I'd like to see it! So, since it's large, and there really is none
to compare, the engines will often direct browsers here because there
simply isn't any where else for them to go!
Now (this is important), I
don't know how many times they recommend this site; I only know when the
person who put in the unusual search term clicks on my site to bring it
into their browser. Maybe they think they'll find an answer there, or
(more likely) they want to see what JayFisher.com is all about. In any
case, their views are appreciated, and their search terms are stored in
my web analysis software for me to see.
Several years ago, I started adding these unusual terms to my
Quick Facts box on my home page.
People have asked for more, so I've started a list, and I'll update this
and add terms periodically. The terms are in italics and I may add some
applicable comments. Please enjoy it!
Most search terms apply to this site, which is how it should be. The
world of knifemaking comprises a lot of subject matter, and though I
don't have it all, by any means, I've got a lot, so it's normal for this
site to be a recommended source. Here are some applicable search terms
that lead people here:
- how to make a round wood handle knife
- This site gets a lot of "how to" questions, though it is not a "how to" site. People just want to know these things.
- knife handle templates
- No surprise here; I offer hundreds of patterns, and people want to see them. Of
course, it's illegal to copy them, and I've removed the large and
detailed photos a while back, to discourage copyright infringement.
- revere eight camera
- This is reasonable; I have some of my antique cameras featured on my photography page.
- best rescue knives
- Yep, I build those. Good direct.
- best military grade sheaths
- Yes, that's what we do. Specialize. The very best.
- best tactical knife in the world
- It is my goal to make the very best for military, combat, and even counterterrorism use
- custom knife blocks
- While I don't offer or make blocks without the knives, I do make
blocks for my own chef's knives
- prosopis glandulosa
- At first glance, this seems odd, until you realize that this is
honey mesquite, and I use it in knife handle material
- USAF Pararescue
- I've made custom CSAR knives for
Pararescue for many years, so this search term applies.
- casting wax
- Since I do my own lost wax bronze casting, it's understandable
that the term pops up on this site.
- difference between cow horn and elephant tusk
- I write about this on my
horn, bone, and ivory
page on this site, too.
- how can i tell if the red color stone in my ring is real and not glass of plastic
- Even this long string in a search engine turns up my site, as I
clearly describe the differences between plastics and real gemstones
on this page.
- micarta colors
- Yes, I have a chart for that too, on my
Manmade Handle Materials page.
Okay, you get it. There are hundreds and hundreds of these search
terms, and this is great, as very many of them directly or indirectly
apply to this very website. It demonstrates to me that people are hungry
for information, and anything related to this site, the materials I use,
the work I do, the inspiration, the writing, and the technical and
detailed information I present is being appreciated!
Then, there are unusual terms. It's not always unusual that the search
engine would direct them to my site; it's unusual that the people
typed them in to a search engine in the first place! What are they
thinking? Chances are, if I find them interesting, and you're here, you
will find them interesting too! Seldom do web developers or search
engines disclose this type of information, because clearly, it's an
aspect of this technology that is not working...or at least, not working
well. The internet has a way to go. I've offered my somewhat jaded opinions, of course, because
this is my website, after all!
- cloth for knife makers
- construction kerambit
- To build a home with? Like a log cabin, but made with a rice harvesting sickle?
- Well, yeah; I wear those in the shop; others I drink from.
- advantage and disadvantage of ivory and gold
- Is this about investing? I hear gold is way better than ivory, because they're burning
ivory to discourage poachers. Of course, that raises the value of ivory
as it becomes more scarce...
- are hogs bones tougher than elks bone
- Both are tough unless you slow-cook them all night
- atlantis worriors
- I think the right spelling is worriers. They had a lot to worry about, with all that sinking into the sea and all.
- will a simple knife flat a tire
- Heeey... this guy is up to no good!
- wind piercing dagger
- If you pierce the wind, will it lose it's ummph and calm?
- videos of knife dogs etching a blade
- Do they have to lift their legs to do this?
- how do i remove the black spots from my abalone shells and what is it?
- It's probably some of that dog etching.
- iron oxide knife finish
- Uh... we call that rust.
- door jandles animal style
- This was a dance that was popular in the late '80s, but you had
to have a door and do a lot of guttural grunting.
- legal knife anatomy
- This is a family knife site, so I black out the private knife parts; a knife should be modest while being sexy.
- nifes to carrie
- I'm not kidding. This is an actual search term, as typed... sigh.
- santa jay
- I'm afraid they're not referring to my generosity but my figure... darn.
- tools used to make a CD hole larger
- A hammer might work, but the music will sound a bit jagged.
- whos is the oldest knife maker in the world
- After reading these search terms, I'm feeling pretty long in the tooth.
- why is my knife blade lazy
- Really? Blaming the knife blade? How about the operator? Get off the couch!
Please remember, these are real search terms that people have typed into their search engines. Each term has been used
at least once to lead them to my site. The bad news, I suppose, is that they have actually arrived here!
- jewelers liquid polish for bone
- I don't get this one. Jeweled bone? In gold and diamonds and silver and stuff? Who would make this stuff?
- language of art commonality and distinctiveness
- Peace, brother. Namaste.
- socklet knife
- This is either a knife for a little bitty sock that barely
covers the ankle, or a knife that is used in embedded computer
data applications used in TCP/IP connectivity. Anyway, it's very
- mad steel knife
- Is the steel mad, or the knife... or the knife user? And if
he's mad, is he mad-angry, or mad-insane? Either way, I'll
recommend a prescribed waiting period before I ship him a sharp
and pointed tool.
- man woman wild knife
- Romantic intentions aside, I'll bet this
doesn't end well.
- my kitchen knife looks like pieces of metal missing
- Truly a cry for help. If it looks like there are pieces of
metal missing, this is probably a good guess. Unfortunately, the
prognosis is terminal; I don't see a positive outlook for the
- name written on hands by knife
- This practice was common before ink was used to create a
body decoration we now call "tattoos." I've got a few "white
tattoos" myself, caused by knives, burns, and abrasions. The ink
is more tolerable, and offers higher contrast.
- navel play with knife
- Hey, that's just creepy.
- a lizard smaller than nickels
- I wasn't aware that United States coinage was the standard of measure for squamate reptiles
- paint steel ground off knife tang while installing scales
- Clearly a question by a maker; this would suggest a low
quality paint was used to create the knife blade. It won't hold
an edge well, but will look stylish and dapper in coordinated
- perfume pommel dagger
- Eeeew. I think Beau Brummell had one of these.
- pine cone knife handle
- Okay, it's really, really cheap and uncomfortable. People in
coniferous forests spend decades trying to find a use for these
plentiful organs. Yes, they are reproductive organs. Go wash
your hands now.
- what is a amber knife handle made of
- There are a lot of "what is" questions in the organic search
term list. This one is curious,
because at first glance, you might think the question
superfluous, since he names amber as the knife handle material.
The amber-handled knives are actually made of polyester.
- gazelle horn in burial context
- This is addressed in depth on my archeological references
page detailing the associations in situ with various component
structures of anthropological practices on the sub-Saharan
plain, 6500-4000 BCE. Find that page on this site and the
importance of the gazelle is clearly referenced. Good luck.
- gemstones rock list
- The L. A. Gemstones had a few hits in the '60s, but
one has to wonder about a song titled "My Girlfriend is a
Though I've referred to overdeveloped websites before, they are not
the only frustration.
Universal and traditional web site design often considers the lowest common denominator
first. Web site professionals who design
sites for a living regularly recommend that web sites are constructed for the smallest, narrowest, slowest, and oldest
computer, host, browser, and user known. This is like in third grade, where we painstakingly suffered while the slowest
kid struggled with every word when asked to read aloud for the class. Look, I feel for the need for the child to learn, but he
deserves individual time and dedicated tutoring, and not by punishing the rest of the class into
torturous boredom; that won't help him a bit!
Web development is kind of like that. Most developers (like some
teachers) do not have any real world sales experience, much less
business development experience. This web site (like most that have the
".com" generic top level domain) signifies a company, and in this case a
company means a business. My business caters to serious knife buyers,
collectors, and users, not to students, researchers, or guys that are
using a cell phone to surf the internet for cool pics for their MySpace
page. I use large photographs, knowing that my clients are using
monitors over 1200 pixels wide. It's not that I don't care if you're
using a smaller monitor, I care about showing the knives and artwork in
the highest detail. Since the internet only displays at 72 dots per
inch, this means big, and sometimes wide, photographs are necessary. If
I'm going to drop $1k, $3k, or $10k on a fine custom, handmade, or
combat tactical knife, I want to see every detail. Contrast this method
with knife factories, who traditionally offer a final photograph only
2.5" wide on your screen, and you'll wonder what they are hiding.
Though I've recently gone through a website upgrade to
make the site current and compliant with code and W3C
recommendations, I'm didn't go to smaller images. In fact, I'm
enlarging most of them to display more detail, resolution, and size. So
the tiny, slow methods of using the net, even pods, pads, and phones,
will be able to have a worthwhile experience.
What in the world is this about?
I don't blame you if you're confused; I often am! This page is a
glimpse into the unusual world of knifemaking, from the perspective of
the web developer, the internet web site operator, the small businessman
and artist who makes and sells knives for a living. I don't know how this
will turn out: it may be funny, it may be sobering, it may be
fascinating. One thing it won't be, if I can help it, is boring.
There are literally thousands of words, terms, and phrases that
lead people to this site. With over 3 million hits a month and tens
of thousands of new visitors every month, lots and lots of words and
phrases emerge. What I'm describing is the search terms that lead
people here, usually through a search engine, usually Google (but
not always). People type in a word or phrase into their favorite
search engine, and that search engine leads them here. Google
analytics calls them Organic Search Traffic, and they are always fascinating, because it's always
interesting to see what people are looking for.
For years, every month, on my
Quick Facts table on my home page, I've selected the most common
ones, and a few others of interest to note and comment about. You've
seen those above. The
common ones are my name (of course), and any phrase that has
anything to do with knives, particularly handmade or custom knives.
This is understandable, and can be a bit boring, though I'm certain
it is extremely important to the person using the term and to me,
especially if they want to buy one of my knives!
This is shown in an overview on the page
Website Statistics where I
actually include a list of the actual terms printed, in order, from
the website analysis software readout. This list is by no means
current; it was from 2010, though a lot of information and a good
overview is presented.
While the common terms are interesting, they are, well,
common. How about a search term that is not so common, one that
doesn't make the top ten, or top 50, or even the top 1000th search
term? How about the 3000th search term entered that month? Is it a
weak term? Is it strange? Is it awkward or misspelled? I find it
fascinating; maybe you will too! The person who uses the term or
word doesn't rate any lower on his (or her) interest; they still
arrive at the site, they still have access to everything anyone else
does, and that's the beauty of the internet.
This section is about that 3000th term, and I'll update it every
month (if I remember to!), and include the term and what it may or may
not mean to this website, my career, my knives, or knives in
general. One more thing: why did I pick the 3000th term and not
another? I can't tell you that; a quorum of elder statesman
gathering at a railroad crossing tossed
their false teeth into a spinning Bundt pan above a sacred fire of
dried toadstools, and
the number just kind of came up. It's all very mysterious, no?
- December 1, 2013: Term 3000: knife tactical thy sheath
- This could be a very pious man searching for his special
sheath, the one that fits his combat knife. The use of the word
thy may be what relegated this term to 3000 and not
300; it's difficult to say, since virtually no one uses this
antiquated word anymore. I can see him now, in his broad, flat,
black hat and plain, long overcoat, as the marauding hordes
approach from all sides. He looks back to his frightened flock
with stern brows, where his number one son (of fourteen goodly
and proper young men) awaits his authoritative command. Perhaps
he has unthreaded his belt to accommodate thy sheath, steadying
himself for the oncoming confrontation. In any case, the term
led him to my site, where I do, indeed, make a rightly and
tactical knife sheath with all of the accessories necessary
for the battle. Peace be!
- January 1, 2014: Term 3000:knife display stand plans
- It happens. You have a knife. It sits. It occupies a drawer with your socks.
It's a pretty knife; you admire it. You want it to stand out from your trinkets and
collectables. You want to give it a boost, raise its status in the household, bring it
from tool to object d' art. You have an idea involving a deformed antler tip you took
off an underage buck (shhhh...) on that hunting trip last... uh... spring (shhhh...).
It's fuzzy and cool-looking, with knobs and bloody spots and such. You have a plank.
It's a good one, probably hardwood, because it came off a crate carrying something heavy
from China, perhaps a Cadillac. You want to recover some of the
$10 billion that GM owes
the American public for bailing them out after they nearly
went under making pissy cars at the turn of the
century. So you feel justified. You feel empowered, you feel determined. Your knife will
tower above all others, your satisfaction will be bolstered, your status will grow among
men, if you could just pull this off. All you need is plans; yes, that's it, detailed
blueprints in elevation, plan, layout and plot view with a hardware component list, and maybe even a source
for those important components like wood screws and glue. Will Jay have this on his site?
After all, he makes knife stands.
Alas, they are only for his own knives. The search continues.
- February 1, 2014: Term 3000: knife trailing point
- I've seen this done in the mountains of Uzbekistan. A native knife is employed over the course of several days to
pick out the subtle clues that suggest a mountain trek of say, an escaped Phrynosoma,
tired of his lean stay at the Tashkent zoo and diet of dried
mealworms and far too few Camponotus (or is that Camponoti?). The knife can taste the hints of
blood squirted from the otherworldly creatures eye, done not as an attempt to leave a trail, but to
dissuade any faint of heart from following. The knife
doesn't care, it's trailing, and that's the point. It won't
stop until the promised coating of beeswax is applied after
a good sharpening. Or... it could mean
- March 1, 2014: Term 3000: making a jawbone knife
- Knifemakers do a lot of jawing. They jaw about the weather, they
jaw about the government, they jaw about tools, tips, techniques.
But to have all that jawboning create a knife is a lot to ask. You
have to hold the blade in your teeth, get your nose dangerously
close to the drill press, mill, and the grinder, but the worst part
is when you use your lips to pull the blade from the oven when it's
orange-hot. I've seen some smoke-face and crispy critters, but man,
that takes some serious dedication! It's faster than a kiss on the
cheek for your crusty old auntie, faster than a teenage girl can
crank out the OMGs and likes on her 4G gizmo. Of
course, this term could mean the use of a skeletal jaw bone for a
knife handle, but I doubt it. Those just look silly. I suggest the
best is the jaw bone of an Ass (you just knew I wanted to write
that, didn't you?). And bone is weak, porous, and soft; just read
more about it here.
- April 1, 2014: Term 3000: most dangerous dagger in India
- Gosh, I was hoping that someday someone would write about this! And now is my chance
to reveal the legend of the great Rajah Smarmeche. He ruled from 1,042,645 BCE to 1,042,643 BCE. This was a very short
time for the great monarch, and it is largely because of the most dangerous dagger in India, of which I write. You see,
this dagger had no guard to stop the fingers from sliding forward on the blade, no finger indents to aid in grip, no
handle belly, quillons, rings, or shape of any kind to aid in the grip. In fact, it had no handle at all! It was just a blade,
a very sharp one, and pointed in every conceivable direction, even in directions that are not known in our dimension, but pointed
into every imaginable realm of mystical possibility, throughout all space, all universes, and all
perceived and unknown existences.
Oh, and it was invisible. So, when the second Smarmeche reached for it, he lopped his head off. No one knows what happened to the most
dangerous dagger in India, but just to be on the safe side, don't mention it to anyone, to do so is to tempt fate and foster desire
to own that which is, clearly, impossible. The lesson mankind learned from this is that the handle is a very important part of the knife,
and the shape of the handle even more important. More at
- May 1, 2014: Term 3000: reverse hand grip
- Yes, a Tango question. The dance of touch from our southern partners along the Rio de la Plata. To feel the beat, to smell the
cangrejo encocado of crabs swimming in coconut sauce, soaked up in a
torta frita sizzled on the grill. Ahhh, Montevideo, how
I miss the beat, the heart, the passion of this Uruguayan city at the bottom of the world... On my last visit, I had the pleasure
of seeing the reverse hand grip in action: gentle, sliding palms between the
partner's fingers, melding into an arch of the dancer's backs
just before our performers spun off the floor and out of the cover of the
cabana. The rain started pouring and you could smell the ocean.
I've got to take a vacation! Or, it could mean
- Jun 1, 2014: Term 3000: what stats to put on manajumas carving knife
- I like to claim that I have 100 percent satisfaction when
wearing my manjamas. Though the plaid pants can sometimes give
away the fact that I'm garbed in sleeping attire while visiting
my local Wal-Mart, the manner of dress fits right in with the
crowd, who plod along in their fuzzy slippers and bed hair. I
give my manjamas a good carving before summer, as it gets really
hot then, and I don't want the things clinging to my hairy legs.
I'd rather feel free, if you know what I mean, with the breeze
tickling the cotton fibers. It helps to keep the carving knife
close at hand; you never know when you want to slice off a bit
of Velveeta in the unrefrigerated processed manmade food aisle;
one can get a bit peckish. You don't have to stick with carving,
you can carry an 8" Sabatier into any situation and derive
results in your favor. More on that on my
- July 1, 2014: Term 3000: what is it called when a knife only has one bolster
- Ahh, the war. It takes a heavy toll. But then again, maybe the knife was made that way, and it's not
ours to question why the maker thought the knife would be more comfortably gripped
only on the obverse
side while the reverse side looks naked and incomplete. How was it attached? For every bolster you kind
of need another on the other side to keep the knife from falling over on the display table at the local
Lion's Club Knife and Gun Show. Otherwise, the guy with the knives made from horse hoof rasps will get all
of your business and you'll go home and have to explain to the wife why you sank more dough into the shop
tools, and didn't have enough material to bolster the other side of the knife handle. She won't like your
answer, you can bank on that. Best just to get her a nice bauble or card if you can't afford the jewelry
and tell her you care. And mean it this time; or you're likely to end up without a ... bolster. You can
learn more about bolsters (which are usually in pairs) on
- August 1, 2014: Term 3000: What is the sharp edge of the knife called
- An age old mystery, this one. And we all wonder what the sharp edge of a knife is really called. Every person who
encounters one calls it something different. Mostly, it's OOOHHHH!, sometimes ouwwwww! and the more reserved of us will
say Whoops! or Oh, Crap! as we see the skin open up and blood start to pour forth. I've seen plenty of cuts in my day,
let me tell you, and not just my own! The really bad ones aren't noticed until you see blood soaking through a glove, or
dripping on the tool rest, vise, or table. What it's really called I can't relate here, because, after all, this is a
G-rated family type website, and those words just aren't comfortable. I could type a string of symbols used to represent
cursing or foul language, but I think you'll understand with just one letter replaced. The predominant name,
then, for this feature
on a knife is "Oh, Sh*t!" Now, next time you sharpen
your knife, be sure to tell whoever is likely to use it that
it's as sharp as (expletive deleted). They'll understand,
because sooner or later, everyone gets cut. Everyone.
- September 1, 2014: Term 3000: what knife brand uses the letters at in its symbol
- Knife brands are important things. Just like the vehicle you drive, you want others to know your vehicle by its
symbol. That way, you'll be stating your status with the circles, triangles, or little shield like I used to have
all over my old diesel. Yep, I had one of those, and I felt like royalty in that gold-painted behemoth with white
leather seats. So it's easy to understand why it would be important to know what the "at" brand or more distinctly
"@" brand says to the guy who's looking over your knife while you're in the trenches, waiting for the latest terrorist
target to pop up his little head. As long as the name on the knife doesn't follow the "@" symbol with the words "Pakistan,"
or "China," "Taiwan," or other of the less valued provinces (there are many) you may be safe to use it to scrape the
label off your can of Vienna Sausages. However, their is one remote, distant, and suspicious mystical theory that the knives
made with the symbol were created by Jalo Taksamerkki. His name directly translates to "noble price" which is what those
who possess Jalo's early knives have paid for the first rights to his own "at." I understand everyone has an @ or two
nowadays, and that has meant a huge windfall for Jalo. He is not reported to be the richest man in the world, but
he is, if in recognition only. Thanks for submitting this really important search term and visiting my website. Sigh.
- October 1, 2014: Term 3000: what's the name for the thing at the top of a dagger
- The thing. It's inspired so many for so long. Travel down I-10 in southern Arizona, and you'll see more billboards about the
Thing than you can read. These wonderful mysteries used to be more abundant when I was a kid, and there's even a song written about
the signs in yellow, black, and red. Anne MacFie wrote it, and you really should Google it (Uncle Watt's Original Fantascinatin’ Roadside Stand).
Anne and Dick Albin; definitely captured the magic of these roadside attractions, at least in 1971!
It saddens me to think that the Thing is now on top of a dagger;
that means that perhaps violence was involved in its demise.
Believe me, it's dead, too, all shrunken, and dry, and wrapped
in Indian beaded blankets, tattered and moth-eaten. You'll
wonder, you'll be amazed, you'll have spend a dollar you can't
get back. And you'll start listening to late night talk radio
broadcast from the desert while you search the sky for aliens.
And now you know why and how the
pommel of a knife looks like a UFO...
- November 1, 2014: Term 3000: what is the belly of a knife and witch county produces knives with belly
- In our county, we produce plenty of belly with the product of cows, called "cheese." We have the largest cheese factory in
the United States, about 15 miles from where I'm typing this! Really! Most people think of
Wisconsin when they think of cheese,
not Curry County in Eastern New Mexico. This is because of a huge publicity campaign by
Wisconsin. The reality is 150 semi-truck loads
of milk arrive at our cheese plant every day, and this beast cranks out 400 million pounds of cheese every year. Really! It's owned by
our friends in Idaho, which isn't known for cheese either. Anyway, if you have a pizza, and it has white cheese on it, and it gives
you plenty of belly, you can thank the dairy farmers from Curry County, Roosevelt County in eastern New Mexico, and all those small counties
in the western panhandle of Texas nearby who pummel our roads and slurp the
Ogallala reservoir for the water their crops and cows need. And those cows,
talk about bellies (and teats...).
- December 1, 2014: Term 3000: rough gods
- One wonders how these search terms ever lead people to my site!
But, I'll try to explain. Life is tough, and contrary to modern
political correctness, this is not heaven, and life is not
decidedly fair in any way, shape or form. In the old days,
humans would simply blame the numerous gods for their roughness.
If you could blame the god of rain for flooding you, then the
god of heat wouldn't be offended and fry your crops. No matter
how the blame was spread around, people eventually realized that
there were just rough gods, and they wouldn't play fair. This is
why they developed political correctness. It's a great concept,
it's a belief in what has the right or does not have the
right to be true. And the supreme being that decides what
has the right and does not have the right to be true? Why it's a
bureaucrat sitting at the National Standards building in
Washington D.C., and he reports to all major media outlets so
they get the first presentation of the most up-to-date political
correctness beef of the day. Now you know where the news comes
from...I still don't know how Google recommended my site for
this term! It's not fair; it doesn't have the right to be true!
- January 1, 2015: Term 3000: rat cut in man fingure show the light mark of cut
- Okay, I've been doing this for over a year, this "3000th Term" thing, and it just keeps
getting more bizarre. What can I say about the rat cut? In
fingure? Let me see if I can decode this.... no, I simply
can't. What a way to start the new year! And Google must have a
bunch of these lost and confusing search terms in some memory
pile that's labeled: "Don't have a clue, send to JayFisher.com."
- February 1, 2015: Term 3000: skeletonized knife handle blanks
- Now here's a term that has, at least, some relevance to knifemaking, the knife trade, and knives in general.
I'm having some trouble understanding the whole concept. If a knife is skeletonized, it has, by definition, no handle,
unless the blade alone is skeletonized and there is a handle attached,
which would make the handle very heavy! If there is no handle, why would he be looking
for handle blanks? Is this guy seeking the actual hole that comprises the skeletonized handle to attach to his knife, thus
making it a skeletonized knife by some twisted and obscure law of physics?
Attach this physical object and it becomes a lack of physical
form, thus erasing the mass of the handle? Maybe I've got this
all wrong. Maybe, just maybe, he's referring to the fight scene
in Jason and the Argonauts, where the skeletons attacked, and
one of them might be holding a knife. Ray Harryhousen was a
master with a little bit of clay and wire, and countless hours
of posing and shooting that you have to admire for the
technology of the day. Still, he didn't have the ability to
create a handle where there is none, nor could he attach
nothingness to a handle and make it nothing from something...
more on skeletonized knives
- March 1, 2015: Term 3000: the term of knife
- I think that factory knives are elected for about three years.
This is what big manufacturers have determined and this is how they
work their magic. How it works is this: you see a knife, you buy a
knife; it's cheap. It's the same brand your dad bought back when he
hunted, before he realized it was much more comfortable to sit at
home in front of the tube and have meat brought to him via shopping
and the spouse. He swore by his knife, after all, he used it once a
year for six or seven years in a row. So you buy his brand. Only you
use it to cut boxes, and tape, and that tough package stuff that
keeps a shoplifter from carting of the latest gadget secured in a
clamshell fused unit. But your knife dulls. You sharpen it once,
then twice, and then the third time, you can't seem to get an edge
on it, because the edge is too thick. It needs relieved, that is,
thinned behind the cutting edge. But you don't know anyone who will
do this for you, and you can't admit you don't know how to sharpen
it. So, back to the store, or Amazon, or the big chain hardware
store you go, and you see a lot of knives and are overwhelmed. Even
though you aren't happy with the knife you bought three years ago,
you just can't figure this whole knife thing out, so you decide it's
better to play it safe and go with a brand that you know what you
can expect: three years and done. Like the president or congressman
that you voted for (again), you might as well go with a devil you
know than one you don't. Why take the chance? You're familiar with
short lived cheap knives, and you shall remain so. The companies
that make these knives depend on your complacency, and you are not
one to offend. It's... predictable that way. Oh, you've heard of
better knives, but there is so much to learn and know and read- and
you can't really trust someone who makes knives as a profession,
after all, what kind of career is that? You'll go ahead and settle
for that three year term. After all, if you do one day to decide
that you'll upgrade, you've only got a couple years left on your
term, so it's not a lifelong commitment like one of those fine,
handmade custom knives. In the meantime, you might just decide to
learn a few more knife terms on Jay Fisher's
page for some entertaining reading.
- April 1, 2015: Term 3000: write short note on knife and spear
- Everybody's heard of this. Scrawl your rude slogan on a missile
and send it towards the enemy, jot someone's name on a bullet, or
write a short note on a knife or spear to help in your aim. Only
thing is these are fleeting, sharp words, made to make the issuer
happy or comforted, or feel superior, but doing little else. Just
use the thing the way it's intended, not with extra verbiage,
script, note, or pomp. The recipient won't have time, hopefully, to
examine, interpret, or understand the intent of the thought, for if
he does, it means you've missed your mark and will have to deal with
him owning the implement that may be soon sent your way
with his own script overwriting yours! Lesson learned: Don't write
about it; just do it.
- May 1, 2015: Term 3000: viking immigrant/pioneer project screwless chair
- What... I mean... what? Google? What the ... I simply have no
explanation for this. Sigh.
- June 1, 2015: Term 3000: wooden throwing knife blueprints
- Not many blueprints exist that were made of wood. Oh, I suppose
you could make the case that all paper blueprints were made of wood,
at least that's the origin of the blueprint material. But we
generally don't discuss the original material when describing what
is derived from it. If we did, we would be mentioning "iron knives"
and "iron automobiles," not to mention "petroleum computers" because
most of the components are plastic and we all know where that comes
from. Maybe the searcher who typed this into Google was referring to
a wooden throwing knife, but that's just ludicrous! Who would make a
knife out of wood and then throw it at someone else, unless he just
wanted to really piss them off (excuse my French)? You wouldn't do
much of anything else with a wooden knife, and beyond all this, why
would it require a blueprint to design such a failure of concept? I
don't have much hope for the person who entered this term in their
- July 1, 2015: Term 3000: when knife makers say natural wood what do they mean?
- Ahh, at least it's a knife question! And a good one, as much of
the wood we see today is completely unnatural. Much of it is grown
on tree farms, particularly the more expensive Central American and
South American hardwoods. Does that surprise you? You thought it
came from wholesale slaughter of rainforests? And you thought it was
exceedingly rare? At least that is what the websites say, thousands
of them claiming their woods are the rarest and least accessible, so
worthy of extremely high prices. Websites that take a piece of
ironwood and claim it's "presentation," "museum," "contrast" grade
or other such nonsense written to make you think their wood is worth
200 times what they paid for it at a Juarez flea market. Yep, take a
trip to Mexico, and see some of the cheap carvings of ironwood and
you'll understand. I suppose the writer of this search term may have
been trying to distinguish between woods that have been treated
(they still have natural origins) or dyed (they still have natural
origins) or stabilized and pressure laminated... you get it. I think
adding the word "natural" to ad copy is just another word to make
the wood sound better. Kind of like "ergonomic," when there is no
such thing, or "organic" which is everything we experience... and
it's all about power words and catch phrases. Meanwhile, no one is
crowing about fit, finish, balance, design, accessories, and
service. More about those points
here, and more about woods
(all natural) here.
- August 1, 2015: Term 3000: yellow pearlex acrylic knife scales
- Ahh, the elusive pearlex. Comes from the oysterex in the seaex
of the distant worldex. What the heck is this stuff, anyway? Could
it be the stunningly beautiful toilet ware of the 1940s? Not
exactly, as the toilet wear was made of celluloid, and nobody makes
celluloid any more because it's unstable and in thin sections,
extremely flammable. So our clue here is the word acrylic.
In knives, acrylic is crap. Sorry guys, I know you didn't want to
hear this, but acrylic is soft, weak, and cheap, no matter how you
color it and what you call it. Look up Kirinite, it's a sneaky trick
to make you think acrylic is somehow related to kryptonite, or some
weird discovery on the distant planet of Kirin. Did you know that
Kirin has a moon that orbits it named "Dupe?" That's what one feels
when they buy a knife with the horridly garish colors of flowing
plastic in plastic. Of course, you've got to read a bit into the
description and ad presentation of this stuff. They claim it's
"tough as Corian." First, to compare a plastic to another plastic
that is essentially soft, weak, and countertop (of all things), is a
heady claim! After all, isn't Corian the stuff dream kitchens in
mobile homes are made of? Then, there's the word "tough." In
materials descriptions, tough means resilient without
breaking, that is soft, flexible, pliable, and forgiving of fracture
since the material just moves and flexes without breaking. Well
then, I'll claim that cotton cloth is tougher than Corian or
Kirinite (acrylic). That's because you can flex cotton fibers for
weeks, moths, even years without it breaking and you wouldn't be so
lucky if you tried this with these acrylics. So you can see that the
presentation of the word (tough) and how it's assumed that the
modern knife buyer wouldn't know what tough actually means when
referring to materials. So maybe the word "tough" is just a
generalized comment, kind of a catchall phrase about a very broad
and non-specific quality like "able to handle adversity." So, in
that way, we humans are tougher than all acrylics, because acrylics
will not last one lifetime, not even a few years without a toll of
scratching, dulling, chalking, glazing, cracking, weathering,
wearing, or weakening: all things that acrylics commonly and
frequently do. But of course none of these can compare with serious
professionally manmade handle materials like Micarta® phenolics,
G10 fiberglass/epoxy composites, or carbon fiber. Simply put,
acrylics in any form are considered in this profession to be the
very bottom of the food chain of handle materials. My advice: don't
aim for the bottom; it's not a worthwhile goal. Learn more about
these pesky handle materials on a
special page on this very site.
- September 1, 2015: Term 3000: "to make a costum knive wat kind of still wont to get pls tell me"
- Sometimes, I'm embarrassed to be a human. This is one of those
times. That we could have left this child behind on his spelling and
education horrifies me. Now, in an age of unbounded information
accessibility, tremendous technical dispersion methods, unregulated
information and knowledge: this is what comes through Google?
It's hard to believe. Particularly since nearly every modern device
has some type of spell checking subprogram. Is it bad text? Is it
just a slip of the keys? And then to beg Google for help suggests
that pleading comes frequently to this writer. This person clearly
has no business with a knife of any kind; only a stern tutor and a
primary spelling book. "See Spot run. Run, Spot, run." Sigh.
- October 1, 2015: Term 3000: "write an alphabet on chest with knife"
- Violence? Not our culture. Or maybe this guy is just trying to
remember his ABCs and he needs a little cheat. Or maybe it's
not a chest in the anatomical sense, but in the pirate booty or
wedding dowry-type chest. In all cases, why the alphabet? What is
the significance of this? Why does Google send these people to my
website? Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing? Let's
just hope that he's not using the Cambodian language of Khmer; it
has 74 characters. Please don't write me and tell me Chinese has
more characters; it's not an alphabet when you are writing in
symbols and not specific alphabetic characters. The
shortest alphabet? Rotokas, with only 12 characters. Those people in
New Guinea like to keep things simple, but the words get fairly long
when you only have 12 characters. What to know more about the
language of knives? See my
Page with definitions.
- November 1, 2015: Term 3000: "zebra bone knife scales"
- Awww, come on... leave the poor striped horse alone. Perhaps the
writer of this search term thinks his bones have stripes on them and
they would be striking on a knife handle: I don't think so. Read
more about the
zebra knife at this link.
- December 1, 2015: Term 3000: "what is the pointy little knob on the butt of a camping knife for?"
- Ahhh, the pointy little knob. Something nice for the camp,
perhaps a finial for the drapes you'll install to deflect the wind
around your tent. Perhaps it could be for pointing at wild fowl, to
quietly alert your camping team to the vista of ducks in their
native habitat. Maybe you can use it to scale that brown brook trout
you caught on the Upper Animas in Colorado... one scale at a time.
Or you could use it to build a cabin: as a plumb bob, a wood scribe,
or perhaps a nail set to keep the finishing nails flush with the
surface. Or, you could use it to shatter a car window in the parking
lot of the forest service campground entrance, so you could get away
from the charging bears in a hurry, or acquire other necessary tools
you forgot back at your apartment. What an exciting accessory!
- January 1, 2016: Term 3000: "why put a hole in a knife blade?"
- Yes, yes, I'm glad you've noticed. When knives are grown in a
large field, the crop has the mystical propensity to absorb past
situational occurrences of the location. If a great battle happened
in the field, with many screaming, horrid and violent losses, if an
old farmhouse with windows that look like two eyes and a bay window
for a smile was once built there and a family was murdered by a
member rendered insane by the ghost of an old Native American chief
who despised cape cod style clapboards, and this is his burial
ground, these unfriendly forces may inhabit the blade for all
eternity. The hole is drilled there to let the bad spirits out. Just
a precaution, you know.
- February 1, 2016: Term 3000: "why old knife steel popular?"
- I think I'll depart from my usual comedic attitude here and
offer some serious feedback, since it was actually asked in a
question. You could ask the same about "old" anything. Nostalgia,
pining for the old days, remembrances, reminiscence, longing,
melancholy: all these are emotions tied to the past. While emotion
is a great thing, wistfully recalling the beaten and rusted knife
grandpa gave you back when you were a little tyke, sure to do no
harm, being dull and small and a boy's toy, it can be a pleasurable
memory. This would be fine, except the person who wrote this did
not ask "why old knife" is popular; he asked "why old knife
steel popular," and that is an entirely different
component. Old knife steel is, depending on the age, poor steel.
It's weak steel, cheap steel, common steel and we in the profession
call it "carbon steel." Elders in my own tribe swore by its value,
its superiority, its place at the top of the food chain for its
mixtures of iron and carbon. While their opinion may have been
worthwhile in 1950, 1960, or 1970, it is wildly erroneous in this
millennium. This is because high alloy and stainless steels have
reached new performance and value regions, not even approachable by
the carbon steels of the past. Of course, there are a whole horde of
guys who are stuck there with their poor steels, hammering away,
even getting television face time, with sparks-a-flying, and
hammers-a-swingin', and beards a flopping around, adding to the
stereotypical image of all knifemakers being hickster, bib
overall-garbed, dirty, grubby, obscenity-hurling man-things who say
"ya'll' and smell like beasts of the wild. But the steels that are
hand-forged are low performers, and no machine shop, no
military, industrial, high-technology, modern, advanced, or
relied-upon steel device, component, or equipment is made by
hand-forging, and there are no blacksmiths in the modern machine
shop, anywhere. Why is old steel popular? Because some people live
in the past, that's why. More about this curious love affair with
the past imagery of knifemaking and the comparison with professional
modern steels on my Knife Styles
- March 1, 2016: Term 3000: "why are there no makers marks on a lot of damascus knifes"
- That's easy. It's because most knives called "Damascus" are pattern welded steel, and most of these knives
are now made by foreign companies in India, Pakistan, China, and other low-labor, low quality countries and companies. The shine
wore off of pattern-welded damascus over a decade ago. It's no longer new, no longer novel, no longer hip, slick, and the popular
trend. It's a blade material that is inferior to high alloy steels, specifically, hypereutectic and high chromium steels, in every
conceivable way but one, and that one way is simply a matter of taste and appearance.
It's the look. Since the materials in a pattern welded
blade don't matter
much, and the look does, these are "pretty" knives, and a lot of the blades are made overseas where no maker marks them. I use pattern
welded damascus too, when the appearance overrides all other considerations, and wear resistance, hardness, toughness, and corrosion resistance
are not as important to the project. Another reason that pattern welded blades don't have maker's marks is
because it's really hard to
etch a maker's mark on several different layers of steel. In order to mark the blade, it usually has to be engraved by machine or by hand,
and even then, it may be hard to read. Okay, I'll try to be more humorous next month!
- April 1, 2016: Term 3000: "which way should blade point for overhand stab"
- One might think this is an April Fool's joke, but someone
actually wrote this into their search engine, and Google referred
them to my website. The answer? Why, toward Megaclite, the 65th moon
of Jupiter. Unless, of course, it's after 3:47 GMT, and in that
case, point the blade toward Callirrhoe, the 48th moon of Jupiter.
I'm simply surprised that there are 67 moons of Jupiter; who knew?
I started this section back at the end of 2013. Now, here it is, in
May of 2016 and I'll have to admit that Google has much improved their
referrals! Yes, it's true. I would like to think that it was my
complaining, but more likely, they have determined (through algorithms
and software) that my site is actually about knives. In this way, most
of the inapplicable search terms have not popped up in organic search
lists, and nearly all of the terms actually apply to knives! More so,
many of these questions are valid, reasonable search questions, that
actually apply to knives in general, and more specifically to fine
handmade custom knives. So, what to do? Should I continue on with this
list, or should I answer some of these valid questions? You'll have to
check back to see.
- June 1, 2016: Term 3000: "when an item is made of iron, we might want to protect it from rust,
to prevent it from losing those desired properties. do you think the rusty chain and door handle
in the following photos will be as strong and flexible as when they were new? why not?"
- Well, after a month off, I had to pick it back up; I'm just such an addict that way. And imagine my surprise when I
discovered this "term" in the Google search engine results that sent one person to my site. Do you ever wonder why older
people think that some of our youth is, well, lazy? This couldn't be a simple case of a test question, given to a child
that I estimate is in elementary or junior high school, copied and pasted into a search engine to "look for" an answer, could it? How lazy
and (excuse me) ignorant do you have to be to try this? It's so obviously a physics test question made to make the child think, but
all he can think of is (with Google's help) that damn Jay Fisher is hiding the
answer to strong and flexible rusty chain and door
handle issues on his site... somewhere! Would it help to point out the ignorance of the test question author? Nobody makes
chain or door handles in iron nowadays. Chain is made in alloys of steel and stainless steel, at least most of it and only the alloy steel rusts.
Door handles are made from anything from steel to brass, bronze to aluminum, but I can't remember the last time I heard of a modern iron
door handle. Sigh. Maybe the child is being asked about
reproduction or period pieces of replica chain and decorative
17th century home entrance hardware...
- July 1, 2016: Term 3000: "write one word for the following phrases: a knife with a blade that folds into handle"
- At least this is a knife-related question. Still, it's another
test question that some young person has probably pasted into their
search engine to look for an easy answer. However, this one bears a
little more examination (pun intended). There is, simply, no one
word that can encompass what is being described. At least, that is
what I think the test question writer was requested. The writer
himself should be sent to the woodshed over the mistaken plurality
of the request (using the word phrases when only one phrase was
Back to the issue: in knifemaking slang, many of us use
the one word "folder" to describe a knife with a blade that folds
into the handle. But this is lazy slang, when "folding knife" is the
more specific term. A folder could be one that rests in a
filing cabinet, or one that contains documents, photographs, images,
or videos on a computer hard drive or server's memory. So what is
the one word that accurately describes a knife with a blade that
folds into a handle? Aha: this is a trick question, for no one word
would describe it. The student has failed his exam and the test question
writer is somewhere, laughing insanely at his frustration and
sadness, derived from a simple ridiculous question, badly presented.
Of course, it could be a touchy-feely politically correct test
question, measuring the cultural sensitivity of the student,
preparing him for bureaucratic service. If the kid answers:
"murder," "death," or "evil," he will be approved for
advancement in Human Services. If he answers: "work," "open," or
"cut," he will be given a plaid shirt and told to drive a pickup
truck. If he answers, "assault," "unnecessary," or "offensive,"
he could well be on his way to the Senate. And if he answers
"collection," "investment," or "artwork," he'll be immediately
removed from class and taken to an ophthalmologist, because
clearly he hasn't seen the point... More about
folding knives on this page.
- August 1, 2016: Term 3000: "why is 440c still prohibited in aerospace"
- This is an example of outright lack of knowledge action, and we can hope that by what the person who used this search term discovers is that they are
woefully ignorant and that they can learn by reading what they will
find here. 440C is a premium aerospace material, and is
specifically listed as such by the Aerospace Materials
Specification which lists it as 5880, a "premium aircraft
quality product." It was used as the bearing material on the space
shuttle and most other cryogenic turbo pumps. That's a pretty good
recommendation... and 440C is still widely used in all modern
military and civilian aircraft, so I don't really know where the
person who typed this term got his information. Probably from
knifemakers who hand-forge knives and who hate 440C, described and
detailed extensively on this page.
The hate, oh the hate...
- September 1, 2016: Term 3000: "what was the name of the
first knife in the world?"
- Ahh, an anthropology question. I've consulted my specialists
here at the International College of Knife History, and determined
that knives existed before language, and even before man. So there
is now intensive debate as to the name of the first knife, and the
argument has degraded to the point of our scientists throwing old
"Knifemakers Guild" complimentary coffee cups at each other in the
break room. It's quite a mess, and the cleaning people don't know
what to think of all the screaming labcoats screaming expletives at
each other. Most are opting for the phrase "grunt,"
while others are going for the term "shhick," referring to the
action of the knapped stone in skin and tissue. The more sedate
professionals are settling on "mmmm" considering that early
pre-humans were a comforted, contented creature that appreciated the
beauty and aesthetics of obsidian, jasper, and flints in interesting
colors and patterns, accenting the abode of the cave wall, right
next to their children's handprints and kid's renditions of mammoth.
- October 1, 2016: Term 3000: "what does it mean when i put a knife down and it points back at me on the back?"
- Your knife is possessed. Have you been playing with an Ouija
board recently? If so, you have invited a demon into your
knife, and you need to have it removed. This means plenty of smudge
sticks, lot's of chanting, and perhaps a team of sewer line
investigators running around in the dark scaring each other with the
never-ending question, "did you hear that?" When this is all done,
you can be certain that the mere chance that a knife blade points at
your back will still occur, according to randomness of quantum
theory, but that it does not actually mean anything.
- November 1, 2016: Term 3000: "seaweed knife scales"
- There is a lot of seaweed in the world, perhaps more than most
people imagine or care to know. A lot. So, why not use it for the
most critical need there is, where there is simply not enough
material available...anywhere? That's the knife handle, all right.
While there are blades galore, seemingly seeping out of the earth in
abundant splendor, our planet has a distinct lack of knife handle
material. Continual campaigns are initiated from bold explorers to
discover this elusive handle material so many are seeking.
Logically, if a common "weed of the sea" could be used to fill this
dire need, another of the world's greatest problems would be solved!
And you thought I would mention the word "slimy." Ha.
- December 1, 2016: Term 3000: "what kind of wood makes a good knife?"
- Ahh, a knife problem. This was man's problem even before man was
man. Some intensely old, early man-like creature, hairy and bent, no
doubt, maybe with big ears and a brow ridge, searched high and low
for the very best wood in his world that would make a good knife.
But while he was searching one day, another, more refined early
hominid came up from behind and finished off his species with a
piece of sharp rock. That's about when wood knives left the early
scene...as did that particular line of man's ancestry.
- January 1, 2017: Term 3000: "what brand of knife has a walking bear in a circle on the blade?'
- I think that's the knife from "Lost," or maybe it's the answer to the question, "What does a bear do in the woods?"
This is why modern handmade knives bear the knifemaker's mark, typically his name. This avoids all the bare confusion.