Jay Fisher - World Class Knifemaker

Quality Without Compromise

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Knife Maker's Mark for Jay Fisher Knives
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"Orion" obverse side view in 440C high chromium stainless steel blade, hand-engraved 304 stainless steel bolsters, Rio Grande Agate gemstone  handle, hand-carved leather sheath inlaid with frog skin

Custom Knife Design Fee

First: please read the "How much do your knives cost?" section on my Frequently Asked Questions page.

The fee does not apply to the 400+ custom knife designs or combinations of any handles and blades already on my "Custom Knife Patterns Page" here.

How does this work?

For new clients: I charge a $200.00 (US) non-refundable design fee per knife. This covers my expenses for the time and effort, and it guarantees that a prospective client is serious about his dream knife, sword, or other project. If the design is agreed upon, and I make it, the $200.00 goes toward the purchase of the knife. If the prospective client does not agree to me making the knife, and we can't reach agreement, I keep the $200.00, to pay for all my time and effort. Any client who is really interested in a fine custom knife will invest the $200.00 (which, by the way is the standard deposit I require to make any custom knife) to design and start his knife, sword, or other project. Then I know he is serious, and I'm paid for my time and effort, and he's already invested his down payment to start his knife.

Remember, your $200.00 design fee is not a separate or additional fee, it goes toward the purchase of your knife.

From Paper to Reality: custom knife design
Why the fee?

I work with clients to design, layout, detail and create their custom knives. I apply my decades of experience, knowledge, and practice making knives, daggers, and swords for professionals, combat soldiers, rescue professionals, police, tactical knife users, and some of the most discriminating collectors of fine custom knives in the world.

It takes a lot of time and effort to design a fine custom knife. I research materials and old designs, with some works from past centuries, contemporary knives, artistic motifs and patterns, layouts and geometries of earlier works, some by master craftsmen of long ago. I have a large library of sources of hoplology, sword and knife design, and historic, contemporary, and post-modern works. I make numerous sketches, add and adjust features, and work out those features and details with clients if required through email, fax, postal mail, or in person. Sometimes clients come to the shop and spend hours with me hammering out the details of their dream knives and creations.

After a set of preliminary sketches, I work up a master drawing. One would think a simple line drawing would be an easy task; it is not. Knives, daggers, and swords vary greatly with just 1/64th of an inch adjustment of a single line, often the geometry of thickness, strength, and the "Z" axis (thickness through the blade, handle, and sheath or scabbard) is not even considered by the client. I use my experience and artistic abilities to work up a usable, fine, original design. I then trace, adjust, and ink out the design, scan and adjust it in the computer, use editing programs to add annotations describing features, sizes, and arrangement of components. Then, once the first draft of the design is completed, I may make others to further enhance the design.

Then I apply the design to acrylic or aluminum sheets and cut out a preliminary profile. This acrylic or aluminum profile allows me to handle the knife pattern, adjusting it for feel and balance. You might be surprised at how many knives look good on paper, but feel completely awkward when profiled into a physical pattern. On the physical pattern, fine adjustments are made. This may require another set of patterns drawn from the adjusted physical acrylic pattern. The bolster, guard, pommel, grind, serrations, and swage placement is assigned and applied to the physical pattern, and then the acrylic or aluminum pattern can be used for laying out the blade. Sometimes, after having made the knife, the pattern is readjusted to compensate for changes that are necessary in the actual knife! There is also the sheath, stand, or case, which has to be designed from the ground up, and is usually not even considered by clients. These accessory patterns are also created on paper, adjusted, drawn and tuned to the knife or project. If the project requires a case or stand, a large and detailed layout, cut sheet, and materials sheet will have to be created also.

"Saussure" design to clients specifications "Sasserides" design to client's specifications
"Saussure" professional chef's knife completed "Sasserides" professional chef's bread knife completed

I used to do all this for free (yikes!), spending hours with prospective clients on the phone, answering emails at great length, describing, often educating prospective clients about the possibilities, limitations, and potential inherent in their specific idea. All the time I take to do this is time I've taken away from paying clients who've invested their hard-earned money in my skill, abilities, and time to make their knives, all while they're waiting on me to finish the projects they've invested money in. In order to be completely fair to them, I have to be very careful about how I spend my time.

Also, people have wanted me to work on designs; I've done so, and then they've taken the designs to other makers, shopped them around for the cheapest knife, all on my dime. They've sometimes just wanted to have a conversation with a knifemaker, or learn about knives, or entertain themselves at my expense (and consequently, at the expense of paying clients). They've called at all hours of the day and night, and I've talked for hours describing, educating, and illustrating the details of custom knife making and knife use. Again, this is not fair to clients who have a vested interest in my work time.

Any client who is really interested in a fine custom knife will invest the $200.00 (which, by the way is the standard deposit I require to make any custom knife) to design and start his knife. Then, I know he is serious, I'm paid for my time and effort, and he's already invested his down payment to start his knife. If it works out, great. If not, I'm at least partially compensated for my time, materials, and effort.

Click here to email me, and let me know if you are interested in a fine custom knife.

Click here to go to the Purchase Page and find out how to order your custom knife.

Click here to read my knife sales policy.

"Eridanus"  in 440C high chromium stainless steel blade, hand-engraved 304 stainless steel bolsters, Plasma Agate gemstone handle, Elephant skin inlaid in hand-carved leather sheath

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