Jay Fisher - World Class Knifemaker

Quality Without Compromise

Maker's Mark:
Knife Maker's Mark for Jay Fisher Knives

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"Random Access Three" obverse side view in CPM154CM powder metal technology high molybdenum stainless steel blade, vertical and horizontal sheaths in hand-stamped brown basketweave leather shoulder
"Random Access III"

Funny and interesting knife emails, stories, scams, and comments, page two

Page One Here
Page Three Here
Page Four Here
Page Five Here
Page Six Here

jay i am looking for a custom sword to spark fire in my eyes every time I look at it.
Suzanne E.

--actual complete email received, 2007

Having a large and active web site since 1996 has, thankfully, brought me a lot of interest, business, partnership with patrons, and knife orders and purchases. Truly, I would not be able to do what I do without the support and contact of new and existing knife clients and people who are interested in fine custom and handmade knives. I am honored, humbled, and grateful to those people who contact me, start a conversation about their knife, and may ultimately become regular clients. That is what this web site is about, pure and simple: my knives, my clients, and my career.

As the web site traffic has grown, people have sent emails about everything related to knives in any way. I suppose that's because they see a large and meaty web site, so the answer or project they seek will be there, and all that has to happen is an email, so they send. During that time, the site has grown, developed, been refined, has had some areas restricted, and evolved. A great deal of that evolution has had to happen to limit the huge onslaught of incoming emails and inquiries.

They sent so many emails that were not related to this site (which is about my knives, knife clients, and career), I became overwhelmed, spending 4 or more hours a day answering their inquiries. I realized that this was time I was taking away from my clients who had ordered custom knives and clients who were watching the site waiting for new inventory knives to come up for sale. In order to limit the flood of email, I created the "What I do and don't do" page.

The "What I do and don't do" page was a hit. It made clear that I would not answer emails unless they were about ordering or purchasing a knife from me. I added some dry humor to it. I added topics as new emails were sent asking for more services. I added links to sites that would help those in need. Although the page reduced the amount of incoming emails tremendously, they still came in because people either ignored the page or didn't believe it applied to them. You can't miss the page; before you email me I specifically link it on the singular email link page on this site. Nowadays, if email still comes in that does not pertain to the knives or my clients, I simply ignore it. Some of it is priceless, so I've chosen to share it here, on the second page of funny emails and stories. Don't forget to look at the other funny pages linked at the top of this page.

Please keep your sense of humor when reading through this page. If you don't have a sense of humor, or don't understand satirical, hyperbolic, anecdotal, ironic, juvenile, mordant, or farcical humor, please feel free to browse to another site. Don't feel compelled to email me and tell me how awful I am for having a site that is just about my knives, my clients, and my career. If you do write to complain, I might post your comment here, and others can enjoy it, too!

For all of you who have written to thank me for posting this page and who have enjoyed the emails, letters, and comments, thank you. You are who I've built this for!

Some points about the page:
  • No full names have been used, only the initials of the senders
  • No addresses or email addresses have been included
  • No web site links have been included
  • I've removed all wild formatting, strange fonts, bizarre colors, because you don't need that in your computer any more than I want it in mine!
  • Removed data has been replaced by asterisks*.
  • I haven't corrected the spelling (if they don't care, why should I?)
  • I have removed all the extraneous non-breaking spaces, and cleaned up the XHTML coding. What a job!
  • Most of the comments are in an email text box format. You'll see my responses where applied, and my thoughts will be in bold italics.
  • For the pleasure of your eyes, I've included some nice knife photos of my work on the page, with available links.

Please enjoy, and thanks for being here!

I know that you are an incredibly busy man, so I just want to say in advance that you do not need to take the time to reply to this!
I just wanted to say that:
1. Your work is astonishing. I am amazed at the quality and depth of your artistry in all areas.
2. I am not in a position to be buying right at this moment (although I'm tempted to max out a credit card and just walk away with Pacifica), but believe me, I plan to turn into a good customer sometime in the next couple of years!
3. I think I laughed more at your "what I do and don't do" and your "emails (from morons)" sections more than I have laughed at anything in a while...and I read a lot of humor.
4. Please take care of your health, as I need to you be around for a few years to keep making your works of art. My husband and I are both knife buffs, and my father-in-law is a knife fanatic. As you know, quality is hard to find in this area any more...and your kind of quality may be unmatched in this day and age. Take your vitamins!
Thanks again, and looking forward to working with you in the future. But, wait - shouldn't I send you some comic books to show you the kind of work I want?

Thanks, Sandra!

Another group of nice emails, sent by folks who've completely ignored my "What I do and don't do" page.

Greetings Jay,
I started making hunting knives last year and I primarily use Monkey wood, Zebra wood, Blood wood, Tulip wood, Ebony, Koa and Cocobola. I am having trouble with finishes and have no one to turn to for advice. I don’t know what product to use, or should I cover only the wood or should I cover the spine and bolsters as well. Any help would be very much appreciated…..Robb

I ignore this type of email. It clearly states on my site that I don't give advice. Two weeks later, he sends this one:

Jay, you said on your web site to email you if I have questions and you haven’t responded. Please help…..Robb

He wasn't going to give up, so I cut and pasted this from my site:

At over 57,000 hits a day on this site, as you can imagine I get many, many requests for information or projects. I'm sorry, I simply do not have time to answer them all. My time is committed to working for clients who have paid for my unique services and are awaiting the completion of their orders. Any time I take away from this for other projects or projects not of the highest quality is not fair to them or their investment. Consequently, I must refuse many requests. Here's a list of what I do, and what I will not or can not do, with my reasons stated below. Please look over the topics, I've added links that might help you find the services you need!
Thank you for your understanding.
Quick guide to the services I offer and what I do not

Weighing wax model with beam balance scale

Included with this email was my photo of a process of weighing a wax model before I invested it and cast it in bronze.

Dear Jay,
I find the scales on yours site. Who or where I can buy the scales?
Regards, J. S.

Hello Jay,
My name is S. H. I am with T**** S*****, LLC in ****, TN. We have 20 Case knives that we would like to have engraved I cannot seem to find anyone near here to do what we need to have done. I would like to have our company logo (which is intricate), name, and Safety award 2007. We are getting these for our employees, they have been two years without a loss time accident, anyways I did not know if you would do something like that or maybe you could point me in the right direction. Thanks So much,
S. H., ******,TN

I'm concerned about you giving sharpened pieces of metal for a safety award. Please don't tempt the fates; they are an unpredictable bunch!

Hello, Jay.
I know you're busy, I'm not about to order a knife (at least for the moment) so I'll be short. I scrolled in your many pages with knife models and they are really great. I didn't notice a pretty well known model, the AK 47 bayonet. I think it is great, especially together with its scabbard (together they form a scissors). I'm sure you know what I'm talking about, but to have a better image take a look here: (URL Deleted)
Again, this is not an order but only an idea. No need to answer if you're busy.
I admire your work. Keep it up.
Yours friendly,

It's definitely on my list, your "scissors-bayonet." But I have a pair of 12" Comptons at my drawing table that scissor through any sheet, even legal sized, along its length! They'll look great in our new horror video we're planning.

This one comes from a guy who does not use his name. He's free to disagree with my comments on my own site, and free to take his browser elsewhere, yet he writes me anyway.

I have read your negative remarks on factory knives and pretty much everything you say must be geared to Chinese factories. You are completely wrong if you are referring to American factories. I have working knowledge of 3 factories. Your information is flawed. Please correct your site to say “Chinese factories” or remove the information as it is all BS.

No, doofus, there are bad factory knives produced right here in the United States. Just go to your local hardware store and make a realistic comparison. The difference may be that at least the Chinese are offering their knives for a cheap price. Many American knives are made cheaply, but are expensively priced for their low quality. And sure, I'm going to rush right into changing my entire website because you sent an email.

Is it possible to fabricate from wood a sheath for my scimitar. I can get pics and tracings if need be. I also wanted it wrapped in soft leather and capped in stainless steel and a way to hang from a wide black leather belt. What would be the estimate on cost for what I am wanting? Thank you for your time and any help you can give me.

do you just sell handles alone for like an old case knife?

In a bizzare and nearly unreadable script font:

Dear Sir,
Hope you and your work is good.
Please tell me if you keep any req.. of camel bone and buffalo horn scales.
I will give you discount offer with an shipment.
Please give me a one chans.
And you can pay the payment after arrive the goods.
Please Confirem
Best Regards
R. M. www.********,com

Yes, he actually used a comma in his URL.

I recently purchase a Sarco knife on Ebay that is Japanese Stainless 440 with Jelly Bone. I'm new at collecting knifes, but, this knife was so beautiful I had to purchase. In a nut shell, can you tell be what Jelly Bone is. There is not much out there in Google land on Jelly Bone. Your email will be appreciated.

Ahh, the mysterious and fabled "Jellybone." Comes from the tail of the spotted Chupacabra I think-

This email was titled "Inquiry"

Hello Sales,
This is to let you know that i interested in purchasing some product from your company.Before ,I can proceed on the order.
First,I will like to know that you accept credit card.Also ,I want you to advice on the shipping company you prefer using for international shipment ( West Africa ).I await your response.

Could this be a relative of mine? Or perhaps just another stolen credit card scam? He doesn't seem to care what my product is, just if I will accept the stolen card and if I can ship to his Nigerian hole in the dirt.

i came across a knife from a long time ago, its copper and looks like an old fashioned gun but when you slide it open its a knife. it says "dorado" engraved on it. did you make it? or even know where it came from

"-from a long time ago?" Did I make it? Just how old do you think I am?

Hi Jay,
I must say you do beautiful work, no mistake there. I wonder if you would be so kind as to give me contact details of your supplier of 440c stainless steel. Here in South Africa we struggle to get 440C, I can get N690.
Would really appreciate it. Thanks a lot.

I've read your site for about an hour now and I don't think I see the answer to my question but if I did overlook it, please accept my apologies. I'm looking for a book that would be informative and helpful for someone that carves from antlers. My brother is an avid outdoorsman and his birthday is actually in 3 days (i'm a late shopper obviously). I see that you are also an author but what I couldn't find was the title of your book and if it was for sale. If it's not out yet, is there a book you'd recommend? He loves knives and is a beginner in collecting them. He had mentioned to me a couple of weeks ago about how he loved the way knives looked that were carved from antlers. He doesn't own one to my knowledge, believe me I'll definetly point him in your direction, but he'd mentioned that he's wanting to make one, if he can, for my grandpa. He wants him to have something special that's he has made for him. My brother and pa are very close and have the whole hunting, fishing, carving/whittling, and outdoors thing in common. If you could please let me know about your book or books and if you don't have it available to purchase yet, is there any book you'd recommend? Thanks so much for your time. Your work is absolutely beautiful! I'm sure his will be about as amateurish as it gets but i'd like to at least help him figure out what he's doing.
Thanks so much and if you don't respond, I understand. I'm not expecting a response because I'm sure you hate this sort of email but I'm a 28 year old woman no clue where you look for good advice in this field. So, if you are able to respond, thank you so so much in advance!

E., I already know much more about your family than I care to...

Email titled in all caps: "NOT ON YOUR DO OR DO NOT LISTS."

Dear Mr Fisher,
I have the sheath, can you make the knife to fit?
Kind regards,
T. R.


Hi Jay:
My wife put an antique horn handle carving knife into the dishwasher and completely ruined it. Is there anything that I can do to bring it back? It is all dried up like an old bone. Thanks in advance for any advice.
B. L.

"Bring it back?"

As an artist, cartoonist i appreciate your work, you are a true, artist and craftsman, I to have alot of people interested in having work done but don't realize how expensive I am. My question to you is why go into so much detail to justify why your busy, this that and etc. just charge more who cares what people think, that can't afford your knives in the first place whereas collectors don't have to be told. They either get inline or move on. As a marketing tool to uneducated buyers fine, but then you are so busy why? frankly it comes across as (no disrespect) pompous. Anyways just my observation as I consider which knives I want. In my business everybody & there mother thinks they can draw cartoons, good for them I have made it my business for over 36 years and thank God I love what I do. I just charge a fee that keeps me busy without having to much work.
I hope you take this observation in the spirit of an outsider, consumer looking in.
Continued success and healthy new year
G. S.

The internet is full of people telling me how to run my business and web site. Funny, I'm doing fine without their input. G.S., if I sound pompous to you, please go away; you don't get the site and it's purpose. It's "www.jayfisher.com," so it's about me and my knives. Somehow, the site is still thriving, and I'm continuing to take in more work, despite my pomposity! By the way, when someone says, "no disrespect" they are insulting you, and magically applying their own permission to do so with those two words...

I use alot of D5 and D7 when making extrusion dies at work. Have you ever considered using them as blade materials? We choose them for their wear resistance, but i really know know much about how they take an edge, polish, etc.

The tendency is always toward higher carbon, harder alloys. But people seldom think about toughness, which is critical in a knife blade, because, if it's done right, it should be thin. A thin, hard, and brittle piece of steel will easily chip and break, and the alloys you mention simply do not have the toughness to make a useful knife blade.
I now apologize to my readers, as that response was too educational and not funny at all.
Now for some real funny stuff:

Dear Sir:
I am writing to you in regards to your experience and knowledge in dealing with faceted gemstones. In particularly, I am interested in the metaphysical properties of gems. From what I have been able to gather if you have one of these gemstones with you. You can then:
-Be able to know about the past lives of people
-Know for certain if Jesus Christ was really the Son of God
-Be able to find hidden objects or lost people
-Can tell if a person is telling the truth or not
-Can transmit messages telepathically to other people
-Influence the thoughts of other people
As you can begin to realize, is not a knowledge that can be read from books, but more like something that you learn through practice, skill, the everyday handling of gemstones or talking to other faceters.
What I am proposing to you is a deal, since I already faceted several gemstones myself. And that is, you sell me the metaphysical properties of gemstones that you know of, like the kind of stone, faceting angle in the cutting with respect to the 'c' axis, heat treatment involved, maybe some existing samples, and I will try to pay you money for this service sending you a money order.
If you would like to talk more about the subject, my e-mail:
(email deleted)

No comment I make could do this email justice... Good grief.

Dinosword drawing

Hello, my name is K. D. and I was wondering if you make me a sword that I design for my picture I drew. this is the sword that I was hoping that if you want do, it's called Extinct The T-Rex Sword. however I don't much money do you want for this, but if you don't have to make it for me, I'll understand.

After he looked over my website a few hours, he wrote again:

Hey, I don't know if you already got my first mail that I send, cause if you did, don't make my sword. I found out the prices on your site and I don't I think I should get $3000 dollars just for you to make it, so please don't make my sword if you already got my mail.

I'm glad he stopped me. I was cutting out the blade-

I want to carve a small piece of antler, how can I make it look like Ivory white ?
Thanks,,yours respectfully

Hello sir,
We are interested in your (Creature Combat Tactical Knife Featured: The Combat Knife Sheath) for our store. Would you please quote us your dozen price.
Thank you,
T. H. Shop.

Knifes have always interested me throughout my entire life. Also i have a large life collection and have taught myself how to throw them. I am trying to figure out what I want to do for a career and becoming a knife designer interests me in more ways than one. I was wondering if you could tell me how you became a knife designer and give me advice on what I should do to become one aswell.
-Ryan G.

There is no such thing as a knife designer. People who design real knives are knife makers, and sometimes a product research agent who has no real world experience to do so, thus all the crappy cheap knives coming from manufacturers.

Okay, I read what I think I needed to.

Whew! Like that was a big chore, and he's glad to have gotten that out of the way. He continues:

Dear Jay,
I'm really interested in buying a sword from you. I've been a Zelda fan for years now, and was never really serious about looking for a Master Sword replica until I read something in Nintendo Power. But unfortunately for me, I'm a bit picky, and worrisome. All the swords I've found are wrong or really bad in some way, and I'm afraid of what the handle is made of (don't want the blade falling off) and a battle ready sword is kinda hard to find. I've found a shield I really like, and plan on buying it at somepoint, but the sword is my problem. Your site seems to be the only one I really like and you seem to be my savior in this instance. I'm not really a patient person, but I can definetly keel over for this. I can include two picture examples, one from Ocarina of time (straight one), the other from Twilight Princess (different handle wrap). I would love the TP one, because people apparently think one is the other and I've never been able to find the TP version good enough, but I'd be quite content with the OoT one. I was wondering if you could forge it.
Thanks alot for just reading,

After a few hours, H.D. sent a second email:

OMG I'm so sorry!
I should have scrolled down to read that you didn't do knock offs or replicas. even though I don't plan on selling it, I apologize deeply!

Evidently, he didn't read everything he needed to after all!

I have read this topic from your web site " Sharpening the inside curve of a Khukri". This one is more valueable to the people who need to sharpen the curved blade. Could you please let me know where can I get one of the large diameter round ceramic rod?
Best Regards,
A. K.

I lifted this one from the plasma inverter by the choke valve on the Muldavian Star Cruiser "S" series. You can only find them on the "S," don't bother with other Muldavian crafts, as they are all junk. Of course, this left them stranded in the Red Spider Nebula, NGC 6537. They issued a warrant for my arrest, but at least I've got a good rod!

Hi Jay,
I'm a Culinary student and I was looking around for a sheath for my 10" Chef's Knife and my 4" paring knife in an all-in-one setup for on my hip, I found these Knife guards http://www.(URL DELETED), First item on the page, and I was wondering if it would be possible to get a quote on a sheath that held the knife guard on that page, I kinda need something that I can like remove the lining and wash it, I don't put my knives anywhere dirty, but I'd still like to be able to keep the inside clean from dust and regular use, while maintaining the edge on the blade. I have talked with my instructor about knife sheaths and he was worried about the sanitation. So is it possible to get a custom done that would allow me to use those knife guards as liners inside one of your sheaths.
Thank you in advance,
J. S.

You could carry it around in a bucket of bleach to make sure it's sterilized, and periodically dip your hands in it, too.

i would like to know if you could make a cake knife or something like that with a guitar on the handle or something simular for a keepsake? if you could can you please give me a quote on how much it would be to be made and delivered to Queensland/Brisbane in Australia.
thank you
L. H.

A whole guitar, with strings and everything?

Hi Jay,
I am looking for a Craftsman Vanaduim bread knife. I broke the blade on ours. Any suggestions?

Craftsman? Like "Sears Craftsman?" Have you tried, like, um, uh... Sears?

Dear sir,
I saw your webpage, very nice. Excuse me my english. I have one question. How can I polish the blade to absolute mirrorpolish? I make polish with white pasta on polish wheel, but there are everytime some scratches, they are to see, if you are seeing direct into the light, then you can see that there are some everytime. But I want to make real mirror. Thanks for answer!
With best regards
P. M.

The problem, I think, is in the pasta. I know al dente is nice, but you need to leave it nice and crunchy. It's the only way it will have the abrasive potential necessary to achieve a fine mirror finish. You'll also need a really big fiocchi ragiti, spinning at about 3600 rpm.

Not sure if you answer these questions or not but I currently am a new knife dealer and below is my website. I would like to learn how to make knives (hobby) and I haven’t had any luck finding a school or courses searching the web that would be creditable. Do you have any advice, believe me I wouldn’t be any competition and I certainly would not take any ideas.
Thank you,
R. B.
(URL deleted)

Truly little is known about man's very oldest art and profession. None of us really study to make knives; it's already built into the genes. You've either got it or you don't. Research? Internet? Books? Study? Try?

I have a number 14 Randall that I have had and used since the mid 60s. I have a lot of history with this knife and would like to add a new handle to it. I would like the guard 1/2 " on the top and a 1.5" for ward curve on the bottom. I would like a sub hilt and the pommel I would like to include a ring or oval that would allow the small and ring fingers to fit into it together. I would like all of the metal work in a case hardened finished. The rest of the handle I would like in a desert Ironwood. Is this a project you would consider. If so, would you give me a estimation of time and cost? If not, can you refer me to some one you feel could complete the task for me.

If you happen to be reading this, and you recognize your own email, please know that I'm just demonstrating the range of inquires and interest that this web site generates. I DO feel for people who have needs in the knife world, and if they would have just gone to the "What I do and don't do" page, they might have found some helpful links that might actually get them the services they need. I'll continue to update that page for services and links as I find them.

Unfortunately, it's common for companies to do an internet search and then put any email they find on a site into their own database of email addresses. They take no time to actually learn if the person or company they are soliciting would even want their services. They just send, and send, and send...

Dear Sir,
I visited your webpage and saw that you are selling a lot products on your website. I am manufacturer of all kind of functional and decorative knives, swords and daggers and I would like to take your some time regarding the matter.
We are manufacturer of all kind of pocket knives, hunting knives, swords antique knives and daggers. We are in this business since last 44 years. We can provide you good quality products in reasonable prices.
We are looking for serious buyers for long term business relationship. If you are interested, please feel welcome to contact us for further information.
Thank you for your time & Waiting for your response soon.
Regards, Waheed A.
Export Manager
S. S. I.
(address deleted)

i want to salle knife shadow box. i hope u like knife shadow box.
i have knife & hunting knife & sword. if u like i am sand u picture. i am wating your reply
muhammad a.
(address deleted, Pakistan)

L******** V******** NIGERIA.

I'm not sure if this is a real request or a screaming Nigerian scam. I sure do need about 3000 kg. of sheep horn that I've never, ever used on any knife on this website... but the "chemicalised" kind of scares me. And why would you need a veterinary certificate?

Hi Jay,
I am in awe of your craftsmanship and application of your fine intellect and hope to purchase a knife made by you one day. Its a shame you do not take on an apprentice because "your" knowledge should not be passed on to others with the same or similar dream and in so doing you live on with your artworks. I stumbled onto your web page and stayed there for hours last night, you are truly amazing and respect is all I have for your life's work.
Yours Sincerely
L. A.

I get plenty of this type of email. At first, it looks complimentary, but then, they've inserted the sarcastic comment. "My" knowledge is simply what and how I have learned. I can share it, throw it away, keep it to myself, sell it, ignore it, or take it to my grave. It's none of this person's business what I do with what I have learned any more than it is my business what they do with their life. I wonder how they would like it if I took the same veiled and sarcastic tone with them and their life's achievements. Oh, it gets worse, but I'll have some fun anyway:

Hello Jay,
Yes Jay, I've taken the liberty of ignoring your extensive list of "What You Don't Do" page and am contacting you anyway.

He's special. He has something to say that is obviously not something I do, part of my business, or in the purpose of this web site. It must be very important. What we can learn here is that he immediately creates an adversarial attitude in his first sentence. To those of you who wish to learn, please do not do this; it won't make any friends in any of your correspondence.

While I don't profess to be a knife maker of any real expertise (see attached photo), I do aspire to improve my skills, and I hope I always will aspire to do so.

What can we learn here? If you are not a maker, do not send large detailed photos of your failed project. It's akin to accepting someone else's grandchildren's crude crayon drawing to place on your refrigerator, with the caveat: "the child is no artist..."

I find your website to be filled with a lot of interesting personal observations and opinions, but little deviation from one main theme.....self absorption.

Here we have learned another way to create tension, confrontation, and undermine any chance of having a viable, coherent, and meaningful conversation with the email recipient. A studied and trained professional in say, the field of education, would wonder why the sender would think that a site that is named jayfisher.com would be about anything other than Jay Fisher. A useful analogy would be to have a site named benfranklin.com that is about 14th century plague victims... something obviously incoherent.

If you spent a little less time bloviating about your sole authorship, vast website, unpublished writings, superior intellect, etc... you might find time to do what your supposed to be doing...turning full circle.

Perhaps an educated professional would look carefully at what is being submitted to the email recipient. Sole authorship is an actual reality on jayfisher.com, and the web site is indeed vast for a single knife maker's site, with over 4000 photographs and 160 pages of information (at the time of this submission). The web site author does indeed have several unpublished works (which is not boastful, just ask my agent). The rather striking phrase is "superior intellect." A trained person, say, with a degree in education, would note that a simple word search in any modern browser (CNTRL + F is the macro command) will reveal that the term "superior intellect" occurs only three times on this entire web site: in this paragraph, and the previous email paragraph, and nowhere else. So the person who is trying to learn here must only conclude that a severe sense of inferiority may be influencing the email submission. A polite and gracious recipient would do best to take this as a compliment.

Now Jay, with an individual of your extensive endowments, you should understand what I'm saying when I use the term "Turning Full Circle".

Here the email sender has referred to "extensive endowments." In this context, the sender assumes some institutionally based gift, grant, or support. It would do good here to have done some research into the knife maker's background. In this case, the knife maker has no formal college education, no formal training, no degree in any art, vocation, or service. In this case, the knife maker is completely self-taught, with no input from other makers, no apprenticeship, no training, no grant, no endowment, and in fact, no help in the profession whatsoever, other than the support and belief of his loved ones and the clients and patrons who purchase his knives. The term "full circle" suggests some return of investment in training and education, in order to pass along the good feelings and legacy of craftsmanship that the knife maker has created. Since no one has endowed the maker with such knowledge, does it then apply that the maker is obligated to gift his sacrifice in learning, creating, and actual flesh and suffering for his tradecraft to others, simply because he is successful? An interesting philosophical question, this is.

Shut up about your achievements, (they really do speak for themselves), and dedicate your spare time toward creating the future of knife making.

Here the sender has, unfortunately, completely alienated the recipient of the email. No person, no matter how insightful, polite, or obliging responds in a positive way to a sentence that starts with the phrase "shut up." An educated person, say with a degree in education itself would know that the rest of the sentence looses all of its importance when contextually initiated so. This leaves the command to dedicate spare time. The leap of assumption is that the maker has spare time, and the egregious error is commanding that the maker use that time in a specific way, dictated by the sender of the email. One might ask what is it in the sender's background, personality, or makeup that leads him to believe he has the right to tell anyone how to spend their time? This is obviously a defect in behavior that may require counseling or other professional help.

I don't care that you've spotted scams from over-sea's in your e- mails, I could care less about your abilities to spot grammatical errors in peoples communications, just learn to teach and you'll be a better man.

It is obvious now that the email sender is referring to these very pages, the Funny and Humorous Knife Emails, Stories, Scams, and Letters, Page One and Page Two. It is then appropriately "full circle" that this very letter is placed on this page, for you to enjoy.

You sound bitter, snap out of it and learn by teaching!
R. W.

A person with a Masters in education would know better than to project emotion, i.e. "bitterness" upon the author of words posted on a website. His advice given "just learn to teach and you'll be a better man" would have some merit, if only it worked on this guy, who claims to have a degree in education. Obviously, he (or whoever paid for his fine education) has wasted their money.

What have we learned here, and who says I don't teach? This entire website, this very section contains a large amount of viable, applicable information on how to submarine your logic with bitter insults, and assure you are the focus of ridicule. The important point of this whole section is this: not everyone wants to teach. Get over it.

Please keep adding to the email pages! As painful as they are to read, they are very very entertaining. One can only imagine the thought process, rationale, and reasoning of some people. Just think, the email they sent you is just a small fraction of their day............what are they doing and thinking the other 16+ hours they are awake?!

--M. R.

"The Chase" knife sculpture in multiple media, carved and polished stone, metals, with engraving.
"The Chase"

Every now and then, I get an "expert" emailing me who is certain that I've made some error in their field, something so egregious and offensive that it requires their input to "correct" me.

On your website, you wrote: "The idea for Pacifica came to me when I read a short article about a battle between a humpback whale and a giant squid. For all my life, I've been fascinated by the leviathans of the deep, as we truly do not know how this entire realm of our earth functions. Though the article is long lost, the idea did not pass from my mind until I wrote a short verse, and created a visual representation about the words."
Humpback whales roam coastal waters within sight of land, feeding on plankton & krill found in relatively shallow, continental shelf depths. The gullet of a Humpback whale is about 6-inches across. Krill are never larger than a small shrimp. Humpback whales have NO teeth; only baleen for filtering krill from a huge mouthful of water.
Giant squid live at a depth of 3,000-ft depth, or so, and are the natural food of the deep-diving Sperm whale. Sperm whales bring their struggling prey to the surface, bite them into large pieces, and swallow most of them whole. Regurgitated pieces have been measured at 6-ft. x 6-ft. x 6-ft. Whalers have been swallowed whole by Sperm whales, and lived to talk about it. A mature Sperm bull whale has 50 to 54 teeth, only in the lower jaw.
Please research all points mentioned above.
D. M.
(location and email link deleted)

What a guy. How dare I have an artistic idea he does not agree with. He's going to spank me for my huge error, and insist I do some research.
I responded:

Hello, D.
While I appreciate your time and effort writing this detailed description of the humpback, the giant squid, and sperm whales, I'm afraid that you've misinterpreted this visual piece. Pacifica is by no means designed as an anatomically correct, physiologically accurate, or situational or scientifically acceptable association of these two sea creatures. It is, simply, a work of art.
There is additional text on the web page of this piece that may help to explain it.

I put my title in this one to counter his insertion of his whale-lover title. He, as an expert in his field, does not understand that art is the realm of the artist, not the naturalist. I can put anything I want in art. I could have a whale swallowing a small child. Perhaps a humpback whale swallowing a panda would be appropriately offensive to him. There are a whole group of whale lovers who could be offended by that. He wrote back, referring to the quote on my site:

"I read a short article about a battle between a humpback whale and a giant squid."
The above is your quote. Such an encounter never happened! I suspect that you are mis-remembering a story that you read.

No, you ignorant arrogant fool. The article was a piece poking fun at humpback whale lovers like you who are too stupid to understand tongue-in-cheek, irony, or the juxtaposition of iconic popular cultural imagery and tension created in artistic works that pit the defenseless against the worshiped image. Just as the humpback is a vicious killer to the tiny brine shrimp, so the image of the majestic whale is dominated by an invertebrate slimy creature that has ammonia-based blood! This is the same attitude that fuels the environmentalist whackos who would sacrifice their lives (and yours!) for the sake of a cute little guppy, but not hesitate to extinguish an entire species of ugly fly. These are the people who would decry the eating of meat, yet rip living carrots from the ground and immediately rake their flesh over a cheese grater to make quick julienne to go with their tofu. And oh, how those beans have suffered...

It seems that only in knife making does an artist have to justify his work. Good grief. The guy also decided I needed to see his "collection" of scrimshawed whale's teeth so he included pictures! Was this supposed to impress me? I had half a mind to forward the pictures to the authorities in CA where he lives, since possession of whale's teeth is tightly regulated or outright prohibited by CITES treaties (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) Yeah, I'd like to see him try to explain his vast collection to irrational eco-nuts and liberal bureaucrats that populate the California coastline... where did I leave that U.S. Fish and Wildlife and USDA telephone number?

More credit card scams:

0Hello Sales,
My Name is Mr Dennis Thompson am interested in purchasing some of your products, I will like to know if you can ship directly to Australia, I also want you to know my mode of payment for this order is via Credit Card.
Get back to me if you can ship to that destination and also if you accept the payment type I indicated. Kindly return this email with your Website Or Attached the wholesale price sheets. I await your quick response.
Kind Regards.
Dennis Thompson

0Hell, no, Dennis.

Okay, on to more emails:

Hello, my name is Eric and I need a high quality sheath/scabbard, that I can possibly attached to my belt. I work in sushi day and night and need something sturdy and reliable for years to come. Here is a link to what knife I intend on purchasing. Japanese Sushi chef knife, ****** ***** 240mm Dragon (URL deleted) I prefer for it to be made of steel or some type of metal (at least around the lip) and i might have words engraved or customize it. Please send me an estimate of how much you will charge. Thank you.

Ah, yes, the fabled Samurai Sushi, ready for action at a moment's notice-

The bowie knives I purchased from B. D. are 1/8' thick and 32 MM wide. I can not find a guard that has a 1/8'X 32MM opening. Do you know where I can purchase ten of these at least 3" long??


Shout it out, Bobby!

sir i need to get handles made for acamillus stockmani have looked all over internet and have found nonei have plenty of dear antler are will buy and pay to have it done it is a knife i got off ebay good knife the handles are briddle and crumble i can not cut and sand i have copd if you can not do it if job is to small if you know someone who does it would you let me know if you can are know someone i will call if you need me to if so would you leave your number thank you randy ps i have to many knives just wanted oneto be kind of special to me

Dear scrap iron/steel vendor,
We're accepting new quotes now for scrap iron/steel. The items that we're looking for include- scrap rebar, scrap mechined part, industrial metal scraps, scrap cars, etc. Items can be packed well for container shipping. Quantities open 500-700 metric ton per month. Please privide us with the scrap iron/steel pictures when you quote.
If you have any questions, please email me at ************.com

Now I feel insulted...

Hello Jay, I have a Tom Brown Tracker that I need a quality leather horizontal sheath for. The Kydex one I have is fine but noisey when the knive is drawn and I don't feel confident that it would retain the knive if one was running or in the field doing something "etremely engaging". I have a C********** that comes in a very secure pancake holster, that is hardened around part of the hilt so it retains the blade perfectly and it has the means to mount it horizontally across the back. I asked them about their sheath maker and he doesn't do custom work and only works for them... So I am looking at something close, I understand you probably don't want to make an exact copy but something just like it. Also I am looking for a retension type strap that would be quite and may be replaceable or a brass grommet near the hilt so a person could easily use 550 cord to replace the strap. I've included a picture of the aviator's sheath. Let me know what you think. I am very serious about needing this sheath. Also a cool pattern like fake alligator or crocadile skin would be cool, something tactical as I plan on using it as my bail out knive when I am flying. Thanks for you time - J.

They don't make sheaths for other makers' knives; what makes you think I do?

Remember, in order to email me, these people have completely ignored the page detailing what I do and don't do. They can't email me without seeing the page link. The scary thing is (as one friend reminded me), these people might vote!

Hi Jay,
Thanks for the web site! I thought it was a bit difficult to navigate, at first, but I have realized that there is so much there it is difficult to categorize. This is a tremendous resource for anyone interested in knives.
You note that laminated steels are an artifact and not necessary, these days. You also mention that the welding process is not perfect and can produce problems of its own. In particular, you note that this technique was often used when good tool steels were not available and that this simply is not the case today.
I have a couple of Fallknivens and both use laminated steels of VG10 and G3 cores. The Japanese firm that actually produces the steel notes that there are several methods for creating these laminates, welding being just one. Do your comments about the limitations of "CLAD" construction apply to all the processes used today to produce these steels? (You mention welding, in particular). I wonder if, perhaps, the methods of laminating steels has not kept pace with the improvements made in producing the very high quality tool steels (and others) you use for your custom blades. Is there no advantage to these composite knife blades, given some of the other techniques used to bind the disparate metals (e.g. diffusion bonding, chemical deposition).
Keep in mind I'm talking about knives in the $300 range and nothing like what you produce. I have a wide range of knives (mostly production), but some good ones from companies like Mission, who used to use A2 almost exclusively. In fact, both of my Missions are A2 and not their new titanium. I just haven't been brave enough to experiment with Ti blades...
I hope this is not on your list of what you "do not do". I know you are very busy, and even if you do not respond to me personally, it may help to expand on your section on laminated blades.
Thanks, B. P.

Yup, this is on the list.
B.P. writes an intelligent sounding letter though, so I thought I'd post it here. It read like a serious subject, necessary for further research until he came to the part that compared fine custom handmade knives with $300 factory knives... and that's where his balloon popped...

I recently purchased a 10" blade Bowie made with 440C steel with walnut handle that was made by James Lile. I paid over $2200 for this knife and would like to get a stand of good quality so that I can display it in my home. Although the knife comes in a custom made box, I prefer to have it on display rather than hide it in a box. Can you offer me some suggestions on which display stand you would recommend from your store and the prices? I have attached a pic of the knife.
Also, even though the blade and fittings are stainless steel, what type of polish would you recommend to apply on it?
Thank you in advance for your reply!
L. T.

Yes, Jimmy made a good knife, and we all miss him; he was a really nice guy. Sorry, L.T., I don't have a "store."

Mr Jay:
I have beeen considering wanting to be a knifemaker as my career for some time now, in fact, thats how I first found your site. Anyway, the purpose of this e-mail is could you inform me of what exactly makes making a living at this so difficult? I know its hard, but not sure exactly what makes it hard.
Also, when you first starting making them, did you ever consider that it would have been your future career? I would have e-mailed another maker, but the only other professional I know of specializes in folders and you seem to specialize in fix blades and since thats what I plan on specializing in as well, I asked you instead.
One final question, how does a maker know if he or she is ready to go full time?
If this violates your "what I do and don't" list in any form or fashion, then simply ignore this or either tell me so. Sorry for taking up your time, if this violates that list, then I'll try the knife and blade forums, or e-mail that folder maker.
Keep up the good work

Okay, I'm not a monster. I answered:

Hi Byron.
Ordinarily I don’t answer this type of email, because I’m simply swamped with work. But you seem to have a viable interest, and I congratulate you on your determination.
Unfortunately, there is not enough time to illustrate the challenge that knife making can be. I am working on a section dedicated to those details in the book I’m working on now. Please keep an eye out for it .
To give you a simple answer though, please think of this: If you want to know why it’s difficult creating a professional knife making career, try to make a near perfect knife, one you can sell. Then sell it. Then make another and another, and sell them all. Do this year after year after year. Make hundreds, and then thousands of knives, selling them all. Okay, that’s a bit simplified, but you get it.
About going full time: each maker has his own idea about that. All I can say is that most makers know when the time is right.
Good luck; I hope to see photos of your knives some day!

M. W.,
I've never tried ivory but I have used this method to straighten stag sticks before. Just soak the antler in vinegar for 24 hours or so, put it in a vice and crank down on it until it's straight. Let it set there until it's dry. Soak in baking soda and water for a couple of hours and then let it dry for a few days or longer. This works really good on smaller pieces but takes a little longer on thicker pieces.

Who is M.W. and why did I get this email?

I would like to know if you have known of anyone using a 10oz. leather sheath covered in rattle snake skin? I have seen snake skin over leather then a thin leather over the snake leaving openings showing the snake skin. I have a piece of rattle snake skin the I sprayed with three coats of lacquer to protect the skin. What is your take on this??

Three coats of lacquer? Take it away... please!

Bad Knife

Hi Jay,
Any idea what this knife might be . It has on it Sheffield Patt 52 England.
Kind Rgds,

The kind no one wants.

Jay Fisher,
I’m trying to find the name for the little part you stick you thumbnail in to open a folding knife. What is it called?
Thank you,

The "little thumbnail sticky thingy"... just kidding. Okay, it's a nail nick, or nail mark.

Hi Jay.
I understand you are compiling a library of sorts of current knife makers' markings.

Where in the world did he get that ridiculous idea? I have too much work already!

If this is the case I would like to have my markings added.

He goes on in great detail, describing his elaborate markings. I've deleted all that stuff.

I craft mainly "American Primitives", historic reproductions, and large bowie knives. I have done work for The History Channel making historic reproductions for some of their historic re-enactions, film and stage productions as well. I began professionally making and selling knives in 2001.

Why is this guy telling me all this stuff?

If you need any other info feel free to give me a shout. It will be an honor to be included in your library.
M. W.

Company and address deleted, I'm frothing with mountainous jealousy at his American Primitive successes.

I have an old knife that I would like to keep the handle but want to replace the blade. Maybe you will be able to help answer this. I'd like to replace it with 420 steel.. It's from a grandparent.

I just received a B***** F***** B****** M****** w/ the thick blade and magnum handle. Do you have a sheath available for this? Or is it possible to have you make one? Thank you

I threw this one in because I get asked this a lot. It's a knife company that claims to make real combat knives, but does not produce any sheaths. None. Not a sheath to be had. You buy knife, you get no way to carry it. What do they do? They have a list of recommended sheath makers on their website. That's real service! Who would buy a knife from them? Good Grief!

My son is a blacksmith/bladesmith, taught by J. S. of H******** Forge in ********, Washington. He is selling custom knives and forged art pieces but is not satisfied with having someone else making his sheaths. His sister, who is also an artist, has decided to step in and try her hand at tooling and carving leather sheaths.

Sure, dump the sheath work onto old sis...

She is not sure just where to start or if there are any books to start with. There is a plethora of tooling and leather craft books but most information on sheaths is very general. She wants her sheaths to be works of art while highlighting the craftsmanship of her brother's knives.

God bless her. She should tell him to make his own sheaths.

Can you help with any book titles, DVDs, are web sites to get her started? Someone has to have written a detailed book on the art of knife sheath construction. No?
Thank you.
M. W.

Some research, Jay, that's all we ask.

I know your busy but i was wondering if you could help a young knife maker. How do you put such wonderful bevels on your knives. how do you grind them?

With a grinder.

Hi Jay,
First let me apologize for sending you an email that has nothing to do with requesting a custom knife, but I was looking at your works and I must speak my mind. Besides the fact that you could easily be called the Michelangelo of blades, I wanted to humbly suggest you something. My name is D., and I'm a young knife maker, of course my work is nothing close to yours, but as I was studying and researching on all the things that are required to make a knife, I've encountered books, and little videos of all types and I wondered: Wouldn't it be marvelous if I could learn from one of the best knife makers in the world?
And here's my suggestion. Why don't you make DVD's on knife making? You could start with the basics, you know, heat treating, profiling, grinding, and make something that could be bought online from your website. I personally would buy it immediately without even looking at the price. Your knowledge I believe is far more precious than simple money. I thought you could maybe do, for example, a video covering the basics and that shows you fcreate a project blade, starting from the piece of steel down to the sheath. And along with that DVD you could include a kit with the same exact material that you use in the video: the steel, the handle material, the leather the dye and tools for the leather. You could keep the working of the blade simple, without using the expensive equipment that you use, so that many people can give it a try. I think that it would be an amazing hands on experience that would teach far more than a book can.
Of course I am not saying that you should give away all your secrets, but let's face it.... you name is a guarantee!!! A DVD with your name on it would sell like water in the desert. So If it's available why not spending maybe $200 for a kit that takes you step by step with visual aids and actually someone that talks to you instead of a book? Because in true honesty your works are incredible but they are very expensive (and they have a right to be) so with this idea you could widen you sales range. Besides the few that can afford you blades, you could sell also to those that are trying to learn and make more money.
Create a rough video with a camera and go over the basics and everything that can come into your mind. Then give it to a test group of knife makers (preferably inexperienced) so that you can get some feedback from them, like questions that people could have and maybe you have not covered in the video, impressions, requests, etc. So that the final product already has some of the FAQs that a beginner might have.
I hope I did not waste too much of your time, it's ok if you do not answer me I understand, but if you embrace this idea be sure that you have a customer here ;)
Most regards

Okay, D. has a big idea, and he must speak his mind; I get it. First off, only Michelangelo was Michelangelo, and no one else can ever come close. So, though flattering, it is entirely unrealistic. Unrealistic also is his idea. There are already great courses on artistic metal work. It's called college, and it is held at universities all over the world. Those who wish to know the business, art, science, and application of fine metals working can go there, if they can afford to, and learn how to be a great metals artist. It will be very expensive. Tens of thousands of dollars every year, for 2 to 8 years... you can do the math.
If I were to apply the same knowledge to a DVD educational series, why then would I sell that (in kit form) for a couple hundred bucks? I know other artists who charge $20,000 US a year to allow students to watch them work. Just to watch. Just to learn. When D. says he would buy without looking at the price, I wonder if he would pay me what a college gets, or what these other artists get for the honor of learning... would he?

If you happen to be reading this, and you recognize your own email, I'm sorry; I'm just demonstrating the range of inquires and interest that this web site generates. I DO feel for people who have needs in the knife world, and if they would have just gone to the "What I do and don't do" page, they might have found some helpful links that might actually get them the services they need. I'll continue to update that page for services and links as I find them.

Hello Sir,
I was wondering if you could make a specific knife for me. It was in the movie "Long Kiss Goodnight" in which Gena Davis finds it in her suitcase with a sniper rifle. I don't know if you've seen the movie, but it shows enough of the knife to get the necessary detail. I've attached a still picture of it from the movie. I could send you a copy of the movie if you can indeed reproduce the knife. Please let me know what you think and how much you would charge.
J. A.

Did Geena give you my name? I'll have to talk to my agent-

There is a page that says you will help design the knife. I don't have the money to pay for the design (much less the knife) just yet, but in the near future I intend on ordering from you. I wanted to know the extent of design help that you offer. I have the general idea of what I want, but before I dish out $100 I don't have, I would like to know if the design of the knife also extends to the design of the sheath, and, of course, the stand. I will be able to pay in full at some point, though I am unsure of when this point is right now. I have looked at many custom knife 'artists' and find that many of them are either inexperienced, or underconfident. If I will be trusting my life to something, I don't want it coming from someone like that. I have visited and revisited your site, and I am confident that you are the only one worth ordering from.
So, back to the original topic, does the knife's design fee go towards the design of the sheath and stand as well? I'll pay for it either way, but I would like to know before I begin saving much more 'spare change' if you will.

Dude, you sound "too broke to pay attention." It's probably not a good idea to be looking at fine custom knives right now-

I have a switchblade knife my dad purchased about sixty years ago: Schrade Walden, single blade, red handle. It is missing a left side front bolster. Do supply this part, or can you please recommend someone who does?
T. G.

I'm a student of German longsword fencing, and am looking for a blunted steel practice sword to match an aluminum waster I'm accustomed to drilling with. The waster is a customized Swordcrafts "Lichtenauer" model. The blade is 40" with a 13" hilt. Pommel is of scent stopper type, with a straight guard ~11" wide. Handle has been first bound with wire, then covered in red leather. Blade has a blunted tip and beveled edge, with about a 4" ricasso. I can provide photos of this as well.
However the most important thing I'm looking for is feel and handling. The Center of Balance is about 3" out from the guard. I haven't closely measured the Center of Percussion yet, but can provide an estimate if needed. The sword is very nimble and responsive in the hand despite its length.
I'm wanting a steel practice sword that will match this. Ideally it should weigh no more than about 3-3.5lbs. The sword will be making blade-on-blade contact, so would need to be carbon steel. Most of the other students in the group use the Hanwei bastard sword, which I believe uses 1055 steel, but can double-check.
I was curious what such a project would run? As this is a practice sword and is going to be taking a beating it can be left functional without embelishment, although material quality will be important. What options would be available regarding a scabbard for it?
Thanks in advance,

Just curious, D., what or who do you "practice" on? And when practice is over, and the actual real sword-work begins, what or who are you applying the sword to....?

I inadvertantly put my housemates bone handled knives through the dishwasher, the dishwasher is broken and ran for 9 hours straight! Is there anything I can do to care for the knives now to stop them drying out?

Lots and lots of lotion, Linda.

Crooked Knife

Hi, I'm a guy from Queensland, Australia. I'm still in school and don't really want a knife made for me or anything like that because I'll probably get in trouble by my parents, and I have a design that I made earlier this year and just found your site, thought it was awesome and then wasn't entirely sure if it would be ok to send this e-mail or not. I looked in the section place thingy that has what not to send you questions about and stuff like that, but it didn't say anything about not sending you designs that we (referring to customers, potential customers and browsers) have made ourselves and are wondering about some small, insignificant, low-detailed feedback that would take, maybe, 10 seconds to write (i.e. yeah it looks alright) or something like that. So I have included a bad quality picture, that I took with my mobile phone, that shows the rough, version 1 design that I have made. It doesn't include too much detail, however, I figure that you are an expert or something like that so you would hopefully be able to work things out fairly easily. If not then I can label things if you want, although you probably don't really even want these sort of emails, or you would at a price, if you want money for this sort of email then you may as well not bother replying, I don’t have much money. Thanks anyway for the site, it was helpful for ideas and the like, bye.

Stay in school, listen to your parents, and quit drawing knives.

Jay, I feel that I need to apologize for something. I accidently sent a recent e-mail to you 3 times yesterday, so sorry about that, just ignore it.

I have no idea what this email is about... sigh.

Hello ,
Stacked Birch bark washers make great working knife handles.
Nice web site.
So long.

Crap. I knew I shouldn't have burned those Stacked Birch Bark logs...

Estimated knife maker, thank you for your plentiful web site.
Here's a little something to rest your eyes on from someone who also believes in true quality sheath work...
E. K., Slovenia

Huh? These language translation programs aren't all they're cracked up to be...

I would like you to review some links that I would love to add to this page of your site: www.jayfisher.com/Funny_knife_stories,Emails.htm for an email hosting company. Please get back to me if you are interested and we can talk more about the company, placement and compensation.
Thanks for your time and I will be looking forward to your response.
J. R.

Now this is the best one yet! They want to add their links to these very pages! I wonder how much they'll pay me for that honor?

My name is T. K., writing from Pittsburgh.
I saw your ad on http://www.jayfisher.com/Email_Jay_Fisher.htm and was wondering if you're interested in military knives, etc? I have actually have dozens of American Historical Foundation Commemorative knives, including other military knives that I'm selling.
If you have a minute to let me know, I be very appreciative.
Thanks much!

Let's see. You saw my "ad" on the page that clearly states I only make knives. So you thought I might be interested in buying military knives, etc? How about this? I saw your ad in the email you sent and wanted to know if you would be interested in knives I'm selling. If you have a minute to let me know, I be very appreciative. Gee.

Dear Mr. Fisher,
Thank you for the information. About how long does it take for you to make one of your knives from start to finish? I notice that your fixed-bladed knives start at $800.00 as a starting point and go up from there. The price will vary with certain types of materials that you use, but after you include the price of the materials how do you continue to price that piece? Do you charge “x” amount of dollars more per hour you work or per inch of the knife?
Thank you very much for your time. I hope to soon be able to afford one of your knives. I have for the past year admired your knives and have been considering one of them. I am not sure, however if I can afford one soon. I still need to talk to my parents about it for I am only sixteen. I am also a knife maker, a very basic on at that, however. I hope to one day be able to make knives that are close to how beautiful your knives are. Sincerely,
J. R.

At first, I thought you were trying to calculate my wages, but then I realized that you were trying to figure out how to price your own work. I actually talk about that in several significant pages on the website: my FAQ page, my Business of Knifemaking page are fairly descriptive of the process, but here's the meat of the idea: price for the market, not by the hour. Knifemakers, like all independent artists and craftspersons, get paid by the job, not by the time that they show up on the jobsite. Our country, our world would be much better off if this was the case in every career or job. People wouldn't just appear and float through the day, they would have to produce. I wish you the very best in your future.

Hi Jay,
I have made a few handles now and given them all away as gifts. Up until my last one they were 100% wood. Inspired by your incredibly fabulous work I decided to try my hand at front and rear brass bolsters. I got a little impatient clamping the rear bolsters and ended up with a small (1mm) gap on one corner. Do you have any suggestions for turning this flaw into a beauty mark? The gap is filled with epoxy so I believe the joint is still strong. I have considered grooving both sides with a dremel and filling with black epoxy but I am not sure I trust myself and I don’t have access to a milling machine. Paint?

Paint? Sure. Beauty mark? Yeah. Get paint that looks just like steel, or brass, or whatever. None of us ever fix our mistakes; we just slather them over with pigment and binder and hope no one notices. Sigh...

Hello Mr. Fisher,
i was browsing wood handles for Knives on the internet and stumbled upon your website, and i most say i am extremely impressed by the quantity and quality of the pictures of the knives you uploaded. It gave me an insight on why people are so facinated by wooden knives. The reason that i was looking for wood handles is that me and my big brother was talkning about buying some wood for my Grandfather, as he also takes deep pleasure in making knives. Looking at your website made this idea even more desirable, the problem though is that i quickly concluded that wood handles seem like a jungle to figure, so i was wondering i you could take some of your time and guide me with what kind of wood i should look after, since me and my brother are not the the riches people in the world we are probaly looking for something that is good quality but it should not be the Rolls Royce of wood either.
Dearest E. T.

Wood is not as rare as some think. It comes from things called "trees" and if you know what those are, you have access to an unlimited supply. Look for the biggest, oldest, and finest looking specimen in your home town, one that is revered and admired, perhaps in your town square or at the seat of your local government. Now, you don't need the whole tree, just a small, fist-sized block of the part called the "trunk." That's the roundish, post-like thing that goes in the center. Have your brother (don't do this yourself), start carving on the trunk at about eye level, with a dull puukko. Make sure that the local authorities see him so you can get your name in the paper. Then, when you blame him, your grandfather will be very proud of you.

I'm in need of 10 to15 3" blades made of stainless that will stand up to the continuous abuse of salt and stay razor sharp and not rust. I make custom plastic fishing lures and cut the tails that are full of slat. The blades go in a block with1\16 spacers. I need the blades to be 3" long 7/8 tall and as thick as a utility knife blade.
S. R.

Tails full of slat? I don't want to know...

Hi Jay,
I am an attorney coach for a California high school Mock Trial team. Every year we compete statewide with a mythical case, each school fielding both a prosecution and a defense team. Each team is comprised of student “attorneys” and witnesses. This year our case is a murder by stabbing at a mythical desert music festival.

Hey, I attended the mythical desert music festival, back in the '70s. We had candles, and sand, and music, and sand, and generators on the backs of pickups, and sand, and lots and lots of beer (with sand).

The coroner determines that the death is caused by a Borland 550 folding knife with a 4” blade serrated on one side. The details are attached in the pertinent sections.

Ahhh, yes, the Borland. The most despised mock trial knife ever conceived! What a stain on our tradecraft and art. A shame, really, as it is included in every mock trial crime case that causes sweat and anxiety to every mock trial student. Evil knives....!

Since none of the coaches have any backgrounds in knives, we have a few questions, and I am hoping you might be interested in helping us come up with strategies on both sides (prosecution and defense) to argue our case.

Hey, do what other attorneys do: pay for an expert witness to sway the jury. Don't write him on the internet hoping he'll spew the ammo to sway your case for free.

1. The coroner determines the bruising on the victim’s abdomen is caused by “the hilt”. Isn’t the hilt another word for the handle? Is there a proper term for the “lip” on a knife that may extend beyond the handle?

Knife lips would leave lipstick stains, coffee grounds, and frosting from the morning doughnut. Unless the knife wore a CPR mouth protector, which is possible. The Borland is a crafty felon.

2. What would be the primary purpose for a knife of this type?

The Borland 550 is known as a sorghum harvesting and cotton fraying sickle in the tiny and remote island country of Nauru. Everybody knows that. (I can't believe an attorney thinks this knife is real!)

3. could a knife as described by the coroner have committed the crime?

Clearly. Knives, alone, are notorious for committing crimes in the dead of night, with no help from any human hand. Why, the discussions among the kitchen knives while lounging in the block would terrify you, were you to listen carefully when no one is watching. You'll never sleep alone in the house again until you purge your home of all knives and pointed tools (like screwdrivers).

4. What would be the best attack by the defense on the coroner’s conclusions about the Borland 550 having been the knife that killed the victim?

Ahh, the real nature of your inquiry. You are an actual attorney, and you are looking for someone else to think this through for you, and complete your mock trial assignment. You are too lazy to think of how to do this yourself, so you seek the advice of a knife professional. Tell me, do you do this with all of your cases?

I know you must be quite busy, but if you have the opportunity to address any of the above questions, we would be most appreciative.

Let me help you. An appreciative moment does not buy completion of effort on your behalf. Don't ask anyone (busy professional or otherwise) to solve your problems for you; your students deserve a reasonable effort. I know you can do it; you had the intelligence to write this ridiculous email.

D. B.

Mexico Machete

I have a question, or more like a possible custom project for you.
This would be a replacement for an old school machete that belonged to my Dad and was sheathed with a classic leather sheath from Mexico (pic attached). I was wondering if you could make something similar.
I would send you the original so you have a "go by." I would want it in black and any lighter color that you could do some of the decorations and instead of my dad's initials, I'd my personal insignia which I have also attached. If you think it's possible please send me an estimate, and maybe we can get this going.
Thanks so much, -C. M.

Go old school, girl! You she-wolf! Bark, bark!
Did you make sure that the graphic you included is not copyrighted?

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Ram, you have slaves? Hey, that's not right...

Jay, my name is D. P. and I also have some special knives that mean a great deal to me. Your Knife Stands are awesome and I was wondering if I could buy a Couple of the stands for my Knives. I hope that this is possible, their are a couple of your stands that I'd Love to put my knives on or in.
Thank You for your time. D.

If I give a stand to you, my own knife might fall over, which is embarassing.

Hi Jay
i know you are a busy man but i would appreciate it if you would be able to tell me how to sharpen this knife.
Thanks for the help best regards

Do you really, really know how busy I am? A $50 German piece of junk? Really?

This is a serious question and if your advice works I will buy a knife if its less than a grand.
Coated collectable knives have a issue which is that they scuff. Not only that once cleaned there tend to be micro hair thread-like scratches I can’t seem to clean off i.e. cutting semi- dense cardboard or broken pieces of drywall. All of my collectables have these brought on for very early use.
Jay my name is H. S. and I am 28 years old if I have disrespected you by asking you this question I am sorry and you will never hear from me again.
What can completely repolish and restore a one of a kind piece as YOURS???

A serious question? A promise of a purchase less than $1000? That always inspires confidence at the start of an email. Where it falls apart is you using a knife for cutting broken pieces of drywall. There is an actual tool for that, called a drywall saw. And please, don't compare a "coated collectable knife" with one of mine; I find that disrespectable. Sigh.

Folks, I couldn't make this stuff up! Do you need more?

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