Jay Fisher - World Class Knifemaker

Quality Without Compromise

Maker's Mark:
Knife Maker's Mark for Jay Fisher Knives
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"Vindicator" Counterterrorism Tacical Combat Push/Punch dagger, obverse side view in ATS-34 high molybdenum-chromium stainless steel blade, 304 stainless steel bolsters, Camo coyote, blacck, olive drab G10 fiberglass/epoxy composite handle, hybrid tension lock sheath in coyote brown kydex, brown stainless steel, titanium, anodized brown aluminum
"Vindicator"

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

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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 third 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 your interest, I've included some nice knife photos of my work on the page, with available links.

Please enjoy, and thanks for being here!


Before you write a hasty and ill-conceived (or insulting and offensive) email, be certain your own house is in order.

Hi Jay
I have spent the last couple of hours perusing your knife and sheath site. Very impressive work indeed!

This starts out okay; perhaps he is a potential client who wants a fine, handmade, custom knife.

The main reason that lead me to your site is my search for examples of inlay leather work. You Do some very impressive inlays and I was very interested in your comments, techniques and material use. Very fine and intricate work.

Why is this guy looking at my leather work? Because he wants ideas. He's looking for free ideas, free input, something for his own business pursuit. Yet he writes an email despite seeing that I only accept email from clients.

However, don't you hate the howevers?, one thing that really bothered me is your rather cavalier stitching. It struck me as rather odd that with all the really fine work you do, the intricate and artistic inlays and tooling, your stitching stands out as amateur and rather crude by comparison. In several instances the stitching, with uneven spacing, odd up and down pattern, actually detracted from the work rather than blend in or even more desirably, complement the other artistic elements of a otherwise very artistic and wonderfully executed piece.

Uh-oh. This doesn't sound very promising. I'm not encouraged at all.

It appears that you are a "driller" and use a drill press and round holes for your stitching work and apparently use neither a spacing wheel or a awl in your work. Understandable considering the thickness of some of your work and the materials that you use for your spines, however the inconsistency of the stitching is still deplorable! Stitching is a art form all in itself and should be mastered just as you have obviously mastered your metal work and leather work. Each stitch in a piece should be consistently the same and should form a exquisite pattern all of its own. I can see drilling the spines but you should be using an awl to pierce the top and bottom layers so that you can lay the thread in correctly and uniformly in place.

He's really letting me know that he knows the score, and by God, he's going to straighten me out!

Please accept this criticism as constructive, not destructive, and only intended to urge you to elevate every element of your craft to the highest level as exhibited by your superb blade work.

And he wraps up with a bone, thrown my way, so that I may know that really, deep inside, he cares about my... stitching.

Cordially
J. D.
Fellow leather worker.

Cordially? I think not. Fellow? Not mine! Though I ordinarily put these things in the deleted mail bin, this one was outright offensive. I could not let that stand, so I responded:

Hello, Mr. D.
I’ll start with a however, and spare you any smoke up your skirt that is meant to somehow endear me to your opinion. I will be absolutely blunt.
Before you write an email and push send, you should consider your own experience, knowledge, and background in the field. Where exactly will I go to see your professional leather works? Oh, yes. Is this your site? (http://URL Deleted)

A simple search with his name and leather yielded the URL. There, I saw kit projects, plain and boring beginner's leather belts, some gun cases and lots and lots of sleigh bells that are made in China and can be purchased at the Leather Factory (Tandy Leather) for cheap.

If so, I will state without pause that your work is typical of some of the most mindless, plain, simple, amateur, and hobbyist type work that any high schooler can make. Kit belts, kit gun holsters, and a sewing machine does not constitute professional work. Tandy belt stamps do not constitute customization, and craft store fittings, buckles, and bells do not constitute fine work. The belts on your site are about the same I could buy at Wal-Mart, so it would be very hard to justify a purchase from you. So let’s just be clear about this: you are not a “fellow” of mine or any other professional. If, by some chance you are another J. D., please do give me a link to your website where I can see your vast works so that I may be as critical as you are!

He felt the need to be blunt and clear, so I felt obligated to do the same. I continued:

On the technical aspect, I would thank you for writing, but you really have nothing to offer here. I am willing to listen to your ideas of how to improve my craft, if only you offered a single one.
You say you are a leather worker, yet obviously have never made a knife sheath. Knife sheaths do not have spines, they have welts. So right away this causes me to think that you are an amateur, and you do not have any real world experience with knife sheaths. I do not see a knife sheath on your site, anywhere.
You know about using an overstitcher or pounce wheel (another mistake on your part; it is not called a spacing wheel. Only an amateur would call it that).
You know pounding an awl through a couple layers of leather. Fine. Please do show me how you do that through 5 to six layers of 10 oz. hardened shoulder. You do know what leather shoulder is, don’t you? Do you know about hardened leather? Here are the technical aspects that have caused you so much pain, though you are not a paying client of mine nor will ever be. You’ve seen some irregular stitch spacing through the welts of my leather knife sheaths. When you see uneven and irregular stitch lengths and placement on my sheaths, what you are seeing is either my older or early work (which are less refined), or you are seeing the sheath back. I will not apologize for my older work, and no artist should. The sheath fronts are all evenly spaced. This is where the overstitcher or pounce wheel indicates the holes (yes, I use one). The holes are drilled with a drill press and alignment jig, because an awl can not be pounded through an ¾” to 1” thick hardened leather without splitting it. The drill, being rather small, will drift, ever so slightly, and this will cause the exit hole to be slightly misplaced from the entry hole. There simply is no way to keep the exit hole aligned perfectly to the entry hole. Believe me, I have considered many options and ideas. An ideal one would be an over-under machine tool drill that drills from both sides at once in perfect alignment. But since there is no such machine tool, it would have to be built from the ground up. Remember, an awl won’t work, and it can’t be aligned if it did. So what you will see that causes you such great pain and confusion are slight registration errors at the sheath backs.

Obviously, your favorite knife maker is aware of the handmade look of hand-stitching. Only a machine can register in perfect alignment.

How has this affected my work and trade? IN OVER 30 YEARS OF PROFESSIONAL KNIFE MAKING, YOU ARE THE FIRST ONE TO COMPLAIN! (no, actually, I am). I’m currently four years in back orders, and people constantly ask me to make sheaths for their knives. I was looking for someone to refer them to… but that would not be you. Most real clients know that in these very difficult and challenging handmade items, there simply will be some imperfections that occur by the limitations of the process. You might ask how other sheath makers do not have this problem. Most of them make a very thin, soft, and weak sheath, a sheath so thin that it is no challenge to punch a hole through with an awl. They mount the awl on a drill press to keep it straight, and press it through. Manufacturers do what you do, they use a machine. You’re not sewing those zippers on by hand are you? But there is no machine made that can stitch through an inch of hardened leather. Some guys use rivets, some lace. I’ve done that too, and though lacing looks better because a larger hole will have less drift, it is much weaker and subject to abrasion. I could go on and on, but since you are a “fellow” professional, you obviously know all about all of this…right?

Word of advice: if you see something you do not like on someone’s work, and actually have some ideas on how to improve it, most craftsmen are receptive to listen. But if you write to just complain, you are like every other critic in the world. Everyone is a critic until a solution is demanded. They know what they don’t like, but do not actually purchase or have any involvement in the item, and do not have a single solution.
Now that stones have been properly hurled, just what is your genius solution?
Jay Fisher

My grandson saw the work on this guy's site and said he had bought similar stuff at Dollar Tree. I thought Dollar Tree would have been too low a blow, as it looks up to Wal-Mart for inspiration-

The truth is that when something is handmade, it often looks handmade. Yes, I'm aware that not all my stitches look like they were done by a machine, because only a machine would do that. I have clients that have insisted that I "back-off" a bit so that the item looks more handmade. Yet this individual thinks that it is a good idea to write and straighten me (and my stitches) out. After all, he has had the vast experience of making sleigh bell belts and a few zippered gun cases, so, obviously, he knows it all. He certainly knows how to win friends and influence people.

This would be like me writing to a very successful artist and painter an insisting that his painting be applied by a machine in a print shop, because the irregularities of the paint strokes distract from the image. Having painted some watercolor paint-by-numbers myself, I do know that paint can be applied evenly, and if you are really careful, it looks like it's machine printed. If the successful artist would only complete it my way... but of course, I have no idea how to do that.

It's simple really, before you write a hasty and ill-conceived (or insulting and offensive) email, be certain your own house is in order.

I do not lurk on other people's web sites in order to find some issue with their work, site, or self, and then send them an email about it. I simply expect the same respect from others. Sometimes, I suppose, this is too much to ask from my "fellow" man.

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.

Here is another fine string of emails that various people have sent. They have ignored the big red and yellow warning box and text that is located exactly where they have clicked to send an email. The box tells them that I only answer inquires about knife orders, and to look at the list that tells what I do and do not do. All of these items are detailed on the "What I don't do" list, yet they send anyway.


Jay:
I have a Browning folding hunting knife, and it has a stag handle. I am wondering about care of the handle. What is the best method to clean the handle on the knife after getting it dirty and bloody when cleaning game? I have read that water will ruin the handle material when cleaning the knife. Please advise what method you suggest for cleaning the knife.
Thanks
C. J.


Jay
I have a large collection of lockback knives. I presently have them stored in their sheaths which I just learned I shouldn't do. Is it allright to keep them in their sheaths if they are in plastic baggies or wrapped in wax paper? Many of them are in their factory boxes & it would be awkard to keep the knives separate.
Thank you for your time
Roger

Oh, these tedious and infinite details!


Hello Jay,
First, you make some beautiful knives, and you also have a great website. Awesome! Question: I started making knives a year ago, and found some stone scale slabs cut at a rock show, and would like to place them on a knife. What kind of grinding machine do I purchase to begin grinding the stone handles, and what kind of machine do I use to polish the knife handles? Hope you can help.
J. G.


Is there a list of knife marker's marks? I will attach a handforged knife that has the anvil within arrowhead stamp.....have you seen this one before?
J. S.


DEAR SIR
PLEASE VISIT MY WEBSITE WWW.***************.IT
BEST REGARDS
ANTONIO L. ITALIAN DEALER


We have an old fixed blade knife that is stamped "AP COSMOS", I cannot find any information about this knife, it is a skinning knife with a 6 inch blade, and leather wrapped handle, can you tell us anything about the stamp "AP Cosmos"?
Please advise,
Thank you,
Mary


Dear sir:
My name is CAT and I am in the process of refurbishing a wakizashi handle and am looking to get my hands on a pair of 12” long ebony pieces to use for the handle (leaving me a little room to scale to size). I’m winging this as my skill is limited in this arena but so far the results have been satisfactory. ? And thank you, by the way, for all the very helpful information on your website. I’m trying to get into the knife-making hobby (have a knife I’m refurbishing, too) and any info is much appreciated. Do you have access to ebony pieces that may fit my needs? If so, what would the cost be? Thank you for your time and consideration. Have a great day.
C. A. T.
Martial Science & Personal Fitness Instructor


Howdy, I'm a small time knife collector. I'm interested in knife makers marks. I find it interesting all the different marks. Do you know of a book that might be available with all the different marks? I'm just curious. Thanks for your time.
K. D.


Do you sell knife handles only? I have a wild turkey federation knife, and the handle broke. Standard blade length . I am interested ingetting one made of horn. Thanks.
J*********@aol.com


Hello,I really enjoyed looking over your web site and i came across the whats in a sheath section. When you first started making your knife sheaths.Well im in the same boat i have enjoyed making knives for along while now.And just started a brand new web site for such.My problem like yours is learning to make sheaths for my knives.Just wondering if you could point me in some direction to doing this.I have done some sheaths in the past but dont have any supplieres of leather and tools at the moment. Would be very greatfull for any help you can give.Your sheaths are one of a kind i love the looks of them.Also i would like to put your link on the site at www.****************.com
Thanks,
B. H.


Mr. Fisher,
At the risk of angering you asking for information (not specifically listed in your "Don'ts" section, but generally implied), I am curious if you know what type of horn was used by the Art Nouveau artists like Rene Lalique at the turn of the 20th century? The material was translucent and ranged from a tortoise-shell brown to a pale butterscotch in color. Lalique made hair combs and carvings from it. I am interested in a source for the material as well, if you would be so kind as to divulge a direction for me to explore next. I am a jewelry maker. Many thanks for your time.
cheers,
A. R.

Do not fear the risk of anger, Jay is simply saddened by your request, to know that you know it is not an email I'll answer. You have thanked me for my time, and that time was spent posting your email here.


Hello Jay,
I have a set of knives, forks spoons etc and the knives have bone handles. We have destroyed them in the dishwasher. Is it possible find bone handles that I can epoxy onto the shafts of the actual knives. Would need 24 pieces just over 3 inches long with a central hole for the knife stem. Colour is white/slightly off white.
Thank for any help, Mike

I'll bet it's a very clean off-white!


Jay,
We are looking for a vendor to supply knife handles?
Is this something that you do?
Thanks,
Becky K.
Materials Coordinator
S****** F******, L.L.C.

This one sums it up. How could a Materials Coordinator at a large corporation simply ignore the box that links to a list on this very site that says what I do and don't do, and then send me an email with the very question: "Is this something that you do?" Good grief!

Hi Jay, Great Site! I have just read a few of your "Funny Emails" and I already feel ill. Good Heavens!
R. O.,
British Columbia, Canada

R., how do you think I feel?

People have very interesting ideas about knives, and sometimes they go through the trouble of illustrating, photographing, and sending me images with their descriptions. I always find these interesting, and if the idea is not within my scope of work, I politely refuse and wish them well on their creative knife endeavor.


Hand-carving of knife? Submitted by J.N.

Mr. Fisher,
I have a knife design, which I have included a few drawings attached (patent pending). One is of a wooden model that I have carved of the knife. I have several interests in the knife design already in the tactical field, and hunting field. I would like one model of the knife made and plan to shop it to larger manufacturers. To explain the drawing, I would prefer a tactical type blade, sharpened on both sides. The handle is canted forward with a "trench knife" type guard. The end of the handle has a sharpened hilt, which is used as a glass breaker, strike point, open cans, etc. Some drawings are more "custom" type and one of a more tactical type. I have an interest in the tactical model made to market first. My background is in law enforcement, martial arts, and security contracting, where many of my colleagues have a strong interest in the blade. If interested, please advise.
Regard,
J. N.

Okay, guys, this design is patented, so you do not have permission to copy it!


Submitted sword handle drawing.

OK, I'm a huge sword fanatic but i can't ever find a sword worth buying
See attachment
How much would designing this be?

There is not enough money on earth-


Dagger image in tatoo. Could I get one of these?

I was wondering if it would be possible that you could make me a custom dagger. If I send you a pic of it (I have it tattood on my back, it is my creation.) if you could make it for me. I was also wondering if you could tell me about how much it would cost first

Cooool! Where do I get one of these; all wiggly and stuff?


Bad handle

Hey Jay,
Is there any way you could tell me what kind of handle this is please.
Thanks.

Removable. With a grinder and a torch. Please.

Knife sheaths are often a sore spot with knife owners. It saddens me to think of all those knives out there with bad or poorly made sheaths, and the trouble and hassle that this causes. The knife sheath is sorely neglected and misunderstood in this modern world. Unfortunately, I can not and do not make a sheath for any knife but my own, but these folks are obviously so frustrated, they write anyway. I can't blame them for trying... Here are some typical emails:


Mr. Fisher,
I recently purchase a knife with a nylon sheath and I am not a fan of them at all. The knife looks like a smaller version of the K-Bar Tanto knife. I own a couple of the Kydex sheaths and I really like them. What I am looking for is a kydex sheath with a nylon belt loop with a button clasp on both the butt cap of the knife and one across the guard. How much do you think it will cost and do I need to send my knife in so you can get a accurate measurement?
YN3 S. K. Awards/OPS Yeoman
R****** Combat Admin


Hello Jay,
1. Do you make custom knife sheaths for existing knives?
2. Would you do a small job like make a custom knife sheath for a Benchmade Griptilian Fixed Blade?
I'm looking for something very simple/utilitarian, but high quality.
3. If you are interested, could you give me a ballpark of the price range?
Please let me know.
Thank you.
-N. C.


Dear Jay:
My name is M. R. I am a California State Peace Officer living in ********, California. I recently purchased a knife from R** B******. He's the guy who makes the knife that B*** G***** uses on his show, "S******** M****". The sheath the knife came with is a horizontal sheath and it sucks. What I need is a good old, nothing fancy durable vertical sheath, with a leather strip/snap to keep the knife in the sheath. I do a lot of hiking. The measurements of the B*** G***** knife can be found on **********.com. Let me know what you think. Again nothing fancy,,just a good traditional knife sheath.
Thank you.
M. R.


Jay,
I need a sheath for a Dexter Russell knife I use while commercial fishing in the Atlantic. I cannot use leather as it does not hold up well in the ocean environment. I like the military sheaths that you produce because I can still wear it on my side but the rivets would need to be stainless. Is this possible to accomplish? It is not an expensive knife but very good for what it is used for, cutting bait, monofilament line and braided line.
R. E.

A cheap kitchen knife in a combat sheath: Ginsu goes to war!

This is not really a humorous email; it is thought provoking and significant.

How jay
I'm contacting you to see if you know of anyone that can weld s90v blade for me , I made this knife and it warped severely and a guy that I know said he could try to straighten it and he ended up breaking it. it is already hardened and I would like to save it.When I made it at work the guy that did the engraving on it passed away he committed suicide at home,and I would really like to fix it to have something to remember him by.He was a good boss .I'm a tool and die maker by trade and put quite a few hours in this knife... So if you know anyone that could weld it I would be happy to pay them.
Thanks
c. w.

My response:

Hi, C.
Sorry for the delay in response. I hope you are well!
I’m afraid that welding CPMS90V would be tenuous at best. It would require a GTAW (TIG) welder, and the blade would have to be completely annealed, stress relieved, and then heat treated, hardened and tempered again after welding. That would require removal of all fittings and handle, and then regrinding, which would erase any blade engraving. I don’t know anyone who does this… sorry. It’s almost like completely making a new knife.
Good luck on your projects,
Jay

His response:

Hi jay I had a guy do this with another knife and had good results I .He put it on soft used 420 rod and tig welded it pre head it first.He used to build up worn out broaches for regrinding a real specialist.He moved and cant find anyone with address or number.He told me the weld was as strong as the base metal since it was'nt as hard.I should have air harded it it wouldn"t have warped so bad.The guy that engraved it died just wanted to save it for a keepsake kinda,I talked to cruciable metals and they told me it can be welded with 420 stain. and should be stress relied and 800 dgr temp was aready tempered 3 times and frozen in dryice and alcahol.It's a small caping knife for hunting so I can make another blade in a day or two but that one has special meaning.Thanks for your time

Okay, this is just ridiculous. Any of these high alloy stainless steels must be welded in a high purity process, and that is definitely the GTAW (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding) process. This is called by some of us old timers TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas), but the two are the same thing. This process excells in clean, solid welds, but it does not make up for or replace alloy components that are not there. The guy welds a blade of high carbon, high vanadium, exotic alloy process powder metal technology tool steel with a rod of low carbon, low alloy martensitic stainless steel (420). 420 makes a very weak, inferior blade to all other stainless steels; it is the steel most commonly used in cheap imported Chinese low end kitchen knives. No matter how the knife is hardened and tempered, it will have an obvious band of welded metal across it, weaker and of an entirely different color, grain, and character. If a piece of 420 could be made to somehow match the appearance, performance, and mechanical nature of the CPMS90V high vanadium tool steel, don't you think that they would just make the blades out of the cheap 420 and forget the expensive alloy altogether? So you've got a band of weak metal where the weld is... It's just not reasonable by any measure. I realize that the knife has obvious sentimental value, but the part that is of highest value is the engraving which could not be saved by any means or measure.

The important thing to note here is the value and importance of one individual's work. When the person is gone, only his works and memories remain. I have great sympathy for this; as this will be my own personal and professional fate one day.

There are many methods to get the well-needed and desired publicity that media and the internet can offer. Here are some interesting attempts to use the knowledge, experience, background, popularity, and internet presence of your favorite knife maker to generate traffic, interest, and money for the sender.


Mr. Fisher, I am searching for stories about knife makers and their products. I am a full-time professional freelance writer. I have 20 years writing experience, an MS/Journalism, 7 years experience as a public relations director, and extensive experience in printed materials. You can learn more about me at my website - URL deleted. I am searching for articles that are appropriate to magazines, such as The Blade. I would like to identify article ideas that would benefit readers, suggest them to the editor of those magazines and then interview knife makers such as yourself to develop the story.

Okay, this well-established writer is looking for stories and articles. What? Am I supposed to write them and then forward them to her for her benefit? I thought the writer was supposed to do the writing! She mentions "The Blade." There is no such publication to my knowledge. Maybe she means "Blade Magazine" and didn't bother to get the title quite right. Not really a faux pas that a professional writer would make, is it? She continues:

If you have skills, techniques or products you believe would interest readers, please contact me and we can visit further. The best way to reach me is either via e-mail or my mobile phone ***-***-****.

If I have skills? Gees, has she even looked at the site? It's all pretty clear, I thought.

Thanks in advance for your time and consideration. I look forward to your response.
- Loretta
Loretta S.
P****** H***** Publishing, LLC Address Deleted

Okay, I went to the URL, but it was a dead link; there is no website at the address she gave (or she got her own website URL wrong). Her name did, however, pop up in my server's search listing. She had all the usual suspect listings: on Facebook, on LinkedIn, in Twitter, and the search result listing screamed out, "Please! Contact me! Somebody!" This happens because when you are heavily invested in self-publicity sites like Facebook, and do not have a professional web site, it means you don't have the professional savvy, interest, or resources to build a professional business presence. Vanity sites like these can be made by anybody, and you become a faceless counter of "friends."
I clicked on her bio at the SE results list, which was residing on a small, local interest farm community site. It was nearly unreadable, because it was printed on a heavily colored background of a picture of some crusty old cowboy. She had a link at the bottom to a magazine URL for more info, and when I clicked on it, the browser brought up one of those search engine template sites that is meant to redirect traffic to subscribers. In my book, I'll dedicate a good deal of information to how these redirectors work to redirect web traffic from non-existent sites. Yes, I can write, too!


Dear Webmaster,

Nothing like starting out with a very personal email contact.

I visited your web site earlier today and just wanted to congratulate you on a well presented, and informative web site. I have a site which has content relevant to your site. I was wondering if you would like to trade links with us.

Why do I get the feeling he has sent this to every site that has the word "knife" somewhere in the text?

Following are the details of my site:
TITLE: custom knives, automatic knife, automatic knives, custom knife
URL: URL Deleted
Description: Custom knives, automatic knife, automatic knives, custom knife – Handmade, collectable V********* knives.

Ahh, yes, right to the goal of the email; to cram your information into my site at my expense of time and effort, to drive traffic to your site which, no doubt, deserves the traffic that I have worked to build over all these years. It gives me great pleasure to promptly delete your URL from this text!

Your website link will be placed here with category of your choice: Another URL Deleted

He kindly offers me the place in a list of links on his (no doubt) high quality and vast foreign site. I'm certain that my traffic will increase because of his generous offer. I got another thrill deleting the second URL, too!

As you know back links helps in generating more traffic to our sites as well as achieving higher search engine rankings.

Ahhh. Yes. That is how the internet works, is it? Well, I thank him for his insightful points. It's all about links, not information, photographs, and pertinent interest.

So If interested, You can add our link in your resources/Links/Partners Pages or feel free to contact me to add your link first.

He reminds me that I must post a link to his site first. No funny business from me, no getting him to post my link and then neglecting my part in this bargain. He does not trust me one tiny bit, and he's letting me know that! This is a great way to build professional trust.

I'll be glad to hear anything you have to offer. if you have received this mail before then please ignore this and accept my sincere apologies.

This dingus doesn't even know who he's sent this lame cookie cutter email to before. He's read somewhere that it's all about numbers, and if he keeps sending, eventually others will comply with his wishes. Really?

Kind Regards,
Jitander


Jay Fisher
To begin, I read your email specifications and understand you only want emails for customers who would like to buy your knives, but this email may help your business and will only take a moment to answer.

Never start an email with "To begin." Most people already know where the beginning of the email is; it's at the first words. He already knows that I don't answer emails that are not from clients, but he's certain that I will answer this because it will help my business, and who wouldn't want that?

I am currently a Facebook user that is attempting to make a group on Facebook for people to join.

He instantly torpedoes his email with this admission. I'm not anti-Facebook, but Facebook is a vanity social network, and is no place for a professional to post.

This group's purpose is to bring people (with the common interest of knives) closer around the world, and notify them about current news and discoveries in the knife-making business.

He is forming a group with a porpoise, er, uh purpose. I, on the other hand, obviously have no porpoises.

My purpose for informing you about this subject is to get permission from your company to advertise your website to all who join this group. I assure you that it will only benefit your company, but understand that it is important to first receive permission from a formal company like yours. This group is not of a significant size yet, but will grow with time, and can reach a limitless size.

Ahh. I see. It's just another advertising ploy, designed only to benefit me. He figures if "my company" is benefitted, it will give credence and (of course) reverse exchange links to his Facebook presence. The porpoises are surfacing.

I want to use your webiste (http://www.jayfisher.com/index.htm) as an update to show people where true talent can be found. I have looked at many of your various knives and knife designs and beleive they are a true work of art like no other, and would like to share your masterpeices with many other individuals who appreciate your God given talent.
Thank you for your time.
Regards,
A.

He has recognized God. This is a good thing. God has, thankfully, given me the foundation, and I have applied myself to refine it by his grace. Unfortunately, God has not given me the time for porpoises, so I let Him manage His mighty seas without my help. Thank God for that!


Dear Jay Fisher
I know you're extremely busy, and my mail is not entirely concerning your knife business. I sincerely apologise if this is counted as spam. Im currently on an assignment that allows us to make a short presentation - both printed and digital format - on any topics chosen. Since mine is on knives, I've found the pictures of your works truely exquisite. Given that I'll definately give references to your website (due to plagiarism regulations), would I be able to use some of your images found in your website as part of my assignment?
Thank you very much for your time..
Once again I apologise if this has caused any inconvenience
J. L.

I responded:

Hello, Mr. L.
Thanks for asking about using my photos or information from the web site. I’m sorry, due to agent and publicity requirements, currently I’m not allowing reproduction or use of the web site data or pictures.
Thank you for your considerate request.
Jay

My agent (and my attorney) will kill me if I allow all of my copyrighted work to be used for free by someone else! He replied:

Dear Jay Fisher
Thank you for your quick reply. It is more than what I expected and I do understand such matters: which can lead to many undesirable situations.
Thank you again for your time.

The undesirable situation being copyright infringement and a fine of about $25,000.


Hello,
My name is C. D. and I am contacting you on behalf of my website
www.***********.com I would like to know if you have an interest in a link exchange with my website. My site is set up to provide information and online resources. I use text link as my form of linking, and I would be happy to offer you a link on my homepage or one of my inner pages. I hope this is something of consideration for you, and I look forward to hearing back from you.
Here is my site info:
Title- B****** Knives
URL: (URL Deleted)
Description: - Over a dozen models of B****** Fixed Blade knives to choice from.
Best Regards,
C. D.

This guy is dealing factory knives. Wants me to endorse his site, send my thousands of potential clients his way. Has he even looked at my site? His misunderstanding is simple. He thinks that his site (no traffic) will benefit from my site (high traffic). While I would benefit... uh... whoops. There is no benefit for me. Okay, well then, maybe I won't notice that part and will post his link anyway.

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!


Hello Sir, I will work as a Bodyguard.
I need :
1) A Steel Punch with a knife attached on it and a hole on the steel punch that you can put in a smal peper spray.So, as a tool is awhole unit.
2) A steel punch with a knife attached on it. On the steel punch a taser 80,000V is attached. So, as a tool is awhole unit.
What is your address to send you the design?
Please, let me know.
Thank you
I Remain
Best regards
G. L.

And that all mounts on the Bat-belt.


Jay,
I was told on the K**** N******* forum that you are the best knife with rock scales builder. I do lapidary as a hobby and am just starting with to build kit knives. I plan to build them just for my use and relatives – not sell them. On my first knife, I want to make the first 3/4 of the scales be wood and the last 1/4 be rock. I'm trying to figure out the best process. Here are some example ideas:
1) Finish the rock portions off the handle - epoxy wood scales and finish them - epoxy the rock scales on. (might be hard to make the wood and rock align correctly)
2) Epoxy rough rock on handle - finish the rock - epoxy wood rough on handle - finish wood (might scuff rock while finishing wood)
3) Superglue rock onto handle and finish - epoxy wood rough on - remove rock with razor blade - finish wood - epoxy rock back on
4) Epoxy wood rough on handle and finish - finish rock off handle - epoxy rock onto handle (might be hard to shape the rock just right)
Do you finish the rock on or off the handle? What advice can you give me?
Thanks,
D. B.

Either he didn't read the statement where I don't teach or answer questions, or he didn't care. Maybe he figures he's just going to build them for his use and relatives and not sell them, but I don't believe it. He's giving me too many of his ideas, figuring I'll jump right in if he details the process. But I won't. And all of his ideas? They're all wrong. The important thing is the last question, "What advice can you give me?" He's right; that would be a gift. I'll save my gifts for my loved ones; thanks.


Hey Jay,
I am interested in purchasing a dagger I am not sure which one I am a belly dancer and am challenging myself to begin dancing with the dagger and sword. I would need to be able to hold the dagger in my mouth and balance the sword on top of the dagger while im dancing. I do not know if you would have any recommendations on which one would be best to purchase for this task but please get back to me on your thoughts.
Thank you so much,
N. P.

I actually like this idea. The image of a razor-sharp dagger clenched in the teeth while gyrating to the rhythmic maqsoum of a kanoun while blood streams down the cheeks is... interesting. Add the sword blade balanced on the dagger, and you've got a real show! Hey, maybe you could throw a cobra spitting venom into the act... cool!


Jay,
I am new to the knife making endeavor. Is there a book you would recommend on knife making and one on engraving? Any information would be greatly appreciated in the utmost. You definitely are one of the finest knife and engraving artists in the world.
Many thanks,
C. J.


hi i am very interested in knives
I really like a good project and like to work hard to build something. Over the summer i hope to try and construct a knife. I dont want a shitty tutorial from ehow or something like that but if u know of any good instructional guides, tutorials, or books on how to build a knife it would be greatly appreciated
-Z.


To whom it may concern:
I stumbled upon your site while I was reinforcing my blade status.
What a well-detailed and thorough enterprise you have embarked upon!
My formerly dull blade knowledge is now sharpened to a glint.
Your "Bulldog" Tactical Art Knife is your most cutting creation yet.
Yours Tempered-ly,
A. "Blade" P.

Sticky prose like this gives me indigestion. Perhaps it is best left in the sun until it ripens... and rots away.


Jay, how can I make my knife blade look good again. It looks like some one tried to clean or polish the blade, but their are grind marks in it. I sure would like to get those out and make the blade look new. If you can help, I thank you, if you can't I still thank you for your site.
B. B.


Jay,
I read your info on knife bolsters however I have a question. If I want to use mokume as bolster material how easy is it to cut and shape?What type of cutting tools do I need?I am going to use a bolster as a template that comes with a knife kit ordered from t********.com or k*********.com since I'm a beginner at knife making.I'm using camel bone( plain white) as my handle which will also be cut from a template of a simple cut to shape scale.Could you give me some ideas concerning working with mokume and damascus as bolster material.
R. S.

Sure, I'm the go-to guy for kit knife construction. Sigh-


Hi Jay
I live in the isle of man and im having a hard time finding a heavy drop point bush craft knife kit
Can you help
I have had a lot of knifes over the years but i want to finish my own now I know what i want but i dont seem to be able to find it if you could help it would be apreicated
Thanks
Paul


Hi Mr. Fisher,
first off I just want to say how much I love your work. Your an incredible artist! I am writing to you because I have a question. Over the last few years I have just started to make knife handles. I mostly carve them, but I would also like to paint a scene on the handles. can you suggest want kind of paint to use and also what to use as a finish/protective coat? I want to be able to mix colors like you would with artist oils and acrylics but don't know if I could use a polyurethane finish over them(I know it would have to be water or oil based). I figured since your experienced you might be able to point me in the right direction. any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your time,
Ron

Ron, why not just decoupage some cutouts from a magazine on the handle? A little paste, some varnish, and voila! You could do a scene from National Geographic for an international flavor.

What shadows we are, and what shadows we pursue!

--Edmund Burke
English Orator, 1729-97

I do not like it when I get this type of email, it sends a chill up my back.

Question from New Zealand Police
Gidday Jay - recently located in a car was the knife pictured below - would you know of it's origin or possible owner
S. W. Senior Sergeant C**** New Zealand police

Okay, I cant' take this too seriously. Really, the police in New Zealand, a country on the other side of the world suspect I may know who owns this Chinese made piece of junk knife? Who do they think I am, and how many cheap imported knives do they think exist in the world? This knife has a number on it: 65,576. This is one of at least sixty five thousand of this one model! And I'm supposed to know who bought it from some import company? That's sleuthing! At the bottom of the email was this warning:

WARNING
This message may contain information that is confidential and may be subject to the provisions of section 50 of the Policing Act 2008, which creates an offence to have unlawful possession of Police property. If you are not the intended recipient of this message or have received this message in error, you must not peruse, use, pass or copy this message or any of its contents.

The New Zealand Police have issued a warrant for the knife maker in New Mexico; keep it under your hat!

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.

Dear sir
We are looking knife for full moon cutting for the shark's fin if the producte send me photo & price list
thanks
mohamed


Hi Jay how are you? First let me say what a nice collection of knives, I have a problem I had a guy make me a knife to use a key ring, however when I saw the knife I fell in love with it and didn’t want to ruin it. One day I decided to try and sharpen it and needless to say I scratched it I tried several things to get them out with no luck, is there anything you recommend. I don’t know what type of steel he used or what finish he put on, but if I have to could I send it to you, and have it fixed. Please let me know, I would like to explain the story behind the knife that I wear as a necklace. Please call me at ***-***-****
John.
Thank you

Key ring? Necklace? Story? I'll bet...


Who would you recommend I contact to have a knife appraised by? Great uncle brought it home from Germany during ww2 appears to be hand made with very detailed engraving on it. Any thoughts would be appreciated. By the way I think your craftsmanship is awesome
Thanks,
J. M.

If he'd actually read the What I Do and Don't Do page, he would have seen the very link he's looking for... sigh.


HEY SORRY TO BOTHER YOU BUT I FOUND A KNIFE WITH ALUMINUM HANDEL BRASS GUARD AND THE NAME D C S******** WITH THE NUMBERS 11072762 JUST WONDERING IF YOU KNOW ANY THING ABOUT IT THANKS FOR YOUR TIME.
R. E.

Numbered over eleven million? Sounds like a unique piece... ahem.


Hello Jay,
I have a customer that is looking for someone to carve black obsidian into a knife handle he has (URL deleted) Would you please be able to give me a quote on this.
Thanks!
S. S.
Crystals, Gems, and Rocks
http://www.*********.com


Hello Jay-
I was wondering if you can help me. I am a furniture designer and I would like to buy horn to integrate into my designs. I have a hard time finding horn so I was wondering of you know where I could buy the horn material.
Secondly, I have been working before with horn but was never able to get it right. I used it on table top and other surfaces and covered it with resin with a high gloss finish, but the horn would seem to be unattainable and would (after a while) lift up from the wood surface. It seems there is no way to keep it flat. Would you know a technique where I could keep it more stable? I am using horn kind of like a veneer on top of wood surfaces.
Anyhow, your advize would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks a lot in advance!
O. P.

I think that's covered on my horny table page on the site.


Hi!
I've got a vintage Wapienica straight razor that needs some embellishment. Ideally I would like to have some new scales made, but if you might be interested in engraving the already-present stainless steel scales instead, that would be cool too.
I've attached a picture of the razor as it is now. The blade is carbon steel, the scales stainless.
Please let me know if you have any interest in trying out something new!
Thanks!
-g.

Something new? I thought you said it was vintage.


Jay have an unusual question. My name is D. G. and am a former Infantry major with time in Iraq.
I made a knife years ago during my first tour in Korea. I want to start making again and have been reading but am somewhat confused on how to grind/ execute stock removal with a bench disk grinder. Could you send me a CD/DVD of you executing this operation or recommend a good book or website I can look this operation up in? Have had little, to no luck, searching for this on my own- as a matter of fact this is how I stumbled across your site. (By the way your site is the best on the internet I have found for do it yourself knife making.)
I understand you may be trepid of sending me a film of you grinding due to legal ramifications that you list on your site, if this is the case if you could point me in the right direction I would greatly appreciate it.
I am a avid saltwater fisherman and want to make my own fillet knives and have a few ideas, but before I start messing up metal I need some guidance/ do some more research on stock removal.
Out of curiosity how much do you fillet knives cost- they are quite beautiful?
Thanks
V/R
D. G.

D. wants to know how; I've got to give him credit for trying, I suppose. This is, sadly, a part of my trade and profession that I'd like to change. Most people are like D.; they think that a bench grinder and a "how-to" lesson will be all it takes to get him going in the field of knife making. He's ready to earn those extra bucks, ready to make those knives that have been lurking in his head, and all it takes is a bench grinder. After all, how hard can it be?
Making a fine knife is a hell of a lot harder than it looks. It literally takes years of practice and experience to make a decent knife. A few more years and maybe a good knife can come from your hands, and a few years after that, a fine knife may be able to emerge. No one breaks into the skill of knife making, it is built with years (sometimes decades) of dedicated study, practice, and sacrifice. If you don't believe it, please think about this: if it were easy, every guy who wanted to could make a fine knife, and make a business of knife making. After all, there is a widespread passion about fine knives on every continent. But you don't see that, and that is because it's a difficult and challenging tradecraft and professional field. I just wish more people would understand this and give knife making the respect it deserves.
Oh, and one more thing; this is not a "do it yourself knife making" site!


hello Jay, I am a big knife collector, I'm not familiar with your work, but I have seen some pictures of your knives and they are very nice. but i am looking for someone to make me something extravagant blade. two blades to be exact.
I'm not sure if you are familiar with a popular video game, God of War? The main character in this wields two blades, "the blades of chaos", i was wondering if you happened to be up to the challenge of making a real version of these blades. i am willing to pay any offer you give me. please let me know if you have the ability to make these.
R.

My response to this "big" knife collector:

Hi, R.
I’m sorry; I don’t make pop knives or replicas. Good luck on your search.
Jay


I've read through many of your articles (if not all of them) on handles, bolsters and guards, and I have a question that was not answered. I was curious if mokume gane has inferior wear resistance or durability compared to austenitic stainless steel, nickel or brass? Thank you so much for your time.
Sincerely,
T. B.

Man, I must remember to answer all of his questions: every single one. I would hope that someone who can realize that mokume gane is made of brass, copper, nickel silver, and sometimes silver would have the wear characteristics of these metals, but that's probably hoping a bit too much.


I like your knives and think your work is at the top of the profession.

Oooh. Starts out nice.

However, the "Things I Won't Do" section greatly takes away from the image (I think) you wish to project.

Sigh- How in the world would this guy know what image I want to project? I just want to make and sell my knives, and I don't want to do all the other things that guys like this think I should do. Is that too much to ask?

It seems petty and at odds with the artistic and well designed blades, handles & sheaths you've designed and created.

Hmmm. "Petty" is defined as having secondary rank or importance, or having little significance. The page does have little significance I suppose, unless it's someone who is asking for something I don't do. This guy doesn't have a clue how much traffic I get. Hundreds (some days thousands) of people a day go to that very page to find out I don't offer what they want. They are fine with the page; they simply go to another business. You, on the other hand need to write to complain. So it's not petty to you, either. There is another definition of petty, and that is "small- minded." If you are referring to me, well, I could be offended, but my mind is way too small to do all the things everyone wants me to do. I just want, in my on small mind, to make and sell knives.

It seems to me you could state what you won't do without the chideing and appear as professional as your products.

I think you mean "chiding." You spelled it wrong. You are an incorrect speller, therefore you are bad. I'm scolding you now in a mild, reprimanding way, to correct and improve your behavior. You can practice by writing ten times on the chalkboard, "I will not scold the knife maker for building his own website the way he wants." Oh, and yes, you are chiding me with this stupid email, but other people are laughing at you. Why do they laugh? It's called humor. Look it up. Shame on you.

I do compliment you on your knives and wish you continued success.
P.

Look up disingenuous while you're at it.


Sir,
I browsed your site and I am more than impressed. I have made a knife from a piece of quality steel, that I have hand worked for close to 14 years to get it to the stage I feel is ready to have a handle put on it.

Fourteen years? You've got to be kidding.

I had in mind from the day I started this project, to use a deer antler with brow tine. However after reading quite a bit on your site, I'm not sure that it would be wise as this is intended as a present for my brother.

Please! Finish the knife! Before your brother dies of old age!

I have worked in metal stamping factories for over 20 years, and he is a machinist, so we both have some understanding of metal working, and his appreciation of this knife, well he will be at a loss for words as he saw the blank in raw state some 13 years ago, and has no knowledge of its completion, and after viewing your photos it does not compare to the work you do.

Don't compare. Please. Just finish the knife for him your own way. He's your brother; I sure he will appreciate the love and caring you have been applying to his project for such a long time.

Now I'm stuck.
I still want to use that darn antler, ( I dont have one and thus the MAJOR problem), and wondered if you had them, or knew of material to use to make a fake antler, and the cost of either one.

Perhaps you could buy a small fawn, feed it in your back yard, and nurture some fine antlers to use. It would only take another fourteen years but it would be really, really, really appreciated.

Any help or direction you could send me would be more than appreciated.
Respectfully,
B. W.
P.S. If a picture of the knife would help, I think I can get some to you.

Just how would that help me? Hmm. Perhaps you can give the picture to your brother.

Some people take great pains to write long and arduous emails, even though it is clear that unless they are interested in ordering a knife from me, I won't answer them. Perhaps they figure that I'll change my site, opinion, or ideas if they make it a really big email:

Hi Jay! Just wanted to say thanks for all the information you share on your website. It's huge!

So is this ridiculous email you sent, Mike.

I've spent many hours there and I don't think I've seen every page. I really appreciate, as I'm sure many others do, all the work you've put into it and for your willingness to share. And your knives are stunning! It's always a pleasure to see the work of master artists and craftsmen.

Starts out great; I'm feeling good about this.

A question: I see your chef's knives have highly polished stone handles. Cooking is one of my passions, though I'm not a professional chef. Generally, I prefer wood or Micarta handles because of the grip.

Okay, that's fine. With custom knives you can have it the way you want it.

They don't get slippery when cutting something such as raw chicken.

Okay, this is just wrong. What are you doing, smearing your hands all over the chicken and then rubbing it on your knife handle? Not a pretty thought, there.

I imagine the stone handles would be slippery under some cooking conditions. I have a couple of knives that have unpolished steel handles and they get very slippery. Don't get me wrong, those are beautiful knives. I'm not so sure they're practical in a well-used kitchen. Have you sold the chef's knives to professional working chefs for everyday use?

As a matter of fact, I've sold many gemstone handled chef's knives to some of the finest chefs in the world, guys who are professionals who know how to handle raw chicken so it doesn't end up slathered all over their knife handle.

I also read that you don't think highly of integrals. I don't disagree with the idea in general, but with chef's knives, even the tiniest surface-to-surface gap is a place for bacteria to hide. An integral design eliminates that danger.

I detail this on the web page about chef's knives. If you are afraid of bacteria, maybe you should learn how to handle raw chicken and not smear the stuff all over your knife handle, eh?

You also wrote that there was nothing particularly special about Japanese knife-making. I would be interested in your thoughts about H******, his use of Damascus, integral design and flat grind, even sometimes a single flat grind. If everything you wrote concerning these points, and chef's knife manufacturing in general apply to him also, don't feel the need to respond to this question. I'll just assume you meant it to apply to him as well; unless, of course, you want to clarify.

Okay this is a toss of the gauntlet. How can a knife maker in the United States of America possibly have an issue with the hyped-up, non-existing, media and sales driven spew of Japanese knife manufacturing firms? How could a knife maker in the US who has been making knives for top chefs for over 30 years possibly know what a Japanese manufacturing firm who uses the name of an old Japanese man (who started as a worker in his family's Japanese knife factory) know better what constitutes a fine knife? How could I, humble and lowly American Jay Fisher, even dare to exist in the light of the mystical Japanese legend of samurais (you knew that I'd throw that in, didn't you?) and their Armorers who haven't existed or made anything for hundreds of years?  I can give about a hundred reasons, and have posted them in great and specific detail on my Chef's Knives page on this very website, as well as my Factory Knives vs. Handmade Custom Knives page on the site. But you probably didn't get around to reading those pages, you simply bought the Japanese hype about some great master who (from his website) "gives his special care to check every detail, blade grinding and polishing flows, warping, angles and handle shaping, fitting etc etc..." (love those etceteras, they really add inspiration to all those pesky details the site didn't bother to explain, like WARPING!). I, on the other hand, have explained in great detail just what is wrong with damascus blades, flat ground blades, straight stick hidden tang rabbeted handles, large and oversized rivets, lack of handle bedding, straight, weak, and small bolsters, non-existent bolsters, bolsters made of inferior materials (like blade stock), low corrosion resistance, improperly contoured bolsters, lack of ferrules to prevent splitting, non-tapered tangs for bad balance, poor and cheap finishes, plastic polyester handles that are supposed to look like gemstone, a toilet seat, or fake ivory. ALL of these specific failures of construction exist on this "great master's" knives. Mike, think! There is a reason that his knives sell for $300 and mine sell for ten times that much! Read this entire paragraph again! Please! Take a good close look at this guy's site, he doesn't even make the knives, he just "inspects" them! Good Grief!

Lastly,I hope you don't mind this little bit of criticism. When I go to your site, I have to scroll left to right to read the whole page. I know how much you value "fit" and that's the only reason I'm mentioning it. It may not be doing it on your display, but anyone with the size I'm using is getting the same results I am, which is probably more than half your visitors, maybe three-quarters of them. Here's the reason why: Mostly, you're using percentages to display your content (your background image for instance), which is good practice. But occasionally, you'll throw in an absolute dimension which then defines the percentage. For instance, after having defined the background image as 100 percent on this page, later on you have this: ******************************************** (I commented out that bit of code so it won't display in your browser). The key thing is width="1100". That's what's doing it. If you changed it to 100 percent, it would behave properly. But then again, your site is huge and this little tweak would take a lot of effort.

I'm getting tired of this guy. There is a reason you can't see the entire picture or table and you have to scroll. Your monitor is small. My pictures are big. I sell knives to guys that have big monitors. They can afford them. You actually think that most of the people who view the site have a problem viewing the content? Hmmm. How is it that you are the first one to comment or complain? I believe that you have taken a class on html, and think that you know how Jay should present his content and display. But you are wrong. This site is not designed for you. Go to the weak, small, and content-lacking Japanese knife sites and drool over their cheap and inferior knives.

Thanks again and I sincerely wish you the best of everything!
Mike

God bless you, Mike. I realize that you're only trying to help, but please read and learn some more for your own sake.

Everybody wants to get in on the business. Whatever business pursuit they imagine or desire. Despite stating very clearly that I don't give advice, their business is so important that they must figure it's okay to email Jay, because it's only one email and he'll understand.


Hello Jay,
I am an architect by profession but needed an artistic outlet. So I started this pistol grip making hobby. This hobby grew to become a small business that I started a few months ago. For my next project, I wanted to design a knife around my products, which are mostly 1911 pistol grips. I was planning to design 2 or 3 knives that I can sell on my website.
Then I chanced upon your website... you have opened my eyes! You have honed your craft to the highest level & I deeply admire your work. You are truly a master! I am looking for somebody to build blade blank & I was thinking of using my 1911 grips on them. I have no intention of building the blades myself. I was thinking of making the kydex sheaths myself though. I found out that my idea was not new. There were a couple of designs that had the same idea (W***** Tactical & ***?), but I want to improve on them.
Can you be a guide to a novice like me? Can I ask you stupid questions in the near future? Do you know people who can help me with my project?
Keep up the good work! ...and hopefully, we can collaborate knife designs in future.
Best regards,
Ray

Artistic outlet? Pistol grips? Stupid questions? Collaborate?
NO.


Dear Jayfisher,
We have learned from your website that you are dealing with knives for years.And we want to enter into business relationship with you in the long run. We are the professional ceramic knife manufacturer who's dedicated to this field since 2000.Till now,our product lines have reached to ceramic kitchen knife,ceramic folder,ceramic peeler,ceramic slicer,ceramic santoku knife,ceramic knife gift sets,etc.And several new designs,products are under construction.Our customers are prestigious companies,supermarkets,military,hunters,miners,etc.As the business grows,we think that your join-in will push the market forward. We love your knives very much,especially your shealth designs.They are fascinating. Enclosed please find our catelogue for your reference.If you have any questions,please do not hesitate to contact us. Sincerely Johnson

If you guessed this was from a foreign company, you are correct. If they are indeed the purveyors to "prestigious companies," why do they need me? Oh, yes, they want my fascinating shealths.


Dear Jay
I have recently launched a new knife making and collecting forum in the UK.
The web address is: www.***********.com
The knives you sell would really appeal to many UK knife collectors and if you would like I would be willing to run a feature on you. Please feel free to join and make some posts on the site with a link to your website.
Kind regards
T. N.

I quit posting on forums and bulletin boards a while ago. They were not productive and chewed up a serious amount of time.


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.

Okay, on with the emails. You know you want more or you wouldn't be here!


You’re my last hope…..i’m a custom bowmaker and can not identify this wood. I ran across your site and it reeks with knowledge. Can you identify this wood for me?
-JB

I could, but I didn't- he, he, he.


Hey Jay, A. B. here.
I was wondering if you could put a black canvas micarta handle on I knifle that I own already, and if so, about how much should I expect to spend? I live in b************ WA, and the knife in question is approx. 13-14" in length with a 9 in blade. look forward to hearin from ya!
A.

Knifle? Is that a cross between a knife and a rifle? Cool!


I have a limited edition B***** Damascas Trench Knife depicted below (Blade length 5 5/8". Overall length 10". Weight 6.6 oz) which I would like you to make a sheath for.

He includes a picture of his buugly factory knife, with a factory pattern welded blade, horrid and squared off grinds, split guard  with a simply awful handle of dyed deer horn and a couple of tiny rivets holding it together.

I like the following sheath:

I'll bet you do. He includes a photo of my own sheath, one of ostrich leg skin inlaid in hand-carved shoulder, with tension bindings and double belt loops, double stitched, a real work of art that was custom made for a knife worth over $6K.

Obviously the above sheath would have to be modified to fit the straight bladed trench knife and I would like a leather strap (in the same motif as the sheath) with a silver snap lock to secure the knife in the sheath around the handle near the guard (like on a Bowie knife sheath). The belt loop should be able to accommodate up to a 2” wide belt. Please contact me if you are amenable to make such a sheath for me.
All the best,
Dr. S. M.

Being a doctor doesn't mean what it used to, I suppose. Just the thought of a supposedly educated person wanting to put a thousand dollar sheath on a forty dollar knife is like spending five thousand bucks in travel to Kurdistan to treat a serious medical condition.


Hi, I'm only 16 years old. I'm your idol on your webpage. I like to make knife's or blades myself and I wan't send to you my first knifes picture, because I want to know your opinion about the knife's form and what's wrong in that picture I hope You answere'd me back :)! P.S And sorry for my bad English. I'm from Latvia :(!

Okay, he's 16 and trying. There are many worse things a 16 year old could be doing.


Hello Good Day
My Name is j*** a***** from PA.... I will like to know whether you carry ( Taper Kitchen ) in stock for sale. If yes, email me back each size and with the prices of (1) attached to it so that i will let you know the size and quantity i will be ordering.... More over I will like to know whether you do accept credit card as the method of payment....Hope to read from you again....Stay Blessed. Kind regards


hello my name is c. m. and i recently have started to build knives my self and enjoy it My problem that i have and need answered is i had a knife guard put onto my blade and the guard was set funny so i took it off but the only way to get the guard off was to use heat from a mini propane welding bottle and it has gotten heat or fire stains on my blade my question to you is how do i get these marks and blemishes off ! thanks for your help

C. has ruined the temper of his blade. Should I tell him? No, because then he'll follow up with "How do I fix it?" and then I'll be obligated to answer, and then he'll have more questions, with more answers... this is why I don't answer maker's emails. Please remember that I get hundreds of these! I'm not a mean guy for not helping, I just simply can't keep that up; no one can. It would be like a mechanic or electrician having a website where they answer questions for free, every day, all day long.


All Hail Jay Fisher-knife maker-
WOW! Such a talent and the artwork is stunning. I have had an interest and collection in knives since childhood-just found your sit because I now own a blade and sheath and have no idea where it came from or who made it. I have been all over the web (stuck like an insect in it)-then WHAM! Your site popped up. So, I read almost every page ( ok about ¾ of them anyway) and am now even more enthralled. Such careful attention to a website just proves the magnificence of your pieces. Ok-here is my question- and I would not have asked you if I could find it out anywhere else- I have the blade with a maker’s mark of an “engraved” ?? tigers head- the handle is a tiger ( maybe brass???) The sheath looks like some kind bone or hard plastic? It is in a collectors display glass case (fully sealed) China is the country of origin Stainless steel highly polished very very sharp looking blade- will you like to look at picture of it- will that help? Can you help me learn more about it? What do I do to have its value appraised? I realize this may be way outside your scope of practice- any help is appreciated- IF it comes through for me with direct hit to the value /origin/ maker ( maybe it’s just a plain ‘ole knife) I will be happy to reimburse you for your time. Thanks so much for maybe getting this moving for me.
Peace
c.

Oh, brother.


I have 5 or 6 kitchen knives that are 5 to 20 years old, none of which are the same brand but are good knives. The factory handle on most are ruined because of dishwasher use. Can you make matching handles for them? Any idea of cost involved?
Thanks
A. F.

5 to 20? What are they, prison knives?


Jay,
I saw your picture on your website and you look very familiar. y chance did you go to North High School in Torrance, CA? If not, sorry to have bothered you.
D.

People confuse me with Jeff Bridges all the time, but I hear he makes a lousy knife.


Titled: Literary Agent
Where are you located? Are you in Houston, TX? I am looking for someone to restore (clean and sharpen and straighten the back spring) a Latama knife (Kris blade) from the 50’s. Do you know anyone in Houston who can do this properly?
Thank you,
E. M.

Somewhere on the site I claimed I was looking for a new agent. Some people will try anything to get their knives worked on.


Hello Jay,
I have a 90 year old, I believe elk horn, knife set that was a wedding present for my grandmother. I dropped the sharpener and scuffed the edge of the end and if “sort of frayed.” The horn has also been colored to a greenish color. How can I fix this edge of my heirloom?
S.S.

Was it the 90 year old grandmother you wanted fixed?


I would like to know the price of a blank pattern you call Night Wind.
Thank you for your time.
A. L.


Hi Jay,
My name is C. and after reviewing your website I thought I would take the time to email you some photos of some “ancient ivory” (Mastodon ivory tusk pieces) I have in my possession. There are 11 pieces with an approximate weight of 17 ounces, of which my husband and I have been holding on to for close to a quarter of a century now.

Time to let go. Pry those fingers apart and let... go!

From what I understand these pieces came from the Alaskan glaziers and they are just beautiful.

Ah, yes, I understand those Alaskan glass workers were really good.

Unfortunately we do not have a use for them and after looking over and definitely admiring your craft and art I believe you might be able to use these pieces of ancient history.

Ivory is not history. History is a chronological record of significant events and knowledge, written by man, and those big furry elephants didn't bother to put anything down.

If you are interested you may reach me at (contact deleted)
Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you

Mammoth ivory is not as uncommon as one might think. There are serious firms that sell tons of the stuff every year, and continual mining yields plentiful supplies. It is very expensive though, so I'm always keeping an eye out. Unfortunately the pieces she had were small and rather plain chips.


Dear Jayfisher,
Its me again, but anyways I'm only a 14 year old boy and you might not take me seriously, but knives have always been my pasion and I want to get a start on it and know whats what. I have been thinking about your knives and I have a couple of questions. First of all are your knives full tang? My next question is where are you located? I want to know for the future so I have options when buying knives. For materials what kind of metals do you mostly use and are your knives mostly for show, work or for both? Thats pretty much all for now, thanks for taking the time to listen to me. M.

Would it help to tell young M. that every question he asked is answered in detail on this very website and all he has to do is read it? Probably not.


Mr. Fisher- I have an antique k55K m******* knife made in solingen germany. It is the stainless steel knife with the lock blade. can you tell me the approximate value? It has a cougar on the side and cougau stamped on the blade. thanks.


Jay,
I read the chart with the different steel types that you can make knives out of. My questions relates to AUS8A. That steel does not appear on the chart and I am wondering how you would compare it to 440C. I guess to make it simple, if you were to make a combat knife with a 7" blade, would you prefer 440C or AUS8A and why? Some people have said that the two are almost indifferentiable. I'm not sure I believe them so I wanted to hear what you had to say about it. You have the best knife making website too.
-J.


hi, i bet you get a lot of email so i'm sorry for troubling you for another. but I am starting out in knife making and have quickly fallen in love with it. I'm fifth teen years old and it seems hard to learn much besides trial and error. so do you have any tips for a newbie?
thanks

Yeah, sure do. Read the What I do and Don't Do Page.


Hello Jay,
I have an 18th C. Ottoman Karabela with horn grips. Would you be able to fashion ivory grips for the sword if I provided a picture of the kind if work I would need done? What would the price be for that kind of work if you provided the ivory, and also if provided the ivory? It would involve shaping a piece of antique ivory to a certain shape and then a V-shaped etching onto the sword.
Thank you
L.


hi there. i have makeing knives for about a year now and have fallen in love with it. one problem. i work full time.i'm looking for someone to make my blanks for me. just the blank,no edge.i have about 6 that i really want to build. they are my own design. do you or would be interested in doing something like this? or if not do you of anyone that i could contact.
thanks,
a.

Make the knife; the whole knife. Then you can say you are the maker.


HELLO MY NAME IS R. T. I SEND THIS ENQUIRY TO YOUR COMPANY IN REGARDS TO ORDER SOME(Round Bar Shears)..I WILL LIKE YOU TO EMAIL ME BACK WITH THE PRICE,SIZE AND THE METHOD OF PAYMENT YOU DO ACCEPT TO PROCEED..
REGARDS
R. T.

Crap. I just ran out of all my round bar shears I had for sale on the website.


Please remember that these are all real emails I received. I couldn't make this stuff up if I wanted to!


Dear Mr. Jay Fisher,
I have been told the purpose for putting a gut hook had nothing to do with skinning animal. I was told that the first hooks made were made by the fur traders so they could lift the cast irons lids off of their :Dutch Ovens." It was later when when someone got the idea to sharpen the inner part of the hook. As you are aware the knife was a much more important tool than it is today. Historians tell us that it was the "Colt Peacemaker" that tamed and won the West, but, I believe the knife played a larger role in taming the West. So, I would like to know if what I was told is true and if not true, please tell me what is the truth. I look forward to hearing from you soon. One more thing, I would like to come see your shop. I know you are in New Mexico and my takes me to your stompin' grounds.
Sincerely,
G. W.

I've heard about those gut-hooking Dutchmen. It was a spooky story told around the campfire... If you come will you bring your stew or perhaps a nice campfire cobbler?


Mr. Fischer,

He inserts a quote from my "What I do and don't do page:

"Sorry, I don't make sheaths for knives other than my own: My sheaths and scabbards are beautiful, extremely well made, and this doesn't go unnoticed. Just as in the topics above, this is usually an attempt to find a good sheath to replace one that is poor. Go back to the maker or factory, demand a better sheath, and perhaps you'll encourage them to improve their sheaths and actually help their business in the long run."

I don't mean to tell you your business but your policy about making might be taking away money you can earn legitimately. I need a scabbard for a WW II Japanese bayonet, I can't go to the factory and encourage them to improve their sheaths, they were bombed and burned to the ground by the end of the war and never reopened. This knife is a beautiful work of art in itself, and a war trophy, as it has never had the Japanese Iris symbol of the Tokyo armory removed, as all the bayonets the Japanese sold after the war did. Just a suggestion that you might want to consider another revenue stream.
Respectfully,
DSX

When you write the knife maker, be sure to spell his name right. Then, if you "don't mean to tell" the maker his business policies, simply do not do it. It's probably not a good idea to hint that not making what you want is "taking away money you can earn legitimately." This suggests that there is money being earned that is not legitimate! Yeah, Jay's all about a "revenue stream," particularly when it comes to making scabbards for old surplus Japanese bayonets- thanks for helping today.


Dear Mr Fisher,
I have a friend who is about to serve in Afghanistan with the Australian Commandos and want to give him a combat knife as a gift, and a practical item for his Tour. I was thinking of giving him a G***** Mark 2 70th Anniversary piece, but would be very interested in your opinion of this weapon despite its famous reputation. Price is not really the issue here but functionality, beauty and reliability are.
your sincerely,
D. R.

This is sad. A guy is actually serving in combat and his friend wants to give him a cheap, $70 knife that claims to be for combat. There are about a hundred things wrong with the knife he mentions, explained in great detail on my Combat and Tactical Knives page. The manufacturer who makes this knife loves it that you think it has a famous reputation, but the reputation is not "famous," only "common." This is a poor knife, badly designed, poorly ground, with the geometry of a cold chisel, made of inferior materials, with a cast aluminum handle, and is pretty much an overpriced black ice pick with an awful sheath. How would I go about telling this guy that his friend deserves more? And who am I to say, because, after all, $70 may be all he can afford. What I'd like to tell him is that if he can only afford $70 for his friend, offer to buy him some nice sunglasses for over there; he'll need them. And let him pick his own knife.

"Sadr" liner lock folding knife: 440C high chromium stainless steel blade, hand-engraved 304 stainless steel bolsters, jasper gemstone handle, anodized titanium liners, granite case
"Sadr"

Sometimes, the person who emails thinks they have to comment on the philosophy of my own presentation of my work:

Dear Mr Fisher,
I read a significant portion of your webpage. Your designs are really very good quality art work. On more than one place you mention that in your business ``name is everything". Name is everything some people. I do not think you take pride for their patronage. You made a name because you created very good work. Period. Your work defines you. Each of your work cannot be equally creative or equally beautiful to any one person. On average they are good and some are truely amazing. I believe you would like your knives to be judged individually and not by your name.
(I am a mathematician and rarely people agree with my social views. I came across your webpage when I was searching for a simple handmade forged 5160 chef knife. I like art in all forms and your work is very good. I will keep checking your designs time to time.)
with regards
A. B.

Sigh; have I not been clear? In the knife making world, the maker's name is everything that the purchasing public uses to identify the knife. That is why there is a "maker's mark," and that is why in modern knife making, handmade original works are identified by the individual maker's name. It's important to maintain a high standard of quality with every piece the maker puts his name on. It's really not that confusing; most people get this.

This guy claims that I do not take pride for patronage. What? Has he even read this site? I thank my clients again and again, for they are the reason I'm in business. I also detail who they are (without giving up their private details) and who I make for, as well as describe how and where they may use the knives.

His most brilliant statement is, "your work defines you." No; my God defines me. He's created me, and I've been lucky enough to be in a place where I have the freedom to be creative. I thank my country's forefathers and those who died defending my freedoms for that. What I do as a profession is my profession. I love knives, and love making knives as a profession, but there are about a hundred different things I could do with my life; and I chose this profession. If he would have read my bio, he would understand this. This guy can only see the part of me that is on this website, so in his limited vision of me, this is all he sees. Simply put: I am defined in his eyes by the limited scope of this website and its contents, subject to his interpretation. In his eyes, if my server goes down for maintenance, I will cease to exist!

He claims to think he knows how I would like my knives to be judged. This is either the height of arrogance, or the depth of stupidity. This guy does not know me, not in any way! He's seen some knives on my web site; that's all! From that he claims to know what I would like! And then claims that the knives are to be "judged!" I forgot this was a contest-

It's easy to understand why he claims, "rarely people agree with my social views." Yeah? Really? How's that working for you?

And the telling finale: he's searching for a "simple handmade forged 5160 chef knife." Well, I will reveal what I think of that, since I'm a professional. 5160 is standard carbon steel, and is essentially the bottom of the food chain for knife steel. It is weak, not wear resistant, and will corrode and rust at the first sign of moisture. It's used on distinctively cheap, low-end knives, and knives that can be hand-forged by crude methods, which is not the way I make a knife. I respect my clients enough to tell them that, and as a professional will define this as a primitive, cheap, and inferior knife steel, particularly in the kitchen. If he would have read a "significant" part of my website, he would have understood this.

Hopefully, he will add up these points with his mathematical skills, and arrive at a solution.

Khukris and another email that is simply far too long.

Mr. Fisher,
I just spent an informative morning reading much of the content on your site.

Okay, one morning would not yield an understanding of "much" of the content on this site, as it is nearly four hundred pages long at the time of this inquiry. I don't know anyone who can read four hundred pages of a book in one morning, and some of my "pages" are thirty to fifty book page equivalents-

First of all I compliment you on your site and the tremendous amount of work there. Your logic on your quality fixed blade knives is very clear, and I only hope to some day get one of your superb knives. Adding a kerambit-style ring to the fixed blade knives is inspired, and something I have only seen on a R******, which model has limited utility.

Uh-oh. He's going through the complimentary motions. I suspect that I know what is coming, as I've seen this all before. Lure me in and then, wham. This namedropper mentions a knife made by a guy who has poor, squarish designs, lousy grinds and finishes, and beginner's handles with cheap mosaic pins. He's trying to impress.

I believe that your arguments against most factory knives are valid, but also believe there are some clear factory and semi-custom exceptions you gloss over. I love my 1994 R***** 7" tanto in A2, knurled handle and all. I understand the knurling picks up junk, but so does the 30 LPI checkering on my custom .45. The knife is indestructible and amazingly sharp.

Okay, there's the wham. This guy has spent plenty of his hard-earned money on the exact type of knives I do not make, nor am inclined to make, with admittedly, many of the flaws I detail in specifics on this very site. He mentions a boutique shop knife and admits that the cheap knurling picks up junk, but that's okay, because so does the checkering on his pistol. Let me clarify this point: a pistol is not expected to be firmly gripped in order to apply heavy pressure against the cutting edge of the tool (a knife is), for long or extended periods of time. A knife must be gripped, held, secured, and comfortable, as hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds per square inch are directed to the cutting edge. In combat knives, the ability to grip the knife can mean life or death. I doubt he's forcing that .45 into any cutting chore, whamming it against an enemy in defense, or using it to slice a line, stab an enemy, baton kindling, or skin his game. My complaint he's referring to is that finishing a knife the same way you finish a cheap dumbbell and the cheapest of tools is simply a way to save the manufacturer (Boutique shop) money, at the expense of the knife owner, who would be better served with a well shaped, contoured, radiused and finished knife handle that is molded to the human hand. But... that would be expensive. He goes on to forgive this by claiming that the knife is indestructible. Well, I have a crowbar, it's really cheap, but bulky, tough, and heavy, and it is indestructible too. Oh... forget that; I have a rock, a piece of flint that is very hard and thick, and the only thing that will cut it is diamond; so it's indestructible too! I have a flake off that piece of flint, and it is chipped at an 11 degree inclusive angle, and so is absolutely sharper than any steel knife, sharper than a scalpel. He goes on:

I also have great knives from F*********, R*******, B**** N*****, B****** J. N****** and B****** all that seem to have at least some of the defects you outlined.

Ahh! Maybe he does get it! These very names that he drops (boutique shops, factories, manufacturers, and other knife makers) are defined by the defects I detail! Voila! This is why my knives are different, pure and simple! Just because a big name maker or prosperous factory makes and sells a lot of knives does not mean they are excellent knives. It's okay to make and sell knives like they do; as long as you pay a cheaper price. It's also okay to make and sell knives as I do, and it's okay for me to detail the differences and charge more! He continues:

As for your beautiful kukris, I think you are cherry picking the situation here. I have seen J*** P******* world class kukri collection (all sold now,) when he lived in San Francisco, and the large majority were not hollow ground.

Again, with the name dropping. I looked this up, and the guy he mentioned collected machete-knives and field tools, not fine and historical works of high art. I would encourage any one interested in the subject not to reference some website that sells cheap knives and is affiliated with importers who make Chinese and Asian cheap knives, but to actually read some historical works on the subject. But you have to make the distinction that I've clearly done on the site: that there are fine weapons, and there are field tools. The field tool is cheap and common, and not of high value. This is not the pinnacle of the field, the fine historic weapons are. You won't find the answers on a forum or an importer's ad page; you'll find the answers in books, books that you have to purchase to read, or if you're very lucky, can find at your local university's library. Nowadays, no one wants to do the research; they simply want to claim what they read on a forum... after all, buying reference books is expensive.
He will not be stopped, and continues:

I have personally owned nearly 400 kukris, and am perfectly willing to concede that yours are excellent _fighting_ blades, but the kukri is also a tool, and is primarily a utilitarian tool and a fighter second.

Gotta jump in here. Why is it that if a guy owns 400 knives that makes him an expert? It doesn't. Here's what I'll claim: I have personally owned three or four thousand knives. I have personally MADE three or four thousand knives over the course of 30+ years. I have sold them all, and will continue to make and sell probably thousands more (God willing). I make and sell many of these to the most successful collectors, soldiers, and specialists in the tactical and rescue field. Who is the expert here? What I clearly claim on my Khukri page is that the finest khukris are hollow ground, and that I only make fine khukris, not machete-tools used in the field.

In Nepal, they are hand made, from leaf spring or other available stock, by a barefoot "kami" sitting near a hot fire with a 3" square anvil, laboriously pounding out and hand-grinding the final form. Not exactly junk steel that is mass produced, and they are not doing anything new.

You can smell someone trying to inflate the quality of a poor work by claiming it is made while barefoot and of a leaf spring cut from an old Jeep. Yes, I said American Jeep, because if you look it up in real historic texts, you'll find that the Jeep after WW2 was prized for the leaf springs in Borneo and these very springs ended up in khukris. I love how these guys paint a picture: that somehow, a primitive work is better made than a modern piece because of the special traditional foreign name. Thanks, too for describing the fire as "hot." I would not have expected any less. He goes on to dismiss modern steels as junk steels, while modern tool steels are clearly better than any previous steels ever made in history! While there are some low-end knives being made with inexpensive steels, the leaf springs of a WW2 era Jeep is absolutely not considered a fine, modern tool steel suitable for knives! Sigh-

Kukris have been made that way for centuries, all differentially hardened, and the only natural grind on such a tool is the convex grind.

"Centuries?" Have those Jeeps been around that long? And differentially hardened means a steel that is not capable of being both tough and hard at the same place, as modern martensitic tool steels are. "Natural grind?" Nature selects no grinds, man does. What a ridiculous phrase on which to claim his ground.

I don't know that traditional examples you've handled, but a hollow ground kami made kukri would be a rarity, if not difficult for them to make. Any finely ground blade will stick in the work when chopping (the most obvious defect in the over-priced C**** S****** models,) while the convex edge won't, and is stronger and more durable as well.

This is just getting ridiculous. First, real historical sources from museums and printed text clearly show that the finest khukris are hollow ground. This is not debatable. This guy is stuck on a khukri as a machete. He wants to go out back and hack at his gum tree and willow reeds that pester his petunias. He's fused to a point of view that is unbending: all khukris are machetes, therefore, all khukris are ground crudely and convex, therefore, all fine khukris are the same way. He's never even seen a picture of a hollow ground khukri, a fine khukri, or a museum piece, so he's certain that the only ones that exist are the ones he's seen.

These tools are used far more for chopping and digging than they are for fighting. The Gurkhas brought their traditional tools to battle against the British, and the tools/weapons were multi-utilitarian.

This guy has obviously spend a great deal of money on his cheap machete-khukris, and even claims to know what was brought to a battle in the 19th century. I DON'T CARE! I don't make machetes! I claim that the finest khukris in history were hollow ground, and this is all I claim.
Here is a guy trying to discount what I create because he assumes that the shape of a blade must be religiously ground to the very specifications, design, and style typeset of the common image of his creation which exists in cheap, inferior, and poorly made mass-produced knives of the past and current processes. This is the same as saying all knives must be shaped like the butter knife in my silverware drawer, simply because I've only seen plain butter knives, and I have seen hundreds, and I have collected hundreds of butter knives, and thus, all butter knives must be like my butter knives. I've spend a great deal of money on my butter knives, and you should not try to convince me that there are more refined, better made, more worthwhile butter knives than my butter knives! I've never seen fine butter knives in museums, in collector's hands, or in royal palaces, but I will claim that they are the same, crude, and plain butter knives that I own, and can not be different!

Even so, there is a good compromise with traditional kukri between a tool and a weapon. I have several dozen that will do both with ease, and yet which are not hollow ground. These knives can chop logs and branches all day, with far more control than with an axe or cheap steel machete, trim branches, cut through bone, etc., and with a quick touch-up to the convex edge still slice through paper.

Yeah, man. I've got a big screwdriver that I can use as a shank, too. I can use it all day long, and it will never wear out. And control? Man, that Phillips-head can be aimed right at the aorta, and it will do the job every time and never dull. And I can poke it through some paper too, because, after all, paper is the real proof of edge value, right?

By the way, I would encourage you to read what K*** W******* has to say about convex edges. I love a knife that I can touch up on a piece of cardboard

There he goes with the name dropping again. I'm not impressed. A guy who writes about knives and has never made one is not any kind of expert. Who is an expert on historical high-value weapons and their styles? Start with Sir Richard Burton who wrote "The Book of the Sword" in 1884. Please also read the fine text, "Swords and Hilt Weapons," by numerous professors of anthropology, fellows of archaeology, museum antiquities directors, curators of museums, research specialists in metalwork, and societies of arms. In this text, you will actually see fine khukris, and they have triple-hollow ground blades, or blades with up to three hollow ground fullers. Some have solid carved ivory handles, and I'm guessing that is not on your cheap machete knives either... I could list about 15 published text sources, but don't want to go on and on. Please don't use as a reference for historical works a guy who writes for magazines and pop sites on the internet. As far as I know, he has no degree in any works or from any institution and does not have decades of experience making weapons and collector's pieces and then selling them to soldiers, rescue professionals, private collectors, or museums. And by the way, if a piece of cardboard can sharpen a knife, how hard and wear resistant is the knife blade? Most of the steels I use can only be sharpened with aluminum oxide, silicon carbide or diamond abrasives.

Having swung a couple hundred old and new model kukri at everything from a ham to an oak tree, I can tell you without hesitation that the weakness in the kukri design is almost always the handle. The best handles have A) a properly placed finger ring, just as you say, that locks the fingers to the handle, however this often depends on the individual. The kamis have tiny hands and often make the ring too close to the bolster to be usable to westerners (in which case you're best served by sanding it off), and B) a distinct swell to the pommel. The best handles are those found on the chitlangi and chainpuri models, which have almost a bell shape at the end. Even if the handle is smooth with no rings, the harder you swing the knife the tighter it will get in your hand.

The idea of this guy whacking away at his oak tree and the wife's smoked holiday ham hanging in his back yard is humorous. He must be a real warrior, and young and old oaks alike as well as every pig in a sty in two hundred square miles shivers at his approach. He goes on to slam now the handles of his cherished collection- hey, wait, I thought they were the "right" khukri!

By the way, this modern maker understands this well, and with no handle rings still has a handle with superb ergonomics on his CPM-154 kukri. This is a fighter, but I believe the edge is durable enough to withstand heavier chopping as well, plus has a unique sharpened top edge. I think he should use some of the harder wood you use, but other than that it's a great effort. (He lists the steel at 57 Rockwell, s/b 59/60 anyway...) (Link deleted)

What! How can a modern maker create a good khukri if he doesn't squat at the hot fire with his 3" anvil? And making it out of powder steel? Shees, everything this guy has claimed has now melted away. And the modern khukri he references? It's poorly ground with squared off grind terminations which is where the blade will snap, flat ground none the less which means it can be sharpened only twice more and then you have to throw it away. It has a top cutting edge, which is not a traditional khukri style or creation and weakens the cross-sectional dimension of the blade; it has some dinky big gouge between the grind termination and the ricasso, right where the recurve is supposed to be the sharpest, defeating the entire reasoning for the blade shape. I'm guessing that the reason the knife is not ground there is because the maker could not pull it off. It's got a handle that is not bolstered at all, and is held on with four dinky screws and has a fishtail butt. The sheath is typical lousy rivet and single thickness kydex, of course. A very fine example that submarines his weak argument, but he's already wandered away:

Also, I use a lot of A* R ******** on my collection. I understand your objection to coated finishes, and for the most part agree, but have found that the very best rust prevention is with a satin finished blade. The super shiny polished blades will rust earlier if unattended, at least on 1095 and 5160.

Yeah, dummy. 1095 and 5160 are plain carbon steels and will rust at the drop of a hat. He's obviously never owned a fine stainless tool steel blade, only the same steel that is used in say, the leaf springs of a Jeep. The plain carbon steels are absolutely inferior in every respect to modern stainless tool steel blades, apart from one glaring fact: they are cheaper and are used on cheap, hand-forged knives.

After I use a kukri I use oil and a simple green scotch-brite pad to polish out scuffs and give a satin finish, and that holds the oil just a tad bit better, but still looks good. If I had one of your knives I wouldn't change a thing though. As I've said, I've read much of your great site and know how busy you are, so don't expect a response, just my .02 cents worth.
Best regards,
N. M.

Hey, why not just use some 60 grit silicon carbide sandpaper or a wire wheel? It'll scar like hell, but looks great on your cheap machetes. This guy gives himself away by the end of the email. He obviously has spent far too much of his money on his vast collection of ham-cutting, oak-nipping cheap carbon steel machetes, and was hurt to discover that there could be something finer, so had to try to explain away his "investment" in defining the peasant cultural past of Nepal. The sad truth is that not one of those cheap knives is now worth a fraction of what he paid for it. If he totaled up the amount of money he spent to purchase 400 cheap machetes, he could have several, perhaps many, very fine pieces that would be worthy of a collection, and would actually be worth more than he paid for them, something he could pass down with pride. I see this all the time, and it's called "buyer's remorse." If only they would have invested in something that actually is worth more and is better made, and is finer, and appreciates in value... but- no. His answer is to insist that there is only one way, the peasant way, and that will make his vast cheap khukri collection worthwhile.

For my own work, will I be trading in my high chromium martensitic stainless tool steels for the leaf springs of an old Jeep? Will I shed my safety gear and respirator and vacuum furnace so I can squat by a fire in the dirt? As culturally attractive as that prospect seems, I'll have to pass. After all, I've got a substantial amount of orders for fine, well-made hollow ground and mirror finished khukris made from the highest tech modern stainless tool steels. The price of one could buy 500 of the factory khukris he boasts about, so I guess I'm doing something right!

Lessons learned:
There are different knives, all valued differently.
Indestructible does not mean excellent.
Anything can be sharpened.
Dropping names does not validate your argument.
Citing a forum posting or importers ad web page as a resource is weak.
Owning a large volume of cheap knives does not make one a knife expert.
Making a knife from a truck spring while squatting barefoot in the dirt does not inspire confidence.
There are no "natural" grinds. Grinds are made by man, not nature.
Just because you've never seen a fine knife, doesn't mean they don't exist.
If you can't afford one, don't buy cheap substitutes, save your money until you can.

And the final, most important point to learn today:
Do not write the knife maker a long ridiculous letter, or he will post it and use it for blatant self-promotion!

Jay,
I have a WWII German HJ knife in my personal collection that I would like to have etched or engraved. I have attached a photograph of the engraving that I would like done. Is this something that you will do? If so, how much would you charge?
Regards,
B. K.

Wait a minute... you're not asking me to help you create a forgery are you? Work on your Nazi reproduction knife so you can try to sell it as an original? My readers might be surprised how often this is asked, innocently enough... ahem.


Id be interested in doing a review for one of your knifes. Ill be doing a review on some custom knifes soon, and ill be posting this both on bladeforum and my blog which brings in over 1,000,000 people a month.
Thanks
J.

No doubt sent to you for free, right? A review by someone who doesn't even know the plural of knife is knives? How can you be trusted to evaluate knives when you don't even know the very name of what you are evaluating? Hmmm.


I'm pretty new at knife building, but I'm doing pretty well for being new to it. I'm a 100% Disabled Veteran I constantly trying new things to keep from going crazy. I got an Honorable/medical discharge in 1984 & haven't been able to drive since then at least no legally & I don't push it.
I'm new at this knife building new hobby & I am in love with it. I read as much as possible to learn as much as possible & I've started with a few kits jus to get the hang of it. I'm very pleased with what I'm coming out with so far.
I bumped into your web site today & I was wondering if you would be willing to do a scroll type engraving on the Bolster of a really nice knife, when I get to that point. Also I eventually want to get into the engraving in the future. I tried using a Dremel Rotary tool & engraver with no luck. Finally, a few weeks ago I ran into a Lindsey Turbo Carver & each of these had a 400,000 R.P.M. which seem like what the Dr. ordered. If I knew that I was artistic enough to get it. Like everything else, it will take practice. What kind of equipment do you use? Well have a nice evening & please get back to me when you can. Try to educate me as much as you can.
Thank you,
G. H.

"Try to educate me as much as you can? Is that a request? Okay, here's the scoop: want to learn engraving? There are some great books out there, real classics, because man has been engraving as long as he's had metal to work with. Buy them, study them. You'll learn right away the the rotary tool is never used in fine engraving. And if your Dr. ordered it, I'd find another primary care physician...


How much does it cost to carve a name on to a knife?

No, "hello," "how are you," 'my name is," or anything, just this short question. I don't know; ask the guy who uses the Dremel.


Hello I have an old knife my Grandad gave me, and it hand leather bands for a handle.They have rotted and I want to pass this knife on.
Can I mail you the knife and have you make me a handle for it.
Thanks for your time,
B. V.

I really miss those days of the leather bands. The noise, the smoke, the riffs on the guitars, the broken drum heads and the screaming crowds. I'm still deaf in one ear...


Hi my name is J. W. and I am interested in creating the ideal Produce pocket knife. I need a blade that can cut through a watermelon easier than a hot razor going through melted butter, but the problem is I'm not fond of the sheathed knives I've come across. I am looking for a Pocket Knife that would have about a 10-12 inch blade sharp as can be. The handle I would like to have a wooden finish if possible with a little engraving that says R. W. on it, and it will be a present for my brother who's in the produce business.
Please email me back a quote and I would love to place my order and get this going.

(I emailed this response:)
Hello, J.
The reason a folding knife is seldom seen with a blade longer than 4 inches is because the handle of the knife must be larger than the blade in order for the knife to fold. So a folding knife with a 12 inch blade would have a 14 inch long handle. Overall, the knife would be 26 inches long when open. The handle alone would weigh several pounds. That's a pretty big pocket.
I don't make and I know of no one else who makes anything like this.
Good luck on your search.
Sincerely,
Jay Fisher


Hello Jay
I acquired two black rhino horns in 1982 pre import ban and would like to no if you have an interest,and or if I commissioned you to build me a series of knifes and use them for the handles.
J.

Seriously, all rhino species are critically endangered, and there are less than 5000 black rhinos left in the world today (at the time of this writing). I realize that you have old rhino horns, but do you have absolute proof of their origin? I'm certain you don't, for a slip of paper does not physically date organic horn, and that's your first legal hurdle.
The first international ban on rhino horn trade was in 1975, and even today there are continual efforts to strengthen management of rhino horn trophies and implements, which means lots of legal authorities confiscating, and fining, and imprisoning. Like walrus tusk and recent elephant tusk, it's just not reasonable to make knife handles nowadays out of them without a lot of headache. I don't want to be called to testify in your behalf about the origin of a knife handle I made.
There are much more durable and beautiful handle materials! Have you actually seen rhino horn finished? It's compressed hair (keratin) and rather boring and and not particularly distinctive or beautiful, and you really can't tell it from a water buffalo horn. The interest then is the romantic idea of the rhino horn, and not the beauty or durability of the substance. In my world, ideas can be inspiration, but the magic is in the process and execution, not the suggestion that you wrestled a 3000 pound beast to the ground to snap off his only protection from lions or other rhinos.


I was given this knife by my father and after checking out your knives it looks as if it is one of yours.This knife has a bull dog with helmet on and Sargent in front of handle. Any info would be greatly appreciated

Mine? What? NO! Have you even looked at my knives? No, dammit, no!


Hello
I have a blade that does not have a handle. I was wondering if it would be possible to get a handle put on it and how much would it cost? the blade is 8 5/8" Overall, Blade is apx 4" & Handle is apx 4 5/8" and 3/16" Thick.

Great, I have a handle that needs a blade! the handle is 2 33/64" wide, and 27/128" thick. Will that work?


Hi Jay,
I really liked looking around at your knife collection. I actually have a knife collection as well but it's not really mine it was handed down to me from my grandfather. I haven't figure out a really cool way to display it yet but I'm working on it!
Anyway, my name is J. and I am interested in talking to you about placing a text ad on your website. I can provide you with more information if this is something that interests you! I will be able to offer a payment via Paypal or check for the placement of an ad.
Hope to hear from you soon!
J.

Sadly, J., I do not own one single knife that you see on my website. All are sold and in the hands of other people who buy them from me. I only own the photos, and sometimes feel like an empty nester looking over knives now gone. But then, I just go to work making another, and that makes it all okay. But you really didn't write me to establish common ground, otherwise you would know that I don't have a knife collection, but am a knife maker. All you really wanted was to place a rude and inconvenient advertisement on my powerful website. The reason you don't see ads on my site is one of the reasons my site is so popular. Think about it a bit before you write someone else.


Hi Jay,
I am located near you and was wondering if we could set a time to talk in the next few days (let me know if okay). As background, we operate a barter exchange in the Southeast that allows you to trade your products and services for things you or your business need. Go here for an overview:
Overview (URL Deleted)
Sincerely,
S. S.
Vice President
We respect your privacy. If you would like to cease further mail, please click here. For ease follow-up, we have your information as: Jay Fisher, General Practice, Jay Fisher, (WRONG PHONE NUMBER DELETED), jayfisher@jayfisher.com.

Okay, this is just sloppy, rude, and careless direct marketing. I don't know how or where you got my email, but you didn't bother to do one single bit of research before you vomited forth your hasty and ill-conceived advertising email. You're in the southeast; you are not near me; I live in New Mexico. There is nothing I need that is bartered for; know any abrasives or MRO company that trades for knives? The best part is somehow you think I'm a doctor in General Practice, and you've even included the wrong phone number with wrong area code that I've deleted, so people won't see it and call some innocent grandmother in Spokane and bother her about making a knife. And I'm supposed to do business with you? Shees...


I HAVE BEEN HAVING TROUBLE MARKING MY KNIVES ELOQUINTLEY, HOW DO YOU MARK YOUR KNIVES SO DISTINTLY AND PERFECT EVERY TIME?

I START BY NOT SCREAMING MY NAME ONTO THE KNIFE! Rather, I whisper to it gently and with fluency.


Hi Jay
My name is V. from Toronto, Canada. I do engraving and I am looking somebody to make knifes for this purpose. If you are interesting in cooperation, let me know, please
Thank you for your time
Have a good day
V. 

Engrave this in your mind: "The plural of knife is knives."


Meteorite knife drawing

Hello, Sir.
I am sorry to bother you, but I would appreciate very much an advice from you, about how should I embed a piece of meteorite in the blade (stainless steel) of a knife.
As you will notice in the attached picture, it is a triangular piece of meteorite (about 3 mm thick).
I am thinking about cuting a slightly bigger hole in the piece of steel which is about to become the blade, and then fill the gap in between the blade and the meteorite with a copper stripe. Hammering the copper stripe will expand it and will hold the meteorite incased in the blade, or at least this is what I hope.
Could you please tell me what do you think about my idea? Would that work, or should I go better for a tight hole in the blade and solder the meteorite piece directly to the blade?
Looking forward to receive your advice, which I would cherish very much.
Best regards,
A. P.

Perhaps you should hold it up to the sky at night, and wait for a meteorite to strike it. It will embed itself solidly this way and you'll have no bothersome issues. However, waiting for the right sized triangular piece may be time consuming.

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