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"Orion" obverse side view in 440C high chromium stainless steel blade, hand-engraved 304 stainless steel bolsters, Rio Grande Agate gemstone  handle, hand-carved leather sheath inlaid with frog skin


"Kotori" in ATS-34 high molybdenum stainless steel blade, hand-engraveds 304 stainless steel bolsters, Carnival Lace Agate gemstone handle, hand-carved, hand-dyed leather sheath
"Kotori" Custom Knife
  • Size: Length overall: 12.8" (32.5 cm), Blade Length: 8.25" (20.9 cm), Thickness: .172" (4.4 mm)
  • Weight: Knife: 12.5 oz. (354 grams) Sheath: 8.0 oz. (227 grams)
  • Blade: ATS-34 High Molybdenum Martensitic Stainless Tool Steel, Hardened and Tempered to 59HRC
  • Bolsters, Fittings: Hand-engraved 304 Austenitic Stainless Steel
  • Handle: Carnival Crazy Lace Agate Gemstone
  • Sheath: Hand-carved, hand-dyed leather shoulder
  • Knife: Named for the Hopi Native American screech owl spirit, Kotori is a unique and unusual custom knife made for a special client. Light, strong and well-balanced, the Kotori is based on my Midnight and Treatymaker LT patterns, but is larger and more robust, with meatier curves and lines. This is a great evolution of these knife styles and I'm glad my client allowed me the opportunity to make this stunning piece. The knife blade is double edged, actually a differential grind; the main grind is done with an 8" diameter wheel and the spine grind is made with a 3" diameter wheel for a distinctive delineation of the grind geometry that leaves a stout spine running down the center of the blade, but two extremely sharp cutting edges with high longevity. The steel is painstakingly mirror polished ATS-34 high molybdenum martensitic stainless steel, for high toughness and resistance to breakage in the thin edge and point areas. The knife is fully fileworked from choil to choil, throughout the fully tapered tang. The knife is bolstered with beautiful 304 high nickel, high chromium austenitic stainless steel, the same steel used to make tough and corrosion resistant nuts, bolts, and fasteners, seldom used by most other makers because of its tough nature. But it is the best, and that's why I use it here. Additionally, I hand-engraved a deep, overlapping leaf pattern on the bolsters to bring out the character of the piece, and contoured and mirror polished the bolsters for a comfortable, long-lasting finish. The bolsters are dovetailed and bed an incredible pair of handle scales. These are hard agate, specifically a version of Crazy Lace Agate that I call Carnival Lace, due to the wide range of colors and intricate patterns in the gem. There are bands of reds, brown, tan, yellow, and white, with areas of clear crystal and dark inclusions. There is so much to see in this stone that magnifying it only makes it better. Take a close look at the photos below to see what I mean. The agate is very hard, uniformly and highly polished and will absolutely outlast the knife! The handle is smooth and comfortable, and the balance point of the knife is at the forefinger placement in forward grip style.
  • Sheath: I had to make something very special for the sheath, an excellent work in leather that brings the sheath and knife together with a unified theme. It took a considerable investment of meticulous hand-carving, tooling, and hand-dying to bring this out of the 9-10 oz. leather shoulder, and it was worth it. The sheath is long and protective, carved and tooled with the same overlapping and intertwined leaves as the engraved bolsters, and the gentle transitions of dying from earthy gold to fall red contrasts well with the medium brown  background. The sheath is carved, tooled, and dyed front and back, including the belt loop for a complete and beautiful presentation, hand-stitched with black nylon, lacquered and sealed.
  • I love this knife, and am glad I had the chance to input my own creativity into action!

Thanks, S. W.!

Hi Jay.
Received the knife today and to say that it is magnificent is an understatement. Everywhere I look there are examples of craftsmanship from the fine filework to the dovetailing of the bolsters. The hollow grinds are perfect and the balance and weight of the knife is also perfect.
I am pleased that that I stepped back from the detail so that you could add your magic to the package. I am looking at the knife as I type and admiring how the sheath follows the engraving detail on the bolsters...


Please click on thumbnail knife photos
"Kotori" reverse side view. Sheath is hand-carved, hand-tooled, and hand-dyed, even at the back and in the belt loop for a complete work of art "Kotori" spine edgework, filework detail. Filework is throughout the fully tapered tang, knife is light, strong, and well balanced "Kotori" inside handle tang detail. The bolsters are contoured and finely finished, blended to the gemstone scales which are very hard and durable "Kotori" obverse side handle detail. Engraving is by hand, intertwining leaves and intricate shading "Kotori" reverse side view. Few makers attempt to hand-engrave high nickel, high chromium stainless steel, which is tough and beautiful "Kotori" obverse side front bolster engraving detail. This photo is a 3.5 power enlargement of the actual bolster! "Kotori" obverse side rear bolster engraving detail. Smoothly finished and polished 304 stainless bolsters last indefinitely "Kotori" obverse side gemstone handle scale detail. The agate is very hard, tough and solid, with fascinating banding patterns, crysals and inclusions "Kotori" reverse side gemstone handle detail. Carnival crazy lace agate is unique; every piece is a fascinating geological creation "Kotori" sheathed view. I took great care to create a sheath that was stunning and worthwhile for this beautiful knife "Kotori" sheath detail. 9-10 oz. thick leather shoulder is hardened, hand-carved, hand-tooled and meticulously hand-dyed for a permanent, beautiful texture and appearance "Kotori" point and grind detail. These are two differential hollow grinds, mirror polished, razor keen in high chrome-moly tool steel hardened and tempered

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