Reviews: Custom Knifemaking

Guns and Action magazine
February, 1986

Tim McCreight compares Custom Knifemaking to a cookbook and his knifemaking projects to recipes, urging his readers to go beyond his recipes, mixing, matching and inventing their own original components. If you've ever wanted to make your own knives, McCreight's detailed step-by-step instructions can get you started. Here you'll find how to make blades as different as a kitchen parer, full-, partial- and through-tang knives and a Damascus steel dagger.

To become a knifemaker you need to know the tools of the trade so McCreight takes five chapters to give you this necessary background. These chapters deal with tools, metallurgy of tool steels, knife shapes and sheaths, and making a forge. Once he gets down to cases, he begins with an overview of knife construction that lists materials and gives an exploded diagram, scale drawing and photograph of the finished blade. Design considerations come next. Here McCreight briefly considers form and function. Only then does he get into the step by step process of making the knife. Line drawings and photographs illustrate each step of the knifemaking project.

To encourage his knifemaking "cooks" to think of projects beyond the scope of his book McCreight includes photographs of handcrafted blades by other master craftsmen. These pictures show everything from a Damascus dagger by Shiva Ki to a small kitchen chopper Michael Croft. In between are dozens of examples of the knifemaker's art. If you want to build your first knife or find a new idea for a knife project, check out Custom Knifemaking.