First Custom Folder

Oct 1, 1999
Back in Sept. through no fault of my own I got the urge for a knife, that wasn’t on my “Wish List.”

I was distracted from the knife I really wanted to have made which was my first Custom made folder.
I’m real happy with my OGG Bowie.

I looked at the NYCKS for a folder that would satisfy my desire for a custom folder, althought I saw some beautiful knives (and did buy a couple) there was nothing that was just what I was looking for.

So, it was time to start talking to a custom maker about what I wanted made. I decided to ask Art Washburn
if he would be interested in the project, and he was. I told him what I was looking for and although I love the knife on his site, I wanted something just a little different. I told him I wanted a stainless Damascus blade 3” wharncliff, stag scales (surprised huh?) with a handle shaped like a Loveless style drop point hunter. I sent Art some rough drawings and within minutes Art got back to me with his design. As luck would have it I still had Sunday at the NYCKS to go back and buy some stag for the project. PJ Tomes was kind enough to pick out the stag scales for me. Art has the stag now and he told me last night he also has the Damascus, raindrop pattern.

And here is the final drawing I submitted to Art.


I know that Art will add his own special touches to make this knife a Work of Art....

I told Art, when it’s finished it goes straight to Gary Graley AKA G2 for one of his leather sheaths.

"Will work 4 Knives!"
My PhotoPoint Site

Congratulations! That is going to be one heck of a beautiful knife. When will it be finished?


Louis Buccellato
Knives, Weapons and equipment. Best prices anywhere.

"only the paranoid will survive"
Phil, I love that design, and you can never go wrong with stag! Art makes some awesome knives!

Always think of your fellow knife makers as partners in the search for the perfect blade, not as people trying to compete with you and your work!
Buzzards gotta eat, same as worms!!!
I'm excited for you Phil! It should be a terrific knife. All the choices you have made for it will make it a wonderful little knife. I hope you are planning to carry and use it.

I don't know if you like this idea, but a thong hole or a ring fob might make it even more special. Another small detail to think about is the thumb stud. Liner-lock or lockback? Flat ground I hope. Enjoy the wait!
That's a great looker alright. Love the way the blade and handle go together.

Best part of buying custom knives is that you can have a very personal and special tool built to match your dream. I have a folder on order from a maker and the feeling of having something made just for for you is great. Doesn't happen in almost any other business today.


"Praise not the day until evening has come;a sword until it is tried; ice until it has been crossed; beer until it has been drunk" - Viking proverb

[This message has been edited by redvenom (edited 11-24-2000).]

[This message has been edited by redvenom (edited 11-25-2000).]
Hmmmm Stag and a Wharncliff, it might take a while to get that sheath done

Just kidding but that knife looks like one that I'd love to have as well! Good choices there PhilL !


"The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions!"
Take the time to read your Bible Now, don't be left behind...

That is going to be a real beauty when completed!!!!

Stainless raindrop pattern wharncliff dam. blade, with stag scales is going to look awesome!!! You going with dam. bolsters as well??? I think that would really set it off!!!

I have never handled one of Art's knives, but from what I have seen on the net, and all the compliments I have heard about his work, I don't think you could go wrong!!! As a matter of fact, I have been working on a custom slipjoint project with Art, and we have basically got all the details worked out.... I don't want to steal any of your lime light here, so let just say; 3 blades of high contrast carbon raindrop damascus, genuine mop scales, and a real unique whittler pattern....

One of the things I really admire about Phil, and a lot of other knife enthuasist's, is the amount of heart and soul that goes into the whole custom knife design/ordering process!

It really pleases me when I see an individual that is so passionate about a project.... Just from what Phil has posted here, and from a few really brief discussions in IRC chat, I can tell you guys that Phil has spent a great deal of time on the design, choice of materials, selecting a maker, deciding on a sheath; etc. then most people will ever know when they see the finished product!!!

As many of you already know, that is just one of the benefits of ordering a custom knife... Then there is the special friendship that one establishes with the person who makes your dream into a reality!

It is quite a feeling!!!

Thanks for posting guys.
Louis, I'm hoping it will be finished by Jan. or sooner, one thing I've learned is not to rush a maker, it'll be finished when it's finished.
Para, this will be my EDC knife, it's my plan to use it and Art knows that. It is going to be a linerlock, I believe Art only does flat grinds, and there will be a thumbstud, Art mentioned something about that being Damascus too. I really like the idea of the thong hole, why I didn't think of that?
Gary, if Art will put the thong hole in will you do a matching braided thong to go with it?
Gene, you're not stealing my thunder I'm almost as excited about your knife as I am about mine, especially when it's from the same maker.
I came to this knife thing kind of late in life. I know I can't buy all the knives I love, so part of my pleasure comes from hearing about other peoples knives, reading about them, seeing pics, and once in a while to get the chance to meet fellow BF's members and see their prized knives.
The reason I post these threads about how my custom knife projects come together (this is my fourth) is to encourage other members to have their own custom knives made. There are a lot of talented makers here, willing to work with you and sometimes at prices that it's hard to say no to.
Hey Guys I'm glad to work with anyone on thier projects. I enjoy the whole design part and talking with you on how you want it to look. And besides Im as obsessed with knives as much as the next Guy.

Arthur D. Washburn
ADW Custom Knives

Great looking design, make sure you post up some pix when it is done. I not to long ago had the opportunity to meet Art when he was here in Tx. at a hammer-in and got to see and handle a number of his pieces. Fit, Finish, Design, Estetics, Usability, it is all there. I am sure you will be MORE than happy with the finished knife.

Now if he would just grow a couple inches so you could see him behind his table at the shows. Short bastid.

Medicine Man of the Extinct Fugowee Tribe
I forgot to mention that I've never handled one of Art's knives, but I've heard so many wonderful things about his work and what a great future he has in the knife business, that I orded this knife with complete confidence that I'll be thrilled.....wait a minute....I heard all these great things from Art.......Hmmmmmmm?
Nice design,all it needs now is Mokume bolsters or a nice anodized titanium bolster(color?)blue,purple,gold?I can picture it already in my head,should look real sharp with raindrop Damascus & stag.Good Luck and keep us posted.Ralph
Well, just to bring you up to date, I heard from Art last nught on Chat my knife is going to be ready sooner than I expected.

Now, I'm waiting to hear back from Gary Graley about the turn around time on the sheath?

I asked Art about the thong hole Para sugested, and he said it wouldn't work.

He did tell me the bolsters will be in matching raindrop pattern Damascus.

This knife may end up being my Christmas present instead of my birthday present to myself.
damn phil,ya non bastid hatin bastid.
that knife is really coming together.looks good.beautiful knife.let us know how it holds up.
Phil, thats a beauty, nice work Art!


"The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions!"
Take the time to read your Bible Now, don't be left behind...
Very nice work, Art. Congrats Phill, that knife looks like its shaping up nicely.

I think I can see a Washburn knive in my collection in the future. I'll be in touch when I figure out the knife I want. I wish some other makers were more accomodating of their customers. Ironic that some 'custom' knifemakers don't do custom orders...


"Praise not the day until evening has come;a sword until it is tried; ice until it has been crossed; beer until it has been drunk" - Viking proverb
She isn't finished yet, but Art sent me some update pics last night and I thought I would share them with you. This is turning out way prettier than I ever imagined.
Gary Graley gets the knife before I do so that he can make the sheath, and I asked him as a favor to take some pics, and write an impartial review when he gets it. I couldn't think of anyone better for the job.