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Need advice on knife makers

Jun 29, 1999
I am putting together a suite of knives (maybe 6) all about this size or smaller and then we will submit photos to magazines such as Forbes and Playboy as well as catalogs such as Nieman Marcus, etc. The do stories on production knives, so why not custom knives.

We will continue to buy 2 knives and give one away here.

I have two now, Paul Reynolds and Tom Mayo, that are very different. Kit Carson will try to get me one in time. I want to find 3 other makers that can do different styles but all small gentleman's folders.

What I would like is advice on who the other three might be. Remember, please, that these are small pocket folders in Talonite®. I want all 6 knives to look different. They must look different to somebody who knows nothing about knives.

Then of course there is the June deadline (for Christmas 2001) for these. I realize that many top knife makers just could not fit these into their schedule. (If this works we will try it again next year and maybe catch them then.)

We will be submitting a list withthe pictures of all custom makers who wish to be included.

Very interesting proposal, Don. My compliments on your site and your knives. That "pearl spear" is absolutely gorgeous.
I'll toss in a second Vote for Darrell Ralph. His excellent workmanship always stands out and his schedule is probably flexible enough to meet your June Deadline. Keith Coleman is another Maker that I would suggest you consider.

I'm afraid that you are correct though in that there are many great Makers that would just not be able to meet such a short deadline.

Marine Sniper Motto:
There's no use Running, you'll only Die Tired!
Another vote for Darrel Ralph. Also:
Allen Elishewitz
Greg Lightfoot
Ken Onion
Bob Dozier
and Bob Terzuola.
Hi Tom,
Since you already have a friend of mine, (Paul Reynolds), on your list, please check out another friend from Mt. Shasta, California. His name is Rick Chandon and he makes as nice of folder as you'll ever see. He is an up and comer that can furnish a knife fast and his prices are very reasonable. Please check him out at www.chandonknives.com
I would also put a vote in for Darrel Ralph. He is a true gentleman and always willing to help out when needed. He has many very attractive designs that always keep changing.
gotta jump on the band wagon here.... Darrel Ralph... a class act, and great designs too!!!
You might take a look at Jason Jacks, Tom.


If it fits your needs I'd also second a look at Don Cowles. Very nice upscale gent's fixed blades in a neat pocket carry sheath. The definition of classy. I'd love to see a Playmate holding one.

David Broadwell

Ken Onion

Greg Lightfoot

Jason Jacks

Larry Chew

Roy Helton

Cindy Speer

Michael Vagnino

And not necessarily in the above order!

Oh.......can't forget......Kit Carson and Darrel Ralph !

"Livin' Life - Full Throttle"
"Happiness is a belt-fed weapon & a Walter Brend Model 2!"
I agree with all the other makers suggested. But, my vote goes to Art Washburn. Have you seen his stuff just lately? Man, he makes a killer folder. Just ask Phil2. He'll tell you all about it with pics and stories and advice. Anyway, give Art a look Tom. I'm sure you know him or at least know of him. I like his folders alot. And I've never had the pleasure to hold one.
Art Washburn (again). Makes some beauties in that category.

Ed Van Hoy at Stamascus also makes some great looking gentlemen's folders from Mike Norris stainless damascus.

Mel and Joe Pardue's work in this category gets my nomination as well.


Why not get Rob Simonich to make one. I know he is busy but he was a key player in getting this whole thing rolling and I think he should definitely be included!!


John 1:14
There is a guy in Australia named Neil Charity. Check out his folder tutorial on CKD.
1. Why folders?
Because we can't do them all at once. Because I would like to see custom knives sold as art the same way watches or cars or cowboy boots are. I want something that I can get into Playboy, Forbes, etc. I want something that a rich guy's wife might buy him for Christmas.

2. Why not Simonich?
Every time I ask Rob to make me a knife he gives me that cowboy drawl and says "Sure, Tom, but I am better than 2 years out on orders. If you want I can make you a knife now but it means putting some customers back." Because Rob and I are in the Talonite deal together we think of everyone else as a customer. The customer comes first so I have a real low priority. Rob will make me a knife when he gets caught up.
Thanks for the help everybody.