Custom Knife Creations by John Pawlowski


About the Process

Voting Member of the Knife Makers Guild.

How I create a knife

First a design is selected: My hunting, fishing, and my military experiences play a definitive role in what I have developed for my working patterns. For my self defense or combat patterns I might rely on the guidance or view point of a few trusted clients as well as all available literature regarding the specifics of these designs. I will however interpret the requirements to create and deliver my rendition of designs fit to the task required.

Next I pick the steel: I work with 440C, 154CM, ATS 34..and on occasion I will buy Damascus barstock.

After choosing the desired pattern and steel, the blade becomes a mission. Profiling, drilling for pins or bolts, scribing center lines and notching for guards all take place. The last requirement is the bevel. I grind the bevels of my knives free hand. That means I stand at my belt grinder and create the grind line or bevel for the blades edge without any mechanical holding or pattern device.
Heat Treating::"If as a knife maker I make the body of the knife, the heat treater creates the soul". I rely on professionals for this task.. I currently utilize the talents of Paul Bos, in California, and Bob Willis in Alaska. Both men are extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the quality of their workmanship.

Once the blade returns: The blade bevels are cleaned and brought to a finish or ready state. Guards are attached and handles are prepared and epoxied in place. The particular glue compound I use takes all of 24 hours to cure. Once the glue is dry the process of handle shaping is started.

The handle shape and hand sanding: The material is shaped and brought to finish or a luster with progressively finer sand paper grits until the grain is closed. Then I lightly buff the handle and the blade until the desired polish is achieved.

Lastly a covering or carrying device, ie Leather Sheath or some other material compatible with the design and the intended use is manufactured.



Fixed Knives


Folding Knives

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