Following is just a brief overview of the approach we take in making precision custom handmade knives.
We began by sketching out the shapes of a handful of knife designs we like and feel are amongst the most popular styles that will be extremely functional and look great too for those who collect knives. Blades are cut from steel billets (primarily Damascus steel though we also work with various stainless grades). We ensure the highest degree of quality.
Once the shape is cut and ground to a final shape with edge, creative hand filework is performed on the spine of the blade to add another unique quality to the knife that adds the "one of a kind" look to the blade. The blade is then heat treated and tempered to an HRC rating of 58 - 61 to ensure strength and edge holding capabilities of the knife.
Next, we concentrate on handle materials. All effort is given toward working with exotic hardwoods and the finest of bone and antler materials as well as fossilized Mammoth tooth and tusk. Later, we'll take a look at specific materials that make up a quality/desirable handle. Pins are chosen to the customer's preference and layout locations are marked for drilling. Once drilled, handle material is rough shaped and affixed to the blade for pinning (bolsters are installed prior to handle material when desired) and heavy duty epoxy. The blade sets over night and once set, the handle goes through numerous hand sanding and power sanding variations to take shape. When the handle takes the desired shape, we then move to the buffer where the handle is worked with care (not to burn) and buffed to a sealed and smooth finish. We usually work the spine of the blade (on most full tang knvies) on a specialized buffing wheel and with a hand tool to bring spine work to a mirror finish removing all visual flaws or scratches in the metal (on mirror finish designs).
The blade is cleaned and prepped for etching the Milinski~Renich logo through an electronic etching process (watch for our blog on "how to make your own etching machine") Once the logo is completed, the knife is reviewed with critical eyes to determine if additional sanding, buffing or polishing needs to take place. The blade is then oiled lightly and ready for sheath fitting/design.