The earliest forms of knife like tools and weapons dates back to Lower Paleolithic period around 2 1/2 million years ago and would have been made from flint, rock and bone. The very first metal knives would have been made from Copper, being double edged and symmetrical type daggers. There are many types of knives, knife designs and uses for them depending on the culture of people and the knives intended use.
It is estimated that around 4000 years ago, in the Bronze age, the first single edged knife was created. The men and women would have used this type of knife for cooking, hunting and carpentry work.
The word knife, itself, is said to come from the old Norse word for blade which is ‘knifr’.
During the early 1800’s the knife making guilds of Sheffield were the largest exporters to America from England. These men crafted excellent and superior quality knives that were consistent. Many blacksmiths and small companies were crafting fine knives domestically but had a difficult time among consumers because of the lack of consistent quality.
There is so much intriguing information about the history of knives and how their are constructed. I will not be getting into the details and immense history but just grazing on some of the information and my past visit with Knife Forger and Mennonite, Sam Stoner from Allen County, Kentucky.
Many of you will remember my writing from a few years back on Sam and other artisans in the Mennonite and Amish communities near where I live. I will be visiting with Sam on the 25th of April to do a workshop, video and photograph session where I will be taught and instructed by Sam, to make an early rendition of a knife. Sam is well known in his community and has been featured on KET.
Sam Stoner is a master craftsman, forger and blacksmith who creates incredible knives and swords in his workshop. These fine knives can be purchased and the best way to get in touch with him is by writing to his address in Scottsville, KY. I will post the address at the end of my writing.
When making a knife, metal is forged by heating a single piece of steel and shaping the metal with a hammer or press while it is very hot.
The lovely jeweling, also known as damascening or engine turning, that is sometimes used on knives and guns is not only aesthetically pleasing but serves a utilitarian function. This jeweling process works to cut down on the internal friction by reducing the area contact from the parts to create a smooth action and end result. It greatly increases the holding capacity for lubricant on surfaces, too.
I look forward to my meeting with Knife maker, Sam Stoner and seeing what kind of knife we will create. Please follow my Blog here to stay tuned on my next story with Sam on the 25th of April!
If you would like to contact Sam he can be written at the address below:
Sam Stoner, Jr.
87 Trice Rd.
Scottsville, KY 42164
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