How I got started...

 

        For whatever reason, I have always had a fascination with knives. When I would go grocery shopping with my mom as a child she would always buy me those plastic hunting knives with a sheath in the toy section. They were not very durable so they didn't last long. When I got a bit older I was able to get a couple cheap "real" knives. They were not very good but I was hooked. Then one day when I was 14, I was watching Rambo in my bedroom. My sister's new boyfriend came in and told me that his uncle was Jimmy Lile and that he had made the first two Rambo movie knives and that his knife shop was just a couple miles down the road from us. Jimmy had passed away a couple years prior but the shop was still running with a couple of guys still making his designs. So, I would ride my bicycle down to the knife shop every other day or so and drool over the knives in the showroom. I would talk to Jimmy's wife Marilyn and the guys asking tons of questions and getting all the info that I could. They were VERY patient with a kid taking up their time. Marilyn gave me a copy of Bob Loveless's How To Make Knives book, a bunch of Blade Magazines and even a newspaper article on Jimmy from 1983 that I still have today. I am certain that I would have never started making knives if it wasn't for them! So I would go home and use whatever tools my dad had and whatever steel I could find and would try to make them since I couldn't afford them being a kid. My tools eventually got better and so did my knives. It has always been a hobby and I made lots of knives for family and friends and would get outside sales here and there. Fast forward twenty-five years or so, I am currently a full-time maker and I have put almost all my focus on high-performance kitchen knives.

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