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Knifemaker Scott Roush (aka Makers Market seller Big Rock Forge) first put me on to the work of Arizona bladesmith Tai Goo. Forging a knife out of a railroad spike is an old blacksmith trick, and lots of folks will sell you lower quality “tourist grade” RR spike knives as souvenirs, but Tai Goo is widely regarded as the master of the form. Besides his evident skill, Tai Goo is a minimalist. He practices an art called “neo-tribal knifemaking” that involves using as few power tools as possible. [Thanks, Scott!]

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Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.


  • MadRat

    When I was a kid I used railroad spikes as a tool with all kinds of uses. I never thought to turn it into something else.

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