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I’ve wanted to get into knifemaking since I was a teenager, but for years had been deterred by the belief that I first needed to buy a bunch of expensive equipment, like a 3-wheel belt grinder and an annealing oven. Then I found Wayne Goddard’s $50 Knife Shop, which is a compilation of material originally prepared for Goddard’s eponymous column in BLADE magazine. It kind of does for knifemaking what Dave Gingery’s books did for foundrywork, going back to the historical fundamentals of the technology to get at what you really need to do good work. Goodies include homemade forges and anvils, homemade disc and belt grinders, scavenging steel for blades (including forging wire rope to make Damascus steel), finishing techniques, backyard heat treating, and a whole chapter on “tribal knifemaking,” which is the modern art of making knives without using electricity. Fascinating stuff.

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I write for MAKE, serve as Technical Editor for MAKE magazine, and develop original DIY content for Make: Projects.


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