Book Review: Wayne Goddard’s $50 Knife Shop

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Book Review:  Wayne Goddard’s  Knife Shop

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.

4 thoughts on “Book Review: Wayne Goddard’s $50 Knife Shop

  1. Will says:

    I got started with a piece of rail road rail, a one brick forge, and bernz-o-matic propane torch. It’s a great book to get started, ang it hass good ideas for a limited budget.

  2. jeradc says:

    No link to the book, or author’s page, or…?

    1. Sean Michael Ragan says:

      Woops! Thanks for pointing that out.

  3. bit101 says:

    There’s a lot of info in this book, but if you’re looking for how to start making knives, this is not the one. This is more like someone took a bunch of articles about making knives, ran them through a shredder, and put them back together randomly. You’ll find yourself jumping back and forth and all around and still missing a ton of basics.

    If you are starting from scratch, I highly recommend “Custom Knifemaking” from Tim McCreight. Once you’ve made a few knives, come back here to pick up some pro pointers.

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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 My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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