Hi and Thanks for stopping by.
I've been making knives seriously since 1983 however my interest in knife making started when I was a youth in school. I have been using and carrying a knife for almost as long as I can remember in both military and private life and have always been fascinated by them. I began doing stock removal with the crudest of tools when in high school, but after making a new friend while in the Air Force who taught me to forge knives, I was hooked! I'm sure that my overwhelming attraction to forging was in some part due to hypnotic glow of the fire but most of all I have a natural interest in all things traditional. You will see this in the knives I make, they tend to have a fairly simple and traditional feel.
I first became a member of the American Bladesmiths Society (ABS) in 1987 and began studying the teachings of the ABS Masters while attending several seminars . I have been blessed with tremendously talented friends that have offered invaluable advice and help in my journey through this craft. In 2010 I achieved one of my long time goals when I was awarded the ABS Journeyman's stamp, this would not have been possible without the lords blessings and the support and encouragement of my family and many friends.
As I mentioned above my style tends to lean heavily on the simplicity of traditional knife styles. The bulk of my knives are forged in simple steels that lend themselves to forging very well. My preferred steels have been 1075, 1080, 1084, 1095, 01 and my favorite is 5160. I forge Damascus from these steels in combination along with 15N20 for a little flash of color, I also forge cable Damascus. I make the furnishings such as hilts, pommels, bolsters and pins from mild steel, nickle silver, brass and copper. I make the handles for my knives from a verity of materials such as wood (both stabilized and natural), stag, bone and synthetics. I also make the sheaths for each knife from quality leather in simple and fancy styles.
I heat treat my knives using a differential technique much the same as the traditional makers did when knives where an integral and essential part of life for everyone. This involves a technique that allows the edge to be hardened and then tempered while leaving the bulk of the spine soft, creating a blade that has excellent edge holding characteristics while still being strong and flexible. The Japanese masters are the best knows for this technique however differential tempering has been used by many societies throughout history.
The knives pictured here are an example of the my work. Although some of the knives I make may look similar to one another, each is very unique since I work free hand it is impossible for me to exactly duplicate any knife that I have made. If you are interested in having a knife made or in those currently on hand please feel free to contact me via E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 701-739-8243.
Thanks for your interest and have a great day.
Jim P. Poling
ABS Journeyman Smith