|My name is David Wesner and I've had an obsession with knives and the outdoor life-
style since I was a young boy. Prior to making knives I worked with steel in the mold
making and machining industry for 25+ years. To put it simply, I've worked with steel
my entire adult life, and I use that experience to create my custom knives and other
I use only new materials for forging my Blades, for making my Damascus and
Laminated Billets. I mostly make my knives using the forging method but also use stock
removal when working with high alloy air hardening steels. The handle materials I use
are almost too numerous to list. Some of my favorites are Stabilized Wood of all types,
Micarta and also G10. I also like Ivory, both pre-ban Elephant Ivory, Ancient Mammoth
Ivory, Ancient Walrus Ivory & Oosik. I'll do my absolute best to find and provide
whatever type material you request for your project.
Most Bladesmiths have the unique opportunity to experiment with many different Blade
Steels. After many years of making and using my own knives, I have and keep in stock,
what I believe to be the best types of blade steels available for any given task. Some of
my favorites for forging are W2, 1095, 1084, 1075 & 5160.
For the Damascus steel I make, I use 1084 & 15N20, an excellent combination that
results in great edge retention, toughness and beautiful contrast. For Damascus steel
used in places other than the blade, like guards, spacers, end caps, etc., I'll periodically
add pure nickel to the mix.
Over the years I've worked with many, many different blade materials. During that time
I've developed very specific heat treat regimens for each and every steel when it comes
to hardening & tempering. Same goes for forging temperatures and thermal cycles
related to normalizing, stress relieving and annealing.
I'm a stickler for details when it comes to heat treat. I take extensive notes, closely
monitoring atmosphere, time, and temperatures, to insure my customers get the best
cutting tools available
When it comes to quenchants, I use engineered products specifically made for that
purpose. I don't use automatic transmission fluid, old motor oil or any other "secret
recipes". For many of my high carbon steels, I use a product called Parks # 50 (IMO
one of the best high speed engineered quenchants available today). I also use
McMasterCarr High Speed, an engineered quenching oil that I've found to be more a
medium speed oil than the high speed oil it's advertised as. It works very well for steels
I use that don't require the extremely fast quench that Parks #50 provides, for example,
I also offer blade steels such as W2, 1095 and low manganese 1075 that are clay
coated in the traditional Japanese style prior to hardening. This process is done to
create beautiful "hamon". It is a technique that many bladesmiths spend their entire
lives learning the finer points of.
On the knives I make using stock removal methods, I've been using mostly CPM steel.
CPM 154, CPM 3V, CPM D2, along with a relative newcomer among the powder
metals, CPM S35VN. All of the above mentioned CPM, or "Powder Metals", obtain their
best performance after going through a "cryo cycle" after hardening or "austinitizing". I
have a 30 Liter Dewar of Liquid Nitrogen I use for just this purpose. The process helps
eliminate any retained austenite that can remain after quenching, something high alloy
steels are known for and the primary reason for the Liquid Nitrogen Cryogenic process
that I put the blade through prior to final tempering and finishing.
After cryo it is imperative the blades go through at least (2) 120 minute tempering
cycles to address the new untempered martensite that was formed during the cryo
cycle. This process results in a knife that posses some of the toughest, most wear
resistant properties available today. Knives that will support and retain a very fine edge
geometry. Like the Master Metallurgist Roman Landes says, "it's the geometry that
cuts - and the steel type and heat treat process that determines for how long"
If you're not familiar with the different types of steel available, and what would be, in my
opinion, the best to use for a given design or purpose, I would be more than happy to
discuss and suggest what I believe to be the best material(s) for your project and why.
You will also see "one of a kind" projects in my Gallery. The only way I can increase
my knowledge and skills is by experimenting with new techniques and styles. If you
see something different looking, that is the reason, "I was trying something new".
I believe it is imperative I try new techniques and materials if I want to move forward in
my knowledge and skills as a knifemaker.
Research and learning about "Bladesmithing" has become a lifelong learning
experience for me. Every Blade I make brings new experience, along with many new
questions. My goal is to bring you, the customer, the absolute best possible tool that
can be made. I am confident that my passion for knifemaking is evident in each and
every knife and sheath I make. I strive for perfection.
Thank you very much for taking the time to look through my site.