View Full Version : Bench Time with a Master

Neil Ostroff
06-19-2003, 12:01 AM
As some of you may already know, I had the ultimate experience last week. For 3 days, right before the Blade Show, I was given the opportunity of a lifetime.

Mr. Bob Terzuola had invited me to his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico to allow me to make a knife ? under his direction. I accepted this invitation immediately and the plan was set for my visit.

I flew from Montreal on Monday morning, June 9th on the earliest flight that I could get- (didn?t want to waste any time). I arrived in Albuquerque around noon and Bob was there to pick me up for the 60-mile drive to Santa Fe.

Upon arrival, Bob and Susan showed me around the house and then it was straight into the shop- I was informed that if time permitted, that I would have the chance to make 2 knives.

Bob let me choose which knife that I wanted to start on, so I asked to make a TTF-6 in S30V steel with Stag scales and a Bronze Backspacer. The second knife was to be an MK1- the knife that Bob calls ?My Knife? (His Knife). This one was also in S30V steel, with G10 scales and a burgundy Micarta Backspacer.

Basically, I did everything myself- but with Bob (thankfully) standing over me the entire time- I had never made a knife before and was quite nervous- especially considering the fact that I was in the presence of one of the truly great innovators in the Tactical knife game and clearly one of the biggest names in the business.

Bob proved to be an incredibly patient and skilled teacher- he answered all my stupid questions and never made me feel bad. He said gently ?it happens? when I broke 2 taps and a carbide drill bit ($12.00 each).

Although I did mostly everything myself- grinding the blades, cut out parts on the band saw (there are 3 different saws), sandblasting the parts, engraved my name on the pocket clips, etc?. Bob performed a couple of tasks for me which were considered critical- he put the edge on the blades and also peeled off the plastic coating on the G10 material- also a few other manoeuvres that were ?make or break? tasks.

I think the knives turned out great- I will NEVER sell them- these are treasures to me and I still can?t believe that I did it.

I want to express my sincere and heartfelt gratitude to Bob Terzuola for giving me this chance to spend this time with him. I can say without any hesitation that this was one of the greatest times of my life.

My thanks as well to Susan, her son Alexander and Bob?s sons for their support.

Finally- thanks to Robert Laufer, aka RL, aka RL1 aka Black Belt Mall Ninja, for patiently teaching me how to post the pictures.

Here are the knives- in the following thread I show a few pictures of the visit in progress.

Thanks for taking the time to look at all this.

Yours truly, Neil

06-19-2003, 12:37 AM
#### Neil!!! Those are awesome!

Man, I'll bet that was totally fun. You couldn't pick a better custom maker to work with, either. The images look great and the shop looks really ergonomic. I wish I had been there with you guys!


06-19-2003, 06:26 AM
What an opportunity!!!

Neil, regardless of Bob's coaching, those knives show us you really know how to pay attention and do skilled work. What a great feeling, fitting all the little parts of the puzzle together. :D And what respect you have gained for the entire process!

I'm glad for you BIG TIME! Tell Bob his plan worked--I have that much more respect and now desire for one of his pieces! :D Gotta start saving. Hey, know any good deals out there....?! :smokin

I'!!!! :evil


( Man, what a first-class clean shop!!!!! )

Jamey Saunders
06-19-2003, 08:08 AM
I'm positively green with envy!

Those are really nice. They look flawless. It always helps to have a great teacher, but it looks like there's a lot of talent in the student, too.

Kelly Carlson
06-19-2003, 08:34 AM
Great opportunity which you certainly maximized with a two wonderful looking knives!

06-19-2003, 09:06 AM
So enjoyable to see your posts. To be one on one with Bob as you create these two beauties will be a moment in time you will never forget.
Thanks for sharing pictures and your thoughts.
And Bob so gracious of you to share your time, home and skills with Neil.

A T Barr
06-19-2003, 03:41 PM
Originally posted by Neil Ostroff
Mr. Bob Terzuola had invited me to his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico to allow me to make a knife ? under his direction.

Ya did good Neil.:)


"Don't you buy no ugly Knife"
New knives added 6.08.03

06-19-2003, 08:08 PM
#### Neil!!! Those are awesome! alex took the words out of my mouth, neil. these beauties look every bit as good as the one's on your site! and i agree with jamey again - having a master to tutor you is one thing, but without any talent you could not have done nearly as well.
great story, too.