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Ed Caffrey's Workshop Talk to Ed Caffrey ... The Montana Bladesmith! Tips, tricks and more from an ABS Mastersmith.

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  #1  
Old 05-26-2017, 10:19 AM
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Ed Caffrey Ed Caffrey is offline
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2017 Blade Show Preview

I just finished building/uploading a preview page of the knives I'll have available at this year's Blade Show. Rather then clog up the forums with photos, here's a link to the webpage, where you can see them all in one place.....

http://www.caffreyknives.net/blades_show-preview.html


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Old 05-26-2017, 11:13 AM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Nice knives Mr. Caffrey. Very high quality and purty too.
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Old 05-26-2017, 11:07 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Mr. Caffrey, do you ever make plain knives? Just thought I'd ask. I make some nice plain knives like my filet knives, but out of premium S30V steel. Sold them all in 2 weeks down in FL. Charter skippers love my knives, but they are under $200. Pardon me as I'm just curious what a well known knife maker sells besides the beautiful knives you have in your link. I hope you don't mind the question.


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Old 05-27-2017, 07:52 AM
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Ed Caffrey Ed Caffrey is offline
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Morning Jim!

It's all a matter of perspective.... and I suppose evolution as a knifemaker. I consider many of the knives that I'm taking to Atlanta as "plain". There's also the matter of what people and clients have come to expect from me. It doesn't take me much more time, and no more materials to make a knife feel and look as good as it functions.

I've always worked from the notion that a knife is first and foremost a tool. What that means is I put just as much, or more emphasis on the blade's "usability" as I do everything else. All of the "extras" that separate my knives from being "plain", are those things that people have come to expect in my knives, and things that I enjoy doing.

I think it's interesting that you mentioned "premium S30V steel". Because of where you live, and the environment where you're clients use those blades, the corrosion resistance aspect is very important. The majority of my client base view that particular steel as a "fad" steel. I've made a number of knives from it, and none of my clients like it, because at it's target hardness, it's extremely difficult for them to resharpen. If feel that's something that many Knifemakers overlook....the client being able to maintain a knife.

Personally, I can't imagine building any knife from S30V, and selling it for $200 without loosing money. I suppose it all boils down to the fact that any handmade/custom knife is worth what a client will pay for it, and what the individual Knifemaker is satisfied with getting for any given knife. I spent a lot of years building and selling forged Hunters in the $150-$200 range.... but doing so lead me to where I am today.... currently my forged Hunting Knives start at $400, and more often sell in the $500+ range. That has as much to do with building/maintaining a good reputation, as anything. And that only comes from doing the very best I could on ANY knife that ever left me shop.

I think the thing that separates many makers is how they look at building a knife.... I know many who will only put a given amount of time into building a knife, if their intent is to sell it for a specific dollar value. My view has always been that it doesn't matter how much time and effort I have to put into a knife.... if my name is on it, when it leaves my shop it must be the very best I can produce, or is simply doesn't leave.

All that being said, I have to smile when I think about all the different knives, knifemakers, and philosophies of knifemaking that exist. That's something I find really cool about his craft....there's room for everybody, every method, every mindset, and every kind/type of knife.


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Old 05-28-2017, 10:10 AM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Thanks Mr. Caffrey.

I know you have a name and your knives will fetch a higher price than mine even if they were exactly the same. I was just looking at the knives you have in your link and to me they are all really fancy knives even though as you said they are quite functional. Different perspectives and different equipment. I do not even have a buffing machine or anywhere to put it if I did, let alone a forge of my own.

My filet knives were all hand finished with a linear 600 grit finish and 3/16 mosaic pins and dymondwood, but I made about $100 profit per knife and when I sell S30V I always give a small 600 grit diamond EZE Lap field sharpener, as they are only $5 at USA Knifemakers. I did my fit and finish very well and I never consider how long for how much when I make a knife.

I only make a couple of knives a month, with the exception of the filet knives where I made 10 and lost one, but it was spread out over a couple of months. I've found myself doing leather work more lately from sheaths to purses and wrist/watch bands. I have found I like leatherworking as much as knifemaking. I can certainly sell it faster.lol Wait till you see my oyster shucker which kept getting put off and now I'm finally getting around too.

Oh the filet kives were HT at Peters HT as I don't have an oven either.

Last edited by jimmontg; 05-28-2017 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 05-28-2017, 05:21 PM
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Ed Caffrey Ed Caffrey is offline
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That's what I have always thought is so great about being a knifemaker....there's room for every material, technique, as well as each individual's "visions" for the knives they make. I think that based on your locale, you're right on the money with the type knives you make.

When it comes to equipment, I often have people visit the shop and gasp at the tools and machines they see..... but there isn't much of it that was purchased brand new, and it took me 30 years of "gathering" to get it . Unless a person is independently wealthy, I can't image anyone being able to start from scratch and fully equip a knife shop.

I have to smile whenever anyone says "you have a name"..... it's nice to know that some folks feel that way about me, but I've never considered myself anything more then just Ed. I've seen individuals who got "the big head" about themselves, and that scares the heck outta me. I just have a good time following this knifemaking path, and for the most part enjoy the daylights out of the people I meet along the way. I would have to say that the most satisfying part of knifemaking for me, is being able to see those I've taught along the way exceed my capabilities.... if that happens, then to me, I did my job correctly.


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  #7  
Old 05-28-2017, 08:02 PM
Gabriel G Gabriel G is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Caffrey View Post
My view has always been that it doesn't matter how much time and effort I have to put into a knife.... if my name is on it, when it leaves my shop it must be the very best I can produce, or is simply doesn't leave.
Mindset I need to have. hard to do sometimes.


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