I make knives focused on ergonomics, high cutting performance, and edge retenetion.
I also do light fabrication and tig welding.
Please excuse the under construction site as I teach myself how to build one.
Contact me at Cowanmetalworks@protonmail.com for in-stock and custom orders.
- Ergonomics: A tools utility and efficacy is bounded by it's interface with the operator. If a tool is clunky, difficult to handle, or uncomfortable, it will make the task more difficult or dissuade the operator from using that tool. Conversely, a good tool will have you looking for opportunities to use it. All my handles are well rounded and smoothed, spines are chamfered or rounded, and choils are rounded. Fit is considered in multiple grips, and handles are shaped to provide retention with form rather than traction.
- Geometry: When viewed at a micro level, knives act as both a saw and a wedge. The thinner your saw or wedge is the more easily it will cut, as it has to displace less material to do so. This ease in cutting also means there is less force acting on the blade, and thus very thin (< 0.004") blades can do surprisingly stout work if used properly. (Force needs to be directed up into the steel rather than laterally. If the knife is thin enough, something very easily cut can damage the blade when cut into and the knife twisted.)
- Steel: A proper steel must be chosen to support this geometry. I use AEB-L. It's a stainless formulated for it's very fine carbide structure and high hardness, leading to very high edge stability (most edge wear is from breakage rather than abrasion), good toughness, good wear resistance, and ease of sharpening. There are steels which are tougher, more wear resistant, and harder. All characteristics in steel are a tradeoff however, and AEB-L sits in the sweet spot for most knife use and designs. I encourage you to read more about it on Larrin Thomas' site knifesteelnerds. In order to preserve the characteristics of this relatively low temper steel, post heat treat grinding is done slowly and with water cooling.