JMG SteelWorks

​Craftsman Knives & Razors. Handmade. With No Compromise. 

Pencil and paper. I draw out all of my blade ideas in a 1:1 format to get a sense of their correct size and dimensions. For custom orders, this is a process of back and forth, where I translate my clients image of the blade they want to paper, and review, re-review and re-review, until it is perfect and exactly what they are after.

Then, the fun part! The firing of the forge! I built my forge myself. Bladesmithing is a dying art form, and where once every town had to have a blacksmith, today only a few thousand blacksmiths remain in all the world, and fewer still specialize in knives, and fewer still in razors. This all means that the tools of my trade are specialized and not produced by manufacturers. The Bladesmith of today needs to be able to craft their own specialized tools for the types of knives or razors that they are making. And the forge is the heart of this whole endeavor.

I purpose built my forge to run extremely hot. Burning every ounce of oxygen put into it, so that my forge welds hold true. To hear the sound of this at full blast is deafening, and the heat it produces is enough to burn you at three feet away. Inside temperatures exceed 3,000F. 

The last step for all of my blades is to be hand honed. My edges are some of the finest in the world. When I say a razor is, “shave ready” you better believe that it will provide many, many wonderful shaves to the owner. 

Billets for layered steel that is pattern welded, are then thoroughly cleaned, ground perfectly and clamped together for welding. Here we see three billets, ready for the forge.

Now, I begin assembly. This is actually done several times for each razor. The piece is temporarily assembled completely, everything is checked for fit and finish. If anything is off, it is disassembled, fixed and reassembled and re-checked. This is done over, and over and over until the razor or knife is perfect.

My pieces are done in only small batches. Three maximum. This is so I can give individual attention to each piece. I’m never rushing to try and fit in as many blades as possible into the kiln. In the end, it makes for a better heat treat, more attention to detail and a finer final product. Here we see three blades, just after being quenched.

Once the piece is cut free, I begin refining the shape on my 2 x 72 belt grinder. I’ll also fully flatten the piece, to ensure that it is ready for bevel/hollow grinding.

The next stage is a time consuming final grind and the beginning of polishing. This step is by far the longest of them all. The grinding must be precise, and the polishing perfect. There is no fast way to accomplish it. It simply boils down to hard work, focused attention, and lots of it.

Once the correct scale material is selected, I draw the pattern for the blade it will be a part of, and cut that pattern out on the band saw.

Everything begins with my imagination.

It is through this process that all of my different blades are crafted. From straight razor to chef knife to EDC or tactical fixed blade, all of my knives and razors are handmade and forged, one at a time, without the assistance of any CnC or milling machine. I do not have my steel pre-cut, nor do I purchase my Damascus, Suminagashi, San Mai, or any other type of forged billet from pre-made source. I forge and craft all of my billets myself, to ensure that the quality of my steel is without question or compromise.

Let me take you down the path and process of how I handcraft all of my blades.

For the next step, we move on to the scaling of the blade. This can be done with any number of materials. Mostly, I use natural woods, and treat them myself, in my shop, depending on their use. I have a wide selection to choose from.

To place your order for a custom blade of your own, click on the button below!

From chunks of steel and blocks of wood, I painstakingly transform my raw materials into the fine tools you see on this website.

My warranty is forever. Because I build my blades to last that long, and then some.

Then, we move to the next time consuming process of bladesmithing. The sanding of the scales. This is a multi-level and many step process, bringing out the natural beauty of the wood, and making sure it is done with special attention to wood grain and symmetry.

Next step is to grind off all the forge scale and flatten the billet. Then, I use a machinists’ dye on the billet, and draw out the pattern of the knife or razor that will be made from the steel.

I buy my steel in many different shapes and sizes. Because I forge every blade, the initial shape of the steel that becomes one of my knives or razors is mostly dependent on the type of billet that will be used to create the blade itself. For single steel blades, normally square stock used, for a layered Suminagashi or Damascus steel blade, I use flat sheets of steel. I cut and shape the raw stock as needed for the pattern I wish to create in the steel

The forge is a demanding mistress.  It takes years of practice to learn the correct color of the steel  which gives you the proper temperature to get the right forge weld for the different steels. The work is hot, hard and grueling.  Today’s Bladesmith does this work not because they need to, but because the love to. Otherwise, one would have to be insane to want to work this hard.

For layered blades, there are numerous ways to pull out the coloring of the different layers of steel. From acid etch to gun bluing, and even Japanese traditional hamon polishing is used to bring out the beauty of my blades.

With the patterns scratched in, I move to the band saw and rough cut the blade from the billet.

From the forge and anvil comes a new steel. This billet has fused all of the different metals together. They will never come apart, being permanently bonded together, forever. With a quick grind to the edge of the billet, you can see the different metals layered in the billet.

Once the piece has been rough ground and fully profiled, it goes into my kiln. I use an electric kiln with a calibrated pyrometer to ensure exacting temperatures for the heat treat. This is critical to get proper hardness of the steel. Everything comes down to doing a correct heat teat. Too hard and the steel will be brittle and never withstand daily use, to soft and the edge will never hold, making a useless blade.

Next comes the initial grind for the piece. Be it hollow, flat, or any number of different knife and razor grinds. As this process happens, you can begin to see the layers of the piece as I grind through to the high carbon core.

Finally, after the knife or razor is deemed perfect, and fully through my inspection, I write up the certificate of authenticity for the piece. Many times, I will do this on a 100 year old typewriter that I fully restored. (I rather enjoy using it, with its old clickty-clack sounds. If you happen to be one of the lucky recipients of an analog typed certificate, keep it safe! There will not be many of my pieces with that particular certificate, and it’s value is significant.) I then wax seal the certificate, sign it and get the piece ready to ship!