Blade Show 2011 “The Gunny”

Posted: July 5, 2011 in Events

I recently attended the Blade Show in Atlanta Georgia. It is always good to see the state of the industry, make new friends, and revisit old ones. I must say, however, that high point to this years show was an opportunity to meet R. Lee Ermey “The Gunny” and spend a few moments speaking with him. It seems he is a knife guy and enjoyed showing me the knives he helped SOG create. He also took the time to look over a few of mine and signed the sheath from one of my CL2’s.

Following our conversation I thanked him for taking the time to speak with me and review my knives when he stated, “I learned a long time ago, its doesn’t cost much to be a decent human being”. I guess I have a new quote for the quote book.

IMAG0381   IMAG0383


Forged Damascus Fighter

Posted: June 6, 2011 in New Knives

I am currently forging a Damascus Fighter using Damascus created from 1095 and O1. The Damascus is a twist pattern that was created by Gary Smith and me at his shop in Louisiana utilizing a 25# Little Giant.

25# Little Giant

We used similar steels to give it a subdued look that should match the fighter style well. When finished the knife will have a guard and pommel made from wrought iron created in the middle 1800’s and a handle made from stacked ebony with file worked copper spacers.

Forged to Shape


Posted: June 6, 2011 in New Knives

I created the CL2 as an all around work
knife. It features a Wharncliffe blade made from D2 that is hollow
ground and has a handle made of Micarta. The blade was etched to give it a “well used” and aged appearance.


Bird and Trout

Posted: June 6, 2011 in New Knives

Bird and Trout

Style: Bird and Trout

Blade Material: D2

Handle Material: Buffalo Bark

First Forged Knife

Posted: May 30, 2011 in General
Forged Hunter

Forged Hunter

This is my first forged knife which I forged in 2005. The blade was forged from 1095 steel and is fileworked. The guard is made from D2 and the handle is stacked leather with an elk antler tip.

Welcome to A Starr Knives

Posted: May 29, 2011 in General

Welcome to A Starr Knives

A Starr Knives

I became interested in making knives about 6 years ago when a coworker and I were cooking jambalaya at the office for the crews that were returning from the field. As we were cutting the vegetables to go into the pot I noticed the kitchen knife he was using. It was a chef’s knife with a Hickory handle and mosaic pins. Being an individual who appreciates a good knife I asked him who the maker was and where he got it. He responded “my brother made it”;  I’m not sure I believed him, I mean who makes knives? He went on to tell me that his brother was a custom knife maker who had been making knives for several years and offered to give me his number. As we cooked the conversation changed and I forgot about the knife and the “knife-maker”.

Following dinner we cleaned up the mess and my coworker headed for home. After he left I noticed the chef’s knife laying on the counter next to the sink where he had placed it to dry. Wanting to safeguard it I put it in my truck and called him to ask if he wanted me to bring it by on my way home. He asked me to hold on to it through the weekend and stated he would get it from me on Monday.  Well, that’s were the “trouble” started. I brought the knife home and had the weekend to examine and use the knife. I was impressed by the craftsmanship, the way it felt, and the way it cut. I took the knife by my dad’s to show him and explain that it had actually been hand-made. When I showed him the knife he was impressed as I had been.

As it was the Christmas season, I decided to call the knife maker and order a knife for my dad. I purchased a 5 inch hunter with a stag handle made to fit a southpaw. After I presented to dad he decided he would like to meet the maker and visit his shop.

I got the number from my coworker and called his brother. I didn’t expect to get an invitation but called because my dad asked me to do so. When I spoke to the maker he introduced himself as Gary Smith and told me he would be pleased to have us come by to look at his shop.

When we visited the shop Gary was more than accommodating and explained the forging process and showed us how he created his knives. At this time dad and I both became interested in trying our hands at making a knife. Gary explained how to get started and spent the time to show us how to apply a knife handle. Dad and I went home, started collecting tools and ordered a couple pre-made blades to handle. We enjoyed the hobby but didn’t progress much farther than finishing pre-made blades due to his failing health.

Following the passing of my father I began thinking about the visit to Gary’s shop and how much dad wanted to become a knife maker. I remember the fun I had with him finishing the blades we had purchased and wondered if Gary would take on an apprentice. I kicked the idea around for a few months and then one day called and asked. When I spoke with him he stated he wasnt sure if it was something he was interested in taking on but stated he would give it some thought and give me a call back. About a week later, Gary called me and told me he would allow me to build a knife in his shop after hours If that sounded like something I was interested in. I told him it was. I arrived on that first day intending to make one knife in memory of dad. Through the forging of the steel I forged a friendship with Gary and he has allowed me the opportunity to learn from him since.

I am an apprentice smith with American Bladesmith Society and am working to hone my craft. My goal is to one day be able to call myself a mastersmith and create tools that will be around and cherished long after I am gone.