My name is Jason Wilder and I made my first knife at the age of 12 in 1993. I have always had a fond attraction for sharp pointy objects and one day in 2006 I decided to learn the art of knifemaking and I haven't looked back yet.
Although my hobby is knifemaking, my real passion is teaching and preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have been a full time minister since 2003.
Since ministry is my profession and knifemaking is only a hobby/part time job, I am limited to how much time I get to spend in the shop. Please be patient with me if you have ordered a knife as my waiting list can be long at times.
My Chosen Materials
I am very picky over which materials I use for blade steels, knife handles, and sheaths. Here's some information about what I prefer to use:
52100 Carbon Steel
52100 is a high carbon steel used primarily for ball bearings. Ball bearing steels usually have to withstand a great deal of force in a very small area. Traditionally, ball bearing steels make good edge steels because an edge also has to withstand much force in a small area. 52100 serves that function well.
Oil quenched and drawn to Rc 59, it is a difficult steel to heat treat. A very fine molecular structure permits very sharp edges, even at thin angles. Toughness is good, corrosion resistance isn't. It is not a stainless steel and will have to be cared for.
1095 Carbon Steel
A favorite steel for many knifemakers, 1095 has been the workhorse of the knife industry for decades. It has the potential to excellent hamons and will take and hold a fantastic edge. It is not a stainless steel and will have to be cared for.
1084 Carbon Steel
1084 is a high carbon steel and will rust and tarnish if not properly taken care of, although that will not affect its performance. 1084 is often used in damascus and knives where toughness is needed
AEB-L Stainless Steel
AEB-L is an excellent stainless used in a variety of sharp-edged applications. It was designed for razor blades, so if you used a razor to shave today, you’ve used AEB-L. It is one of my preferred steels because although it is stainless, it is easy to sharpen and will take a very keen edge.
440C Stainless Steel
440-C is a widely used stainless steel in the cutlery industry. A chromium alloy steel, 440-C has high corrosion resistance and can achieve high levels of hardening. Since it polishes up so nicely, 440-C has found its way into many kitchen knife sets. 440C is vastly superior to its Asian counterparts 440A and 440B which is usually used on cheap disposable knives.
CPM154 / 154CM Stainless Steel
154-CM is an improved version of 440-C, a stainless steel widely used for cutlery, with molybdenum added. It has improved corrosion resistance and edge retention, as well as a high wear resistance. While being more expensive than 440-C, its qualities far out way its price.
CPM 154 is a CPM processed version of 154-CM providing a more even distrubtion of carbides, greatly enhancing the attributes of the already popular 154-CM. CPM 154 is easier to polish and grind,as well as having improved toughness and corrosion resistance.
G10 is a composite made of layers of glass cloth and epoxy resin. It has very high flex, impact, and bond strength. G10 comes in a wide variety of colors. It will not warp, crack, or check with changes in humidity or temperature.
Micarta is a composite made of layers of cloth or paper and phenolic resin. Micarta is not as strong as G10, but it still is very strong. It has been "The Steel of the Plastic Industry". I prefer to use Canvas Micarta which comes in Black, Green, and Camel brow (called Natural). Micarta is very light and has a beautiful interwoven texture. It will not warp, crack, or check with changes in humidity or temperature.
Stabilized means the wood has been impregnated with acrylic resin. Stabilization minimizes cracking and checking. Expansion and contraction are also minimized. If you submerge a block of stabilized wood in water it will go into the block but will not be absorbed by the wood. When you remove the block from the water and place it somewhere to dry there will soon be a puddle around the block. Stabilized wood can still crack and will warp with extreme temperature changes. It is a good choice for kitchen cutlery but not suitable for dishwasher use.
Knife Care & Maintenance
In my estimation, Carbon steel knives are better than stainless steel knives but do require a little care. With that being said, there are some stainless knives that perform very well. Here are some tips to help you care for your knife.
* Never store your knives for long periods in the leather sheath. Leather can absorb water, which will rust the knife.
* After use, wash the blade, dry it, and use 3in1 oil, mineral oil, Renaissance Wax, or even cooking/olive oil on the blade to prevent rust. Kitchen knives can be washed and dried without oiling. Carbon steel will change colors with time but will still perform well.
* Renaissance Wax can be used on the blade, handle, and sheath to protect it. Birchwood Casey gunstock wax or even natural shoe polish are other alternatives for the sheath, metal parts, and the knife blade. The blade has shipped with a light coat of oil or wax to protect the blade.
* If your leather sheath gets wet, don’t store the knife in it if you can help it until the leather is completely dry. I like to liberally use Neatsfoot oil on my leather sheaths for protection
* If your leather sheath gets all scuffed up you can simply use shoe polish on it or leather dye and then use Johnson’s paste wax or Birchwood Casey gunstock wax. Rubbing the edges with beeswax, then rubbing with a piece of antler, smooth wood, or plastic rod, then buffing with a soft cloth will restore and shine the edges.
* Never, ever, ever, ever put a knife in a dishwasher. It will dull the blade, possibly ruin the handle, and void the warranty.