My name is Cris Anderson, and while I'm relatively new to the forums, I've been lurking here for about two months now. The information shared here, and the community in general are second to none, and I've quickly found it to be my chosen home on the internet. When I first came here my goal was to learn as much as I could, and share the results of that education (along with a few other things I might be able to toss in) with the forum as a whole. That never changed, but I quickly found out that there's a very firm structure in place for that sort of thing lol. It never even entered my mind not to purchase the Hobbyist Craftsman tag though (once I found out about it!), so here I am.
So, a little about me. I started making my first knife in September of 2008, from a rail spike. It ended up being little more than a shiny letter opener (not enough carbon in most rail spikes!)...but I knew I'd found something that was uniquely tailored to who I am, and immediately fell in love with bladesmithing. My initial tools were an old 2lb sledge I had laying round, a $10 Harbor Freight cast iron anvil I got off Craigslist, a small shop vac, 8 fire bricks, and a half dozen cinder blocks for my forge...and a handful of files. The little knife turned pretty ok if I do say so myself lol. Anyhow that was just the start. I kept on making knives for about six months...first another spike knife, this time HC!...then what started as an osaraku tanto, but ended up a shobu style o-tanto, and finally a 23" ko-katana. My steel choices went from the rail spikes, to some very interesting 1060 rail clips I found in a busted crate by the tracks (I've still got about 75 of them lol), and finally to 1075/1080 from Admiral Steel. At that point we moved, and it took a good while to setup my small shop again. I built a new propane forge from a paint can, and made a handful more blades...some more ambitious than others, and even tried my hand at a kitchen knife (which was the only blade I've really had crack in the quench lol...FIVE places no less!). I cut down the profile and heat treated it again (which it survived lol). The funny thing is...even though it was the thinnest blade I'd ever made to that point, by my current standards it was little better than a cleaver, lol. Anyhow, not long after we moved again, this time out of state. Another six months passed before I got things setup again, but when I did I ordered some W2 from Aldo, and instantly fell in love all over again. This steel did everything I could possibly want, and then some. I even quenched it in brine, lol. I forged out another handful of blades during this time...some of which I completed, then moved back to Arizona. Two years later, here I am. I just setup my shop again about two months ago, and made my first REAL kitchen knife. I'm hooked. So much so that I don't see myself making much else for the foreseeable future lol. As things stand I have forged exactly sixteen blades, one of which was a sword, and three of which I count as knives I'd be proud to have anyone use in a kitchen.
Oh, one other odd thing about me and the knives I make...is that every single solitary blade...has been clay hardened. For me...if it doesn't have a hamon, it's just not worth making .
Anyway, I was told I could have one thread for the purpose of showing my finished work, so I guess this is as good a place as any! I'll refrain from posting work outside of kitchen knives so as to keep with the theme of the forum! I would ask that if ANY of you have any critique or comments, feel free...and don't hold back! I will never improve my ability to make (hopefully) professional quality kitchen knives, if I don't receive corrections and commentary from those of you that use these knives every single day. And honestly...that's my overall goal, to make the best knives I possibly can.
Thank you for looking and hopefully following along,