I would guess there are many reasons but the two main I could think of are:
Originally Posted by Ruso
1) this would be by the request of the marker(s) themselves. Keep in mind the knife making industry is very different over in Japan.
2) the competition would try and have the knives copied (this has happened in the past and is part of the reason this website exists). So keeping your markers and/or steel becomes a unfortunate necessity
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yeah... thats pretty accurate. For me, the important thing is that I know who does what (even when sometimes it is hidden from me), so that i can explain to my customers how any given knife might be expected to perform based to that craftsman's heat treatment, grinding style, forging style, etc.
Originally Posted by bkultra
I don't think you can get Hitachi White steel "B" stock - White is White. It's the craft that goes into the blade that makes it good or no. Carter has exceptional talent IMO - there are a lot of guys forging, but not to the extent that Murray takes it. His sense of tradition - forge, anneal, cold forge, ect. is what sets him apart at least domestically. I've seen video of Japanese craftsmen cold forging, but never an American other than Carter. Please inform me of any I'd like to check them out.
I just remembered something I read him saying that his master insisted he make the blade "thinner" when he was an apprentice.