When did you *know* you had to become a knifesmith? Miss ya gramps

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New Member
Oct 30, 2022
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Just curious to hear some stories how y'all came to this very demanding and niche and utterly amazing hobby??

For me- My dad is a lifelong master woodworker as his hobby so I grew up with a toolshop and an awesome pops showing me the ropes of crafting/woodworking

HIS dad was a Marine combat engineer in WWII, drafted in '44 after spending the prior '40-'43 as a machinists apprentice in Cincinnati (originally from Northern Minnesota) making parts for M1 Garands and different types of artillery ammunition -- he was so good that his boss was secretly getting draft deferments for him to keep him in the factory instead of going overseas

That all changed when his dad, my paternal great grandfather, died unexpectedly of a heart attack in mid 1942. It took him a year to decide to give up deferment (which had been made known to him by then); one of his childhood friends had also become a POW at Wake Island in '41, which seems to have also greatly impacted his decision to fight.

He was drafted into the Marines in early '44 and his experience/skill gave him the chance to be trained as a combat engineer and after completing the 16 week course, he shipped out to the pacific and landed at Guadalcanal in Sept. '44. He served with distinction as a non-com combat engineer through the taking of Okinawa and continued service through the end of the war into Occupied China, coming back to the states finally in mid '46.

My own father was the youngest of his 3 children (two much older sisters, my Pa was the baby) so grandpa Hjalmar passed on when I was in 3rd grade.

Even though I was only 9 when he left us, I felt like I learned so much just from being around him, and his memory lives on in the tools/furniture (me and my dad still both use Shop Smith drill press that was grandpas, and is older than both of us!) he made and we still use; growing up, the bed I slept in was framed by him when he was just 16 -- same bed my dad spent his childhood in too, and, if the universe sees fit, the same bed my own future son will sleep in too.

So that's my tale -- my dad was a woodworker, so my primary craft was naturally going to be a different material (still love woodworking, but that's pops' domain -- he doesn't like blood so he's not made out for smithing 😂)

I didn't really get to know either of my grandfathers (my mom's dad died of a heart attack suddenly before I was born -- he was an architect, and a good man and loving father), so while my day job is as a scholar-in-training studying environmental degradation, meta-physics, and the sociology of political violence in sub-Saharan Africa, my passion is down here in our tool shop, mastering this absurdly beautiful trade and hearing the whispers of papa Hjalmar and Herb as I cut my teeth on a new adventure in smithing.

Can't wait to hear all your stories and hope you enjoy mine -- I don't know any of you, yet, but I know why you do this...

Because you can't imagine not doing it

Much love,
Also, if this is the wrong sub-forum for this type of post, I can repost it in the right one -- don't wanna screw up your system!!
even though i have been making knives for a few years now i'm not a knife smith. i probably never will be either.
i just do these as a hobby. i got tired of buying them so i knew i had to start making them myself.

its the same with bike frames. i got my last ones a few years go. straight from the factory in italy. then i decided to simply build them myself.
so i got a tig welder. 2 grand one. and now i'm learning how to use it.

i'm not a frame builder either. but i will build one or 2.
in the early 2000s i got myself 2 turntables and a mixer. and i wanted to mix my own tunes, just like my fav djs.
and when i realized i could do this better than them i simply lost interest.

and its the same with all my hobbies. once you get good enough. it stops being interesting for me.


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