Meet the maker
My name is Mike Smith Dip WCF.
After leaving school in 1984 I spent 10 years working on a large arable and stock farm. But after 10 years I wanted to pursue a life long fascination with making things especially from metal, so I decided to investigate an urge to shoe horses.
I was lucky enough to gain an apprenticeship in farriery from November 1994 to March 1999 with Nigel Howes AWCF, in and around the surrounding area of Bath.
After gaining the diploma in farriery I came home to Somerset and set up on my own, shoeing all types of horses in Devon and Somerset. I have been making knives as a hobby since the beginning of 2017.
My aim is to make simple, elegant knives that look great, modern but not in your face and over fancy.
Being a farrier I'm using hand tools all day long and I know the importance of using good quality, good looking tools.
For me though, they really have to work well. A good looking tool that doesn't perform is useless!
All my knives are individually handmade and have their own identifying number. We also individually hand make all the leather work and sheaths. The heat treatment and tempering is also kept in house. Most of the mosaic pins however, are out sourced.
I personally design all my knives unless the client wants to be involved with a design of their own knife.
My aim is to produce top quality, bespoke knives that not only look good, are razor sharp and perform very well.
"Nothing fancy, just great looking work horses."
The knife making process.
We only use the finest materials to make our knifes. Specialists knife steels like RWL 34 and Sandvik stainless steel make fantastic blades. There was a time when stainless was to be avoided but no longer, stainless steals have come a long way and are now my steel of choice.
The leather we use is vegetable tanned leather so we can apply the colour dye we want.
We source all our leather from The IdentityStore, Derbyshire. This premium veg tan leather is from Spain. Spain has been producing high end veg tan for decades and the consistency and feel are very good. Also the leather is the best for dyeing, embossing and stamping into.
The stitching thread we use is waxed for longevity and Mink oil is applied to the sheath when finished for maximum protection from the elements.
1. The first process is to cut out the basic shape of the knife, then fine tune to the finished profile required.
2. Drill all holes in the tang for the retaining pins.
3. Heat treat and temper to the specific requirements of the steel used.
4. Grind the bevel to form the cutting edge.
5. Hand sand the blade to the desired finish.
6. Glue on the scales and pins.
7. After 24hours to allow the epoxy to set sand the handle to its finished state.
8. Polish and sharpen.
9. Make the leather sheath.
10. Job done.