About the Maker's
Thad Buchanan
I started making knives in 1986 when Bill Harsey invited me to work with
him in his shop. I attended my first knife show in 1987 where I won Best
New Maker award at the OKCA show. After that I was hooked, I spent as
much time in the shop as I could and made a point of attending a show every
few months.
Making knives for local customers and the slower pace allowed me to focus on improving the quality of my work. I was
fortunate to live in a location with several accomplished makers. The three who helped me the most three makers and I
am grateful for their willingness to share their hard earned expertise.
In 2005 I retired from a career in law enforcement and was able to realize my long time dream of making knives on a full
time basis. My wife, Melissa, and I moved to Central Oregon soon after my retirement. Since then we have been
attending knife shows around the country and having a great time. We've been blessed with a thriving business and many
new friends. As far as activities go, knife making is second only to my love of hunting birds with my dogs Cooper and Gus.
That one tops ‘em all.
For the past two decades I have been making high quality knives to meet the performance demands of outdoor use, but
my plans for the future include making a wider variety of knives using exotic materials for the collector market. The
pictures on this site represent a sampling of my current work. You’ll see I like clean, elegant designs that are well
executed. Fit and finish are as important to me as form and function. I like using Crucible CPM steels for their
performance qualities, but I’ve also recently used some of Devin Thomas’ Damascus and was pleased with it as well. I
use both synthetic and natural handle materials.
Click on "photo" for link to Thad's website
Jerry Halfrich
I’ve always had a keen interest in knives, guns, hunting and fishing, which all seem to
go hand-in-hand. Knives have always played a role in my life whether it be dressing and
skinning small or large game, cleaning fish, or whittling on a chunk of wood for
amusement. In my younger years as an Eagle Scout I used knives in various activities
and for 25 years knives were in constant use in my explosives business, and they still
serve me when I’m guiding in South Texas or taking care of my own animals on a hunt
in Alaska or in the Rocky Mountains.
My knives are geared towards use. I make knives that will work in several applications from tactical to the hunting field, and
investment-grade knives on request. My knives are made first and foremost for performance and user comfort. They are
very fine. Sharpness and performance exceeds most of my customers' expectations.

The greatest challenge I've found in knifemaking is blending comfort with form and function, so what you'll find in my knives
is a reflection of my taste in design, and a knife that performs an intended task with great ease.
Click on "photo" for Jerry's Website
Jim Downs
Hand crafting custom knives has been a passion of mine for 27 years.
As a veteran gunsmith, knifemaking appealed to me with the promise of creating
something more uniquely my own. The idea of starting with a blank bar of steel, then
adding patterns I designed myself, cutting out a quality blade and grinding and finishing
it into a custom knife was a challenge that really inspired me.
After talking at length to other makers and reading a lot of books, I made and sold my
first knives around 1980, and after that, I never looked back.
These days, at my shop in Powell, Ohio I make about 200 custom knives a year for
special orders and sell Folders, Bowies, Boot knives and fighting knives.
I design and cut my blades from Damascus, S30V Stainless steel, ATS34 Stainless
steel and 440C Stainless steel, and personally heat-treat Damascus knives. In my
opinion, a good clean grind and a well-finished blade is the most important part of any
knife; if you have this the rest of the knife will fall into place and be good-looking.
I particularly enjoy designing and making handles from exotic hardwoods, stag, ivories, bone and pearl. All told, it can
take about 20 to 25 hours to make a folder. I out source scrimshaw and engraving to talented local artists who help bring
my designs to life.
For extra decoration on some models, I’ve added jewels like amethyst, citrine, topaz, tiger eye, peridot and diamonds.
Primarily, these are set in the thumb bobs, but on occasion I’ve used pearl and tiger eye inlayed in the handles. I’ve sold
knives to collectors all over the continental US, as well as Australia, Japan and Sweden. My knives have won a number of
awards at shows in Ohio and Michigan, but what’s much more gratifying to me the satisfaction of my customers, often
expressed through their repeat business.
The gallery on this site spotlights a few models I’ve already created and sold. They should give you an idea of some of
the elements that can be combined to create your knife.
I will make any knife to your specifications. Pricing varies depending on the materials chosen for the blades, liners and
handles, and whether file work is involved. Please feel free to contact me by phone or e-mail.
Click on photo for link to Jim's website
Gayle Bradley
I started making custom knives in 1988 and became a full-time
knifemaker in April 2002. I endeavor to create high quality knives
using the finest materials and time-proven construction techniques.
The blades are ground from bar stock from a variety of steels.
Currently, I am focusing on wedge locks (my own design)
and lock backs with high-end materials such lapidary and black lip
pearl
handle inlays.
Knifemaker Tom Overeynder has given me invaluable guidance over the years and has become a
good friend. I have met a number of knifemakers over the years who have shared their knowledge
of knifemaking and I would like to thank each of them.
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I am a voting member of The Knifemakers Guild, and a member of the Board of Directors of The
Texas Knifemakers & Collectors Association.
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If you are not completely satisfied with a knife you have purchased from me, please return the
undamaged knife to me (post-paid and insured) within 30 days for a complete refund. I will repair
any defects in workmanship for the original purchaser, as long as I am able to work. Because of the
nature of natural handle materials, I can guarantee these materials only at time of delivery.
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