Our Methods And Materials In Making The Finest Custom Handcrafted-Knives, Custom-Tomahawks and Trade-Axes.
North River Custom Knives
All of our custom handcrafted-knives and tomahawks are unique and one of a kind. Since they are truly handmade, no two knives or hawks will be exactly alike.
We specialize in hand forged reproductions of period knives and tomahawks forged in the 17th to 19th centuries. They have an authenticity rarely found in other makers' work. Handcrafted in the traditions of long ago.
Most of our knives are made with a full tang. This is the strongest type of knife construction possible.
Handle scales are glued with epoxy and secured with solid brass or iron pins.
We also handcraft knives with wide, thick through tangs. The tang goes all the way through the handle and buttcap. It is then peined over the buttcap. Epoxy is used to seal and secure all the parts. The result is a very strong handle that will not work itself loose.
The three most popular finishes that we use on our custom knives and bowies are:
Hammer and forge markings are left on the blade for those who prefer that rugged historical look. The blade is either vigorously wire brushed or acid etched after tempering for an old time patina.
All hammer and forge markings are removed. Sanded to 600 grit then wire brushed or acid etched for an antique looking patina.
This method resembles a finish that an early bladesmith would of utilized.
For our modern hunting knives and bowies, we prefer a blade sanded to 1000 grit then lightly buffed.
For custom knives and bowies, we prefer natural materials such as northern antler, buffalo horn and hardwood.
On period knives we prefer curly maple and maple burl, black walnut, cherry, ash, oak, elm and hickory.
On modern hunting knives, we prefer exotic woods and burls such as cocobolo, African blackwood, zebrawood and amboyna burl.
All our sheaths are made with vegetable tanned cowhide and are hand stitched.
The vegetable tanning process is much less corrosive to the steel than other tanning procedures.
Steel - High Carbon And Tool
All blades, whether hand forged or by the stock removal method are made with high carbon steel, such as L-6, 1095, O-1 or W-1. On occasion, antique files are used for a historical prospective.
All of our handcrafted-knives are quenched once, then differentially tempered. The result is a very hard cutting edge and a softer more flexible spine.