Knife Making At The RAM Metal Art Show & Sale

Pipestone Flyer

In 2012, eighteen exhibitors showed off their creations at the 1st annual Metal Art Show and Sale held at the Reynolds Alberta Museum. In 2014, the show grew to more than forty exhibitors who were scattered among the antique vehicles, farm machinery, vintage aircraft and industrial machinery in the Reynolds Alberta Museum. Displays of stunning jewelry, custom knives, chainmail, steam punk, and sculptures; creations from sterling silver, copper and Damascus Steel were on display and for sale. All items are hand crafted.

Returning for a third year was Ed Storch from Mannville, Alberta. “I made my first knife when I was twelve years old. It was from a broken saw blade and axe handle on the farm at Hanna. Now my knives are purchased by collectors and chefs throughout the world.” Knives in the show ranged in price from $100 to more than $1200.

Storch has been more serious about making knives since the early 1960’s, when he went to Olds College to pursue a hobby that would evolve into a business. “My time is divided into thirds; a third making knives for custom orders, a third teaching classes and a third marketing my products.”

The majority of Storch’s knives are special orders with clients outlining specific features and details. “I view my knives as an investment in the future, a legacy to be passed from one generation to the next.”

Storch explained how to get started with knife making, “There are two basic ways to create a handmade knife from steel. The easiest way to get started in knife making is to start with stock removal. You get a piece of stock steel and grind away everything until it looks like a knife.”

With stock removal, the knife maker removes pieces and shapes a piece of stock steel by cutting, grinding and shaping it into a knife. The knife is completed by heat treating (hardening and tempering), attaching a handle and polishing it. Designs and artist’s logos or identification may be added.

“Once you have mastered stock removal, you can carry on with Damascus. It’s more expensive and a lot more work.” The Damascus knife is the ultimate challenge in a blacksmith’s ability.”

Damascus knives are made by sandwiching different types of steel, similar to a deck of cards. The stack is heated in a forge and fire welded or hammered together on an anvil. The stack is drawn out to the desired length. It is then cut and restacked and re-welded until the desired number of layers are produced. The process is continued over and over and creates a single piece of metal containing layers of different metals producing different designs in each knife.

Once the knife maker decides how he wants the blade to be shaped, he uses a chisel and hammer to systematically cut away all the extra metal scraps to form an outline. Additional hammering along the exterior thins the metal to form the edge of the knife. Once the knife blade has been shaped and hardened, the handle is installed.

Storch has created a new hardening technique that will retain a sharp edge on his knives even when cutting steel.

Metal artists from across Western Canada were present. Learn more about each artist and take a look at some samples of their metal art: http://www.history.alberta.ca/reynolds/specialevents/metalartshow.aspx

Pictured: Ed Storch can cut steel with steel.​ Photo by Barry McDonald. See more photos in this week's paper.

Just Posted

Charity Checkstop coming again to Wetaskiwin Nov. 24

Event to benefit Victim Services, Secret Santa in Walmart parking lot

Request for 7.5 acre parcel defeated Oct. 11

County of Wetaskiwin council hears proposal didn’t meet LUB, MGA

County of Wetaskiwin gravel hauling rates getting boost

Councilors vote to increase haul rate from $0.149 to $0.186 per tonne km

Wetaskiwin RCMP inspector ‘not surprised’ with Crime Severity Index

Inspector puts Maclean’s ‘Most Dangerous’ feature into perspective

UPDATED Two dead after head-on collision near Millet

UPDATED Wetaskiwin RCMP investigating, one dies at hospital

VIDEO: E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce sickens 18 people in Ontario, Quebec

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it’s working with U.S. authorities to determine the source of the romaine lettuce those who got ill were exposed to.

Feds give formal notice for law to end Canada Post strike

Trudeau government ready to legislate employees back to work after five weeks of rotating strikes

‘Bait and switch’ warning ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Competition Bureau of Canada is warning shoppers of illegal sale tactics

$90,000 pen from space created by B.C man

The Space pen is made from a meteorite

B.C. woman fined $2,300 for clocking 215 km/hr

It’s the highest fine Alberta police have issued

South Korean named Interpol president in blow to Russia

South Korea’s Kim Jong Yang was elected as Interpol’s president edging out a longtime veteran of Russia’s security services.

Trump defies calls to punish crown prince for writer’s death

The U.S. earlier sanctioned 17 Saudi officials suspected of being responsible for or complicit in the Oct. 2 killing, but members of Congress have called for harsher actions, including cancelling arms sales.

British, EU leaders to meet as Brexit deadline looms

The U.K. and the European Union agreed last week on a 585-page document sealing the terms of Britain’s departure.

Richard Oland was killed ‘in a rage,’ prosecutor tells son’s murder trial

The verdict from Oland’s 2015 murder trial was set aside on appeal in 2016. Richard Oland, 69, was found dead in his Saint John office on July 7, 2011.

Most Read