Sunday, June 10, 2018

Another Straight Hunter, Jon Speed Books

Another Straight Hunter

The second Straight Hunter I have made. This one has high contrast Desert Ironwood scales.

Click on photos to enlarge

Jon Speed Mauser Books

I recently purchased Jon Speed's Original Oberndorf Sporting Rifles and The Mauser Archives. If you have an interest in the history of Mauser and it's rifles, I highly recommend both books. I'll be adding Smallbores to my book collection in the near future.

A Hint: Collector Grade Publications no longer lists Original Oberndorf Sporting Rifles and Smallbores on their website, so I assume they sold out the most recent printing. Amazon has the books listed at at $165 and $125 respectively. The German Gun Collectors Association has all three volumes at prices significantly lower than Amazon or AbeBooks.
The link to GGCA

If you are interested in purchasing the knife featured at the beginning of this post or would like to commission a custom knife, I can be reached at

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Introducing the Straight Hunter!

A New Knife Design

This is a new design for me and is christened the Straight Hunter. As the name would indicate, this blade has very little drop. Whenever I design a new knife I like the first one to have handle material that is a little special. I purchased the scales on this knife when I attended the Oregon Knife Collectors show in early April and had this knife specifically in mind as I walked the aisles. These scales are stabilized Maple and have about all the figure and contrast you could possibly want. Specs for the Straight Hunter are as follows:

Blade Length: 4"
Handle Length; 4 1/4"
Blade Steel: .125" CPM154, HRC61, Satin Finish
Handle: Stabilized Maple, Brass Guard, Brass Mosaic Pins, and Brass Thong Tube
The knife comes with a hand-stitched 8/9 oz leather sheath.

The Straight Hunter

A Customer Photo

This is a Desert Ironwood handled Caping/Bird and Trout knife that was used on a Kansas Gobbler. I think it may have also seen some action on a bunch of Crappie lately.

And Last but Certainly Not Least!

Our little granddaughter is three months old and growing every day. The highlight of her grandpa's day is the 30 minutes of play time he gets with her when he gets home from work. She's using her hands more and more and rolled over last night. She's the apple of grandpa's eye!

If you are interested in purchasing the knife above or are interested in having a custom knife made, I can be reached at


Sunday, March 18, 2018

Bone Linen Micarta Large Drop Point Hunter

Here's a Large Drop Point Hunter that was recently sent to its new home. This is the first of a set of knives and a Caping/Bird and Trout knife will be following it shortly.

And here's what its new owner had to say:

I have had a little more opportunity to admire and play with my new knife and wanted to tell you again, how pleased I am with it. I have several other custom made knives and their workmanship has always been excellent to my eyes. Yours ranks right up there at the top. I also particularly like the way the knife feels in the hand. It is not too big and yet not too small. The red liners set the white micarta off well and I like the fancy mosaic pins. Once again, thank you so much and I can't wait for its little brother.

EK, Thank you for allowing me to reprint your comments.

If you are interested in purchasing a custom knife or a set of knives, I can be reached at:

Grand Daughter Update

Our little girl is just over a month old and is a joy to be around. She's been putting on weight and has her grandmother (and grandfather) wrapped around her finger.


Friday, February 16, 2018

Small Knives and a "Small" Gift

Small Knives

Below is a selection of Small knives that are on their way to clients. From top to bottom- A Small Drop Point Hunter with sheep horn scales, A Caping/Bird and Trout (Or in this case, Bass knife) with Desert Ironwood handle, a Caping/Bird and Trout knife with black G10 handle (more about this knife below), and lastly another Caping/Bird and Trout knife with high contrast Desert Ironwood.

The G10 knife is my personal knife and recently made a trip to New Mexico where it participated in a Scaled Quail hunt.

Here are the details from the Accurate Reloading Forum:
Scaled Quail and a Caping/Bird and Trout Knife

Thank you so much E.K.. Your knives are in the works.

A Small Gift

On Tuesday we received a "small" gift- our first grandchild. She came into the world small and needed a little help, but she is very big in our hearts.

With her Grandpa...


Sunday, December 3, 2017

Customer Photo, Another Gunmaker, and Christmas Knives

Here's another customer photo. This gentleman has been using one of my Semi-Skinners for over a year and here's what he has to say about it:

"I have used other custom knife makers in the past, and truly use and enjoy putting Lee's knives to the task at hand.  I normally carry them in his leather sheaths, in a pocket on my camo backpack, instead of my belt - my preference only.  
I recently used his semi--skinner on a Texas Axis deer, skinning and deboning it there w/o touching up the edge.  Then, the other day, I used in on an IL Whitetail prior to loading it in the truck.  It still is holding an edge - a great testament to his knowledge of steel and sharpening.  Thank you, Lee...!"


JJ Perodeau Gunmaker

If you follow my blog, you have probably figured out that I am fascinated by really good gunmakers. I enjoyed watching this video about JJ Perodeau and wanted to share it.

Christmas Knives

This pair will be going into the mail in time to arrive for Christmas. The knife on the left is my Semi-Skinner and the knife on the right is a Drop Point Hunter. Both knives have handles of very nice high contrast Desert Ironwood. I bought around $200 worth of scales before I got the pair you are looking at. Because of this I have several really nice sets if someone is looking for a custom knife with ironwood scales.

My goal is to offer the absolute best working knives available to today's hunters. If you are interested in purchasing one of these knives or commissioning a custom knife of proven design and construction, used by some of the world's most experienced hunters, I can be reached at:


Sunday, November 5, 2017

Jigged Bone

I like to try different materials, so I purchased some jigged bone scales and have made a couple of knives using them. At one time this material was used extensively on folding knives and it gives this knife an "old time" look, which I like. I don't want to grind the surface down, losing the jigging, so fitting the pin and thong tube requires more work. Their length need to match the thickness of the scales and blade and those short pieces of brass get hot really quick when they are ground. The process for fitting them is - Put them in place, too long!, grind a tiny bit off, play "hot potato" with piece of brass, let cool, and repeat process until it is right. I also eliminate one of the pins because I want the jigging emphasized.

Here's one of the finished knives. The size of the scales, as received, limit their use to the Small Drop Point Hunter (pictured below) and the Caping/Bird and Trout knife.

If you would like to purchase one of these knives or commission a custom knife, I can be reached at

Dewey Vicknair's Restoration Blog

I've been following Dewey Vicknair's blog for a while and am amazed by his ability whether he is performing a full blown restoration or creating replacement parts which appear simple to a layman but in reality are extremely complex.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

My Knives

It's been a while since I started this blog, so I thought it might be of value to those reading it to reintroduce my knives.

I started making knives part-time about four years ago. Bob Loveless' book, "How to Make Knives" introduced me to knife making and gave me my start. Over the past four years my ability has improved and many of my methods have changed, but my goal from the very first knife to my most current knife has been consistent: To make the best working knives currently available. 

Initially, all my knives were made from O1 tool steel and I used a variety of different woods for the handles. In January of this year I switched to Crucible's stainless CPM154CM because of its ability to retain an edge, its relative ease of sharpening compared to some of the "super" steels, and its ability to resist corrosion. I grind all my blades free-hand from precision ground flat stock without the use of jigs or fixtures. With the exception of heat treating and cryogenic tempering, all work- blade, handle, and sheath is performed solely by me. In my shop I have a drill press, a band saw, a disc sander, and a 2x72 grinder. You won't find a Water-Jet cutter or CNC machines in my shop, everything is done by hand.

I have started to gravitate away from wood and to Micarta for handles. I will still work with wood (preference being Desert Ironwood), but I have seen what Western Washington's rain storms do to a wooden handle that wasn't dried after use. I reconditioned that knife back to new, but that incident was the catalyst for moving towards Micarta. I do, however,  like to periodically try different materials and have some jigged bone scales in the shop waiting for caping/ bird and trout blades to return from heat treat.

My sheaths are made in-house. I use 8/9 oz leather and each sheath is hand stitched. Like my knives, the sheaths have evolved over time. Each sheath is wet-formed to the specific knife for retention and there is a small cam built into the welt as an additional aid in knife retention. My sheaths are relatively plain, as I'm not sure how a wet-formed sheath can be tooled. Like the late Bob Loveless, I am more interested in retaining the knife in the sheath than fancy tooling of the leather. The final step I employ with every sheath is to heat the sheath and apply a liberal amount of leather conditioner containing bee's wax. This temporarily softens the sheath, allowing me work the sheath to the knife one last time. Of course the conditioner also waterproofs the sheath.

My knives have been used extensively by a group of very experienced hunters in North America, Africa, and Asia. My methods and material use continue to evolve, but my goal remains the same. If you are interested in purchasing a custom knife, I can be reached at