Tactical Customs at The Chicago Knife Expo

There was a time when you could attend a cutlery…

There was a time when you could attend a cutlery show and reasonably expect to find the entire range of cutting edge enthusiasts—antique pocketknife collectors, custom knife makers, hammer and anvil men, military blade buffs, art folder craftsmen, Japanese sword experts—all happily mingling together. Those days seem to be drawing to a close, as more and more shows specialize in one discipline or another. A good example of this is the fastest rising star of the new show circuit, the Chicago Knife Expo. Specializing in metal artwork and avant-garde tactical knife designs, this show has become the high point of the fall for many serious collectors. The following are just a few of the extraordinary blades on display at the most recent show.

kevincasey.jpgTHY FEATHER
Kevin Casey’s “Feather Damascus Folder” offers a 3-inch blade of pattern welded steel from the maker’s own shop. The handle frame is titanium with mammoth ivory scales.

jeremymarsh.jpgMARSH MADNESS
Jeremy Marsh’s “Fancy Fatty” folder offers a 3 ¼-inch blade of mosaic Eggerling Damascus on a titanium handle frame inlayed with “tooth ivory.” The bolsters on the knife are also Eggerling Damascus.

mattlerch.jpgCOOL CARRY
Matthew Lerch’s “Lancaster Liner Lock” offers a 3-5/8-inch blade of Mike Norris stainless Damascus on a 416 stainless handle frame with black lip pearl inlays.

wallyhayes.jpgCARP-EH DIEM
This Wally Hayes’ folder sports a 4-inch-long, 1,000-layer, pattern-welded Damascus blade mounted on a titanium handle frame with a koi carved into the surface.

galyean.jpgGOING DIGITAL
Tim Galyean’s “Digital” model offers a 3 ½-inch blade of CPM154 stainless on a 6AL4V titanium handle

crawford.jpgTHE NATURAL
Pat Crawford’s “Natural” offers a 4-inch blade of Damascus steel on a titanium frame with Mike Norris Damascus bolsters and mammoth ivory scales. This model is also available in several variations as a production knife from Columbia River Knife and Tool.

jodymuller.jpgLANCE-A-LOT
Jody Muller’s stunning “LPC” (named after Lance Abernathy, as in “Lance’s Personal Carry”) features a 4-inch Damascus blade hand forged by the maker and mounted on a handle frame of titanium with fossil walrus ivory scales.

krammes.jpgSHORTY BUT GOODY
“Short and Stout” is probably the best way to describe Jeremy Krammes’ new “Short-Cut.” The 2-inch blade is ground from CPM154 stainless and is mounted on a titanium frame with carbon fiber handle scales.

NEXT YEAR’S ROAD TRIP!
The 2009 Chicago Knife Expo (Sept. 11-12) has been moved to the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers, 301 East North Water St., Dept. TK, Chicago, Ill: 60611; 312-464-1000; www.sheratonchicago.com. Contact Ed Wormser; 877-757-9926; edw11@aol.com or chicagoknifeexpo.com.

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