The dictionary describes the verb tinker as “working on something in an unskilled or experimental manner.” I think about the word tinker as I look at the scattered pieces of metal set about the table. The storm outside spoiled my plans to go canoe camping for the weekend. I decided to take this time to work on the two knife kits from Linville Knife and Tool Company, and realized how nice a little bit of time inside can be.

The Man Behind The Scenes
Linville Knife and Tool is a company owned by Tim Britton, a North Carolina native. I met this gentleman in Atlanta earlier this year. Britton is well known for his blade craftsmanship and if you go to his website, you can see an ominous picture of him holding a spear with a very matter-of-fact look on his face. A fellow NC State graduate and North Carolina outdoorsman, Tim Britton can be found at many of the area’s gun and knife shows, selling these kits and his custom knives. It was the name of the company and the location that caught my attention.

Linville Gorge
Tim came up with the name Linville Knife and Tool from a place near and dear to this author’s heart: Linville Gorge. This pristine wilderness has been described as North Carolina’s Grand Canyon, and I have been to this area to review knives featured in previous publications of this magazine. The owner of the company frequents this wilderness every year as well. Linville Knife and Tool started fairly recently, back in 2003. At the time, the idea was unique. Tim went around to gun shows and saw the niche for a very economical knife kit that the consumer could buy and assemble at home. North Carolina has a gun show just about every other weekend somewhere in the state, so needless to say, this idea was a sure hit. Tactical versions such as the Model 007, and the more modern curved Chinook, are available amongst other models on the website. The two mentioned models, the Chinook and the 007, were given to me to tinker with and assemble.

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The dictionary describes the verb tinker as “working on something in an unskilled or…