Hello, thanks for calling in and taking a look at my work. My name is Lawrence and I currently live and work in Southport, in the north west of England.
As far back as I dare to remember, I have always been passionate about making things from raw materials. I love to design and invent, to that end, I have spent my working life doing the same. I have been told that I have a gift which I sometimes think is more of a curse. My inner voice means I am never satisfied with my work and always looking to improve even if that is seemingly difficult. Once I have reached a standard which I find acceptable I then want to do something more taxing or challenging and on it goes. Ultimately I have found it difficult to stay the course on one particular thing and so over the years I have looked for other avenues that are more challenging and ways of learning new skills.
This led me some years ago into knife making and then swiftly on to pattern welding steel more commonly known as Damascus. This is a continuing steep learning curve which suits my need for a challenge. I think a lifetime is too short to learn everything involved around this subject and the process of forging. When you couple this with the production of knives the possibilities are endless.
There are countless steels and designs to work with because no one knife or blade fits every task, no sooner have I finished one my mind is on another knife for a different use. I enjoy knowing the blades I make will be used and if used for their purpose will last a lifetime and beyond.
You do put a lot of yourself into hand making a knife and the workmanship should reflect this on each one. I am happy knowing that when a knife leaves my workshop, I could not improve it beyond what I had intended.
In the main I like to use and work with O1 steel, it is a wonderful knife steel that is easy for the knives owner to sharpen and maintain. It also holds a good edge and has most things I look for in a good steel. I am very confident in my heat treating and tempering, each blade is Rockwell tested on my own machine. You can also be confident knowing the steel is set up to its optimal performance.
Damascus – I hand forge from 15N20 and 20C which are both good steels in their own right, these two steels combined together beautifully complement each other in the final etching process. Knives made from this process are unique, there will be no two the same no matter how hard I try. Each hand forged billet is like a fingerprint unique to the blade it becomes. To that end, these knives are more expensive due to the sheer amount of work involved in producing the steel to make the knife. I enjoy working the steel on the anvil and seeing the finished pattern emerge. The process of pattern welding can be fraught with problems and you have to build on your failures and learn from them.
For Hamons I use W2 steel manufactured in Germany, this steel produces beautiful Hamons which fascinate me, to see the Hamon appear in the steel as it is polished is almost magical, the process to produce this involves clay coating the blade which is quenched first in water then in a fast quenching oil. The process differentially hardens the steel which shows up in the Hamon. This steel is impossible to source now in the UK. There are pictures of Hamons in the Gallery.
I also work with other steels such as 80 CRV2 which is a tough high-carbon tool steel that is ideal for hard working knives. As well as 1095 spring steel and CS75.
I use D2 semi stainless, and Niolox for knives, I also use stainless for San Mai construction on a carbon steel core for chef, filleting and skinning knives.
The sheaths I make are generally 4mm veg tan leather which I dye and hand stitch, these are wet moulded to the shape of the knife and when dry it holds the knife snug inside. The sheaths are then treated and waterproofed to hold their shape.