Knifemaking Class Information

I teach a knifemaking class at the Columbus Woodcraft store, 1077 Bethel Road
Columbus, OH 43220.  The tuition is $80 and students will need to provide their own knife kit and scales (handle material).  Since the best way to get a superior results is to start with superior raw materials, I offer students special pricing on my custom knife scales at the time of class.  If you are signed up for the class and see something you like on my website, let me know and I will set it aside for you.

LATEST NEWS>>>

We have resumed knifemaking classes and the next one is scheduled for July 21. Call the Woodcraft store at 614-273-0488 to sign up.

The classroom is large enough that we can spread out and I do request that students wear facial coverings as I want to try and safeguard the heaalth of the students and because I am an older guy and maybe at a little higher risk for a 'bad outcome' should I contract COVID.

Even so, if you would like a more robust level of protection I will be happy to schedule a class just for the two of us or another couple of people who might be in your 'isolation 'family''

If you were scheduled for one of the classes that were postponed earlier this year, please contact me to arrange a makeup class, available whenever the classroom is not being otherwise used.

2020 Knifemaking Class Schedule

 (3rd Tuesday of the month)
February 17
March 16 (postponed)
April 20 (postponed)
May 18 (postponed)
June 2 (makeup class - full)
July 21
August 18
September (TBD)
October 20
November 16
December - holiday class dates to be determined

You can also make arrangements with me for private instruction in my workshop.


The Woodcraft class is devoted to teaching people how to make a knife from a kit and is open to all ability levels.  Students may select one of several styles of knife kits available from Woodcraft at the store when they arrive for class, If you already have a blade blank or knife kit you would like to complete in class, please contact me beforehand so we can be sure to have everything we need for a successful build.

The Woodcraft store has a nicely equipped classroom with all of the tools and supplies we will need. All you have to do is supply the kit and handle material.

We will be sanding and gluing so dress appropriately. We will be using a bandsaw, drill press and various power sanders, so no loose clothing that could get caught.

Feel free to bring a beverage or snack.

Here are my notes on the various kits available to build

The nikiri is a knife ideally suited to chopping vegetables and that is why this is quickly becoming one of my favorite kits.
The AUS-10 blade is simply a superior material and the 'nikiri grind' is perfect for its intended use.  When my mom used it to cut a cucumber slice so thin you could see through it, I never got the knife back.

A few facts about AUS-10, a high quality Japanese knife steel

Sharpness - 3/5 on sharpness as it's hardness means it can hold a sharp edge, but not as sharp as some sharper stainless steels, like VG10

Sharpening - 3/5 which is a very good score for a stainless steel. Only carbon steels score higher here as they are easier to sharpen

Retention - 4/5 as it's hardness retains it sharpness very well. Only ZDP189 scores higher for a stainless steel, but ZDP189 is the hardest steel to sharpen and is usually only selected by professionals.

The kit is a straightforward build and I have an alteration that I recommend that makes for a cleaner more attractive build.  The kit comes with 4mm rivets and I have never had a student get a satisfactory result using them.  Although the tang (handle) is hardened steel, I have a few solid carbide bits that can enlaege the tang holes enough to replace those troublesome rivets with 3/16" solid brass or stainless steel pins.

 

Wood River Skinner Knife Kit

Wood River Skinner Knife Kit

This is a good value and about as straightforward a build as you can find. The blade is 440C and it comes with a (basic) leather sheath. Slab handles are glued and pinned to the pre-drilled full tang and then finished to your satisfaction. Can easily be completed within the 3 hour class. The Woodcraft website has an instructional video that gives the basic idea but I will introduce a few refinements that will dramatically improve the fit and finish of your knife.. 

Wood River Drop Point Hunter 

A knife I made from a kit available from Woodcraft with super premium scales from (who else?) Bradford Hunt Design

Wood River Trapper Folding Knife Kit

Wood River Trapper Folding Knife Kit

 

The Wood River Trapper is an easy to build kit that can be really eye catching with the right set of scales. 

It can be challenging to precisely fit the scales between the front and back bolsters, but I have a specially made hardened steel template that will help to cut the proper handle material to shape that will fit with only minor hand detailing. This knife requires a little greater care than the other selections available for class. 

Wood River Trapper Folding Knife Kit

Construction note: the scales on this finished knife are only 1/8 x 1 1/8 x 3 1/4" so if you start out with 3/8" thick scales (commonly available thickness), you are going to be COVERED in sanding dust by the end of the night. If I know ahead of time that a student plans on building this knife I will have some specially sized (and priced) thin scales available in class that will make your life a lot easier.

Shown is a Wood River Trapper than I made for a Christmas gift in 2018.  The scales are double-dyed hard maple burl from Bradford Hunt Design.

Zhen Paring Knife Kit

Zhen Paring Knife Blade Blank

The Zhen Paring Knife Kit is made from AUS10, which is about equivalent to 440C stainless steel. (See notes above on Nikiri) It is a fairly straightforward build and if care is taken to carefully fit the handle at the integral bolster seam can make a classic looking parer.  The kit is supplied with rivets but I will have a selection of pins should you wish to use them instead. As with the Wood River Trapper, the scales required are no thicker than 5/32" (4mm) so selecting a thinner set at the beginning will save a lot of sanding.

Wood River Filet Knife Kit

Wood River Filet KnifeOne of my favorites because of the straightforward construction and 440C steel.
The trickiest part of a good build on this useful knife is the scale-bolster junction, and I can easily show you how to make a nearly invisible seam.

 

 

 

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More reviews will be added as I have a chance to complete more of the Woodcraft kit knife inventory