Knifemaking Class Information

I teach a monthly knifemaking class at the Columbus Woodcraft store, 1077 Bethel Road Columbus, OH 43220. The Woodcraft class is devoted to teaching people how to make a knife from a kit and is open to all ability levels.

The tuition is $80 and students will need to provide their own knife kit and scales (handle material). Woodcraft has a nice selection of kits to choose from or you may bring your own. If you plan on bringing your own, please contact me ahead of time to discuss any special considerations for that particular knife and to be sure I bring appropriate tooling/supplies.

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,

2021 Knifemaking Class Schedule
(3rd Wednesday of the month) 
May 19
June 20 (special Father's Day class)
July 21
August 18
September 15
October 20
November 17
December 15, 18 (Saturday)

If you would like to arrange for individual instruction or a small group lesson, please contact me at mobiaxis at gmail dot com.  As long as the Woodcraft classroom is available I will be happy to arrange a special time for you or your group.


The Woodcraft store has a nicely equipped classroom with all of the tools and supplies we will need. We will be using various power tools including bandsaw, drill press and a variety of sanders. No experience using these tools is necessary and I will be happy to teach you what I know about safely using these tools.

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.

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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 special drill bits that can enlarge the tang holes enough to replace those troublesome rivets with 3/16" solid brass or stainless steel pins.

 

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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. 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 the Wood River Drop Point Skinner knife kit available from Woodcraft with super premium scales from (who else?) Bradford Hunt Design

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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 with patience and attention to detail a nearly invisible seam can be created. 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.

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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 it makes 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 Zhen nikiri kit, the scales required are no thicker than 5/32" (4mm) so selecting a thinner set at the beginning will save a lot of sanding.

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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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WoodRiver - Modified Trailing Point Skinner

Woodcraft Modified Trailing Point Skinner Knife Kit

 This knife is made from 8cr13mov steel and has a nice profile and proportions along with an integral bolster and nylon sheath..

The Wood River Modified Trailing Point Skinner knife kit comes with 5/16" tubing instead of pins but they are only 5/8" long so if you want a beefier handle, as shown in the finished example, I can easily show you how to replace the tubing with solid or decorative pins. (I will have 3/16" stainless or brass pins or you can use any of the decorative Woodcraft mosaic pins up to 8mm diameter).

Wood River Modified Trailing Point SkinnerHere is an example I made with stabilized and dyed black ash burl and aluminum honeycomb in pearlescent blue urethane resin. As you can see, I replaced the pin tubes with solid 3/16" stainless steel pins which I feel gives a much cleaner look and also allows for thicker scales. 

 

 

 

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I will have a selection of my super premium custom knife scales available at a special discount for purchase at class.  You can see my current inventory at Bradford Hunt Design.  Should you see something you like please contact me at mobiaxis at gmail dot com and d I will hold it for you until class.

 

 

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