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Trade Secrets

Have you heard the comment “That's a TRADE SECRET”. What a joke! When I hear those words I get really hacked off. To me that means the knifemaker is afraid of me and my knives. It also means he is very small minded. Knife making would not be where it is today, if we did not share secrets. There are no secrets, only new procedures. Knife making is a very complicated process (when it’s done right), I have been making knives over 26 years and I’m a long way from knowing it all.  There have been many knifemakers, that have helped me over the years. I am going to mention a few, but there are many more. To all of them I say "Thank You".

R. W. Wilson, Weirton West Virginia
I had made knives about one year when I met R. W. Wilson. Before long I was on my way to West Virginia. I spent a whole week with him. Wonderful man, he was honored in 1996 with the Red Watson award.

Dr. Fred Carter, Wichita Falls, TX
This man showed me many “procedures” that adds quality to my knives. After my time with him my production went down to half the amount of knives I used to make. My quality (I feel) soared. One time he noticed I was admiring some of his patterns, and he told me something I will never forget. He said “
A.T., you can copy anything in my shop, except my name
”, now isn't that the way it OUGHT to be?

Kit Carson, Vine Grove, KY
Kit was gracious enough to show me the correct way to make a safe and strong liner lock. I asked Kit if I could pay him something. "
He said I could repay him by sharing what he taught me", again that's the way it OUGHT to be.

Just recently, I spent some time with W. D. Pease and John W. Smith. Two great knifemakers that shared many techniques. Over the last 25 years there has been many makers that shared their “procedures” with me on the phone and at knife shows. The majority of knifemakers are caring people. If they see a person is having a problem, they hold back nothing.

There are a few makers that will talk their head off, until I mention I am a maker. Then they become very rude and silent. May the “bird of paradise fly up their nose”.