View Full Version : Question for Mr Harsey
I was wondering How you got into the art of making edged weapons?
Where did you go to learn this?
I'm asking because reading alot of post in this forum you know shit and I was wondering where you learned how to make these particular weapons
August-0 Twenty, Good question and I'll try to keep this kinda brief. All is related so hang in with me. I grew up working for my dad's logging operation based around Mt. Hood Oregon. I started working steel for the oufit at the age of 15, welding, cutting and building big parts for logging machines. Some of these machines weighed over 180,000 lbs and took a hell of a beating. We did all our own repair work. It was by welding that I started learning about differant types of steels. All this time I hunted and fished at every possible chance. I worked what was to be 10 seasons logging, working almost all positions in the woods including high climbing. We were old school loggers. I started buying my own forging tools with money earned logging, started making edged tools for timber frame barn builders and boat buliders. I then realized I could probably make a knife and started on my own. I have no formal schoolin' in this. I wanted to do it so bad it hurt, my genetic defect had surfaced. The edged tool was important to how I grew up, my Grandpa Harsey was a master carpenter. He'd also fought in the trenches of France during WW One. I valued the time I got to spend with him hunting and what he'd shown me about edges for wood working. Somehow I did well enough to get the attention of the late and great knife designer Al Mar (1st Group SF). I did several projects for Al and soon he had me building prototypes from his drawings for manufacturer. This was as close to school as I got. It was Al mar who introduced me to Col. Applegate in 1984 and that began my introduction into the world of military special operations. I never went to any school or class to learn to make knives. I was lucky enough that a few great knifemakers thought I might be worth showing how to do a few things better. I value those men greatly. Thousands of hours have been spent by me shoving steel into belt grinders to figure out how to do this just a bit better. I really enjoy the study of heat treating tool steels and do all of my own heat treat. There's the short version. Bill
I'm going to take a beating for this next part, all those logging dollars earned by me went to pay for my college. I have a degree in design which damn sure didn't teach me how to make a knife but it did show me the right questions to ask of myself to get better at the design part. Bob Loveless had me as a guest in his shop for a week way back in 1986. Bob Loveless is the master of modern knife design and making, anyone who thinks different can step out the back door with me. Bob and I got to talking and we shared the same history of design instructors, the "old guys" from the German Bauhaus who came to the United States to start the Chicago School of Design. Some of those guys came out to Oregon and one was my advisor thru shcool at the University of Oregon (Duck-U).
Thank your Mr Harsey for your wonderful reply, I was going to appretince to be a blacksmith. If I still find a place maybe in th near future I can spend the time to learn on how to carry on this particular old school form of metal working. I have been reading on this subject ( haven't read much recently) on how to construct my own forge and so forth.
I saw that you made knives and thought it was a similiar process, you could tell me better then anyone.
I also have read up on sword crafting mostly the japanese sword forging, which if I'm correct takes months to make a beautiful yet superior weapon.
Thanks again for your reply hope to talk more on the subject of edged weapons as time goes on.
Your welcome. Using Google, look up "blade smithing" or "blade forging" See what Don Fogg is up to. I have friend who served a traditional Japanese sword making apprenticeship. He does remarkable work. I've seen him start by first making his own steel from ore, it's amazing. I use modern alloys that we cannot improve upon by forging. In the modern tactical environment stain resistance is important to edge holding and we get both with the modern alloys. Please understand I know that any knife beats no knife at all.
Yes sir will do, Any sites you particularly recommend for purchasing good knives?
Probably, PM me here with your price range and I can make recomendations. Til then, check out <theSEALstorecom.> The owner is a good friend of mine and will treat you right.