Raymond L. Smith Owner / Operator

I was born and raised in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York. I have worked as a precision machinist for 37 years. I started blacksmithing in 1976 making items for buckskinners. I met knifemaker Billy Watson at a rendezvous in 1988; he was making Damascus and hand forging knives. I was hooked, I quizzed Billy, visited his shop, purchased books and attended seminars. I started making knives in 1989 and sold my first in 1991. I joined the ABS and proceeded toward my Master's certificate, awarded in 1998. I was chosen to make the 1999 Journeyman Smith Knife of the Year. I belong to the ABS, ABANA, and NYS Designer Blacksmiths. I demonstrate my crafts locally and at rendezvous.

I prefer to make knives that are functional and that relate to the older patterns. My favorite for steel is 5160; for Damascus 203E, 1095, and 1018. I utilize chain and cable also. I file work most knives. I make Traditional, Roger's Rangers and Pipe Hawks as well as Fort Megs Hatchets (some are available in Damascus). Slip joint folders, in Barlow style, are another favorite. Natural materials are preferred for handles.

Photographs of my work have appeared in Knives'95, '05, Blade, and MuzzleBlasts.