Ray Kirk, ABS Mastersmith / “Forged in Fire” Finalist

Fired Up for Forged in Fire, Room 109 

2:15 p.m.-3:15 p.m: Past FIF Finalists tell you how to get on the show, how to best succeed once you get there and more, with FIF Finalist Brian Evelich and FIF Finalist / ABS Master Smith, Ray Kirk.


About Ray
June 24, 2018.
  I started forging knives in 1989 from springs and in 1993 I found out that they made high carbon flat bar.  I did stock removal for a while and now do mostly forging.  I forge my knives from a round bar of 52100 that is from 3/8″ up to 1 3/4″  diameter.

In the last few years, I have been   making  a style of knives that I consider both useful and simple in design.  It is also a very beautiful knife style and has recently seen a surge in its popularity.  This knife is the integral style knife.  Most are of hidden tang construction as that seems to be the simplest design for a using knife.  Small handle to metal contact area and less weight when used for long periods of time.

It was brought to my attention by Ricardo Vilar,  a very good knife maker from Brazil and is now one of my main knife styles.  That is one reason that two of the knives I submitted for my Master Smith stamp were damascus integrals with full tapered tangs.

In January of 2009, I started a new model of knives, the NDN Integral Series.  These knives will feature an as forged condition on the flats of the blades and will be more economical due to less hand work.

In October of 2011, I acquired a large amount of .531″ dia 52100 round bar and am able to make a small integral that cuts as well as the larger ones. This is the steel that came from Dahlonega, Ga. and is the steel of the Trail of Tears model.

I am a member of the American Bladesmith Society, the Alabama Forge Council, A.F.&A.M., the Knife Group Association, the Kansas Custom Knifemakers Association, the Arizona Knife Collectors Association, and the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.  I also try to attend many of the hammer-ins and seminars on knife making during the year. I believe that a Bladesmith should continue to improve and learn all they can to make the best knife they can make.  Pictured at bottom of pic is the MINI NDN, a 2 3/4″ blade with OAL of 7″.



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