Legends of Knifemaking: Paul Fox

Jesse Paul Fox Jr, known by his middle name Paul, was a long-time member of the Knifemakers’ Guild and owner of Pioneer Woodcarving. As Fox’s friend and fellow maker Tim Britton noted on The Knife Network, “Paul may have been one of the most creative knifemakers of all time. He was perhaps best known for his electric-motor-driven folder and a series of very fancy knives that were a lot like sculpture. He won the W.W. Cronk Award at the Knifemakers’ Guild shows till they asked him to stop entering and let someone else win.


Paul Fox 1938 – 2012

According to Britton, Fox had a great sense of humor. “Paul had a Chevy Suburban that he bought at a North Carolina State Surplus auction for $700,” Tim recalled. “It was ugly, yellow and very beat up.  He took it to Hendricks Motors of NASCAR fame and had them put a full race motor in it.  Damned thing would fly and Paul loved nothing better than challenging redneck racers and usually beating them. Guess you have figured out by now, that dude was a character!

“Paul was very much at home with locals—guys from the garage, bread-truck drivers, etc. He was one of a kind, like so many of us in knifemaking. I can still see Paul using the remote control boat to chase geese off his pond!”

– See more at: http://www.blademag.com/featured/knifemaker-paul-fox-dies#sthash.pOlrVOOm.dpuf


See his available knives here


Legends of Knife Making: Corbet Sigman

Corbet Sigman was born 8 March 1932, in Putnam, W.V. and lived there all his life until passing 5 Aug 2005.

corbet r sigman 7

Corbet was a master of all aspects of making fixed blade knives. A member of the Knife Makers Guild when it was in it’s infancy. When one of his peers had a technical problem or question, it was Corbet to whom they turned. When the Dutchman,. Frans van den Heuvel wanted to learn American cutlery techniques, it was Corbet Sigman he contacted. When American Blade published the book How to Make Knives, 182 pages – step by step process – photo illustrated. They asked the masters of their time, I.E…Bob Loveless, Bill Moran, and many others each to contribute a chapter of the step by step process. Corbet was responsible for the chapter on blade polishing.

He was authentic, genuine, humble and modest. He gave freely his knowledge of knife making to anyone who asked. Those character traits is what made Corbet a gaint amoung his peers with their deepest respect for him.



A Visit with Rick Genovese

An hour and a half North East of Phoenix, nestled between the Tonto National Forrest and Roosevelt lake, in the shadow of the Sierra Ancha range with part of the Mogollon Rim on the the northeast and the Mazatzal Mountains westward, you’ll find Tonto Basin and Rick Genovese, master knife maker.

(According to an NPR story on the Lone Ranger, Tonto Basin is the inspiration for Tonto, the native American companion to the Lone Ranger.)

I took the hour and half drive up to Tonto Basin to meet Rick in person and to see his work. Rick was a very gracious host, inviting me into his home and giving me a tour of his shop as well as showing me some of the knives he had recently completed.

I first met Rick on Facebook after seeing a post of one of his outstanding knives which was engraved by Mitch Moschetti

rick genovese

I thought, “Wow! Who is this guy?” After a little research, I became his Facebook friend which lead me to today’s travels. I arrived at his home a little after 10am and we spent the next two hours talking.

Rick grew up in Phoenix and worked in his dad’s business as a machinist. Of course working with tools led him to begin making knives in 1975. His first knives where in the style of Bob Loveless, (who doesn’t start there?). It wasn’t long after he began his hand at making folders. From there he stepped up his game and began working his framed folders with gem stone materials such as fossilized Mammoth, Jade, petrified woods and his favorite (as well as mine) Mother of Pearl.

"Dolores Dagger"

“Dolores Dagger”

"Dolores Dagger"  Featuring Kevin Casey Feather Damascus blade and Picture Jasper inlays.

“Dolores Dagger” Featuring Kevin Casey Feather Damascus blade and Picture Jasper inlays.

Gent's Folder

Gent’s Folder

Gent's Folder

Gent’s Folder

Gent's Folder

Gent’s Folder

Gent's Folder  Pearl & Opal inlays each side, 18k Gold toothpick, engraving by Mitch Moschetti in leaf pattern with 24k Gold border

Gent’s Folder
Pearl & Opal inlays each side, 18k Gold toothpick, engraving by Mitch Moschetti in leaf pattern with 24k Gold border

Gent's Folder  White Pearl with Lapis Lazuli ovals

Gent’s Folder
White Pearl with Lapis Lazuli ovals

Gent's Folder

Gent’s Folder

Gent's Folder

Gent’s Folder

His own favorite knife model is the “Sleek Dagger” style folder

Rick holding his "Sleek Dagger" folder

Rick holding his “Sleek Dagger” folder

"Sleek Dagger" folder

“Sleek Dagger” folder

"Sleek Dagger" folder

“Sleek Dagger” folder

His most popular knife style is his Gent’s folder which he makes in three different sizes


Rick still makes a fixed blade now and then. Here’s one he is currently working on

IMG_4178 IMG_4177


Rick’s shop is currently in a storage unit until he moves to his new home

IMG_4179 IMG_4180 IMG_4181 IMG_4182

The first thing you notice about his shop is how immaculately clean he keeps it, every tool has it’s place. A bit crowded, it still has plenty of room for Rick to produce the fine art knives he makes. Though his knives sell in the thousands of dollars with buyers all over the world he is far from pretentious.

His knife making mentors include makers such as Ron Lake, Steve Hoel and his Japanese Sensei, Kuzan Oda whom he met in Colorado. The story he told was Kuzan Oda had recently left working with Bob Loveless and was looking for a place to make knives. Rick had a shop he allowed him to use in trade for knife making lessons and tips.

For this lover of knives it was a good trip.

If you’re interested in acquiring one of Rick’s beautiful knives, you can simply email him at genoveseknives (at) hotmail (dot) com.

On the road north

On the road north

View from Rick's back yard

View from Rick’s back yard

Quiet beauty

Quiet beauty


Tonto National Forest

Tonto National Forest


November’s Knife Maker’s Class

John Baker

Published in: on November 11, 2013 at 1:45 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

Eli Jensen Wharncliffe Knife Project

Follow along as I make this big wharncliffe! 1084, 3/16″

Eli Jensen Wharncliffe Knife Project

Basic Design

Cutting out the shape

Cutting out the shape

All profiled out

All profiled out

Time to grind the bevels

Time to grind the bevels

Nice Small Big Belly Hunting Knife

This beautiful knife is made by custom knife maker Ellis Sloan of Tucson, AZ. The Damascus is an outstanding example of his work and the steel & copper layered bolster and butt cap is simply amazing as well as unique. The smooth Alaskan maple wood handle has some beautiful character to it also. Looking almost 3D when you turn it in your hands. This knife is perfect for an everyday working knife.

019 021

To buy, click on either photograph


20″ Bowie Knife

There is not too many of this sized Bowie knives around. Believe me when I say this is one big Bowie. At just under 20″ this knife was designed by and made for Western Artist John Hill by custom knife maker Jim Ort of Oz knives.

Ort/Hill Bowie

Made of 1095 high carbon polished steel

Ort/Hill Bowie

The blade alone is 14.25″ long

Ort/Hill Bowie Ort/Hill Bowie

Beautiful Crown Stag Handle

Ort/Hill Bowie

Leather Sheath also by Jim Ort

Interested in adding this to your collection? Check it out on the web site here


Howard Viele Knives

I’ve added two beautiful Howard Viele Knives to the website.

Howard Viele is at the pinnacle of the list of knifemakers hand making high-tech modern liner-locks from his Westwood, New Jersey Shop. He became a knifemaker through an unusual quest. After attaining the rank of “Sandan” (3rd degree black belt) in Karate in 1973, he became interested in the weaponry associated with the martial arts. When Howard began making knives, there was no one in the area to teach him any secrets and shortcuts, so he learned to make knives through trial and error, thus no particular knifemaker’s designs have influenced his work. He has been a member of the Knifemakers’ Guild since 1976 and is also a member of the German Knifemakers’ Guild. In giving Howard the Wooden Sword Award, Ken Warner, editor of Knives ’85 said, “The man cuts a clean line, often a new line, every time he goes for it. Viele knives are handsome knives that look so good, and so often different as well, you can’t help noticing. That’s practically a definition of style.”

Howard 002 Howard 013


“The Ko’olau” Pig Hunter

Jack Jenovese, custom knife maker from Hawaii is sending me a new knife to sell for him;

The “The Ko’olau” Pig Hunter

"The Ko'olau" Pig Hunter

“The Ko’olau” Pig Hunter


This is the only photo I have right now. The knife is on its way to me from Hawaii and I should have it some time this coming week. But it doesn’t mean you can’t buy it now. See all the details here


Cheshareck Custom Knives

Recently relocated from Colorado to Arizona, Sonoran Desert Knives are proud to represent Bob Cheshaeck custom knives.

Bob Cheshareck

Bob Cheshareck

 Bob is an excellent knife maker who actually spends time to make his own Damascus billets to use in knife making. Please check out the knives he has for sale here: Cheshareck Custom Knives