The Infidel II – A knife story.
I’ve been on a journey into the world of metal art and sculpture for over 17 years.
I’m fortunate because I’m not alone. I not only have the Norther Minnesota Metalsmith’s Club to immerse myself in, I also have some metalworking pals on this journey with me.
There are two of them in particular that have started their own journey a few years ago and now our paths have not only crossed, we are all traveling the same road.
The travelers I speak of are Knife Maker & Metalsmith’s (from left to right) Jerry Hobbs and Tony Roed. I’m the tall fella on the right.
About a year and a half ago these two knife makers collaborated to create a knife that would be called the Infidel #2.
It was to be the knife that replaced the Infidel #1 that Tony had recently sold.
The Infidel #1 had been a constant companion as his EDC (every day carry) blade and Tony related that he felt naked without it.
Tony had a plan for something new and contacted fellow knife-maker Jerry Hobbs from New York Mills, MN, to have him make a billet of Damascus steel.
Jerry Hobbs forged the Damascus billet in his blacksmith shop and Tony from Fosston, MN, used that billet to hammer forge his new blade.
Tony settled on using Ringed Gidgee wood for the handle.
“Ringed Gidgee is a unique and rare Australian hardwood. This difficult to find timber is highly sought after by knife makers. It is known for its depth of color, beautiful figure and extreme hardness. Gidgee is classified as the 3rd hardest wood in the world, according to The Wood Data Base, making it an excellent knife making timber.”
I’ve had my eye on that Damascus blade since its birth over a year and a half ago. It’s beautiful!
On occasion, I’ve tried to purchase the knife and failed.
Tony just wasn’t ready to part with it.
A few weeks ago however, all of the sudden, without any warning, hint or preview, Tony said he was thinking of selling the Infidel 2 and forge a new EDC knife.
He was in the mood for a change.
Well, I didn’t hesitate to make an offer on that blade!
When I spoke to Tony about acquiring the knife, he gave me a sideways look.
I could tell he was hesitant to part with the blade, more over the abuse it had taken than sentimental attachment.
He stated that it has been on his hip daily for almost 2 years. It’s been used to cut countless cardboard boxes in the warehouse.
He exclaimed that he’d also used the blade to pry and cut metal bands off of wooden crates.
He told me it has stains on the blade from cutting tomatoes in the kitchen and slicing limes for his occasional adult beverages.
He confessed to using the knife on more than one occasion to scrape corrosion off of battery posts.
He was being the worst salesman in history! But he finally agreed to make the deal.
We shook hands and as he slowly handed the knife over to me, he said “it’s gonna need sharpening”.
Note: it didn’t need hardly any sharpening. Just a few passes on a fine wet-stone and it was razor sharp.
As I examined my new treasure, I ran my thumbnail along the blade and found it free of any knick or deformity from its journey to beyond the bounds of normal abuse it had been subjected to.
This blade has answered the call of duty daily and served its owner/creator extremely well.
It is an excellent example of the damascus billet forging talent of Jerry Hobbs and the blade tempering craftsmanship of knife maker Tony Roed.