About me, my handmade knives, and my custom sheaths

About Me:

My name is David Russell and I live in Owego, NY, located in Tioga County in the beautiful Southern Tier region of NY state.  Welcome to my hobby!  I've been making knives since early 2014.  I retired from my day job in 2016 and started spending more time making knives.  In 2017 I met ABS Master Bladesmith and Forged in Fire champion Raymond L Smith who was kind enough to share his knowledge and pass on many helpful techniques.  

A brief history:

      In the 2014-early 2017 time frame  when I first started making knives, I stamped my knives with an "R" turn on it's side (rotated counter clockwise) and was doing business as Lazy R Knives.  In that same time frame a few of my knives were signed using a Dremel tool and diamond bit. I started using my current maker's mark (D J Russell Owego, NY) in April of 2017.  In February of 2019 I changed to  Tioga Knife Works.    Currently I operate as Tioga Knife Works and my maker's mark is D J Russell Owego NY.  Any knives with a lazy R stamped on them are likely mine, and represents some of my earliest work.

About my knives:

All of my knives are handmade start to finish by me in my workshop.  I do everything myself from selecting the steel and wood to heat treating to sharpening.   All of my forged blades are hand forged using hammers and an anvil.

My goal is to make knives that are functional, and also pleasing to the eye.  I make knives for the field, stream, and kitchen because that is where I personally use knives the most.  I make knives using the stock removal method and by forging.  I typically use 1084, 15N20, and O1 for my stock removal blades, and 1084 and 5160 for forging.   See my "Steel" page for more information about the blades and the steel I use.

For handles, mostly I use local hardwoods, but have been dabbling in exotic hardwoods as well.  Certainly there are advantages to using synthetic handle materials, but the advantage of using wood is, well, it's wood!  I really appreciate a nice piece of wood, and enjoy matching the wood and grain pattern to the knife I am making.  I have made handles from walnut, cherry, maple, curly maple (tiger maple), apple, ash,  padauk, red birch, teak, Macassar ebony, lilac, hickory, locust, African blackwood, red marblewood, and purpleheart.  Even though some exotic woods originate from around the globe, I obtain them from local sources.

Feel free to browse the Hunting, Fishing, and Kitchen pages,  and the Gallery, to see examples of handles I have made.

About knife safety:

Knives are designed for cutting.  Using a knife for any other purpose is not recommended; it may damage the knife and can also be potentially dangerous.  My knives are sharp, so please be careful!

About my sheaths:

All knives for the field and stream come with a custom leather sheath.  I make each sheath by hand start to finish from  good quality leather.   Each sheath is molded to it's knife to insure a good fit, and hand stitched.  All of my sheaths will fit a 2" wide belt, and most will fit a wider belt.