old news
This one is name 'Number 1'

11-12-04 This is a Box Elder Boot Dagger.
The blade is mirrored S30V, 8" hollow ground top and bottom. The top isn't sharpened but will be after I make the sheath. The scales are box eldor burl stabilized by WSSI. They have a liner and are dovetailed. The scales are carved a bit. Thanks for looking and any comments or suggestions always welcomed..


Some prototype liner locks I’ve been working on. I’m getting close to a ‘model’ I’m comfortable with.

10/24/04 I’ll be starting a newsletter soon. If you are interested in getting on the mailing list, send an email to: mickleyknives-request@mickleyknives.com with the word ‘subscribe’ in the subject line.

Content will be mostly knife related (I’m sure I will stray now and then) with some pictures of recently completed knives or in progress pictures. I won’t sell, rent, loan, give out the email addresses for any reason. I hate spam as much as the next guy.

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cousin tims

11-25-04 Thanksgiving Day. Just finished this one up for my cousin Tim. The blade is 154CM that I heat treated with cryo. The grind is 8” hollow. The bolsters and blade flats are scratched satin since it will be a user and this will hide the scratches from use a little better. The handle is covered in stabilized Amboyna burl. Dovetailed bolsters, a mosaic pin and a red liner top it off. The custom sheath is a clip.

1-2-05 Happy New Year! Two years ago I started a tutorial on how to etch a knife. I finally got around to finish it. Who said I’m a procrastinator. I got it done didn’t I? You can find it here.

1-8-05 I moved quite a few things around on the web site today. I deleted the old News archives and many of the news items on the front page here. It was just getting to be too much. I’ll start filling it up again. Added the Tsunami sale. Updated the In Progress area and added a 3rd Gallery page. In testing I found that nearly every picture in the In Progress area had disappeared due to recent hard drive crash on my PC. I spent a couple hours reconstructing it so if you found large black boxes where pictures should have been, you should be able to see what is going on now. I’ve probably messed it up some where so if you see a picture that doesn’t load a or link that doesn’t work, let me know. I’ll be starting on an actual newsletter that I’ve threatened here soon. Sign up if you are interested.


1-22-05 This is a folder I finished a few months ago and have been carrying every day to test the edge holding on the S30V blade. It is giraffe bone dyed with 4 different dyes, sealed with tung oil, waxed and buffed with Briwax. This is a pretty crummy picture but just thought I would throw it up any way.


I’ve started to teach myself engraving. Here is my first attempt on a blade after 40 or 50 hours of practice blank metal plates. It is a stylized vine and thorn that runs along the spine, will spill over on to the bolsters and ends on the blade near the makers mark as you can see. More pics of this one and heat treating process in the ‘In Progress’ area.

1/29/05 Been doing some more work on this bugger to the left. You can see what’s up here in the In Progress area.


2-6-05 Super Bowl Sunday half time. I finished the engraving this weekend. More pics in the In Progress area here. I took 2 minutes to do these pictures during half time, that’s why they are so crummy. I’ll have to do some better ones later.

Click for more Pictures

2-12-05 This knife is done and posted as Available here.

2-14-05 We start a new knife commission today. You can watch this one get built starting here.

2-19-22 Added some pictures to the in progress area on the latest project. I’ve hit some bumps that may cost me the job here. Also added a grinding tip for new knife makers.

2-26-05 added a couple pics to in progress, page 24 of a couple new accessories for the KMG grinder I use. Also the client is still on board for the Singapore dagger. I’ll be drilling 4 holes in it and sending it off to Paul Bos for heat treat as soon as I hear he has opened up in his new location. In the mean time, I’ll cut out a bunch of folder blade blankes, drill them and send them along also. I’ll grind those out after they are hardened.


3-4-05 The Scrim Knife came back from Lori Ristinen, the Scrimshander. You gotta see both sides of the scrim handle. Each side is a different view of the same scene. This goes to Joe Mason next so he can engrave around the entire inlayed handle. You can see more pictures of this one, including both sides of the handle here In Progress.

3-7-05 Glue Wars! We’ll be testing a dozen different glues and epoxies to see how they hold up for knife making. Have a look here.

3-12-05 Glue wars have been updated.

3-21-05 Finally, some progress on knives! You can see what visual affect different thickness stock and different size grinding wheels has on a blade blank here. There is also a higher body count in the glue wars. Same page.

3-21-05 Tracy gets excited about golf again! The snow is about to melt and I am ready. Golf fever starts to kick in. This means nothing for all of except those brave souls that want me to make them a custom knife. I’ll look at it, we can talk about it, I may even get around to starting it and possibly even completing it this summer but I sure won’t promise that. I started golfing last year and I hate it, the damn game has consumed me. It doesn’t help that I can look out my window as I type this and see the 13th fairway 30 feet from my where I sit. I’ll still be working on knives all summer but not as much as I do in the winter. Earliest delivery at this point is 11/15/05 unless you pay me gobs and gobs of money, then we’ll talk.

I’ve got one special project knife that takes priority over all other projects after my current commission is done. That knife is going to be published in a book called something like “100 custom knives”. I’ll have a two page spread showing pictures of this special knife documenting the process from start to finish, much like I do here already and that project is due by September if my knife is going to be included. I’ll post more on this later. It should be a fun.

4-19-05 Fairly large update to the In Progress Area here.


5-12-05 Didn’t want you to think I had gone anywhere. Here is the Singapore dagger, designed by Jorgen Wallgren that ships to Singapore in the morning. It is an S30V blade, mirrored and heat treated by Paul Bos. The handle has black line spalted maple burl stabilized by WSSI and dovetailed bolsters.


10/28/05  We’re back! Golf has been great. I finally broke a hundred and now it’s too cold to golf so we are back in the shop.

First, I’ve moved the Netobjects Fusion database from the desktop to my laptop. This is the software we use to create this web site and it contains hundreds of pictures. Not all of the files made it in one easy move since it went across my wireless network. This meant several hours of manually locating files and then putting them where Netobjects can find them...So how does this affect me????you ask??? If you stumble onto a picture that is missing, please let me know so I can fix the damn thing...again...Thanks.


10/28/05 Here is a pair I finished up a couple weeks ago. I call them The Twins. This pair of knives was made for Dr. Darom’s upcoming book, “100 Custom Knife Makers”. The photo by Jim Cooper is his typical awesome work. The book will be done some time next spring. If you are one of my relatives, you now know what you are getting for Christmas from us next year.

The details are:

The steel is CPM154CM, a particle technology steel by Crucible Steel Company. This uses the same composition as 154CM or ATS34 but is smelted using a vacuum and particle technology. This gives the steel a much finer, more homogeneous composition and makes for an amazing mirror finish. This steel is not generally available for sale to the public yet. I had to talk a little to the guy to get some.

They are 8” hollow ground in mirror finish all the way. The bolsters are 416ss and dovetailed. The top knife uses black line spalted maple burl with black liner for accent. The bottom knife is redwood burl with red liner.


10/28/05 This guy I just finished last week. It’s 154CM with an ironwood stippled handle. It’s for sale and you need to buy it. Click on the pic for more pictures of this one.... 11/14/05 SALE PENDING


10/28/05 I’ve got a couple dozen pictures to add to the ‘In Progress’ area over the next few days so stop back. I’ll also be back to regular updates until it’s golf season next spring...


10/28/05 This one has SOLD.. Click on the pick for more info.


10/30/05 Happy Halloween! Just finished this one today. It is S30V with Blue Mammoth ivory scales. Very light and very sleek. A custom sheath is included of course. Click on the picture. SOLD


A little closer look.


Click the Picture for more on this boat

Buy this boat! Click on the picture or here for more pictures and information!

11/11/05 I fixed the scrambled pictures on the first gallery page and I also added a new mug shot of me on the About page. I wouldn’t look. Don’t say I didn’t warn you...

Also I have just finished a new knife. ATS34 with Amboyna handle and a new bolster design. I’ll post pics later this weekend when I get the sheath done.


11/12/05 This one just came off the bench. ATS-34 sporting a concave bolster high lighted by some awesome Amboyna burl. Click the pick or here for more pictures and price. 11/14/05 This one has SOLD


11/27/05 This one came and went already. I finished it mid-week and Friday it was spoken for. A www.jerzeedevil.com forumite picked this Ironwood handled knife up. RWL-34 mirrored up 8” hollow grind.


11/29/05 BUG KNIFE!

This theme knife is of course a fairly nontraditional piece. An impression of a Hornet should creep in some where or at least some kind of bug anyway. The blade is BG-42 with a convex grind and edge. Box Elder burl stabilized by WSSI forms the body capped off by a 416ss ‘bolster’. Stainless wires are heat colored for the legs and held in small copper tubes in the ‘thorax’ so the wood doesn’t split from the torque of the legs. The legs are not attached and simply push in and pull out. The blade is nearly 4 3/4” and it’s about 9” OAL (and it’s 5” wide!).


12/9/05 Updated the Contact page with some clarifying comments about commission orders. I am working on a new bug knife right now and hope to have something posted on that in a week or so. Maybe sooner.


12/11/05 Just finished this one up tonight. This is the second in my ‘bug’ series. An Ironwood Scarab. RWL-34 is the steel, desert ironwood on the top and ebony for a spacer and base. The length of the dagger blade is 3 1/2”, the over all length is 8”. The dagger is a chisel (ground on one side only to the edge) hollow grind to a mirror finish.

12/16/05 I uploaded the Scarab Knife picture above after I found it hadn’t uploaded on the 11th like it is dated. I also added a 4th gallery page. I’ve got a couple more bugs to go and then I can get back to more traditional knives.

12/17/05 I have listed both Bug knives as available to sell. I will work on getting some additional pictures of each taken and posted in the next couple days. Click on the pictures or go the Available page.


12/25/05 Merry Christmas! It’s never too cold to golf in Minnesota! On Christmas day, I took daughter and son out for a short round of golf. Here, I am wearing the latest in golf apparel, minus 60F boots, a snowmobile suit and a mad bomber cap. I am sporting a Taylormade 5 iron some moron tossed into the woods behind my house (I live next to a golf course) in a snit. It works fine for me.


12/25/05 Just out of the liquid Nitrogen I see the tip of this knife is gone. I don’t know if I dropped it too hard into the Ln dewar or if thermal shock cracked the tip off. In any case, I’ll have to reprofile this one a little.


12/27/05 Just off the bench. I haven’t any idea what to call this knife. It just happened. I had an odd piece of steel that I thought really needed to be used and this one came out from it. It is made from 154CM steel. The bottom edge is a recurve 8” hollow grind, the front edge is a 14” hollow grind. It’s mirrored all the way with a Ironwood scales for the handle. The blade is nearly 6” and the OAL is just under 10 1/2”. This was easily the most difficult grind I’ve ever done which made it very satisfying to complete. I am normally very careful with sharpened knives and rarely get cut. This one drew blood twice. It’s a hungry little bugger. If you can think of a name to call it, let me know cause I’m stumped. This one is SOLD

11/26/06 We’ve been busy....If you are looking for knife making supplies, stop by www.midwestknifemakers.com

Tracy gets Ink...Makes Knives Illustrated in a 3 page feature spread....

I’m not sure which is more entertaining, getting some nice press in the August 2006 issue of Knives Illustrated or talking about myself in the third person.... A few months back I sent in some pictures of some of my knives to Bruce Voyles, editor of KI, along with some comments on each. I never heard a word back and thought Bruce chunked them in the trash along with the thousands of other photos he gets. I got a my KI magazine a few days ago and it sat there unread on my end table. I finally took a look and saw a teaser line on the cover that said, “How to Double the Strength of your Knives!” so I turned to the index to find the article. I scanned down the features listed and there...there was an article by me?? It said, “Mickley in his Own Words”...”A knife makers describes his knives”....I yell at my wife..Look at this!.. ...Thanks Bruce Voyles.. I owe ya one...

Here are some scans of the magazine article....(buy all the copies of Knives Illustrated you can afford. It is the best magazine on the planet....


1/1/06 New Year, new home page. You can find all of the content that was here on the Old News page.


1/1/06 Hot off the bench. S30V clip point with Manta Ray sheath....More information and pics by clicking the picture.


1/1/06 is the Sister of the Stag Clip point above. This one is handled in giraffe bone that takes color on and displays color in that is almost unbelievable. Giraffe bone is now selling for more than Mammoth Ivory which is insane until you see some all gussied up like this. Sorry, this one is gone already...


1/3/06 Long story behind this one. You can see most of the story in the ‘in progress’ pages but it’s late and I’ll add to it later. I just wanted to get the images up for now...

1/8/06 The Scrim Knife has been listed as available for sale. Click on one of the pictures above for additional information and the price.

test outdoors pics using 18-55 canon lens 001

1/14/06 I finished up a couple last week I won’t be showing. They were intentionally rough prototypes that didn’t turn out. They were horrible. Above is my latest project. A carved blade. The design has changed some as it progressed but it should be interesting if I can make it come out.


1/21/06 This Fighter runs 12” long with a carved blade and Black Ash Burl handle. If you are interested, click the picture to go to the Available page or go right to the listing for this one HERE.


3/5/06 Hope all is going well for you. I’ve been busy with my day job so I haven’t updated in a month or so. Anyway, I have been working on some knives, Bug Knives that is. I have a couple of commissions to work on and then I’m going to switch for folders for at least the next year. Have a look at some bugs - Siafu...


3/5/06 Another batch of self indulgent knife art. These are all about the length of your thumb. I call these March of the Siafu

3/15/06 updated a few things. The Scrim knife has sold. Joe Mason and I have agreed we need to do another big project together that will top the Scrim knife. I am working on some designs. Currently I have two commissions to push out. I will end up with three or four ‘extra’ knives out of those commissions as I make multiple versions at the same time. Then I have promised the guys (and one of the gals) at www.jerzeedevil.com I would make a batch of Siafu for them. After that it’s golf season baby!..


4/2/06 Chute knife. This one is is going to be available after it goes to Joe Mason www.joemasonengraving.com to be engraved next. ‘Cracked’ mammoth ivory really sets this one off. It’s my last set of scales like this. I wish I had more after I saw how these finished up. The blade has not yet been sharpened so Joe can engrave it and then I can make the sheath with out drawing blood. Sharpening is the very last thing done. The top SWEDGE is not sharpened.

I actually made three of these in this batch. This is the first one completed and has been reserved...

Also, it’s golf season! Knife production slows down a bit...well a lot actually but I won’t be stopping knife production this summer like I did the last couple. I’ll be chugging along working on a few this summer.

Some times I name a knife. #2 of these tripletts I have named Mizuno MP-32’s for the new set of irons I intend to buy with the proceeds when I sell it.



4-9-06 This may be the finest knife I’ve ever made from an over all perspective. It’s going to Joe Mason for engraving and then it will be available. I haven’t set a price yet. I purchased this set of mammoth ivory scales over two years ago and have been saving them for a special knife. These are the most expensive mammoth scales I’ve ever purchased and I was nervous the entire time I fitted them for the handle. This knife SCREAMS! Well, that just my opinion....If you are interested in this one, you can ask but I won’t be able to work up a price until Joe gets it and can quote me the engraving cost.


4-9-06 A commission from the triplet batch. This one is handled in Amboyna and came out very clean. The style is chute knife in CPM 154-CM steel. It’s not yet sharpened so I can make the sheath with out losing a finger...

And maybe most importantly, I got in 18 holes yesterday with my golfing buddy Jeff. We killed. He was a 96, I shot a 98. Not terrible for the first time out -- at least for me. I got one birdie and maybe a par or two. By the time I was on the back 9, I was nothing but sore muscles and feet. 12 aspirin and a day later, I feel almost better.

knife-on-sheath jcm1

4-15-06 IRS day.

Here is a little better picture of the amboyna chute knife show above with the finished sheath. It is a pouch sheath wrapped with Ostrich leather -- very cool stuff.

4-16-06 I just removed the stag clip point and carved fighter from the available page. I just have a couple knives left on the available page, the two bug knives. I will have the two mammoth handled chute knives pictured above available when Joe Mason gets done engraving them. I have not finalized the price yet as that depends on the engraving Joe comes up with. He gets carte blanche and then I pay him, then I set a knife price. I’d expect those two to run around $850 and $900 respectively. If you want to reserve one with the understanding it will be any where between 1 to 3 months for delivery, send me an email to: tracy@mickleyknives.com



6-29-06 “The Twins” finally are available after waiting for the book This pair of knives, whimsically named The Twins will be sold only as a set. These exact knives are featured in the David Darom - Dennis Greenbaum book “The Art of Moden Custom Knifemaking 100 Custom Knife Related Projects in the Making” In this book, there is a two page spread on with pictures and comments documenting how I made these knives. There will be a copy of this book included with the purchase. I have every hope this ends up as going to a Father and his son.

These are now SOLD... Click on the picture for more pictures and information...

8/30/06 It’s been 2 months since my last entry here. I’ve not stepped foot in the shop all summer other than to mess it up. My bench is totally clustered with junk and tools and who knows what....I have spent my disposable time golfing this summer and I have to tell you it is a hateful, horrid bitch of a game. It sucks you in with 2 or 3 great shots and then punishes you with 90 more bad ones during a round. Summer is drawing to an end and my loathing for golf has grown to the point where I am near putting the clubs away for the season to get back to knives. I am going to start cleaning the shop and doing some knife stuff.... in the mean time, I made the Knifemakers highlight area of BLADE magazine. I’ll have to scan it and post it here. I should have some new knives posted in a few weeks or so....

Hope all is well with you...Glad to have you back!

...9-2-06 Some knives of whimsey... These aren’t for every one but they are fun to make. These are one sided and all are mounted on a small pedestal of ebony slightly angled so the knife leans to just a bit towards the viewer.

These are SOLD...

9-3-06 These lasted only a couple hours after they were posted. They went along with The Twins to a collector out east. Thanks Ed!

9-2-06 Fish Knives...

First knives out of the shop this fall. Seafood anyone?

9-2-06 Nemo. The top and bottom fins are box eldor burl, the body is giraffe bone. This is a one sided knife of 154CM that has brass inlays for eyes and pins. Click the pic for more on this one..


9-2-06 The Snail knife has shell of Black Ash Burl. click the pic for more....

9-2-06 The Whale has a body of Desert Ironwood, one of my favorites. Click the pic for more...


9-4-06 Today is Mom’s Birthday. Happy Birthday Mom!

I have started updating the In Progress pages again. I fell away from it for awhile but I’m going to start up dating this again.


9-23-06 Four more Fish knives...I just finished these four and they are available. Click here.

I’ve gotten these out of my system and now I’ll get back to more traditional looking knives...at least for a little bit....


World stops spinning.

I get published in Blade magazine.

I got some more ink in October issue of Blade magazine in the Knife Makers Showcase area. I will now start charging a dollar per autograph if I can get it.

I’ve had a few requests for the knife (Coupe Back Clip Point) that was pictured in Blade and I started working on a few of those today. If you are interested in one of these, you should let me know...If you buy a knife, I’ll throw in an autograph...

Look at that toothy grin. I really am that good looking...

blade scan1

 10/11/07 I am working on some knives. I have 6 fixed blades ground and heat treated. They are on the bench and I’ll be finishing those in the next couple weeks. In the mean time, here is some pizza pic’s. A before and after Sausage and Mushroom pizza. 5 kinds of cheeze and dough that was aged 30 hours and raised 3 times. I may open a pizza and knife shop....PIZZA PAGE LINK HERE


11/26/06 We’ve been busy....

If you are looking for knife making supplies, stop by www.midwestknifemakers.com

There isn’t much there right now, but keep your eye on it....We intend to grow...a lot...





12/3/06 Just off the bench.

Another Coupe Back Clip Point with Giraffe bone. This was a commission and I offered the client 50 bucks not to buy it so I could keep it. He didn’t take the 50 bucks....The blade is 4 1/2”, OAL is 9 1/4”, the scales are giraffe bone that have been dyed, the steel is CPM-154CM and is highly mirrored all the way. I had a bugger of time taking a picture with out picking up every thing else in the room.

ironwood- burl web

12/24/06 Merry Christmas!

This one is just off the bench. It’s handled in Ironwood Burl. The blade length is 4 1/4” from tip to bolster. OAL is just under 9”. The handle is a stout 7/8” thick at the fattest point. It’s made to feel substantial and have some heft and it does at around .185” thick CPM154. It’s highly mirrored on the flats and the 8” hollow grind. There is just a slight trace of a drop point to curve the line. The bolsters are sculpted with finger relief on either side. I wish I was a good enough photographer to capture the three dimensional depth of the wood. This Ironwood burl is simply beautiful. The knife is just a canvas for the wood....

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