5 from the Grinder: Charles Carpenter (Big River Forge)

Good morning everyone. I am still working my way through a large queue of 5 from the Grinder entries. Today we have Charles Carpenter, a third-generation mover of metal and a Journeyman Smith from Missouri. He is the man behind Big River Forge. (www.bigriverforge.com), as well as a mentor himself to many, through classes offered at his shop.  I will leave the rest to Charles, but if you are a maker who would like to be featured yourself, please visit this link to find out more.

Please introduce yourself and let us know what led you to making/designing knives

My grandfather was a blacksmith during the 1930’s and 40’s while young my father worked with him and continued dabbling in blacksmithing for the remainder of his life. I didn’t actually start forging until I was in my forties. Once I started forging, the natural progression for me seemed to be knives.

What knifemaker(s) or designer(s) have had the biggest influence on you? Do you have any mentors?

I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to spend a little time around some of today’s great Master Bladesmiths such as Lin Rhea, Brion Tomberlin, Mike Williams, Joe Kessler, JR Cook, Jim Crowell, among others. I am constantly trying to pick up anything I can from every bladesmith I meet. I feel like there is something to learn.


What is your favorite knife pattern or style from history?

I think my favorite style of knife would be the traditional American Bowie knives. I really enjoy making the larger Bowie’s as well as smaller traditional hunting knives.

What is the next big thing in knifemaking? / What direction do you see the industry going?

Who really knows. I hope to see a move away from all of the tactical folders and a move toward more traditional designs.


Is there a knife from your lineup that you feel best exhibits who you are as a knifemaker/designer in terms of design elements, aesthetic or techniques used?

I think the knife that displays best who I am as a knife maker is the small Damascus hunting knife with Damascus guard and collar with filed copper and stainless spacers.


What is your EDC and why?

Same as above. 3.5” Damascus blade with Damascus guard and collar with filed copper and stainless spacers and a fossilized Walrus handle. I just love this little knife. It will do virtually anything you need a knife for but still small enough to comfortably carry every day, all day.



Find out more:

Website: www.bigriverforge.com

Instagram: Bigriverforgecustomknives

Your Facebook Facebook.com/bigriverforge

Phone: (3one4)6zero4-9910

Email: charles(at)bigriverforge.com


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