Welcome back to another installment of our 5 from the Grinder knifemaker interview series. Today we bring you Chuck Cook, Oregon knifemaker and Forged in Fire runner up, as well as proprietor of Scout Knives.
Please introduce yourself and let us know what led you to making/designing knives
I’m a part time knifemaker, I started making knives as a kid trying to use my parent’s BBQ and hand pumped bellows as a forge until I burned the bottom out of if. I stopped when I started college and started up again when my Dad asked me to make him a knife. As to why I make them, some things you just have to do and I don’t have a better answer than that.
What knifemaker(s) or designer(s) have had the biggest influence on you? Do you have any mentors?
Wayne Goddard has had the biggest influence on my knife making, his book “$50 Knife Shop” was the first knifemaking book I ever read, and I was lucky enough to talk to him on a number of times in person, visit his shop, and email with him. While I never took any formal classes from him, I do feel I learned many lessons over the years of knowing him. Now days I get inspired by the work of Bruce Bump, a shoot and stab is on my to do list.
What is your favorite knife pattern or style from history?
I have two favorite but different styles from history, first is the Japanese styles from tanto to katana. Being a child of the 80’s I grew up on these in movies and TV shows. The second style being the Scottish Dirk, I was lucky enough to hold five original ones at the National Museum of Scottland.
What is the next big thing in knifemaking? / What direction do you see the industry going?
I’m not the best at predicting what’s next in knives, but if I had to guess it’s going to be small fixed blade EDC knives and handmade folders for EDC will be more common not just for collecting.
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?
Right now it’s my folders, for the challenge it provides me. I have only been making them for a handle full of years and with orders for other knives limiting the number I make a year so it has taken me a while to get to where I am know, Damascus blades with metal bolsters and stabilized wood or bone handles. I take pride in how smooth my action runs on bronze bushings not bearings. Next for me is stainless Damascus that I will be making myself.
What is your EDC and why?
I carry the second folder I ever made, D2 blade, titanium liners heat colored, with black micarta handles. While it’s a solid worker it helps reminding of where I came from with my folders. About 50% of the time I also carry a 1084 small fixed blade in a horizontal sheath I forged the blade in a forging demonstration.