At BLADE Show 2017 I (David C. Andersen) had the pleasure of being introduced to Pete Winkler of Cross Knives by a good friend. Pete is not only a Forged In Fire champion, he was also a heck of a nice guy to talk to for a few minutes amidst the flurry of activity that is BLADE. I loved his work. His square pins make quite a statement and his convex grinds were incredibly clean. Enough from me, onto Mr. Winkler himself!
My name is Pete Winkler, I am 64 yrs old and have been making knives for 7 years. The first year was mostly putting handles on blanks. I realized it was nice to do but I needed to make my own designs and learn to heat treat the knives I would build. I began doing that in early 2011. I initially marketed my knives at local Gunshows in Dayton and Cincinatti,Ohio. It has been my full-time work for the last 5.5 years and isn’t a job, I previously had been self- employed as a contractor.
Question 1: What knifemaker(s) or designer(s) have had the biggest influence on you? Do you have any mentors?
Through my life I have liked and used knives a lot. I used Buck and Browning folders back in the early 70’s and always had a Solingen steel hunting knife. I owned a couple of Western knives also. From those I got into the Marbles knives and then Bark River. I built my first start to finish full tang knife at a Bark River Grind-In Weekend. It was a great experience and sealed my fate to making knives.