When I heard that my friends son (Caleb), who is 14 years old, was crafting his own knives at home, I had to see what he could do. After seeing some of his work, I decided to challenge him a bit, by having him forge a fixed blade version of the Emerson CQC-7 folding knife. I allowed Caleb to borrow my Emerson CQC-7 as a template to go off of and turned him loose. After some trial and error, what he hand-delivered to me was absolutely amazing.

What really impressed me was the fact that Caleb did this all at home with a homemade forge, belt sander and hand tools.

Forged Steel | 14 year old bladesmith crafts a combat fixed blade

His ability to keeping forging ahead (no pun intended) despite hitting a few speed bumps along the way is equally impressive. It would have been easy for him to get discouraged and want to quit, but he adapted to those speed bumps, learned from any mistakes and didn’t quit until he had a finished product. Well done, Caleb!

The steel used for this particular knife is 1095 high carbon steel, which many prefer for an outdoor blade or combat blade. 1095 is also easy to maintain and sharpen. Speaking of sharpening, the edge profiling that Caleb did is on par with professional bladesmiths. The grind and bevel are damn near perfect from the ricasso to the tip of the blade. Even the jimping on the spine of the blade is functional when you rest your thumb on it.

The handle is made from a Brazilian Cherry, giving the knife a more rustic look. Caleb again took the time to shape the handle and round off any edges giving this knife some killer ergonomics. The pins used to secure the handles are stainless steel and sealed with epoxy to prevent moisture from getting in between the wood and steel.

The sheath, Caleb also crafted using leather and stitching. On top of that, he added some accents along the welt of the sheath.

Caleb really displayed a high level of attention to detail from end to end with this project. I’m looking forward to seeing his skills evolve as he continues to learn the art of bladesmithing.