What type of knife does a knife maker carry? For fixed blade fabricator Morgan Koens, one of the answers is a customized Cold Steel XL Espada.

“Any production knife I carry I modify so it’s one-of-a-kind,” Koens says. He tells us it’s a great way to carry something out of the ordinary without dropping top dollar on a custom knife. In the case of his XL Espada, Koens recognized that the large bolsters would be like a blank canvass for a gifted artisan. “When I got the Espada the bolsters just looked empty so I thought it needed something special.”

Koens turned to Grant Chambers, a custom maker with a background in goldsmithing and engraving. “It was the biggest bolster I’ve ever worked on,” Chambers tells us. “Pictures don’t do it any justice.” It took Chambers four nights to get the acanthus leaf pattern cut into the super hard aluminum bolsters. To add a sense of depth, Chambers let a coat of black enamel set into the engraving. “All in all it was a fun project, especially when it’s for a fellow knife crazy guy,” Chambers says.

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