Jay Fisher - World Class Knifemaker

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"Random Access Three" obverse side view in CPM154CM powder metal technology high molybdenum stainless steel blade, vertical and horizontal sheaths in hand-stamped brown basketweave leather shoulder
"Random Access III"


"Aquila" obverse side view in mirror polished and hot blued O1 high carbon tungsten-vandium tool steel blade, hand-engraved 304 stainless steel bolsters, Golden Plume Agate gemstone handle, hand-carved, hand-dyed leather sheath
  • Size: Knife: Length overall: 9.6" (24.4 cm), Blade Length: 4.9" (12.5 cm), Thickness: .152" (3.9 mm)
  • Weight: Knife: 8.2 oz. (232 grams) Sheath: 4.0 oz. (113 grams)
  • Blade: O-1 high carbon tungsten-vanadium alloy tool steel, hardened and tempered to 58HRC, mirror polished, hot-blued
  • Bolsters, Fittings: 304 Austenitic Stainless Steel, mirror polished, hand-engraved
  • Handle: Golden Plume Agate Gemstone
  • Sheath: Hand-carved leather, hand-dyed
  • Knife: The name Aquila comes from a stellar constellation in the northern sky and is Latin for eagle. The blade of the Aquila is straight and clean, with a slight drop point that makes it easy to sheath. I ground the knife with a deep hollow grind, for a thin, uniform thickness at and behind the cutting edge to give decades of dependable use and sharpness. The blade I made of high tungsten-vanadium version of O1, an oil-hardening tool steel made for tough work with good wear resistance superior to all plain carbon steels, and superior to typical O1. I mirror polished the blade to a bright finish and then hot blued the blade with a sodium bluing passivation process. This is not a coating; this is the bare blade, with black oxidation that helps inhibit rust and corrosion. This is the same bluing process found on fine firearms, and on the knife blades I extend the process by doubling the time, resulting in a passive surface that is very deep. It's so deep that it takes at least two passes of the diamond stylus at 50 PSI to cut through the black to the bright metal below for my maker's mark. Please see both sets of photos below; one is with a white reflector on the blade so you can see the grind shape and grind lines, the other is shot without the reflector so you can see how jet black the blade actually is. The shot above does not have the white reflector. The blued steel blade is fully fileworked with a tight vine pattern completely around the fully tapered tang all through the handle to the choil. The knife is bolstered with zero-care 304 high nickel, high chromium austenitic stainless steel, the same steel used in stainless nuts, bolts, and fasteners. This steel is very tough and durable, and I've engraved a nice breaking leaf pattern into all four bolster faces. Most engravers won't touch 304; it's too hard and tough, but it is my fitting material of choice. In choosing 304, I can assure that it will never rust, corrode, pit, or stain, and there simply is no care required for this steel for my patrons and clients. The bolsters are rounded, contoured, smoothed and finished for comfort in grip and they are dovetailed to bed a pair of extremely hard Golden Plume Agate Gemstone. This gemstone comes from California in the high Sierras, and is a translucent to transparent agate with mossy bits of black interspersed that are echoes of the black blade. The golden plumes run throughout the stone, and careful inspection of the stone reveals deeper layers patterns, and intricacies within. This stone is extremely hard, and will quite literally outlast the blade, the bolsters, and you and I and our descendants! I've polished it to a high, glassy luster, and it feels cool and inviting in the hand. The knife balance point is at the middle finger, behind the front bolster, making the blade light and quick in the hand.
  • Sheath: The sheath is one of my hand-carved and hand-dyed works, and many hours were spent on getting the colors and patterns just right. I copied the pattern engraved on the bolsters for continuity, and used a golden graduated toning against a black relieved background on the front, the back, and even on the belt loop. The sheath is stitched in a very tight spacing with polyester sinew for strength, and sealed and finished. The high back protects the wearer, while the deep sheath protects the blade and leaves enough of the handle and the hawk's bill rear quillon exposed for easy unsheathing.
  • A handsome and classy mid-sized knife with unique character, materials, and presentation, from the glassy black blade to the commensurate and detailed sheath

Thanks, M. M.!

I just opened the Aquila and am ecstatic with it. I have some nice knives from other makers but this is on a plane of it's own. The physical result of your experience, skill, care and artistry is a marvel. I'm literally laughing and shaking my head at the perfect fit of the stone in the handle. And I mean perfect. The finish on the blade is gorgeous. Best of all is the feel in hand. I could go on, at length, but you know what it is; it's an awesome knife.
I am going to have to come to New Mexico and shake your hand, and see if you'll create as wonderful a chef's knife for me.
Many, many thanks and much respect,

--M. M.

Please click on thumbnail photos
"Aquila" obverse side view. This shot has the white reflector to illustrate the grind lines.Blade is hot-blued O1 tungsten-vanadium tool steel, with hand-engraved 304 stainless steel bolsters, and Golden Plume Agate gemstone handle with hand-carved, hand-dyed leather sheath "Aquila" obverse side view without white reflector in mirror polished and hot blued O1 high carbon tungsten-vandium tool steel blade, hand-engraved 304 stainless steel bolsters, Golden Plume Agate gemstone handle, hand-carved, hand-dyed leather sheath "Aquila" reverse side view. This shot has the white reflector to illustrate the grind lines. Entire sheath is hand-carved and hand-dyed including the belt loop, stitched with polyester sinew "Aquila" reverse side view without reflector to show actual black blade color. "Aquila" spine edgework, filework detail. Filework is tight vine, fully around tapered tang. Bolsters are dovetailed to bed gemstone handle material "Aquila" inside handle tang view. All surfaces are rounded finished, smoothed and polished for comfort. "Aquila" obverse side handle detail. Handle is hard and tough agate gemstone in natural color and pattern "Aquila" reverse side handle view. Gemstone has bits of moss agate in white translucent  and transparent agate with gold coloring throughout and deep into the stone. "Aquila" point detail. Blade is hot blued O1, very sharp and keen, with a slight drop point for easy sheathing. "Aquila" sheathed view. Sheath is deep and protective, comfortable and solid. All parts of this knife are commensurate and matching. "Aquila" obverse side rear bolster engraving. 304 stainless steel is very difficult to engrave an most engravers won't touch it! "Aquila" reverse side rear bolster engraving detail. Hand engraved 304 stainless steel means zero care or concern about corrosion, rusting, pitting, or staining. "Aquila" reverse side front bolster engraving detail. In this shot, you can clearly see the light grain in the blade formed while heat treating. "Aquila" obverse side gemstone handle detail. Beautiful gemstone that can't be imitated, one of the hardest stones available, agate. "Aquila" reverse side gemstone handle detail. Look closely at the depth of the pattern in the translucent agate and the dendritic (tree-like) structures of the black moss pattern. "Aquila" obverse side front bolster engraving detail. All components of this knife flow seamlessly together.

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