When I started Jesse James Knife Company in September of 2017, my goal was to design and manufacture unique knives that serve a real purpose in every day life. The Jesse James Culinary Chef's knife is a great example of a multi-use kitchen knife, its comfortable while being used for dozens of applications. Our first folder; the Nomad Fixed-Break pocket knife is a re-boot of a "swing" knife that I loved as a kid-- I now carry the Nomad knife with me every day, maybe you do too!
This next project is truly extreme though. Late last year I started messing around with a Jack Crain knife that I keep as part of my collection. A limited edition of the "Life Support System I" knife that was used in the 1985 Arnold Schwarzenegger film "Commando." It's a big, fixed blade knife with a hollow handle,weighs 21 ounces and the blade is about 9 inches long. After handling this knife for a while, I started thinking about how cool it would be to do a "next- generation" version of it, using all of the newest cnc processes, with high-end steel and custom engravings/coatings other options.
Several designs were created, critiqued and scrapped, but we finally landed on something very special: It's one design, but can be "tipped" in one of two ways:
convex/concave or drop point/hawkbill. This knife boasts a long list of incredible features, but first lets talk about how it's made.
The ONE PIECE blade and handle starts as a 32lbs, 17" long, 3" dia. billet of A2 (air hardened) tool steel. We begin by running 2 operations in an Okuma CNC Lathe with 9 carbide inserted cutting tools and drills.
Following that process, the piece is removed and reset, screwed onto an Erowa (high precision) locating fixture and placed in an Okuma CNC vertical milling machine with 4th axis capabilities.
We then run an operation to get the detail of the blade using 11 high speed carbide cutting tools.
Finally, we sand blast to de-burr and give a uniform finish-- ready for engraving, coating, polishing, etc. The Handle end-cap is turned and threaded into blanks on the same Lathe out of 1.25" A2 bar stock. We then take 5 caps at a time and screw them into an Erowa fixture and the hole and radii are cut using the same cnc mill in the fourth axis. We sand blast these in assembly with the blade. The coolest feature of the end cap though is the way it interacts with the blade: it's timed to the blade edge with the help of high precision fixturing in the fourth axis-- they're each facing the same direction.
Tipped in two ways
Tipped in Two Ways: Concave (Hawkbill Style) or Convex (Drop Point)
Billet A2 tool steel
The entire knife is machined from a single 38 pound billet rod of A2 air hardened tool steel. We've hardened it to 60 Rc.
9 inch blade and hollow handle
the handle with custom knurling and the blade with an incredible serrated spine.