Miles of Alaska Custom blank knife blades

Custom Knives hunters pocket skinner Damascus stainless high carbon Materials of bone antler ivory horn inlay silver all by Miles Martin of 'Miles of Alaska' Nenana Alaska also selling custom art and raw materials to other artist.

Everything on this page has to do with Miles Martin custom knives

Miles at Miles of Alaska
box 363
Nenana Alaska

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Any of these blades you see you can ask me to create a custom knife for you from, requesting or supplying certain special materials or having me etch your name in the steel etc The blades are also sold so other knife makers can make their own finished knife using my blade.
The steel originates from Tony Metsala, one of the well known Damascus steel providers known for his unique methods and patterns in steel. I took the rough bar and did the design and grinding of the steel and heat treatment - triple tempered. Back left soft, edge extra hard. I did my acid etch , then masked the etch when I did the Damascus etch to give this unique look. Unusual, very one of a kind and distinctive, from some of the best steel on the market. $475 . This can be in a $1,500 finished product in the right hands. R K Tony1moose 311
1084 and nickel silver steel, blade is for hidden tang style knife, blade is 5 inches x 1 inch x 1/8th thick.
This blade is a dagger double cutting edge razor sharp. Steel is 1084 edge hardened softer center. I acid etched the design then masked out the etch and darkened the steel with another acid etc. My thought was for a neck knife a boot knife 911. Code # is R K 1084 dagger 311--price is $85
This blade is made from high carbon 1095 steel. Overall 9 ¾ inches. Cutting edge is 5 ½ inched by 1 ½ wide x 1/8th thick. Forged steel, copper and brass were forged into the steel as it was formed. Crisp acid etch design came out well, deep and detailed. Ones side is the chickadee other side a woodpecker. Edge hardened back left soft edge extra hard. Could be a skinner camp knife or a utility knife maybe a kitchen knife. Code is R K 1095 birds 311. Price is $320
Chef or kitchen knife. This is forged 1084 steel 1/16th thick with some flex but stout enough for touch jobs. The edge is super hard while the back is softer. Etching came out nice on this , Hawk theme with foliage. Over all length is 12 inches cutting edge is 7 ½ inches and is 1 ¼ wide. Nice gentle taper to the sharp edge. Might work as well as a fish knife. Code # R K 1084-12 311. This is $150
Forged 1095 high carbon steel. 1/8th thick. Overall length is 9 inches, Cutting edge is 5 ½ inches. 1 ½ inches wide. Takes a nice shine good finish work sharp edge. Lynx etching theme. Copper brass forged into the steel as it was formed. Edge hardened back left soft. Code R K 1095 8 311. Price $195
Left, some of my latest ideas. I am now doing my own tempering and make the edge super hard and the back soft. I have some animal shapes for the steel. Note the whale and the otter. Also  trying some 'cut out' ideas - inserting cast brass and copper in the cutout.
Right now I have no particular design I repeat to offer anyone. Each is hand drawn hand cut one of a kind. cut and paste me a picture and tell me which one you like and I can show you what I have  in stock maybe. I will try to have time to post batches of my latest blades and maybe offer them but I'm pretty busy. Nor do I really want to do custom work. I'm just too used to doing it my way. What I make sells so I have no reason to
Custom Damascus steel forged blank blade (above)  . raw Damascus steel supplied by HHH Blades and is 1095 high carbon and nickel steel. Overall length 9 inches. Blade length 5 inches x 1.5 wide x 1/8th thick and weighs 6 ounces. When I shaped the blade I hammered brass and copper into the steel, forming a chemical bond as the metals fused. I acid etched custom hand drawn designs in the steel. One side has a detailed running wolf. The other side has a well detailed loon. Etching hard to get to show up well in picture but nice and deep - clean cut. Nice Damascus patterns etched to show up well. Blade was edge hardened only to extra hard, back left soft so blade can be tough and flex. This wide with drop point blade style is my personal favorite style for all around outdoor camp knife. This can be a very functional blade if desired or a presentation display piece. $95
First step is get the steel to a high polish. Step 2 coat steel with this black wax. The acid I use will eat only steel and does not touch the wax. Step 3 a design is scratched through the wax to the steel allowing the acid to reach the steel. One 'secret' is the design needs to be drawn freehand with sure strokes as it is hard to erase mistakes to do it again. Step 4 apply the acid. It is an art to know what strength acid on what kind of steel at what temperature and for how long. It's tricky. Wax is washed off with..... a secret sauce. Oh ya it is a good idea to neutralize the acid too when done(smile)
Examples of some of the above 'pre etch' are shown finished to the right. I also do all my own tempering of steel - usually with a hard edge and sofer back. I prefer high carbon 1095, old crosscut saqws of L6, or more addatives to the carbon in 01, or sometimes D-2 has desired properties , depending on the use the knife will get put to.  
Hunter skinner blade. Weighs 5 ounces. Has 6 inch cutting edge and is 1 ½ inches wide. 1/8th thick. Steel originates from some of the best Damascus on the market by Tony Matsala, known for his very original approach to steel working. I ground out his steel to my design. Unsure how technical to get…. I forged copper and bronze into the steel just before heat treatment. I normalized the steel. I edge hardened the blade with a torch and used a special oil mix. Dropped the temperature from 1,500 degrees to 900 in less than one second (this step would normally crack the steel- but I stop the process and only the edge has been heated….) then put in a preheated kiln at 400 for a slow drop from 900 degrees to 400, then slower drop to room temp, then super cold. Then tempered at 400 degrees 3 times for 2 hours each. This process gives an extra hard edge, a soft back for blade strength and no stress in the steel. This blade is more than just decorative, but will hold up well if used.
The art. I acid etched the design by hand one of a kind drawing. I masked the drawing etch with wax when doing the Damascus etch. I make it sound easy…. Keep in mind I have been referred to as a gifted artist since I was 5 years old,- over 50 years ago. This blade came out especially well very one of a kind, the best I have done in my opinion. R K tony5 411 Asking $375
The theme is 'things that hide in the forest'. One side is a fawn, and the other side an owl. One hides in the trees, the other on the ground. Since this is a hunter style skinner knife the message is to look around, wildlife - beauty and food is all around.
Kitchen chef knife or camp knife . 8 ¼ inches long x 1 ½ wide x 1/8th thick. A nice gentle taper to the edge for fine edge. Steel is among the best offered on the market by Tony Matsala. Is maverick methods of layering steel suits my style of work. Read my 'about how I work the steel' for particulars. Copper and bronze forged into the steel deeply acid etched so this blade needs no special care and can be used, the design will not go away. Very one of a kind never to be repeated blade. R K tony7 411. $375
Hefty camp - Blade 8 inches long x 2 wide x 1/8th thick. Steel is among the best on the market. Damascus created by Tony Matsala. Design and shaped by me. Might make a good kitchen knife except a bit heavy. A 'hunter and his prey' theme. One side has a mountain lion with his track. The other side a fawn trying to hide in the foliage. Copper forged into the steel looks like flecks of blood. Design came out nice. Deep crisp etchings with no flaws - overall blade came out about perfect. Edge hard, back soft. This blade can be put to heavy use. The artwork will not be damaged. R K tony4 411. This blade capable of being part of a multi thousand dollar knife. Buy the blade have a custom knife maker put the handle of your choice on it, or your materials. $420
In general…. My knives are unique one of a kind never repeated designs. As such each tends to be an experiment all unto itself. As all experiments - some come out almost perfect - others may not be 'flawed' but simply took way more time then needed and had technical complications. Some use steel I acquired from a master steel worker and cost over $100 for the blank, other steel is $3. No difference in performance, just in artistic value. Some of this accounts for the price ranges you see. It might be noted I do all the work myself and no blade gets sent out for any aspect of it to be done by someone else. I do my own hardening and tempering.
For the technical side----- the higher end blades began by being equalized. When cool I do minor forging of edge and forging of art metals. The copper and brass when used is hammered into the steel while both metals are forging temperature. (exact temperature is critical, as well as exact method, and a secret). Before metal cools I edge harden with a torch. With most steels I use I want to drop from 1,500 degrees (above critical) to 900 degrees in under half a second. My quench solution is also a secret. Steel cannot sustain such a fast drop (usually) without cracking. But edge hardening only, and stopping the drastic change at 900 degrees is crucial. At 400 degrees I put the blade in a preheated oven at 400 degrees. I want the steel to drop from 900 to 400 sort of slow. Then out of the kiln and to room temperature in half an hour, then super cooled. But tempered at 400 degrees within 8 hours. There is at least a double temper - often triple temper to relieve more stress and toughen the blade. I prefer to have an extra hard edge and a soft back so the edge stays- but the knife is not brittle due to a soft back. My methods are not standard. Nor is the art, nor is my life, nor is anything about me. I consider 'normal ' one of the worse insults you can give me. The procedure has been tested in the field and I am satisfied my blades will skin a moose, cut a rope in one swipe, do camp chores needed to be done in a wilderness lifestyle I live, and can be shaved with. These are my tests. I guarantee they will hold up better than any factory blade you can buy. Beyond that the value is in being decorative.
The decorations are made to be on a functional knife so will not wear off or need any special care. Etchings are acid etched deep, art metal of copper and brass in deep, and I tend to do deep Damascus etching you can feel with your finger - deeper than normal. I make it sound easy… but keep in mind I was labeled 'gifted' artistically since I was 5 years old over 50 years ago. My methods of acid etch are not by the book. Nothing I do is by the book. I make my own acid and it is probably illegal to own or use. I make my own wax resist. It would thus be hard for anyone else to duplicate what I do. I do not listen well to others nor take advice. I am off in my own world. I think this shows in my blades. A guy who spent 25 years alone in the wilds as a hermit- mountain man, and this also shows in my art. My work is very identifiable to me, collectable, with world- wide recognition. This as well is reflected in some of the art pieces that I spent special care with. Other blades you see at a good price are made to be more functional for the hunter in the field who is on a budget but still wants a one of a kind blade. In this way I can cater to more than one market.
Otter shape hunter skinner or kitchen knife. Over all shape is an otter. Blade is the tail. Last rivet hole is the eye. 1084 steel oil edge hardened , double tempered. Tested to cut a brass rod in half and still shave paper. 1/8 steel. 9 ½ over all, blade is 5 ½ long x 1 /2 wide. Forged with brass copper on the surface acid etch custom designs a duck I the grass on one side and flowers on the other side. Very one of a kind. A KB Otter2 611 is the order code if inquiring . $70. Same blade that goes on $450 finished knives. Put your own handle on and have a nice high end blade for a fraction of the cost of a finished knife. Wrap leather even duck tape around it and have a fine useable knife in the field. Or take your time and build a knife you can be proud of for many generations.
.Hunter. Thin blade for all day carrying good flesher, nice sharp edge that will keep. A KB 1095 hunter 611 is the order code if inquiring. $70
1095 high carbon steel oil edge hardened , double tempered. Tested to cut a brass rod in half and still shave paper. 1/16 steel acid etch custom designs. One side the bird, the other side the flower. Very one of a kind. is the order code if inquiring. Same blade that goes on $450 finished knives. Put your own handle on and have a nice high end blade for a fraction of the cost of a finished knife. Wrap leather even duck tape around it and have a fine useable knife in the field. Or take your time and build a knife you can be proud of for many generations.
Damascus blade of high carbon and nickel steels. Copper and brass forged into the back of the steel for decoration. An extra long blade 9 inches long x 1 ¼ wide x 1/16th thick . Could be a bread knife meat knife kitchen type knife or a outdoor camp utility big skinner or small bowie. Edge hardened will hold an edge will so made to be used. Acid etching of bear footprint on one and moose footprint on the other (the bear is looking for the moose.).High quality hand forged Damascus. $175
Damascus hunter skinner or kitchen knife 8 ½ inch long x 1 ¼ wide x 1/8th thick. Snowy owl acid etch on one side and log cabin etch on the other side. Copper and brass hammered into the steel when forged for decoration. Edge hardened extra hard to be used. Tang has slight flaw, made a wrong cut Ooops! Should not effect strength of finished product. Discounted to $150

See my ‘special orders’ page. I take on only a limited number of special orders. See why.

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01 steel hunter 5 ½ inch blade x 1 ½ wide, 3/16ths thick. A nice fit in the hand. One side has a snarling wolf head, the other side has blade of grass acid etched with small wolf footprints. Hard to get etching to show up in pictures. Holes not drilled in handle as steel here is soft and easy to drill. I myself put a handle on first then drill handle and steel at same time for a perfect fit. $65

Feather Damascus steel by Randy at HHH. Acid etched with warbler songbird and leaves - copper brass hammered in during forging. I may use this one in a knife , have not decided. Let me know if this interests you. In the $120 range.

Hunter style camp knife. Custom HHH Randy Damascus steel. 4 inch cutting edge 8 inch overall. 3/16ths steel. Bear footprint eth on one side feather etch on the other. Copper and brass hammered into steel when forged. Hardened sharpened soft handle undrilled, you can decide how to do your handle pattern. $165

Hunter style camp knife. Custom Tony pattern weld steel . Two layers laminated to an 01 steel core - labor intensive to do but produces a superior steel. 5 inch cutting edge 1 ½ inches wide x 3/16ths thick. Copper and brass forged into steel when tempering. Once side has flower etched the other side an eagle head . hardened polished sharpened ready to put hidden tang style handle on. $250

Hunter style camp knife. Custom HHH Randy Damascus steel. 4 ½ inch cutting edge, 9 inches over all , ¼ thick . Copper and brass forged into steel during tempering. Acid etch flowers on both sides came out especially clean and distinct. Edge extra hard back soft for holding up well in use. $150

01 steel skinner, hidden tang style handle. 1/16th thick thin light strong. 5 inch long blade x 1 11/2 wide . Has etching of wolf head on one side and snowy owl on the other side. Sorry pictures not better. Will make a nice working knife at a good price. $65

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Kitchen /fillet knife Tony feather Damascus. 6.5 inch cutting edge 12 inches overall. Thin 1/16th blade . Not many good pictures, sorry! Copper forged not steel, one side, faint etch of rabbit . This knife a good all around kitchen chef type knife. Maybe fish knife. To thin for perfect camp skinner. Soft handle so you can easily drill handle holes to suit. $150

Large skinner or kitchen knife. 6 inch blade x 1 ¾ wide , 11 inches overall. 3/16ths thick. Alalabama USA custom Damascus steel. Very nice crisp deep cut Damascus pattern ripples like water. Copper forged into steel . Good all around knife could have many uses. Handle soft so holes can be easily drilled for scales. $210

Large skinner camp knife. 5 inch x 2 inch wide blade . 9 inches over all length. 1/8th wide. Tony Damascus. Copper forged into the steel. Very hefty knife will hold up well for camp, survival skinner. Handle soft so holes easy to put in. $250

Kitchen fish or skinner knife. D2 steel 6 inch x 1.5 inch blade, 10 inches over all length. 3/16ths thick. I forged the edge using a snowflake pattern hammer, so edge has show flakes all along it. D2 steel is a high carbon steel border line stainless, very stain resistant so good for kitchen knife and stays shinny. Small amount of copper forged into the steel. Slight etch of porcupine shows on one side, flew on the other. $130

Small skinner camp survival knife. 3.5 x 1.5 inch blade. 1/8th Over all length 7 inch, hidden tang style handle. Tony Damascus is patter welded not folded, very time consuming and difficult. Resulting in such a unique concentric circle patter. Copper forged into the steel . This knife thick short blade is very tough and will hold up to abuse. $210

Skinner or kitchen -chef knife. D2 steel 10 inches over all, 5 ½ cutting edge, 1 ½ inches wide 3/16th thick. Acid etched both sides. One aside otter with a fish, other side flowers. Taken to a high polish and nice cutting edge. Cryo (deep cold) treated tested- carves a pencil point on a brass rod and still cuts paper. D2 known for ability to keep an edge and be stain resistant. $65

RK otter D2 713

Kitchen knife or utility 10m ½ inches of D2 steel, 6 inch cutting edge, 1 ½ inches wide, 3/16ths thick. Nice etch of 2 flying geese on one side and duck on the other. . Taken to a nice shine with good edge. D2 known for edge holding and stain resistance. $65

RK geese duck D2 713

Kitchen chef or utility knife. D2 steel over all 10 inches long, 6 inch cutting edger, 1 ½ inches wide and 3/16ths thick. Well etched rabbit theme both sides. Nice finish done, edge put on. Cryo deep freeze treated so extra tough. D2 known for it’s ability to hold an edge forever and stain resistance. $65

RK rabbits D2 713

D2 steel skinner
Overall 10 inches, 5 ½ inch cutting edge, 1 ½ inches wide, 3/16ths thick. Rockwell 59, cryo (deep cold) treated. Taken to a high shine, already sharp. No holes but handle is soft - easy to drill to suit. Nice etching. One side a mountain lion, other side a spruce tree

D2 is especially good steel for holding an edge forever (extremely tough) , and being stain resistant. This knife carved a point on a brass rod and was still razor sharp as one of my tests. $95

1095 high carbon steel skinner. Over all 9 ½ inches. 4 ¼ inch cutting edge, 2 inches wide. 1/16th thick. A light thin razor sharp flexible blade. Edge very hard back soft.

Nice acid etch in steel both sides, a fox head. (For one who is very crafty). No holes, handle is soft and easy to drill to suit. Nice high polish on this blade. $75

Skinner style D2 steel.(Code D2 E) Over all length 7 inches. Blade is 3.5 inches. This blade has deep acid etch designs on both sides. Bird flower theme with rain or snow drop patterns. Tested- shaved a brass brazing rod to a sharp point staying razor sharp and cut a steel welding rod without chipping. A smallish handy knife . Could be functional decorative or both. Feels comfortable in the hand. Could be a kitchen knife, or for field dressing game, or an all around utility knife. Would be good around water. D2 steel is known for it’s high chrome content . Extremely tough tool steel for chisels and scrapers. Semi stainless so takes a lot of acid foods, pine pitch, and requires minimum care to stay shiny. This blade has a extra hard edge but soft back, so it can pry and be used rough. This knife gets razor sharp. Other steels known for getting sharper then razor, but not as tough. This blade has been cryo treated. Handle soft so you can drill your own pin holes where you want. ( super cold heat treat). Designed to be a $350 to $500 knife if you make a nice handle. $85

Skinner style D2 steel (code D2 p) Over all length 8.5 inches. Blade is 4 ¾ inches. Could make a nice kitchen utility knife, small fish knife, or utility game skinner. Nice crisp acid etch design, hand done fish theme on both sides. All the good qualities of D2 steel. Tested- shaved a brass brazing rod to a point and stayed razor sharp and cut a steel welding rid in half without chipping. Hard edge soft back. Capable of being a $350 to $500 finished product. $85

Neck knife style D2 steel (code D2 J) Overall length is 5.5 inches, with 3 inches of cutting edge. This could be a boot knife, sheath , or pocket knife . Designed to be small hidden but functional. Both edges are sharp so like a small dagger or dirk but could be utility. Handle is soft so easy to drill pin holes. Blade is hard and cryo treated (super cold as part of the heat treat). The blade has nice acid etching , flower theme on both sides. Sorry the close up did not come out great! I had in mind a high end stone for handle like opal or jade. This is a quality blade that has been tested and holds up my standards of 300 edge swipes on brass and still cuts paper. $60

Whale small skinner utility knife
# 114 Overall 6.5 inches, Cutting edge 3 and 3 quarters inches . Forged from high carbon 1084. Edger hardened to Rockwell 60. Handle soft so holes can be drilled. Acid etched sun on both sides, as well as whale features around eye and moth lines Spots of copper have been forged into the blade for distinct permanent decoration. Slightly lower price design as this has been water jet cut steel not hand cut, but still hand forged and heat treated. $50

Otter design 1084 skinner blade # 114 Over all length is 9 inches. Cutting edge is 5 and a half. Edge hardened to 61 Rockwell. Back softer for better blade toughness. This edge tested . Made 350 paper cuts without needing touching up and cut through a welding rod without chipping. Both sides are acid etched. One side has a wolf head, the others side flowers . Copper and brass ahve been forged into the steel during heat treatment for decoration. Slight cosmetic imperfection in the acid etching so price reduced from normal $95 to $75

Heavy Damascus . Custom Mel Harvey Damascus steel # 114 Made for chain saw chain. Over all length 13 inches. Blade length 8 inch. Copper forged into the steel during heat treat. Rockwell edge 62 back 55. Tested this blade. Cut through a steel welding rod beating on the back with a hammer, and shaves a brass brazing rod to a point without dulling. Can be used to chop or pry as a survival type knife. Damascus pattern sands out well. $195

Custom small skinner - utility knife. D2 steel 6 inches overall with 3 inch cutting edge. High shine, nicely acid etched on both sides. Chickadee bird theme Rockwell about 61. Cryo cold treated (Helps the blade be tougher for the same hardness). D2 is a semi stainless tool steel. This bade passed a test of cutting a welding rod in half and shaving a brass brazing rod to a point and still being razor sharp. Handle is soft for easily drilling of holes where you want them for handle. $75

This is my main tool for cutting out my knife blades. A portable band saw I hose clamp to a beam. It does the job!

Blank blade D2 steel 514. Blade length 5 inches x 1.5 wide . Rockwell 59. Double temper and cryo (cold) tempered. 250 stokes in the brass rod edge test (usual score on factor blade is 50). Etching is deep and crisp with good detail of ram head one side and caribou on the other side. Good for hunting skinning knife. But potential many uses as this is a good standard shape. $70

Blank blade custom Tony Damascus steel. Blade length 5 inches , a narrow ¾ wide. Pattern welded, much more labor intensive then ordinary Damascus. (See close up of steel pattern). Acid etched flower on both sides. Good small fish knife, kitchen knife, bird skinner. Enough tang to thread and use a nut to tighten on handle. $70

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Meteorite knife blade. 3 ½ inch cutting edge, x 1 inch wide. From the Nantan meteor shower in China I forget the date , 1850 I think. Mixture of nickel and iron. Older then the planet earth. The patter in the steel is the natural crystal structure. Crystals take on this pattern cooling one degree per million years. The cant be duplicated on earth. Not an especially functional knife (not the perfect metals combination)_ but will work and make a very exotic one of a kind finished product! $250

Hidden tang chain saw bar steel skinner. 5 inch blade, 1 ½ inches wide. Thick tough blade. Very detailed eagle etching both sides. Tang a little off center, should not be a bother but is noticeable. Will need to pay attention to the hole it goes into in the handle. $95

Basic skinner carbon steel. 5 inch blade. Nice etching of flying eagle one side and wolf head other side. Steel from old crosscut so probably L6 but old enough to be stained which distracts from the looks. Good choice for someone who wants a descent functional knife without the high cost of ‘fancy but at the same time having some personality with the good etching. $50

Pattern weld Damascus steel 1095 and nickel steel. Overall 9 inches. 5 inch blade, 1.5 inches wide. An extremely complex pattern weld by Tony. I forge copper into the steel during heat treatment. Very deeply etched pattern. Canada goose theme etch. Edge hardened , polished, sharpened, ready for a handle. This blade worthy of a very fine high end finished product. $200