This week from the bench…Custom Knives!

We'll review some of our latest projects and custom knives.

As promised, this week we'll take a look at the Black Bear Bowie, the Little Bear, and the Bigfoot Tracker. We'll also have a quick chat with one of our leather artisans, Mason.

Our Black Bear Bowis is a classic "Mountain Man" style Bowie knife, and features a fully hand-contoured and shaped handle. This awesome handle is made from stabilized redwood burl that was dyed blue and matched up with a moose paddle tine. The handle is a beautiful combination of new and old materials, giving it a truly rustic feel. The thin red and blue G10 spacers add just the right accent, and give a nice contrast between the brass guard and the redwood. The blade is made from our classic Twist Damascus pattern, using 1080 high-carbon steel and 15N20, and has around 200 layers of steel. The Black Bear Bowie was a fun project and is available on our website

Our Little Bear is about as simple as it gets for a custom knife. This little knife may be small in size, but it's big in ability and beauty. The knife features a fully hand-contoured handle made from a stunning piece of stabilized box elder burl which was dyed brown. We added dark red G10 liners to give just the right accent between the wood and steel. The blade is made from our signature Ribbon Twist Damascus pattern. If you're interested in finishing your own Little Bear, we also make this blade blank available for purchase on our ebay page as Item# 3061 ( in Twist Damascus. Depending on sales, you may also find it in 1095 and Snakeye Damascus. The knife in the photo below is still available for sale on our website by clicking here

Speaking of knife blanks, this custom Bigfoot Tracker blank has been a top selling pattern for years from our OEM side and on our ebay page. ( This knife is designed for any task you can throw at it. The hand-contoured handle is made from a beautiful piece of stabilized box elder burl that was dyed blue. We paired it up with dark red G10 liners and mosaic pins to give it just the right finish. This particular blade was made in our Snakeye Damascus pattern with 1080 high-carbon steel and 15N20. Don't let this "Bigfoot" sneak's available on our website.

Each of these three custom knives comes with a hand-made custom sheath. Some feature a full basket stamp, and others have a beautiful edge stamp, but all of them are created in our leather shop by Mason Wynder. Mason has been with Schenk Knives for a couple of years and brings a lot of talent and passion to our leather shop. I decided to do a quick interview with Mason, to give our patrons a little insight into who we are and what makes our products stand out against other knife makers.

Matt (SK) - Mason, how did you get into leatherworking?

Mason (MW) - I've been doing leatherwork since I was 14. As a kid, watching fantasy and medieval movies, I really liked the leather armor. I went to a local leather shop and picked up a kit...I was hooked.

SK - What do you enjoy most about working with leather?

MW - I love how versatile the craft is. You can make many different things with leather, and do it almost anywhere. From a small keychain to leather armor, I can make just about anything I can think of.

SK - In 2019 you made a ton of custom sheaths, what keeps you interested in that kind of work?

MW - Even with something as simple and straightforward as a knife sheath, I love being able to make them all different and unique. Unless I'm tooling a batch for an order, each sheath can have a different tooling pattern or edge stamp. I get to be as creative as I want when it comes to the patterns. Some are intricate, some are simple, but each one reflects my passion for working with leather. I'm excited to see how many sheaths we can make in 2020!

Note: In 2019, Mason and his team used over 8,000 square feet of vegetable tanned leather and made over 14,000 sheaths. Over 250 of those were hand-tooled customs.

Next week, we'll meet our Machine Shop Manager, Dylan Tanner. He'll tell us all about some of the projects he's been working on...including the Regal and Ally folding knives. Until then, stay sharp and stay healthy!