About Great River Knives

Welcome and thank you for visiting Great River Forge

I grew up in a farming community where everyone carried a pocket knife. All rural kids carried pocket knives to the one room country school I attended as a child. This started my fascination for traditional slipjoints. As a kid, I started making my own knives out of old hacksaw blades and files once I was tall enough to reach up to the bench grinder. After hand forging my very first ‘custom’ knife in my high school shop class, I knew I was someday going to be a knife maker.

I began blacksmithing full time in 1986. I started out with craft items and gradually worked into ornate architectural ironwork. Along with making railings, I’ve forged and heat treated lots of tools for my shop. Over the years I’ve made about fifteen thousand throwing tomahawks and hundreds of knives and other tools for the fur trade re-enactors.

In 2004 I attended a demonstration by R.B. Johnson on liner lock folders. Afterwards, R.B. was kind enough to allow me to spend some time with him in his shop. He helped me build my first folding knife and I have been hooked ever since.

About the time I was getting out of the US Navy in 1973, I bought a Case Sodbuster Jr. I carried and used that knife for many years until the back spring broke. Instead of sending it off to Case to have it repaired, I disassembled the knife and used it as the basis for my own rendition of this old pattern.  Since that time I have built a collection of patterns and continue to add to the list.

I use mostly use  CPM 154 CM for my blades and back springs. All my knives are hollow ground and razor sharp. They always close dead center and have nice walk and talk. I can make any knife to the customer’s specifications, shadow patterns, caps and bolsters, integral bolsters and liners. Most of my knifes are made with bronze pivot bushings.  The scales can be made from just about anything the customer requests, bone, mastodon ivory, mother of pearl, Sambar stag, wood, G10, Micarta or any other natural or man-made material. All my work is done in my shop from blank pieces of material.

My goal with each and every knife I make is to produce a knife with a fit and finish that both you and I can be proud of. I take this very seriously and hold myself to the highest standards before it ever gets to the customer. My guarantee to the customer is; if you’re not satisfied with your knife, you may return it within 7 days for a full refund. I always use USPS priority mail and insurance is included.

I work mostly from an  order list and I am currently taking orders for the knife of your choice. I rarely have anything available for immediate sale.  ALL KNIVES DISPLAYED ARE SOLD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED

If you’d like to get on the list you can email me at keith@greatriverforge.com , call me at 218-751-9433 or 1-877-GRFORGE (473-6743), or 218 368-7482.
Thank you for looking at my products,
Keith