Montana Knife Maker

Self taught knife maker of Montana

Hi I’m Lyle Brunckhorst, I’ve been around this ever growing community as a custom knife maker for the past 40 years.

I have developed my own styles of cutlery as I both watched and joined with my knife making friends drive up the bar of excellence while we competed annually for best knife awards at the nation’s shows.

Little Pardner with jigged bone handle as a knife maker I carried one similar to this for years
Little Pardner with jigged bone handle A true knife makers knife

I have spent these past 40 years as a custom knife maker, learning as much as I could about the subject and striving to be among the ranks of master knife makers. For the past 20 years after moving to Country Village, I have been  teaching the craft.

I’m a Montana native and I made my first knife back in 1976 when I was living in White Sulphur Springs, Montana. At the time I was an avid hunter and spent most of my time in the great outdoors. I tested my hunting knives in the hunting camps and have had many very satisfied customers, some of them professional outfitters.

When you spend as much time as I have in the woods, hunting, fishing and trapping you become fairly good at keeping your knives sharp. As a knife maker, I started sharpening knives for the local folks and have gotten quite proficient at it.

I now have a steady income of knife sharpening that helps to continue on with bigger and better ventures such as an occasional dagger or Bowie knife and the Xross Bar Lock folders.

Another one of those projects was the Northwest Hammer In that I put on for a number of years until carpal tunnel and my better half dictated that I stop doing the week long classes followed by the 2 day event. I was joined by some top talent at these seminars, who helped with demonstrations and we all had a lot of fun helping to advance the art.

One of the most rewarding things that I have ever done is being a custom knife maker, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the feeling I get teaching the craft. I started teaching knife making under the name Northwest Knife Making School a few years back and it has been the best venture of my life. The great reward is watching someone as they pass the ABS style test with their newly forged blade and joining the ranks of the custom knife makers.

Some but not all of my past achievements.

1976 joined the ranks as a custom knife maker in Montana country.

1988 I promoted The Northwest Knife Expo in Spokane, WA

1989 The Montana sanctioned Montana Centennial Bowie

1992 Organized the “Professional Knifemakers Association” with the help of Willard Patrick of Helena, Montana, was elected charter president and chaired the first two shows in Denver.

1993 Designed the 24 inch deep electric heat treating furnace. (Look at Paragon)

1996 Moved to Washington and set up a shop and gallery.

1998 Formed the “Northwest School of Knifemaking” and started giving knife making classes.

2000 Developed the Double L Hoofknife in conjunction with John Lavier. The knife is distributed by Delta Horseshoe Co. Rocklin, CA.

2002 Hosted the Northwest Hammer In here at my shop in Bothell, WA

2003 Wrote my first but very short book. “The Secret World of Sharpening”

Held the 2003 Northwest June Hammer In

2004 Hammer In #3 with Michael Bell and Ed Caffrey and continued on with them for several more years