After a couple months out west to close 2006, we stay on the east coast of the US for a second month, featuring the Father-Daughter team of Mike and Karyn de Punte' of Maine's Cape Forge as our February spotlight toolmaker.
Cape Forge's tools are all individually hand forged one at a time. Nothing compares to a hand forged tool when it comes to quality and edge holding capabilities. The individual care that goes into each tool will become apparent whether you are a beginner or an old time carver. They are unconditionally guaranteed and made to last for generations with proper care. Cape Forge tools are forged from W1 or W2 tool steel, basic high carbon steels. The tools are forged to shape using a traditional coal fire and a power hammer.
During the forging, the thickness of the steel is actually reduced by more than half. This step refines the grain structure within the steel.
The result is a steel that has unbeatable edge holding capabilities. Once the steel has been forged it is then profiled to the appropriate shape and is ready for selective heat-treating. Heat treating also plays a very important role in edge holding.
Tools are treated to 62 on the Rockwell C Scale. This is as hard as you can comfortably create a blade without it becoming too brittle. The tools are then triple-tempered; this relaxes the steel and gives it more toughness than the standard single temper.
The tools are handled in angelique and sharpened to a razor edge. There are actually over 20 separate steps that goes into each blade, producing a tool that will hold an edge indefinitely and need only stropping for edge maintenance. We individually test each tool to meet our standards before it is sent to you.
A band-aid is sent with each order as our disclaimer and a reminder that these are very sharp tools and should be handled appropriately.
Since all of Cape Forge's tools are completely made by hand, the basic shapes will always remain the same but you will see slight variations between the tools. You will also notice we have improved on some of our existing tools within the catalog.
We are always listening to wood-carvers and take every opportunity to implement your ideas. Our basic process has not changed; but a few shapes and the handle styles have been modified at your requests. We encourage your input and welcome your ideas. You are the backbone of great tools.
Mike de Punte' - The Brains
Mike came up with the idea of creating first rate products for woodcarvers back in 1987. He had been making custom hunting and art knives for 15 years or so and was discouraged by the fact that these magnificent pieces were rarely used. At the same time he noted the lack of wood working tools available. The idea was formed and he ran it by his daughter and Cape Forge came to life.
Mike has his Journeyman rating in the American Bladesmiths Society and still continues to create custom hunting and Damascus art knives on a limited basis. The operation has been split into two locations for the past 10 years. Mike and his wife Janath reside on Cape Cod where he does all the forging and finishes all the chisels.
Karyn de Punte' - The Brawn
Karyn earned her BA degree in Industrial Education and Technology in 1988. Being one of the only women in the department she often wondered where this degree was going to lead her. When her father ran the idea of edged tools by her she knew it was something to pursue. She moved back to Cape Cod in 1988 and started apprenticing with her father.
Karyn spends most of her time behind on of her several grinders where she finishes all the knives. The business is run out of Karyn's home and it is likely you will speak with her when placing your order. Karyn and her husband Mark reside in Maine where he is a Professor of Bio-chemistry at the University of New England. October of 1994 brought Mark and Karyn twin boys -David and Logan-and Andrea joined the family in January of 1999. Although the kids are not allowed to touch the knives until they are well into their fifties, we are hoping they will become part of the tradition of knife makers.
The Father and Daughter team of
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