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Old 04-11-2013, 12:42 AM
Buddy Thomason's Avatar
Buddy Thomason Buddy Thomason is offline
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2,205
Freedom's Steel II - Never Forget! - a very special custom knife project

The images below present Knife Rights' extraordinary custom collaboration knife honoring historic sacrifices for America's freedoms and our Constitution's Second Amendment. It was a great honor for me to be asked to participate in this worthy project.

Quoting from's web page here:

"Knife Rights has donated Freedom's Steel? II - Never Forget?, an extraordinary custom knife collaboration, to the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) in appreciation for their support of Knife Rights' legislative efforts fighting the second front in defense of the Second Amendment?. Freedom's Steel? II - Never Forget? was conceived of, and sponsored by Knife Rights to benefit NRA-ILA.
Freedom's Steel? II - Never Forget? will be a featured auction item at the NRA-ILA Dinner and Auction to be held at the NRA Annual Meeting in Houston, Texas on the evening of May 3, 2013. Proceeds from the sale of Freedom's Steel? II - Never Forget? will support NRA-ILA efforts to defend the Second Amendment.

This one-of-a-kind 18-inch 700-layer Damascus Bowie was forged by National Living Treasure and American Bladesmith Society Master Bladesmith Jerry Fisk from steel salvaged from the Destroyer USS Cole (attacked 8/12/2000) and from 2 World Trade Center (South Tower - attacked 9/11/2001). These historic steels were donated by Fisk and this is the only knife he will ever make in which these two significant steels alone are combined in one blade.

The 700 layers in the Damascus represent the 700 British soldiers that attacked the Minutemen at Lexington and Concord, the first battle for our freedom. Fisk forged the blade in an "Interrupted W" pattern because George "W" Bush was in the White House at the time the terrorists struck in the attack on 9/11, from which a portion of the steel was salvaged. Thus, the layers represent the first armed American resistance and the "Interrupted W" pattern represents the last attack on American home soil.

Fisk describes the steel used in Freedom's Steel? II - Never Forget?:
"The large bottom piece is from the World Trade Center South Tower. It still had some of the blast residue on it. The smaller bent piece is from the USS Cole, salvaged by one of the welders that cut out part of the blast section. In addition, there are two pieces of 1084 high carbon steel to give it edge holding and a third piece of steel was salvaged from a small country mill from the early part of the 20th century, which represents the middle class working man - the foundation of America."

Fisk explains that he chose to make this knife a Bowie because "the Bowie is recognized world-wide as the quintessential American knife, a recognized symbol of America. This is an early American style of Bowie which represents the fundamental American characteristics of lean strength and resilience, the basics we should get back to in running our great country."

The two steel handle spacers were forged by Fisk from rebar salvaged from the restoration of the Statue of Liberty (1982-1986) and donated by world-renowned engraver Leonard Francolini of New Mexico. Francolini's exquisite engraving of the guard features 24 karat flush gold scrollwork inlaid around the perimeter. The sides of the guard have steel cut scrollwork with a punch dot background. It is signed FRANCOLINI in a recessed, 24 karat gold inlaid rectangle on the bottom of the guard.

Fisk carved the oak handle spacer out of a salvaged branch from the Alamo's historic Live Oak - also donated by Fisk. The significance of the blade's length of 12 3/4 inches is also related to the Alamo. The storied siege of the Alamo lasted just short of 13 full days before falling to Mexican General Santa Anna on March 6, 1836. The handle was carved by Fisk from 10,000-year-old rare ringed fossilized mammoth ivory that was dug up on Saint Lawrence Island, Alaska.

Custom sheath maker Paul F. Long handcrafted the sheath to compliment the extraordinary knife and, especially, the color of the ancient Mammoth Ivory handle. the sheath features top grain vegetable tanned, russet colored American cowhide with a brown lizard chevron overlay. It is fully lined with supple deerskin to protect the blade. Long hand-tooled the geometric embellishments.
Freedom's Steel II? - Never Forget? is presented in a custom-built Black Walnut display case by Brookfield Case. It features glass on four sides plus the top, and is internally lit with LED lighting. Etched into the glass front is a reproduction of the original script from the Bill of Rights, Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified December 15, 1791: ...the right of the People to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.
​I was honored to provide the photography.

That's the who, why and where. Here's the what:

This image will be projected on a big screen for the audience as they commence bidding:

Here is the knife in it's most excellent display case:

[SIZE=1]And a clear view of the etching:

An image featuring the sheath:

A detail image of the engraving and blade/guard/handle junction:

[SIZE=2]Three additional images for distribution to publications:

continued - next post


Avatar ~ custom crank case cover from 1969 Harley shovelhead chopper
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:43 AM
Buddy Thomason's Avatar
Buddy Thomason Buddy Thomason is offline
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2,205

Doug Ritter of provided these three context images (9/11 South Tower, USS Cole in tow with blast damage and the Alamo):

And finally, Doug insisted I provide a mug shot so, this is me as of April, 2013 - a mere shadow of the man I used to be.


Avatar ~ custom crank case cover from 1969 Harley shovelhead chopper
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Old 04-11-2013, 03:09 AM
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miketheknife miketheknife is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: High Point, NC
Posts: 196
WOW stunning work. I hope we never forget!
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:36 AM
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Fulmaduro Fulmaduro is offline
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 318
A truly beautiful knife and a beautiful tribute for American's who believe in this country! Mr. Fisk did an amazing job!

Tony bZ

ABS Apprentice Bladesmith
USMC Veteran
VFW Life Member

"Retreat? Hell, we just got here!"
Captain Lloyd Williams, USMC
Battle Of Belleau Wood June 1918
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:05 AM
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Don Robinson Don Robinson is offline
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Posts: 4,873

Only Jerry Fisk could come up with that! Unbelievably beautiful work!

And only Buddy could make such great photos!
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