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My Introduction


David Broadwell

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Hi Folks,

 

Since the forum is back up and running I thought I would introduce myself. My name is David Broadwell. I've been a custom knifemaker for almost 26 years, a full timer since 1989. While I've made most any type of knife (except automatics) most of them are presentation and art knives. My art knives tend to have carving and sculpting in something of an Art Nouveau style, with some in Art Deco (my personal favorite). I use a good deal of Damascus steel for blades and natural materials for handles.

 

I also make one of a kind writing instruments, mostly fountain pens. Many of the metals that I use on my knives are also used on my pens. This includes Damascus steel, mokume gane, bronze, and titanium. I use celluloid and hard rubber often, more than natural materials. I carve the pens like I do the knives. I also collaborate with Ray Cover for my engraved pens.

 

I've made other items as well. Last year I collaborated with a fine furniture maker to include Damascus hardware and decorative inlays on an office set he made. I've also made a few custom motorcycle parts. These days I just tell people "I make things"!

 

You can see my work here: http://www.david.broadwell.com

 

I'm married to Sue, who actually wears most of the hats in this business. Have daughters, both grown and still in school. For recreation I enjoy fly fishing and camping, I've been a competitive pistol shooter, and these days I ride a Harley Davidson Sportster.

 

Hope I can learn from this forum and occasionally contribute.

 

David

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Thanks, Doug. I appreciate the compliments on my pens.

 

I buy my modern celluloid from a couple of suppliers to the kit pen turners. Most of the plastic used in the kits is horrible to work with (usually brittle or powdery polyester), but the cellulose acetates are nice. I turn my own parts on my engine lathe, and do not use the kits. I have occasionally used old celluloid. I also use some modern acrylic and of course ebonite, or hard rubber.

 

I suppose one could make either cellulose nitrate (the original celluloid) or cellulose acetate from scratch. That would be something like a knifemaker who makes his own steel from iron ore or a painter who makes his own oils. Cellulose nitrate needs about a year to cure, and it does burn. It's much more efficient to buy it.

 

I view things like celluloid, Damascus steel, mother of pearl, ivory, etc to be raw materials, and don't believe my work would be better if I made or harvested them myself. Most of the makers of Damascus steel really enjoy the heat of the forge and the vibration from the hammer, but I live in Texas where it's already hot enough, and I don't get any particular thrill from feeling the ground shake! I can work with someone to get what I need for a given project.

 

David

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