Here at Arcadia Knives hand crafted knives have a soul. They are created with care, sweat and fire. If you are looking for a knife that you can pass down to your children then look no further.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

2016 - In Like A LION!

2016 slipped in and started out just fine.

Not long after I got a call from my mother.  My father fell and hurt himself.  That did him in.  He kept falling and within a week he was taken to a hospice facility.  Two days later, on Jan 22nd my dad passed away from complications of that fall.  We drove the 800 miles up to the funeral.  I was lucky to see many distant family members that I haven’t seen for 20some odd years.  I know that nowadays people don’t often take pictures of the dead, but I still remember in the old days they would usually take one at the funeral home with all the flowers and such.  I can be old school and will do it for the simple fact of how much has happened in the world in the last 91 years since my dad was born.  The first pic is how I always thought of him (not PC) bayonetting the Rising Sun on the beach in Tarawa. 

He taught me all the things a good dad is supposed to.  How to fish, throw a ball, ride a bike, smoke&drink, hunt and drive.  That a belt had more than one thing it was good for, and wasn’t afraid to give me a lesson when I really needed it.  I can’t remember Dad cussing or swearing, he led by example…Oh yeah that one didn’t work.  He also taught me how to use a ruler when I was very young, to help him build things.  He taught me to build things to last.  He said “An elephant should be able to stand on it”.  I guess he thought of us kids as elephants or at least as rough as one.                                  

 RIP James Patrick Burns   Dec 16, 1924 – Jan 22, 2016    I will surely miss you!


February has been a rough month for me at work.  An automatic gate (aka Poop Chute) at the sewer plant stopped automation partly.  I have had to manually close this gate every 4-6 hours, day and night.  It crapped out Feb 3rd and is still not working.  That means that I have not slept a whole night for 4 weeks.  Talk about being out of whack.  Not sleeping properly really messes up your whole body.  Driving into town at all hours has lost its luster.  Hopefully it will be fixed soon and I can return to….wait for it----------Normal.  HA!  Don't think it's bloody likely.

This ol’ boy has gotta get going on more knives, glue up a bunch of antler products and try to have everything ready for The Blooming Arts Festival in Linden, TN.  The dates for the show are Good Friday March 25th from 12:00 -7:00pm and Saturday March 26th from 9:00am – 7:00pm.

Hope y’all come to Linden to check out the show.  It’s the first of the season and there are so many good vendors set up, as well as music going on throughout the show.


 The Ames Plantation Heritage Festival was only three weeks away and I hadn’t worked on show stuff for months.  This is our favorite show and I was somewhat prepared before working on the party.  I needed to work on a few knives and some other goods to be totally ready.  It turned out to be a nice day with lots of great folks stopping by to see our stuff.

Our next show was in November with the Elk Valley Crafters Assoc. It was a two day show 80 miles away.  With a slow show, gas and all the time involved plus driving back and forth, we decided not to do it in 2016.  We were doing the one day spring show to keep our good spot, but things just didn’t work out.  

The last show of 2015 was The Farm School Holiday Bazaar in Summertown, TN.  It usually runs the first weekend in December.  The show is so fun.  It is close quarters and people are packed in tight.  There is a lot of talent and everyone is so nice.

We moved our travel trailer to its permanent location under the large carport.  I had to cut one of the upright 4x4’s to be able to pull it in.

Hunting season was successful for us.  Always glad to venison in the freezer.  Leslie got me a nice new larger grinder to grind our burger and other sausage.
Christmas was very quiet on the homestead.  It came and went as did New Year’s day.  There surely was a lot more to write about if I had just kept up with the blog.  I for one was glad to see 2015 pass.

It's About Time I Posted

So much has happened since my last post, on July 8th, at our li’l slice of heaven. I finished my enclosed workshop area and got my machines set where I wanted them.

Leslie and I were working on party prep since the beginning of June.  Most of the work involved cleaning up the grounds, making some pallet furniture to use and setting up a large Barbeque setup.

Friends of ours decided to give up the homestead life and got rid of most of their belongings before leaving Tennessee. 

I bought this Nissan Frontier pickup truck along with a bunch of cast iron stuff from them.  We need the truck bed covered to carry our show stuff so I found one, painted it to match the truck and made it fit.  It looks pretty cool and runs great.  Leslie got a Dodge Caravan towards the end of the year to replace the LeSabre we had.

Our 10th Anniversary Party was a huge success on Sept 19th.  80-90 wonderful folks showed up to celebrate with us on that beautiful fall day.  Quite a few people came a day or two early from all over the country.  It was the best party we’ve been to since our Shotgun Wedding at the Cudahy Gun Club overlooking Lake Michigan.  For many, it was their first time to our homestead, and hopefully not the last.  Cooking kept me busy all day and Leslie was busy taking care of everything else party related.  There were games to play and LOTS of food & drink.

After the party and cleanup I went into “Show Mode”.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A Grand Ol’ Time!

On June 1st we were blessed with a beautiful Grandson named Mathis!  Mother, father and new big brother made it through with flying colors.  Mathis is a wonderful little lad with a good disposition.  We are so glad to welcome him to the family.

I purchased a couple baby bunnies from a friend.  They are so adorable. They are prolific poopers and have grown quite a bit since.  I'm sure y'all will love them. 5/29/15

Here are the final results of a project started at least three years ago.  I wanted railings for the front porch and had an idea to use hog panels in between.  It really turned out better than I had imagined, and has kept those dang chickens off the porch. 6/13/15

Iworked on a pair of knives that require a double sheath.  Many designs were drawn up and tossed out before I got it somewhat figured out. The process of putting it together was kinda rough.  A lot more work was involved than my regular sheaths.  This is one sheath template that I am never throwing out. 6/14/15

Oh Yeah!  Finally got me a Hot Tub/Spa.  A guy in Etheridge, TN was selling it cheap on the Lawrence County Yard Sale site.  I had to get it.  It needs a minor plumbing repair and a place to set.  Think it’s going to be set up under the overhang of the shop.  There is power just inside and that will save me a lot of work.  I can not wait to get this little beauty going.  Next project is a robotic arm to serve me beers while in the hot tub, which will surely take a few years to get to. Or maybe I can just set a keg up next to it.  That sounds like a plan.  6/24/15

Double Knife Sheath

Finished the Skinner/Caper combo knives for Mike and took a few pics before I sent it out to him.  The knives are made from Aldo’s 1095 steel, the skinner is 1/8” thick and the caper is 3/32” thick blades.  The handles were cut from the same block of stabilized Black Ash burl with copper pins and thong tubes.  The sheath turned out to be way more of a challenge than I anticipated but it looks good and fits well.  I am trying to label this picture “Double Knife Sheath” to get it to come up when Googled.  6/25/15

Leslie and I stopped at the Crump Flea Market in Crump, TN on the 4th of July.  I happened upon 2 pieces of cast iron that followed me home.  One is a medium sized muffin pan and the other is a small griddle.  They have since been seasoned over an open fire and are waiting to be used.  My idea for the muffin pan is line it with bacon and fill with burger and onions.  Making my mouth water already.

Well it’s about time I finish this last post.

That’s about it.  We’ve been working on our party most weekends and hope to have everything ready by then.  It should be a hootenanny to say the least.  Hope to write more about finishing off my new work area in the shop.  There should also be some new knives being completed in between work for the party.  Let's all have a Great Summer!!!


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Shop-Till You Drop!

I have planned to enclose my main work area of the shop for the last few years.  Yeah years.  After buying supplies here and there I was finally ready to get this thing rolling. My plan was to put up walls and a ceiling so that I could cool or heat the area easily and have a much more comfortable work environment while making knives.  

This journey started with cleaning a spot for the mill/drill.  From there it sorta snowballed. 5/19/15

Took a while to move things out and open things up, but walls are being built. 5/23/15

Here you can see things coming around.  Walls are mostly done and ceiling has been started.  This stuff is heavy! 6/9/15

Trying to gussy the place up a bit so I painted the big shop doors. You can see the difference a little bit of paint makes.  They really look good. 6/16/15

Walls and ceiling are complete.  Lights are up.   Got a used door at a local place and put it in.  Sure makes a difference. 6/21/15

Painted the inside white where I could and painted the floor gray.  It is such a different work area now.  Slowly moving my stuff back in there, but I have to figure out dust removal.  This will come in the near future.  Can’t do everything at once, especially since it took years to start.

I gotta say that doing this wore me out!!!  It’s taking some time to actually want to go in and get work started.  Trying to organize as much as I can right away, before I get all the knives going.  Soon enough I won’t even remember what it was like before. 

Next post is some of the stuff that happened recently.

Thanks for watching.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Long Time A’Comin

It has been a REALLY long time since the last time I posted to this here blog.  So I have a few things that happened since the beginning of April. 
I’ll try to make most of it as brief as I can.  It will take a few posts though.  Thanks for looking.

Here is a sheath I made for a CRKT folder. 3/30/15

Went to Batson’s Bladesmithing Symposium at Tannehill State Park in Alabama with Chase this year.  Took a few classes, talked with old friends, bought a bit of steel and had a great time.  Didn't put any pics in because I didn't take many.  I do have to say that attendance seemed to be way down.  4/11/15

Built some fencing out of scrap lumber for the front of the property.  After bush hogging the front we could see traffic on Natural Bridge Road so it has to be covered. Still haven't stained them or put them up. 4/16/15

The newest member of the shop is a small Mill/Drill.  The price was right and tooling wasn’t too hard to find.  So far, I’ve been using it to flatten handle material and it does a great job of that. 5/1/15

Mullet patrol at the Hohenwald show.  I just can’t pass up snapping a quick one of a super-mullet. 5/2/15

Here is a Large Hunter with Curly Maple handles and an old timey sheath.  This may just be a knife that I make all the time. 5/10/15

Like so many projects in my shop…this Changing Table was started long ago.  It will be passed around the family as more grandbabies are born.  It was made from Oak and Mahagony.  It should last through years of dirty diapers. 5/12/15

We updated our display at Wild Duck Soup Emporium before the Arts & Ag Tour.  5/19/15

That’s it for this edition…Next up is the updates to my workshop.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Think Spring!

In February I worked on a blade for a guy in California.  We got the design ironed out, the blade started, finished it and shipped it out.  It was a collaboration with two other guys.  The blade steel was Aldo's 1095 with a very short and accentuated clip.  The spine was rounded so the clip had the shape of a tear drop.  This is not a small knife but he is using it as a neck knife.

The handle was finished by Chef Tyler Stone.  The sheath was made by Chris Lambert of SC Holsters.  It turned out very nice and I am glad to be a major part of the collaboration.

 On my way to Milwaukee, I swear I saw gremlins running on the wing of this SouthWest plane.

From Milwaukee I headed further north to Wausau, WI to see my folks.  Luckily I brought some warmer weather with me.  Mother wanted a shot of Da Boyz so we reluctantly got together, muttering razafraz and generally trying to be done with it. (from left- Me, Mike, Dad, Tom and Bob) This was the first time I’d been to Wausau in 8 or 9 years.  Mom and Dad usually came to Milwaukee to see me anytime I came up from Tennessee.

One thing that ticks me off is I am the youngest boy and I’m the only one with gray hair.  

Here is my lovely wife working the table in Fayetteville, TN at the EVCA spring show. It’s already March 14th and time for folks to get out and enjoy the weather.

The next week we were in Linden, TN for the seventh annual Blooming Arts Festival.  Friday afternoon was a bit chilly and windy but Saturday turned out to be a beautiful day.  Looks like the only picture I saved was of the Sweet Mullet this guy was sporting.
There were a lot of folks enjoying themselves on Saturday and the weather brought out even more.

Next up is the April Showers Home and Garden Show in Waynesboro, TN sponsored by the Wayne county Chamber of Commerce.  Leslie will set up there on April 11, 2015.

I will be heading down to Tannehill State Park in Alabama to attend the Batson's Bladesmithing Symposium which is sponsored by the Alabama Forge Council.  It runs from Thursday evening, April 9th through Sunday noon, April 12th.  There'll be more on this in my next post.