Knife making in a cold shop in the winter

Smoke from the stove pipe is a good thing
Smoke from the stove pipe is a good thing

Winter is fully here in Southern Alberta and lately we’ve seen temps dip to below -20C (-4F). Put these cold temperatures with an uninsulated shipping container for a shop, and knife making just got a whole lot more challenging. Or maybe just slow. It typically takes about an hour of good stoke on the fire before it’s warm enough to start working in the knife shop. And when I say warm enough I’m talking about 10 degrees C and warmer. Any colder than that and it just is too hard on my hands. Maybe I’m getting a bit sensitive as I’m getting older but holding onto a piece of steel that’s just above freezing for any amount of time is just painful. After about 3 hours I can get that little shipping container to above 20C (68F) and that is just a fine temperature for making knives.

I recently had a custom knife ordered and the person who ordered it thought it would be cool to have a video made of their knife being made. Since they live in the Southern US, I thought it would be cool to show them the cold conditions that their knife started out in.

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