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Newsletter Archive


Carter Cutlery May '08 Newsletter


Newsletter Topics

- Blade Show  news, schedule and First Annual Carter Cutlery Dinner Party
- Second Annual Carter Cutlery Action Adventure August 2008
- July Bladesmithing School; 500
- A 500 Course Graduate revisits
- An update on Carter Cutlery Staff
- New assistant: Wes Injerd

July 2008 Bladesmithing course 500 Original Intensive 6 Day Course covering courses 100, 101, 201 and 301  July 7-12, 2008
Only room for two more students…

This July, I will teach this intensive Japanese Bladesmithing class for the third time.  We have streamlined it and improved it to the point of perfection.  Anyone lucky enough to participate is guaranteed of a bladesmithing experience of a lifetime.  Just look at my newsletter archive to see what graduates are saying about my Traditional Bladesmithing Courses.

We have two participants already registered, leaving just two openings available.

See complete course details here: 

If you have an interest in how the best cutlery in the world is made, you need to attend this intensive, hands-on course.  The cost of the course is $6000.

A 500 Graduate returns…
In his own words…

Hello, my name is Mason Payer, I'm a general contractor from Bend, Oregon.  Last year, I had the good fortune to attend Murray Carter's first Japanese Bladesmithing School.  During the week of class, Murray and I became fast friends through our mutual love of knives, guns, and shooting.  Also during the class, I noticed that Murray needed some work done on his shop.  So this spring, I called Murray to ask if I could drive up to work on his shop and make some more knives. 

The trip consisted of hanging siding, shooting, reloading, lots of late night chats, and some intense one-on-one bladesmithing instruction.  Murray's shop was unfinished and still needed siding on its exterior, so we spent the first two days hanging siding while the weather cycled through rain, snow, hail, and sunshine.  For the most part, it was cold wet and muddy, but we managed to have a good time.  The crew consisted of me, Murray, his assistant Tim, and Shamus (Murray's shop helper).  The second day, we were able to wrap up early and head into the mountains for some serious shooting! We had quite a time shooting each others guns and generally making a bunch of noise. 

By far the best part of the whole experience was the one-on-one bladesmithing with Murray.  While I did all the same things, I had done in the first bladesmithing course, this time Murray did none of the work on my knife, and instead he patiently helped me do it myself.  For those of you who haven't attended one of his courses, Murray helps with some of the most difficult steps of the knife making so that his students come away with knives that are pretty much just as nice as one he has made entirely himself.  This way, you get to learn with less frustration while also walking away with  knives you can be proud of.  Well, this time it was up to me to either succeed or fail, but I am happy to say that Murray was able to walk me through the process well enough that I made a very nice kitchen knife to give to my mom.  It was actually more fun having enough time to make mistakes and then fix them myself with Murray's guidance.  Also, it was extremely special getting one on one instruction because most of Murray's classes have between two to four students.

Murray makes it look easy, but let me tell you, forging a knife is hard! It took me a long time and probably a dozen heats to get my blade forged properly.  It is definitely something I would spend a lot of time, money, and wasted steel trying to do it myself.  With the help of a Master Bladesmith who can actually describe how to do what he does, the task becomes much easier.  That is one of the most impressive things about Murray's teaching; he can tell you how to do it.  All the time in my daily job I get frustrated trying to describe to people how to do the work the way I want it done, the way I would do it, but for some reason Murray has a natural talent for it. 

I have always been into knives, particularly knives that are sharp and perform well.  After purchasing several custom knives over the years, including a few Carter hand forged blades, I felt like I pretty well had all of my cutlery needs covered, and I started drifting away from my interest in knives.  Learning from Murray has rekindled my passion for cutlery anew.  Now, I'm not really interested in buying knives, but rather I want to make more knives and also sharpen any edged tool I can get my hands on.  For me cutlery has become much more of an active rather than passive hobby.  If like me, you can never seem to find the perfect knife, save up your money and attend one of Murray's classes.  Not only will you come home with what you feel is the perfect knife, but you‘ll never look at another knife the same way again. 

- Mason Payer






Dear [[%1%|Friends]],

Finally, some sunshine! What a long, cold, unpredictable Oregon winter we have had.  My assistant Tim keeps telling me that the coldest winter he has ever spent was the spring in Vernonia!

Thanks to the heater we installed in the workshop, the cold has not slowed down the knife production.  In fact, by the time you read this letter, every last one of the 250 knives I started in March will be completed, and many will be en-route to their new owners.  The rest will be photographed and added to our "Available Products" link on our website


Blade Show, Atlanta, Georgia
May 29, 30 & June 1st

This year promises to be the most exciting Blade Show that I have ever attended.  This year marks my 10th successive year in attendance, and we plan to celebrate that fact in several different ways.

First and foremost, we will bring the greatest display of knives that I have ever mustered to date.  We will be bringing a variety of hand forged kitchen knives, neck knives, new and innovative Whitecrane knives, some Matagi camp knives and some other rare blades.  At the recent OKCA knife show in Eugene, Oregon, our patrons commented that they had never seen so many Carter knives in one place before.  Well, they didn't see anything! We'll have four times as many knives at the Blade Show and they represent some of the best work I have ever done.

Also, we are pleased to announce that both Tim, my present assistant and his replacement, Wes Injerd, (see Wes' Introduction below) will be working the show table together.  This is an excellent opportunity to meet these swell guys.  Also in attendance at the table will be "Uncle Bert", whom many will immediately recognize from previous years (No, Bert is not my father!).

On Saturday evening right after the show ends at 6:00pm we will have an exclusive gathering for our special patrons only.  We have booked a room right there at the conference center where we will meet, greet, show and tell.  During the gathering, we will announce arrangements for dinner and relocate to where we will share a very specially prepared meal.  I have prepared a brief presentation for your enjoyment as well.  This will mark our first annual Carter Cutlery Blade Show dinner party, so we really hope you can attend.  We will be handing out invitations at our show table.  Be sure to ask for one because only guests with invitations will be allowed to our function.  We look forward to seeing you there and trust that it will be a very memorable experience for all who attend.

As a side note, please keep in mind that Early Bird Admission and VIP admission for the Blade Show opens at 12pm Friday, but  2:00 pm for the public.  Be sure to make a Bee-line for our table to ensure you get the best knives before everyone else gets to them!

Second Annual Carter Cutlery Action Adventure August 2008
Are you up for a challenge?

Some of my readers will remember that last November I invited members to attend a four day defensive handgun course at the world's premier firearms training institute, Front Sight (  Everybody had an incredible time, learned way more than they expected to, and came away with memories that will last a lifetime.

See a report here:

  This year we are offering an even more incredible opportunity…a hiking and trekking experience of a lifetime.  This trip will include a moderately challenging 32 mile/5 day hike with participants carrying all of their essentials with them in a back pack as we travel by foot from Lolo Pass near Mt.  Hood, the highest point in Oregon, through the forests and along the ridgelines of the rugged Pacific Crest until we arrive at the Columbia River Gorge 5 days later. 

My  goal is to combine physical challenge with daily lectures and interactive workshops concerning hiking/camping and wilderness survival skills.  At the end of the trip participants will not only have succeeded in completing the hike, but will also come away with valuable information and tested skills useful for confident wilderness travel in the future.  Lecture topics will likely include the following:

  • Knives for Camping, Backpacking, Hiking, Hunting, Wilderness Survival and Fishing
  • Field Maintenance of a Japanese Blade
  • Firestarting -- Primitive (flint and steel, friction), modern (emergency firestarter), knife content: preparing tinder, striking sparks, batoning wet wood, etc,
  • Map and Compass navigation
  • GPS navigation
  • New Trends in Equipment
  • Lightweight Backpacking
  • Making a 10 gram Alcohol Backpacking Stove for $5
  • Backpacking Cooking - during dinner itself, we list a set of common ingredients that everyone should bring in preparation for the two dinnertime group cooking classes.
  • Leave No Trace wilderness ethics
  • Basic Wilderness First Aid 

The trip leader is John Drollette.  John is an experienced long-distance hiker and knife enthusiast.  Last year John and his wife hiked the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail... more than 3000 miles from Canada to Mexico.  You can read a complete journal of his recent trip, complete with pictures, featuring a detailed report on the Carter Cutlery neck knife he used during the trip here:

The trip will be scheduled around the week of August 16-23.  Our selected route, beginning from the Lolo Pass Trailhead on USFS Road 18 outside the small town of Zigzag, Oregon, and ending at the mouth of the famous Eagle Creek, will be absolutely beautiful that time of year.  Hiking will be mostly along the famous Pacific Crest Trail, turning on to the Eagle Creek Trail to make our final descent to the Columbia River. 

Participation will be limited to 15 people, and a registration fee of $350 secures a spot on this adventure of a lifetime.  We will send a letter of confirmation to registered participants along with a list discussion of recommended equipment choices and fitness preparation regimen to get in shape before the trip begins.

Contact us immediately to register, as the deadline is June 30th!

An update on Tim McCalla and our new Administrative assistant…

Those of you who keep up with current events at Carter Cutlery know that my assistant for the past eight months, Tim, will stop working for us at the completion of the Blade Show.  He will return to Florida to be with his wife and to take care of some personal business.  I am extremely happy to report that he has every intention of returning to Carter Cutlery when he is able to.  He has become a very important member of Carter Cutlery and is well liked and respected by our customers who have had the pleasure of dealing with him. 

We had an overwhelming response to our mailing advertisement for another administrative assistant.  Both Tim and I fielded calls and conducted interviews daily, and were able to choose one outstanding candidate.  I am absolutely sure we are blessed at Carter Cutlery, because of the caliber of people we are attracting.  Meet our new man, Wes Injerd…

 Hi!  I'm Wes Injerd (pronounced IN-YERD, Norwegian roots).  I'll be taking over Tim McCalla's job as Murray's administrative assistant.  Let me tell you, though, Tim has got some pretty big shoes to fill, and I may have to put on several layers of socks every day.  Fortunately, Tim will be staying in the loop, so we won't be losing him really at all.

I first heard about Carter Cutlery via an article last August in our local newspaper here in Hillsboro, Oregon.  The Argus did quite a nice article on Murray and his unique work and I was amazed at what he was doing -- but even more so, where he's been.  You see, I, too, spent quite a while in Japan, 28 years to be exact.  I know from very personal experience what it's like to live and study and work in that land.  Right from the start I knew we both had a lot in common.

We emailed back and forth a few times, during which time I just happened to be doing my own research on sword and knife making in Japan.  It made me appreciate much more the type of hand-forged work Murray was doing.  Here's a man who has taken the time and effort to learn a craft, an art, which very few foreigners in Japan have been privileged to learn under a Japanese master, and has honed that skill to produce some of the finest Japanese-style hand-forged knives and cutlery this world has seen.  And not only that, he is devoted to teaching others those very same skills.

So when I saw that email from Murray saying he was looking for an assistant, I just knew I had to contact him.  Murray, Tim, my wife, Tomiko, and I soon got together and we talked, and shared, and discussed a wide range of topics about business, our families, and our faith.  Even though we all had feelers out, it wasn't hard to come to a consensus, and I decided to take the job.

I'm excited, too.  What a unique opportunity has been set before me!  My experience as an admin lead for a security company as well as my computer and customer skills will definitely be a plus for Carter Cutlery.  One of my first objectives in this new challenging job is to get to know all you folks out there who've been a part of Carter Cutlery through the years.  I'm sure you can all agree that there are knives, and then there are knives.  Carter Cutlery has a special niche in the blade world that is just as the brand name, Honkei, says -- "House of Origin." Above all, I want Murray to keep doing what he does best and what his customers demand of him.  And you can be sure I'll do my best to ensure that the quality of our service does not suffer.

I look forward to working with the others on staff and especially talking to and meeting the many fine customers that have really made what Carter Cutlery is today.

Stay surudoi! (Japanese for 'Sharp')


That wraps up another fantastic newsletter.  I think that you can get a good feel for the positive direction Carter Cutlery is headed from following our news through the newsletters.  We hope to see many of you in Atlanta, and if not, at least hear from you by phone or by email.

Until our next newsletter,
Stay Sharp and may God richly bless you!

Murray Carter
ABS Master Bladesmith
P.O.Box 307
Vernonia, OR   97064
phone 503-429-0447
cell   503-816-6556

© 2008 Carter Cutlery








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Carter Cutlery, PO Box 307, Vernonia, OR 97064
503-429-0447 -
©Copyright: 2007 Carter Cutlery

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