Metallic Clunking Echoed Between Houses


ABS master smith Kirk Rexroat made the Gillette (Wyoming) News Record over the summer, in a well-written newspaper feature describing his otherwise quiet Wright, Wyoming, neighborhood that has become accustomed to hearing his hammer hit the anvil on a typical afternoon. 


To excerpt a few paragraphs: 

The mechanical whacking could be a little unsettling if the neighbors didn’t know what it was, but it is just something that they expect to hear once in a while along the otherwise quiet street.

After a few more thumps, another pause, and a man wearing soiled leather gloves and mirrored sunglasses walked into the sunny yard next to the hut. His mountain man white beard gave way to a wide grin and a warm hello.


A forge roared behind him, heating steel that will be painstakingly massaged and ground into some of the highest quality knives in the world on the two 100-year-old trip hammers.

The 53-year-old man is Kirk Rexroat.

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Just because he has reached the status of Master smith in the knife-making world doesn’t mean that Rexroat has stopped learning.

The mine welder and metal fabrication specialist has been shaping custom knives for about 30 years, but it isn’t a lack of innovation that has made him world renowned.

“He made his first knife with sandpaper in our living room out of an old truck leaf spring,” said Rexroat’s wife, Holly, while shooting him a glance. “Your knives have come a long way since then.”


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