Cool Customs: John Thunert’s Capemaster

Cool Customs: John Thunert’s Capemaster
Shera Swars, Kurdistan, Iraq: wrecked Iraqi army Soviet built T-55 tank with battle damage - tank sent by Saddam Hussein and destroyed in combat by the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in a battle in 1991 - photo by M.Torres

Utilizing Steel From An Iraqi Tank, John Thunert’s Capemaster Is A Skinner Built On The Foundation Of A Caping Knife.

When John Thunert learned an acquaintance had some spare steel from an Iraqi tank, he jumped at the chance to buy some of it and forge it in the damascus of his Capemaster skinner.

Strips of steel 3×3 inches and 4×4 inches, each 3/16-inch thick, were torch cut from the armored vehicle, which was stored in a “tank graveyard” in Iraq. John cleaned the steel up, including removing some paint. He also got a copy of the form his friend had to fill out on the steel as a “war trophy,” which is how he was able to legally ship the steel stateside. “It kinda gives me some bona fides,” John noted.

Capemaster Knife

He said an analysis of the material identified it as a very pure form of mild steel containing 99 percent iron and few impurities. Though the knife started out as a caper, it kept “growing” until it became a skinner, but John kept the caper name. The handle is quilted poplar with pins of a subdued coyote brown G-10 to match the liners.

Who Is John Thunert?

John has been making knives since 2017 and has competed on The History Channel’s Forged In Fire show. He sells more than a dozen varieties of his Capemaster knife on his website, with the majority made from exclusively 80CrV2 steel. The majority of his Capemasters retail for $245.He has also made Bowie knives as well as multiple types of kitchen knives.

Capemaster Knife Specs
Blade Length: 4.75 inches
Blade Grind: Flat
Blade Steel: 80CrV2/1095/15N20/Iraqi tank steels
Overall Length: 9.25 inches
Handle Material: Quilted Poplar with Coyote Brown G-10
Price Of A Similar Knife: $625

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