The Knifemakers’ Guild was established in 1970. John Applebaugh, Walter “Blackie” Collins, John Nelson Cooper, Dan Dennehy, T.M. Dowell, Chubby Hueske, Jon Kirk, R. W. Loveless, John Owens, Jim Pugh, and G.W. Stone were the founding members. In June 1970, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the first meeting took place and Bob Loveless was elected Secretary and A.G. Russell was made Honorary President. Russell was responsible for securing a block of tables at two gun shows that year where knifemakers could sell their work and also meet each other. In 1971, the founding members met again in Houston, Texas, where more makers joined the Guild. 1972 was the first year the annual show and meeting were held in Kansas City, Missouri, where even more knifemakers came to join.
Guild membership has grown through the decades and includes members from the U. S. and from other countries and continents, proving that the passion for excellence and a strong vision know no boundaries.
The premium customer service offered by individual makers as well as the Guild as an organization endeavors to leave only satisfied customers. Knifemakers work very closely with individual collectors, purveyors, and dealers to ensure that they get exactly what they want. Makers take on projects that involve creating either a single knife a hundred percent in accordance with the customers’ specifications, or small runs of a specific model. Should a customer wish to add art work to the knife or knives, the makers will find the engraver or scrimshander who will also fulfill those wishes.
In addition to making knives to order, Guild members also have knives ready for sale. Collectors and knife enthusiasts are encouraged to attend the Knifemakers’ Guild shows, now the joint show with the American Bladesmith Society, the International Custom Cutlery Expo, where Guild members have knives for sale at their display tables. The benefits for the customer are that he can see the knife, handle the knife, purchase it and take it with him that day!