C.L. Matteo, maker of the infamous "Shrew Hawk" has over 30 years of blacksmithing
The LaClair Skinner that he is making has a 3 3/4" blade of 1095 Hi Carbon steel, hand forged and edge tempered.
The 4" stag handle makes the overall length of the knife 7 3/4". The leather sheath is made by Art Vincent of Cedar Ridge Leather Products.
Arts sheath design while being stylish is also very functional, giving easy access to the knife as well as protecting it.
LaClair Skinner, specify choice of vertical or new horizontal (Canoe) sheath.....$150.00, plus $10.00 shipping
Extra Sheath $18.00 plus $5.00 Shipping
From C.L. Matteo on the LaClair Skinner,
Ron and I have been talking about offering a good user belt knife for quite a while. One that any man...or woman, would want to have on their side when the roamed the woods and fields. It took awhile to settle on a design that appealed to both of us. It had to be sturdy and strong, take and hold a keen edge, be pleasing to the eye and yet be practical enough that it would stand up to hard usage without failing in the field. After trying out several ideas and modifying them along the way, our LaClair Skinner is the end result. We think it's a perfect blend of form and function.
The blade is made of American made 1095 carbon steel. I've heard it said by several people that Nicholson files are made from this steel, and that fact should serve to illustrate its quality. This steel can be accurately heat-treated by a competent blacksmith, and it holds an edge like almost no other steel. Our blades are first rough-forged and shaped on the anvil to the proper dimensions, and each is then ground and polished on a belt sander using various grits. The blades are carefully heated in the forge and allowed to cool in air twice to normalize the steel and are then annealed in wood ashes overnight to relieve all forging stresses. The blades are then heated and quenched to achieve maximum hardness and are "baked" in a small convection oven for an hour and a half at 425 degrees. This tempers the steel and allows it to hold a fine edge without being brittle. Ron has always favored stag as a handle material, so we use elk and occasionally moose antler on these knives. The handles are riveted on with three brass or German silver pins and then polished, giving them a finished look that "shines" without being too shiny.
Even though the steel used in our blades has small amounts of other elements in it, our knives are not made of stainless steel and will darken or "color" with use, just as the blades of the old Mountain Men did. We age our blades with a chemical that gives them the mottled appearance of being color case-hardened which helps to resist rusting somewhat. Be advised that our blades are NOT case-hardened, no matter how much they may appear to be. Regular cleaning and oiling of the blade will keep it in good working order. Sharpening can be accomplished with a few strokes on either a diamond, natural Arkansas stone or with a butcher's steel. Remember also that these knives should never be used for prying or chopping against surfaces such as raw bone, rock or other metals. Our knives have a lifetime warranty against all defects in manufacturing and workmanship, but we will not warranty them against such abuse.
If you choose to own a LaClair Skinner, you can look forward to a lifetime of service with a cutting tool crafted in the time-honored tradition of the best blacksmith-forged blades. Should you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call or write us.
C.L. Matteo, Blacksmith