Don Hethcoat – New Mexico
Don Hethcoat’s knife journey started while watching his father work in a smoke house. Early in the morning, when his father was gone he would go to the smoke house and take a knife for a trek around the mesas west of the Hethcoat homestead. After he finished school Don worked a short time taking people down the north rim of the Grand Canyon. Then he spent 41 years working on the Santa Fe railroad.
In the late 1960s a friend from the railroad was making knives from the discarded heavy duty hacksaw blades used to cut the rails. So Don tried his hand at this method and learned a little about the craft. Later he met Joe Cordova, a knifemaker from Bosque Farms, NM that is an ABS Master Smith and well known in the knife industry. Joe spent a lot of time teaching Don about making knives.
In the late 1980s Don went to the American Bladesmiths Society school in Washington, AR to learn how to forge Damascus steel. There he met people like Bill Moran, Jerry Fisk and others who taught him the process. After some time as a ABS Journeyman Don received his ABS Master Bladesmith rating in 1995.
Don works in Damascus or Stainless Steel, depending on the purpose of the knife. He uses natural materials such as stag, Oosic, and woods also synthetics such as G10, carbon fiber and micarta. On his fancier pieces, Don also has been known to filework backspacers and liners, incorporate scrimshaw and engraving, precious stones and even meteorite.
Don makes mostly folders, Linerlocks-Lockbacks and Slipjoints. But will make a Bowie, hunting and utility knives when his customers request it. Don gives a year waiting time for each knife he makes because of his backlog. He puts a lot of time into each knife and the finished product is always incredible.
Don Hethcoat Contact Information