Custom knife maker Darrel Ralph of DDR Knives joins Bob “The Knife Junkie” DeMarco for a discussion of knives, knife making and even a little history on the evolution of knives and knife designs.

Ralph also discusses Hand Tech Made (HTM) Knives, DGT Gear and of course his own DDR Knives brand, as well as pens and what’s new/upcoming for DDR.

To learn more about DDR Knives, visit darrelralph.com/ or follow him on Instagram or Facebook. You can also find many of his knives on Darrel’s store on Amazon (affiliate link).

A truly fantastic conversation with custom knife maker Darrel Ralph of DDR Knives. If you're a #knifejunkie like I am, you will not want to miss this one! Click To Tweet

Reate Crossroads knife designed by Kirby LambertAlso during the show’s opening segment, Bob reveals the new knife he got this past week — the Reate Crossroads designed by Kirby Lambert, which he got from EpicSnuggleBunny (listen to Episode #18 and Episode #35 to hear those interviews) — as well as a  story about the movie “The Revenant,” which sort of ties in to today’s podcast guest, and some knife news from Kershaw.

Be sure to call the listener line at 724-466-4487 or email bob@theknifejunkie.com with any questions or comments on today’s show.

To listen to past episodes of the podcast, visit theknifejunkie.com/listen.

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Show Notes

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Darrel Ralph 0:00
When you pick up one of my knives I want it to you know I want you to connect with it. I don't want it just to be another one you pick up Hey, that's okay. I want you to have a connection with it

Announcer 0:13
Welcome to the Knife Junkie podcast your weekly dose of night news and information about knives and knife collecting. Here's your hosts Jim Person and Bob The Knife Junkie DeMarco.

Jim Person 0:27
Hello Knife Junkie and welcome to another episode of the Knife Junkie podcast. I'm Jim Person

Bob DeMarco 0:32
and I'm Bob The Knife Junkie DeMarco, welcome to the podcast.

Jim Person 0:35
Welcome to episode number 49 of the Knife Junkie podcast. glad that you are with us today. Got a great show coming up for you got a good interview with Daryl Ralph coming up that we're going to chat about in just a second and hear from him. But pretty much as always, we have to talk about a new knife for the Knife Junkie. Well,

Bob DeMarco 0:54
you know, I would be remiss if I didn't keep up with the times. So you know, I've had snuggle bunny on the podcast a couple of times in the last time he was on, it was specifically to talk about his efforts to reduce and refine his knife collection. I like the concept. It's easier practiced in concept than in reality, but I like the idea as it spreads across my life. But I'm using my knife collection as the metaphor. Well, I've reduced a few gotten rid of a few recently, but I dropped a little note in epic snuggle bunnies dm on Instagram saying, you mentioned in a conversation that you wanted to get rid of the Crossroads at some point, and I wanted it that's the real crossroads. Designed by Kirby Lambert. And couple of last week, he sent me a picture of it still interested.

Jim Person 1:42
Yeah, you don't have to tease me anymore.

Bob DeMarco 1:45
Yeah, yeah. So I received it. This past Thursday, I believe, and it hasn't left my side. It is such a cool and beautiful knife and it occurs to me. Epic snuggle bunnies. Austin's reduce is my refined because this is Now this is one of my one of the better knives in my collection and and so I assume he's moving onward and upward as as I am too so it's kind of the circle of life Jim playing out right here on the Knife Junkie

Jim Person 2:14
It's so nice of you to help him reduce his collection Bob

Bob DeMarco 2:17
well you know that's part of you know being a good person is helping

Jim Person 2:22
well and if you if you miss that episode By the way, you can go to The Knife Junkie. com slash 35 The Knife Junkie comm slash three five and hear that great interview with Epic snuggle Bunny, as Bob said on the reduce and refined kick going on there.

Bob DeMarco 2:38
I was gonna say Rest assured, you will see a video this week a collection selection video of this knife, this react Crossroads it is. Well, I won't gush here. I'll gush in that video. It's always good.

Jim Person 2:50
Well, we got last week won't do that again this week.

A little bit of knife news before we get into the interview.

Bob DeMarco 2:56
Yeah, yeah. Very happy to see that Kershaw is is upgrading their Emerson design collaboration knives. I'm not talking about the ZT. I'm talking about the Emerson's the inexpensive, the the most inexpensive. Emerson's you can get your hands on and they are spectacular knives. I've had a few, but they've always featured as Nick Chavez would say the barely adequate or the barely inadequate eight cr 13 MOV steal from China. They're replacing it with the two. And I think they started on the CQCK for XL. Yeah, I think that's what I'm over. these abbreviations are nine. It's the Big Four ensure that they make that looks kind of like the Emerson Gentlemen, I think, gentlemen, Jim. So they came out with that and D two and now I see they're coming out with the CQC for I mean, six and seven to those are the popular tanta, the first ones that came out the Toronto and that and the clip point. And I'm very happy to see that I personally love D to steel. And I know there's a lot of debate as to some of the sourcing of the D two steel that's coming out of China but whatever. I can't get that deep in the weeds because there are too many knives to get into. And to try but but yeah, so Kershaw coming out with their Emerson's in D two. It's a great move, I think because they're great knives. And by the way, I was at a county fair yesterday and I saw a an Emerson in someone's pocket. And Emerson Kershaw. I look at people's pockets. It's

Jim Person 4:31
creepy there, but the pocket

pocket clip, so good.

Let's clarify that. All right, a, a movie reference. You want to talk about a movie you watch last night, which actually kind of ties into our interview today.

Bob DeMarco 4:45
Well, a little bit yeah, I was up late last night, couldn't sleep and I turned on the TV and the revenue was on the 2015 Alejandro in a movie won an Oscar. Or I'm sure it was several. It was an amazing movie. It was shot all with natural light so it took them forever to make and out in the in the wilds. And at the end of this movie, it's about a roughly it's about a third Trapper looking for revenge for the death of his son. And the battle between the the fight between Leonardo DiCaprio the protagonist and Tom Hardy, the antagonist at the end of the movie is insane. It is so good. People should just check it out for that it's a tomahawk and knife fight. Of course I've never been in a tomahawk knife fight but if I were to be this is what I would imagine it to be. It was sloppy it was brutal. You know they're already cold and half frozen and pumped up with adrenaline you know already stabbed a couple of times and they're flopping around with their with their Tomahawk in their and their knives and I won't tell you who wins but you know you can guess but it is an amazing fight check it out and it and just watching and looking at the knives. This movie is incredibly accurate as all Hollywood movies should be. They use these Cut Hudson Bay knives, condo and I've been to a lot of El Salvador makes a version that I have of the Hudson Bay knife. It's kind of half chef's knife half bowie knife and it was used by for traders and trappers in the, you know, early, early 19th century and late 18th century. So those are the knives they use in this movie, and they are very cool and very inaccurate and it just, well, it kind of feeds into today because our guest today Daryl Ralph also has a very cool movie that's featured I mean, a very cool knife that's featured in a in a movie that I like, The Expendables. How can you not like that? It's like a gathering of eagles, all the best guys. But if you haven't seen the remnant yet, gotta check it out. And if you don't feel like checking it out, check out the end. Right, like, like the end.

Jim Person 6:52
Well, that's a good lead in because as you said, movie knives play a part in the interview that we're about to hear. So what do you say we get in Do it. Let's do it.

Announcer 7:01
ever strop a knife again, even though it gets no real use... face up to what you are.

You're a Knife Junkie.

Bob DeMarco 7:09
I'm here with custom knife maker Darrell Ralph. He's also the head of DDR knives, a small handmade knife outfit out of Texas. You might know him the way I know him from his Expendables knife. And then from some other famous knife situations I've seen online. Darryl, thank you so much for coming on the Knife Junkie podcast and welcome to the show.

Darrel Ralph 7:30
Thank you very much, Bob. Appreciate it. It's an honor to be here.

Bob DeMarco 7:34
I wanted to tell you my first exposure to you was in the hand tech made the HTM knives ads in the knife magazines. And I think the first design of yours was the gun hammer that I saw. And I know later on Kaiser took on that design and have done a bang up job with it. So the gun hammer was the first thing that wow, that really caught my eye Who is this guy? And then the next time I Really keyed into you was that Expendables knife? The scene where were the guys playing basketball, the bunch of jerks are playing basketball, and Jason Statham shows up. And one of those basketball playing jerks had just given his girlfriend a black guy. And so of course, he, he kicks the guy's butt. And he's about to, he has them on the ground, and there's a basketball between them. And they're looking at each other, like two Angry Men who want to kill each other. And then Jason Statham pulls out this giant, amazing, beautiful, I believe it was 10 two bladed knife and pops the pops the basketball and make some sort of smarmy comment. And and I was like, Where? What is that? What is that knife? I got to find that so I did some research online and I was like, Oh, it's Darrell row. So anyway, the Herald that's my long way of getting around to saying I've always kind of resonated with your designs. What's your what's your approach? What angle do you do you come at knife making

Darrel Ralph 8:56
well, over the years, it's kind of changed. But I've always been a guy for form and function first and then add the beauty the knife has to work the blade handle ratio has to be right. The purpose of the knife the way it fits in your hand, all of those things have to be right before I add the you know, the the cosmetics I call it. So basically the mechanics have got to be perfect before I can move forward. You know, in my purest mind the way things supposed to be, of course, everybody has a, you know, a vision how that works. But my approach is I just, I come up with a concept. And then I use solid works nowadays. And I build models of everything we do 100% and then we go right off the models. They work out really well. When you say models, you talking about 3d CAD models, basically, yes, they're 3d solid models of, you know, right hand left hand handles, the lock bar, the lock inserts, all the screws All the way it's all put together every every detail was there. And we actually cut our cats, right from all of our CAD work we've done right from those solids nowadays.

Bob DeMarco 10:10
So were you were you at one time a pencil and paper guy and then at some point, saw the saw the value of CAD?

Darrel Ralph 10:18
Yes, pencil paper was first and then I've always been a CNC guy since I was a kid. Application sensor engineering and CNC machining has been basically my whole life since I was 24. I went to school, I think eight schools for my education. I had some real good. My teachers, the guys that brought me up were just, they were phenomenal. I was very lucky. They were also hardcore. So, you know, mistakes were not allowed.

Bob DeMarco 11:00
held your feet to the fire, make sure you were doing it.

Darrel Ralph 11:04
It was it was a, there was a terrific time, because the guys that I trained today, I still train all my own folks. And it just, we used to have to be able to do everything in our head. I mean, we'd have to do geometry and trigonometry in our head. And that's where to goodness, that's the way it was. These guys today, you know, not saying anything, but you know, they've been taught not to do that. They just they don't have account in their head, they can't subtract and add. So we have to find other ways to do it. And then I make them do it. I don't make them but I tried to bring them into that fold and have them understand that you're going to get a lot better if you can do that. You know, it's something that's required when you're reading code that no one knows what it is. You've got to be able to read that code. You got to be able to add subtract numbers, you know, the trigonometry. You know, I can give you a break on that. Ad tracking. Come on, man.

Jim Person 12:00
Oh my god,

Bob DeMarco 12:02
you're nice enough to give them a break on the trigonometry. I would just hammer through man.

Darrel Ralph 12:07
I do I try to, you know, I give him the little, little little things, you know, like, one degree. One inch equals so many thousands at the other side so that they understand that Oh, if you do that four times, and it's four times as many you know, and it's gets better, you know, as you go, it gets better. Well, how many how many guys do you have in your shop? Right now we have including myself, we have five people. Wow.

Bob DeMarco 12:35
You can your output is amazing for five people. Judging by your Instagram posts, you're you're constantly pumping out product. It's amazing that you do that with only five people.

Darrel Ralph 12:47
Well, thank you. Appreciate it. Yeah, work hard at it.

Unknown Speaker 12:50
So you came to knives. What about knives? Is it the weapon aspect? Is it the tool aspect is it both? You know, what do you what do you see your knives being used for and, and, that kind of thing

Unknown Speaker 13:04
I like a tool that everybody can carry but and I carry basically a Dominator knife all the time and I use it for everything including hunting, fishing, cutting rope. I use it when I camp I use it all the time. I mean that's just my knife. I guess my heritage is where it all comes from my Viking Norsemen and my clan invaded Ireland. And so kind of got a little bit of both of those. And, and I think that that's where the weapons aspect comes from. I really do I believe that it's kind of like in my soul or something. I can't I can't put my finger on it. But I also want when you pick up one of my knives I want it to you know, I want you to connect with it. I don't want it just to be another one you pick up, hey, that's okay. I want you to have a connection. I guess that's where it all comes from just the belief in it and not stopping until I'm happy with it.

Bob DeMarco 14:10
But it's interesting that you mentioned having a connection. Two things come to mind immediately. First is that each knife that I see, you know that you post on Instagram, for instance, or that I see on your website, each one looks unique. Obviously, you might have to dominate that they're the same model, but other than them being the same basic format, they look very different. Each one looks unique and and toiled over artistically, and and then also that that personal connection I forgot to mention earlier, another way that you came to the fore in my mind, recently has been through CM, you know, I was a big fan of his and his videos, and I understand CMFTW he had met Freeman. Yeah. He for everyone else. He had a couple of your knives and they were very special to him. I know, one of them, I believe was in was an AXD that had some inscriptions in it. And it was it. You know, he had some years ticked off on that for some goals he was setting and I thought that was amazing. And he mentioned in the videos that he worked closely with you to kind of come up with that.

Darrel Ralph 15:19
Yeah, that was, that was a true fact. Charlie, Mike, or Matt Freeman, whichever one you want to call him, he was a hero. He would call me from the sandbox back in the early 2000s. on satellite, he would call me and we would sit down and I would send him over. I used to make a knife for the Special Forces. And for the Navy pilots, it was called the 18 X ray. And it was a switchblade for the government. It had all kinds of requirements so that it meant many tests and all that. We used to send those over to Matt and some other fellows like Jim Person. Rick and his crew, they were a Black Hawk, helicopter crew and FBI guys and stuff like that. But Matt would call me on the on the satellite phone and we would sit and talk for his whole time that he had. And it was just about this and that you know what it was just I think it was just comforting and I don't even know how in the world we got hooked up. I don't remember it was an ad or something. I left a phone number and he just called up and and years went by and Matt come back and he was a tortured soul. And he went, he did some pretty crazy things. But I also noticed, I connected with his genius he was he had a drive inside of him that had to be addressed. As for making knives, and then that didn't come out until you know the last 10 years or so. But I really respected Matt He did a lot of things in his life. He was American hero. That's number one. He came back and he had he had all the nasty things that vets come back with you know, paranoia and the the thrill is gone there's no more every day you don't have to get up and worry about being shot anymore. So when you come back here, you're just a calm normal everyday person and that thrill is gone that pressure is gone and people don't understand that there's once you get used to that you've got a habit. So it's almost like an addiction. So some guys covered up by self medicating and doing just outrageous things and Matt did a lot of that and we talked a lot of times when it three in the morning he was not in good shape. And I just tried to be a good person and you know, understand that you you can you have you can love the good parts about someone and despise the other parts, but you gotta love them for who they are and We just had a connection and Matt got Finally, he got clean for a couple of years and he bought a couple of AXD with his his time and you know, his a mantras and signals and all of the insignia and everything he bought him so that he could carry him every day to remind himself who he is and where he's going. I made several knives in that vein for him. And then one day, he just called me up and said, I've started making knives and I was just, I was floored. But he started out very rudimentary and he just he advanced to where he had a crowd of people following him for his. He just loved to make a good knife. I mean, he was very, very pure about it, too. You know, he was awesome. Yeah.

Bob DeMarco 18:48
And I loved how I loved how he was devoted to the chisel grind and then oh, yeah, made a great video illustrating on a piece of leather how damaging a chisel grind can be I mean, in in he was speaking purely in the tactical sense. I mean, I've I've been long a fan of chisel blades, but also, you know, realizing how sharp there but also kind of wondering why people still did it in a way and then he cleared it up. I respected him a lot and his knives towards the end were amazing.

Darrel Ralph 19:20
He had a big following you know, people wanted everything he was doing it was fantastic, you know, and he he really cared about it. That's what I love him if a knife didn't work out he tree Why is it broke? He threw it through it in the other in the corner. You know it started over. That's that's a you know that. That's a That's awesome. I mean, so many so many no fingers don't do that kind of thing anymore. Nowadays. It was very collectible knives in my opinion, because they really were truly one. I don't care if you made 10 of them. They were this none of them the same. Yeah. And he was just he was just phenomenal person. He was also mentoring. Another person also in his shop.

Bob DeMarco 20:02
A woman a woman knife maker would Yes,

Darrel Ralph 20:04
refreshing dicker amico. Yep. And his mother By the way, folks, his mother they're still grabbing all his knives are going out there trying to find homes for him. Really? somebody goes and gets out there Yeah, just recently they auction one off their auction and them off one at a time. All the proceeds go to his mother, his mother was his heart. He loved his mom. And she took care of him when he was not well and you know like a good mom does and so they're auctioning off make sure they go to good places and they're his actual carry noise. So I thought that was very, very awesome.

Bob DeMarco 20:47
Yeah, well and and he towards the end was getting into Cali which I love. And your your knives are. I mean, especially the AXD in my eyes personally. Perfect. For that, for that kind of, you know, knife fighting system. Tell me a little bit about The Expendables knife. And we mentioned that before, how did that get in that movie? Is that something that you knew was going to happen? I know sometimes people are blindsided. Oh my God, that's my knife in that movie. did was this. How did that work out for you

Darrel Ralph 21:19
know, I believe in divine intervention. And I'm a very spiritual person. I believe in God I believe in. I'm a Christian. I believe it was divine intervention. I had made knives for Stallone through knife art. I would make knives and Stallone will look at my knives. He would buy that knife. His wife would buy the knife. He'd say buy that knife and they get the knife. He's got a room from what I understand with a huge collection of knives. And when they were making the movie, from what I understand Jason Stadium, he told Jason Statham go in the room, pick whatever knife you want, we use it in that scene.

Bob DeMarco 22:00
So cool. Okay, so

Darrel Ralph 22:01
I just call that divine intervention. I don't know what else to call it. It was just the right place right time.

Bob DeMarco 22:08
Yeah, yeah. But But it wasn't you in the right place at the right time it was your work, which is in a way even better, because it sells itself. You're not there like, Oh, you should use it because of this and that. It's there. The guy resonated with it. And I also have heard that Stallone has a massive knife collection and for him to walk into a knife room and go right to your knife that that says something.

Darrel Ralph 22:28
So it was I was it was such a great honor. I people were calling me up, saying Do you see that knife? And I went, No. I didn't know what they were doing. It was funny. Very hilarious, actually.

Unknown Speaker 22:43
Well, so when Hollywood does that, I'm just going to use Hollywood as a loose term. Do they contact you after the fact? Or is it just like them using a 1911? You know, they're not going to call cold and say like, Hey, we use one of your guns in our movie. Do they extend that courtesy or

Unknown Speaker 22:58
no, they just use did put it in a movie and then what we actually seen was not the knife it was rubber what they do is they make rubber molds of every one of them for safety and the the last stroke that I heard on it was that the there's an auction house that auctions of movie props and I guess they auctioned it off maybe about four years ago. And that went out to auction and I guess all of the proceeds went to the military still own denote donated on to the military.

Bob DeMarco 23:32
That's the right thing to do.

Darrel Ralph 23:33
Yeah, I think so.

Bob DeMarco 23:35
So when did you get into like making flippers I'm assuming and maybe this isn't the right thing for me to do but I'm assuming you started like many do with fixed blades, but it seems that you really made your name with flippers did did you start with six plays before I make that assumption?

Darrel Ralph 23:49
I did. I started with cord rep, tan toes and drop points and I would take them to a show in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was a basically a pocket knife Jackknife show What I call it and they had all the cases and books and Camilla's and all of those companies raid you know, and that's what that whole show was about. But grandpa knives, it was grandpa night. Yeah, it was and but along with that, there was a new wave of custom knives coming in that were very unique for that timeframe. And so I go down there and set up I set up down there maybe four or five times I think all together. And it surprised me. I've got down there set up and you know, come back and all my knives are gone. And I was like, wow, there's something to this. Yeah, Dennis started forging Damascus with Tim's of water. Very famous knife maker that's kind of like underrated. I guess. He wants so many masters Smith's and awards at the blade show. He just quit going. Let the other guys have a chance. He's great. He was great at it. So he lived in Michigan and I would run up there And he showed me how to make Damascus so I started making my own Damascus then I went into switch blades for about eight or nine years that's all we did is make switch blades with gold in ladies and and and diamonds and ivories and pearls and Damascus it was all hand forged in you know that's what the time frame you know required at that time that's what was very very popular right after the jack but the the inner frame phase came a two phrases then it was like the beginning of the tactical phase and the switch blades got extremely hot. I mean they were going for huge money, just crazy. Bill McHenry. Some of those guys you probably never even heard of anymore but they were out there just making stuff that was just phenomenal. They were carving and you know, Thor in the sides of Damascus and just doing crazy, crazy crazy stuff. So I kind of live in that realm for a little while, but it all come back to my CNC training and all that for all these years and I love robotics, I don't know what it is about it but I started making tactical knives in probably 96 come out with a knife called the crate and it was I come out with that with less Robertson and we sold quite a few of them and they were titanium folder with back then they called it I can't remember but it now it's f9 EV back then they called it for 20 v. And they got rid of that name because it's too close to 420 Jackknife still. Yeah, yeah, yeah, but it was it was tough stuff back then. And you know, and we were doing black coatings and you know, doing PVD and everything back in the 90s. And I made switch blades out of those also. So that evolved into basically making a flipper with bearings and it that I did on a patent in 2005 for flipper with bears, With a washer instead of writing on titanium standard bearings right on titanium as they do in some knives,

Bob DeMarco 27:07
so it's like a really like a metal steel face that the

Darrel Ralph 27:11
Okay, what I do is put a pocket in and I put two steel washers, then the bearings and then onto the blade. So everything is hardened steel and hardened steel, right, some folks were running them on the titanium at that time and what would happen over time they would wear even if you use compression and put a groove in there and get aware point going it doesn't matter still only a certain amount of hardness involved there on the titanium and what I found out after I tried that with Butterfly knives, which was another one of my passions, my bearing setups would just go to pieces, they wouldn't last so I decided to put a steel washer in there and then that took care of all that and then now everybody uses that. It was a provisional patent for one year in oh five and that's kind of like the norm now. And I just love the best flippers I mean, it's like having a I also with a I forgot one step there with Camilla's. I help them develop their assistant opening system also, there was three or four different trains of thought at that time there's Kenyan who was the king of course with her show. But we're Yes, we had a different whole different setup that Oh, they went back and forth at each other like, like all good warriors do and it ended up that the Camilla was allowed to make them to and all that so, man, we just we just burn the market up. Ours was like a was done like an Italian switch blade spring instead of like a coil spring. It was actually a spring bar, like the Italian switch blades have, right? And it was something else I think was pie out there and they just worked really, really well. That was a precursor to the Bering flipper actually. Then once we figured out you know, we could The bearing flippers and have the same kind of effect here. That's kind of been the norm since then

Bob DeMarco 29:04
I've heard the argument that assisted opening systems now being made now in that now that ball bearings are kind of much more pedestrian or or available at much lower costs that using that companies like Kershaw who put out I don't know several thousand bottles a year and a lot of them are assisted open that using that now allows for a lot of slop in the manufacturing process or at least in the in the action. Would you agree with that? Or is that just kind of haters hating

Darrel Ralph 29:38
um I don't look at it that way. I think that everything has a step on the ladder. okay for us to get to the bearing we had to go through that step. We had to go through the phosphorus bronze washer step we had to go through the nylon strap step we had to go wash your step where all those open grade but they don't blame Don't you know the nylon is there Teflon is not tough enough to keep the blade in the center, that kind of thing. There was a lot of things that happened back then that folks don't really realize because so many guys come into the industry when they're 20 years old and they don't understand what the history was, you know, to get there. We come from a slip joint or your your, your My grandpa was a yellow jacket case knife that you opened up and it wasn't Bang, bang, 2222 hits, and there was no way to open it with one hand or anything like that, to a one hander to assist it open into bearing open to you know, I even know a guy that used to put motors at them and open them. Paulo, he used to put a motor in in a pivot and have them open that way. And that was his big deal. But, you know, I mean, we've come a long, long way in this industry. When I looked at my first Jackknife. I said, Man, what is wrong with these people? No, no offense, but man The blade handle ratios were that that one buck knife was so famous but hulu's but 110 you know, I mean the buck one take take a look at a buck 110 look at what we're carrying today. I mean, come on, guys think about how many how many evolutions are getting to that point. And so many things get dropped. But as for the precision, we actually made a ball bearing assistant opener, pivot, and it opens so phenomenal is, but there's no real sense in it because the ball bearings are so you know, the bearings open the pivot produce pretty sweet. You don't have to do the, but we made a few of them just to say we did and man they opened like a rocket. And they were very, very highly precise. But the crucial thing and all that stuff. No, it's not very precise. Those pivots are not the same as what we're using now. They're there, they're about a step backward. And but you know, they're still very fun popular You got to look at the 80 percenters out there that buy knives for, you know, $10 to 100 bucks. That's what you're going to get. And if it's working for them and they're happy, that's the way it should be.

Bob DeMarco 32:12
Oh, yeah, yeah. And they have a huge clientele who are, you know, buying knives who are not nice people they just needed needed damn knife, they go to Walmart and they buy one. And the action is great and the designs are great and the feel is is excellent. And some people really don't need anything more or desire anything more than a $17 knife and for that man, well, I mean, Kershaw. I like their stuff from soup to nuts. But

yeah, I mean, they're,

Unknown Speaker 32:39
they definitely offer a great value, you know, to that end of the market.

Darrel Ralph 32:45
Yeah, they do. They're very good at that. That's one of their forte's.

Bob DeMarco 32:50
So you're talking about forging your own Damascus and and I happen to be looking right now at a at a at a Dominator that you posted somewhat recently. It's Tando in Damascus and it's got an incredible mocha my handle and well I guess I have to two reactions. The first is a question is Are you still forging all your Damascus can Is that something you can do you have the bandwidth to do that ANV the materials you use are so I mean some of your knives are so opulent and gorgeous and and really labored over you can tell. And yet there are these bullishly strong functional tools. So it's kind of an interesting dichotomy.

Any thoughts on what I just yammered on about? Do you make your own Damascus still?

Darrel Ralph 33:40
No, not anymore. I leave that to the experts. I buy several types of Damascus and I'm not saying one guy does a better job than the other. My favorite though is Chad Nichols. And there's good reason for that. When Chad was coming up, just starting to make the mask is him and I talked I had been doing it for 10 years and him and I talked and I he would do things at that time that I asked him to do for me. He had the time to do that he doesn't have the time to do that anymore. That mocha may you're seeing right there on that thing is a favor. I waited for it. I said I don't want anybody else's I want yours. Him and Mike sack Meyer make the best as far as I'm concerned on the mocha may but Chad did some things that mocha made for me that I wanted that black stripe you see in there is from his making mine with a little bit more nickel silver in it and then I could when we patina that nickel silver it turns black. Or I'm sorry copper he put copper nickel silver in mine on a higher level than it did the brass and then the copper turns black and the nickel silver is silver and then the brass is that gold each color and that that combination looks like a Bengal tiger kind of look to me. And then when he does that that pattern it just kind of looks like a animal skin almost but as for me to demand doing Damascus enemy now I quit I think in about the year 2001 and my it got so busy I couldn't do it anymore it's a labor of love when you do you know as doing it in a garage and I had a mill and a surface grinder and I would be milling and surface grinding a bar 10 times before it was done. It was just not it was not there's no profit in it. It was labor love. I love it. I still do it, but I just can't do that anymore. It's just It's not that I can do it. I don't do it. It's just there's I've got to make a living. Yeah.

Bob DeMarco 35:48
It's like a truly artistic pursuit.

Darrel Ralph 35:51
It really is unless you want to do what Chad has done where he set up, making stainless Damascus production type basis. Right now. It's done. Well done well at it, he does a good job and I can count on everything that he makes. And that's that's why I like it. There's no I don't have any aha moments, per se. And he makes some very nice pattern you know, and in a stainless and I want my customers to have stainless Damascus if possible, unless there's something unique that they want. I do have some bars Bob got five bars of these huge twists that I made before I quit and they've been sitting in my storage room and we've threatened to cut him several times one of these days we will I think they're all high nickel, carbon Damascus and they'll turn out just like I'll have them all can bloom and they'll just look those are those are the ones that used to really kill me because I love that contrast. So you gotta

Bob DeMarco 36:56
you gotta hold on to those till the moment is is right.

Darrel Ralph 36:59
Yeah, but I don't do it pretty soon you know they made they made it disappear with me. I mean, you know, it's like a that was like 18 years ago I gotta get on the ball and get it done. We've got a wire now so you know I can actually wire them out get a wire UTM cut that center patch out and make daggers out of it.

Bob DeMarco 37:20
Yes, I I concur wholeheartedly a dagger. A dagger should be coming next, I saw a picture of an AXD with a dagger blade. And it I swear in the picture, it looked like the back edge of the top edge was sharp, but it didn't look like it could actually fit in the handle. So like, you know, completely fitting the handle so that the hand wouldn't be cut. So yeah, but it was a trick. Okay, tricky. So, the Moab the Moab this Joe, this giant cleaver shaped blade so I saw one that you produced an xml version. I don't know if you do that. I don't know if that was a one off or not. But in your post you said that someone drove all the from California to blade show, I think in Atlanta to be acted up.

Darrel Ralph 38:04
Yes. Yeah, he flew in he actually flew in to get a fluid just that night, then he flew back from what I understand.

Bob DeMarco 38:11
I mean, that thing to me represents I mean, I look at that and I can tell this is a man who loves loves, loves working with materials like really high end and exotic materials. Was that a special order? Is that something that you love to do and and just kind of produce that and found a buyer? How does that work?

Darrel Ralph 38:32
That was a spec order. One thing is, you know, I'm an old guy now and you know, OG original gangsters. And that's what they call me. And, but they really mean old guy. They, the, the, the, the people that I have the associates I have working here now I actually we're more like a family. But the thing that I like about them, they're young I train them I try to train every one of them and I also dig in their creative young minds and we try to come up with new things and push ourselves and keep pushing. I don't I just don't that you know, you can make this a benzo type knife. And you know, I gotta say, God bless, Chris Murray. fantastic guy, you know, you come up with the the frame lock, all that kind of thing, at least as far as I know. And what I've been told, I don't want to put no fingers on that. But Chris Reed makes one tank of a knife and it's just got it's an iconic knife. I want to make tanks. That's what the dominator was. It's a tank with bearings. And then I wanted to be able to add beauty to it. But these young guys, you know, we we make a knife and then we think about what could we do to make that better? And we sat around we talked about a little bit and let's say All right, we're going to do it. And and that's the way it basically falls together. I mean, we, we don't sit down and make a drawing of it different or anything like that, you know, it's more like a vision. And I got some very talented people. I'm just very lucky in that respect. They they want to be knife makers, they're not people, you just want to come and do a job. They all love what they do. One of them forges his own blades. One of them makes knives to on the side. One of them is just, he's just a very, very smart, young man that is very good at assembly and fit and finish and in that such and then I have another guy that is just the NIT picker. You need one. Well, he builds all of our pins. And then when a knife is done, it goes to him because he puts the laser etching on it. And if it's not right, he goes right to Kevin, the shop supervisor and they say oh, that's not going anywhere. And we go backwards and we make it right, make it perfect and then it goes out. So I have I have a very good firewall setup. Nowadays, and I like I said, the creativity just it just these these guys have got it in their brain, they get it, you know, and and I don't know how that happened actually went through some people a few years back had some issues here with some bad blood and things and so I just wiped everything out started over. And that's how we got to this point now which I think it's best we've ever been in 30 years.

Bob DeMarco 41:30
It doesn't surprise me because I come from a very collaborative but creative field. And really, I benefit greatly from having talented people around me who know things that I don't know, and who come come at it from perspectives that I couldn't possibly come at it from, and it's made me better at what I do. So I mean, are you are you saying that you're better as a, you're better you've become a better knife maker now that you collaborate and Get other people's ideas and incorporate them into yours.

Darrel Ralph 42:02
Oh absolutely. Oh yeah there's no doubt about it. You know the old saying is is you know if you're around somebody better than you you're going to be that's the next level. You know, you reach you you you you play off each other you know and also it gives me goals to make myself better. I throw stuff out of these guys and they say look, what do you think about this and you know, in a week we've got ideas that we can do this we can do that we can do this we can do that you know, and it's just fantastic. It's like are mere polishing blades You know, that's an old art. It's been around a long time you know, we way back in the 70s 80s 70s and 80s that was very popular with for 40 see and 80 s 34 they were mere polishing blades on you know, the inner frame jack knives and you know, Rod lay call them guys bas Busey and all them guys. They were they were actually mere polishing a lot of blades and some of the box loveless mere polished all those big bears all those fighters and all that at that time and it kind of died in the 90s and now it's being revived again we're starting to see it starting to roll again because really when you think about if you're going to collect a knife, you know that's like the crow picking up something shiny, really beautiful, beautiful if you do it right. And now the technology we have is so better than we had before. We have diamond compounds now where we can get sharp lines on mere Polish blades that are like cutting edges on there where the grinds meet the flat you know, before they rounded over because they did a lot of buffing right right IN bluffing and they were rounded a little bit you know now you look at him you can get sharp lines because of the the compounds that are out there that we can take them almost to a mere Polish with a diamond compound in a belt and it's just amazing to

Bob DeMarco 43:54
you getting a lot of orders now, for polished blades on on your custom orders.

Darrel Ralph 43:59
We just We get a lot of mere Polish specially on butterfly nice guys by butterflies what what mere Polish blades they really do

Bob DeMarco 44:07
because of the flash when it moves probably

Darrel Ralph 44:10
sorry. Yeah, yeah, well that Big Mo web, you know once we did a mere polish on one of those man that was just like oh my goodness that opened up a door. There's people behind that door we didn't know were there. Thank you for the kind comments about that knife. By the way, that's, I gotta say there was a knife out there by a company called rad RAD knives and he kind of brought that whole genre in. And I think there were some people that had ideas similar to that, but we're different enough that I think that you know, everybody has their own take on things and sometimes you just get a you know, I like that so much. You know, it's like having a Lexus and you look over in there is a Honda that looks exactly like it, you know, it's just that's just the way Life works. Yeah, see something so many times you know sometimes you just gotta throw it out of your brain you know and get it out there

Bob DeMarco 45:07
let's the Zeitgeist ideas are out in the ether, you know, and I mean, it's like for a while there weren't cliffs were suddenly like, Oh my gosh, they were like rediscovered and, and you as a Viking. I'm sure appreciate that. But but that whole sex shaped blade and then and then that sort of I think it was with rad knives. I mean, I think I'm observing the same thing. It sort of evolved or just, you know, changed into sort of a cleaver blade and then and then everybody you know, read knives was I was seeing them posted everywhere from my favorite collectors on Instagram. And then I started noticing, you know, sheep dog knives and all these other big, chunky cleaver blades coming out and they're very appealing to me aesthetically, I'm not exactly sure how I would use them. I mean, I collect and I carry but you know, I'm not I'm not out there camping a lot and I'm certainly not getting a knife fights. So I was wondering Kind of what the value would be for me to have a big cleaver blade?

Darrel Ralph 46:04
Yeah. I sent one to the fellow I mentioned before, along with Charlie Mike, his name is Jim Patrick. He was a Black Hawk, helicopter pilot, Master Chief. And he I sent him over one because he wanted one. I try to treat vets with the utmost respect. And sometimes I just do things that most people think I'm insane for doing. I just sent him When I say go, Jim, he's a good man. He comes to the blade show he he fought for our country. You know, he had the same kind of things that Charlie Mike had a comeback. You know, he went through five years of hell. And you know, and he was over there rescuing and saving our lives. He's a hero. So I never have any hesitation when he needs something. I always try to help him. He sent me flags back from over there and stuff like that because I'd send over 18 X rays to Crew so they would all be safe and have the latest and greatest switch blades and all that stuff. But I sent one to him and you know, he had the same kind of take on it that you do Bob is, you know, what the heck am I going to do with this thing? But you know, I carried a smaller version of it for a while and I'll tell you it does work out nice with that. That nice flat blade and then the right on the tip. You can go right through a lot of things with it but faster being a functional tool every day. I'll take a bow any day. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Most Social Blade in the world is a drop point movie or whatever you want to call them.

Bob DeMarco 47:39
Yeah, but that tip that tip on a warren cliff, especially, I mean, the way you have it set up on the mobile app looks very flashy. I mean, I think people are people you know that there's great value in the curve in terms of like, really cutting deep in a slash but the tip of a warren Cliff or like this Moab and Looking at right now that really i mean that because i'll i'll just test on free hanging t shirts and free hanging fabric just when I'm you know just to just to see what blade shape works best and and for me it's been my warn my warnings that I was going to mention the brands but you know doesn't really matter but they work the best and then just in just in a slash on material that's not held down or anything it's just really so I mean I understand I would use it for that and other things

Darrel Ralph 48:29
are being checked and I have tried them on brisket. They work great on

Bob DeMarco 48:36
I wanted to get to a couple more things. Hand tech made HTM I mentioned them at the at the outset. Who are they and I've heard things about them p Tell me about HDM was that your company or

Darrel Ralph 48:48
okay. HTM came into. Okay, I always wanted to American made affordable knife back around 2007 2016 I was developing that in my brain. And I was rolling around how I could do it, make it work. You know, it's kind of a big order at that time for me, and I'm going to tall order, and then the economy crashed in 2008. Well, my thoughts at that time was if I'm going to stay in business, I need to have knives between 105 hundred not $500 or, you know, for the folks that used to be able to buy $1,000 night now they can afford something in that ballpark. Plus the other folks on the high end were still there and everything was fine. But boy, that that that genre disappeared from 500 to 1500 dollar knives disappeared. It was gone. So that's where hand tech made came from. I started it and I started with I made some aluminum nominators at that time, or Well, they were carbon fiber. Let me think YRG 10 there were GTN and they had fluting going across the handles and SV blades. I was trying to come up with a way to make A knife that we could sell between those two price points, a couple of little fixed blades those. That was the the it was called a max q at that time. That was where it all started and went from. Then I was hooked up with a company here in Dallas called BNF systems. They own huge distribution for grocery store items and catalogs they have, they have kitchen knives, they have all kinds of stuff and that it's like a distributor catalog or something of that sort. And they owned a company called Marco. When Camilla's closed I grabbed my National Stock number for the 18 X ray and I license it to john Meyer at Meijer CO and we made those military knives because we had orders we had crazy amount of orders for you know, thousands and thousands of switch blades, but we didn't have anywhere to make them anymore because Camilla is closed their doors so That's where that started. And then what we did was is john and a fellow name of Mike man rose, decided that they would try to do an American made knife and basically, HTM kind of evolved into that. And I was not even an owner at that point anymore. They took it and they stuck a lot of money in it. And we started making mad Max's and expertise and all of that stuff that I've already made customs. They had a way of doing it production through they had some Hawes machining centers and things like that. So that's how HTM got evolved into what it ended up being. And about about five or six years ago, I was I don't want to say this. I don't want to sound disgruntled, but I was concerned about my reputation because of the quality. So at that time, I backed out and I said I'm done. I No, I'll help anybody that's been involved with these knives to this point if they need some help that I can help with, but other than that, I'm going my path in science. So they actually went out of business after that probably two or three years later and that's exactly what happened with HTM you know and tell you the truth. I took a lot of flack over it, but you know what, I've learned that you just gotta man up and, you know,

Bob DeMarco 52:27
things get tough, you just gotta be tough with it. And try to do the best you can and being as honest as you can, that's all you can do. And you know, be the guy you know, never having actually laid hands on them. I I was very excited to see whatever the new knife was from that company in the back of blade magazine or or knife illustrated. I know you they did some Kirby Lambert design. Yes, and some other I mean, some other designers. I'm not.

Darrel Ralph 53:05
Greg Lightfoot

Dirk Pinkerton. There was there was a few guys I recruited those guys for them. That was part of the deal to I needed recruit guys that I saw thought had talent. Yeah. And, you know, they took it from there, but you know, I brought them through the door.

Bob DeMarco 53:23
That's why it was surprising for me to see it go away. I was like, someday I'm going to get all of those.

Darrel Ralph 53:30
It was it was bittersweet, you know, and, you know, it's like, it's like, it's like being married, you gotta be with the right person or just didn't work out correctly. And that's basically what happened. That's the honest part of it. You know, Bob t was involved in it too. And he was on your interview here. We had a version, a couple of versions of his knives and he made some royalties on that kind of thing. But, you know, everybody tried really hard, but he just, there was some factors in there that we're not forcing way in the beginning, since that time, I brought on knit tech nominators in such like that, so that I could try to stay in that in that realm. And I decided that that point also that was when I decided to let Kaiser do the or not let them have to license the dot the gun hammer to them because I thought the gun hammer had more life. And I didn't want to do it myself. Because then there would be too much, too. It's too too many crossover points. So why not just license it out, let them do a great job at it. And they let me have control over what what it ended up being. And I said, that's good with me and they're still going strong. So

Bob DeMarco 54:46
that's, that seems like a great move. If especially if you have a stable of really excellent models, which you do, and your shop is only outfitted to, I shouldn't say only but you're if you're shy is outfitted to do one knife at a time because these are complex mechanisms and complex tools you're making here. It seems like a great idea for you to to license out a design that's not really one that you're doing much anymore to a company like Kaiser Riyadh or one of those awesome, you know Chinese manufacturers should make in your stead. I mean, that's a I think that was a smart move.

Darrel Ralph 55:23
Well, thank you very much. It has brought on some internet terrorism, but other than that, that's that's a whole new thing. You know, it's just there's a lot of internet I guess you call them armchair warriors out there. They all get like you said about the opinions about this and about that, you know, it's just a new world. You got to be able to, you know, get your get your battle gear on get at it, you know, yeah. I've also signed up a contract with MLS and I do maybe one knife a year with them now and they've actually got a Dominator out. Its carbon fiber with titanium. Lock side and as 30 the blade that they sell it Academy, Walmart other places yeah and they have the old EDC knife from the Camila's factory they're still selling that knife like crazy.

Bob DeMarco 56:15
Is that the one that looks like like a drizzle of a TCF but it's got that weird mechanism on the side. No, no

Darrel Ralph 56:22
that was the quick flick. Quick something like that. I can't remember exactly that the guy that invented that invented that you do you do you know what the the way the stamps are the automatic stamps where you push them down they go back up in if you look at that mechanism, it's exactly the same the way he did that on the side to make that blade do that is up and down. It's kind of crazy. You have to you have to know him he's pretty cool guy. That nice thought like crazy to the dot the knife that they had etc. wise it was a nice little stainless frame walk and It had pierced side plates with to lighten it all up. It was very small as only three inch blade and we won Best Of The Year or something at blade show 2002 or something I can't remember when but it was the best Knife of the year or something. And once Camilla got sold, all of that intellectual property got sold to acne united, which is still Camila's, but acne united is the parent company and they own all kinds of stuff. But they took those designs and revamped them and brought it back out. And they were they were very kind to me and very generous to me. And they didn't have to pay me a royalty but they do anyway just to show that they're on the up and up. And last year at the SHOT Show they brought out the dominator and they're selling it all over the place. Oh, what I some of the big box stores that I don't even some of them I don't know where they're at. But it's very unique. I walked into Walmart one day and I called called the fellow there is a man I didn't know you guys were selling This knife he goes oh yeah, that check you get that's what's wrong

by one.

Bob DeMarco 58:07
Well I actually had no idea about that. I gotta I gotta check that out that that might be my entree into the DDR world. Speaking of which, where do you see Where's DDR headed? I know you're you have a new run coming out and have a XDS I believe you said and AODS

Darrel Ralph 58:25
Yes, yes. Describe describe those knives briefly and then tell me what else you're you're looking at in the future say down the road a little bit. The AOD is coming up next we have some orders to fill and then we're going to make some spec knives also and then we have a large client that knife has a following by itself that I didn't even realize how strong it was. That was one of Charlie Mike's other knives that he said I could never make that lock move on that night. In other words, he could flick it he could bang and he could do anything and that lock would open stay right where did all the time he measured it and all of these guys out there could be That knife make that knife while I'm going to make the knife. We have some mortars, we're going to go ahead and make that nice. It had it had an iconic deal about the lock on it and it's very beefy. And I thought, Man, this is so heavy, but these guys, there's guys out there that want that. So that's next, then The Expendables knife again in several different varieties, but we're changing it to have a bearing pivot. They don't have a steel lock insert, it'll have a solid titanium Backspacer and a solid titanium clip on this version coming out. After that, I've got an out the front that I'm going to be bringing out.

Bob DeMarco 59:36
You don't say?

Darrel Ralph 59:37
Yep, that's a while. That's the next three. I've got some fixed blades in the field right now. They're doing very, very well also, they're very they're, they're built similar to a tops knife. They're made for folks that want to buy anything from say 200 bucks under that. They're all American made American. She's American. They're excellent. They're done. Fantastic. They're all powder coated. They're all 8787 40 I believe it is a high alloy, carbon steel and they're made for going out in the field and just beating the living daylights out of stuff that that Lifeline cells in different venues and we're generally used to in the Instagram and Facebook crowds. It's more folks that use them every day and they buy them at gun stores and that that sort of thing all over the the country are those under the DDR label. They're actually DGTG. It's called DDT gear. And we've got him into the military. We've got him, you know, all different kinds of places. The other thing I'm working on right now is a good friend of mine. His name is Elsie Dunwoody, and he's a he's a good German boy. So him and I have been hanging out together since. Well, since God was a baby and We hooked back up about five years ago we kind of lost track of each other when I moved to Texas, and he flew down here and we went fishing and over here at the lake called bunch of strikers. Anyway so since that time him and I he owns an aerospace shop up in Columbus, Ohio. They have I think 24 spindles up there CNC spindles and they make everything from rocket motors to turban gear for some of the craziest fucking things I've ever seen in my life for generators where they drop a generator into the Philippines and it lights up a city. He makes some crazy crazy crazy stuff that I'm just I love it because that's just to me, that's just like everyday stuff, but him and I got some things going in the fire Also, we're doing gun grips, we're doing some gun parts. We're also making some tools for the gun industry for cleaning and Field us and things of that sort. So we have some other things going on there and then maybe a couple other little projects that will come to fruition here in the next couple of months. But he's a fantastic vision. He's very he's a vision guy. He's a Maven, you know, he's out there every day, just knocking it down. So that's another part of what's coming up next and what's coming up next. pans I'm going to be making a bullpen pretty soon. You know, I've waited all this time and I've stayed out of that market long enough I gave them guys their do for coming up and doing that now. I feel it's a that you know, it's time I move into that market and make a bull pen and you know, a couple of new pens that kind of thing. My pens are just fantastic. We do a good job on them. They're they're all handmade here and make them I've gotta lay them out there we make them seven access Lee and we make those on there. We make them all here or there. LC does some work on a two for me. does some Rough rolling and that kind of thing.

Bob DeMarco 1:03:02
Well, that's exciting to me because I have a real latent pen fetish that I have yet to really explore and you know I have an old I have a hinder investigator but I'm like I look at these pens and I'm like, Oh, this is another whole nother rabbit hole for me to go down.

Darrel Ralph 1:03:19
I do have one story I've got to tell about my wife. She does all of our shipping logistics and things like that and a lot of customer support that kind of thing. So we were making some mocha tie pins. I was buying bars mocha tie from Chad Nichols. And we were making these beautiful mocha tie pins and they were going for about anywhere from five 700 bucks because the material is 35 bucks an inch. So you can imagine then you got to do all that work. You've messed something up you got all that you know, all that kind of thing. So anyway, we we had made a run of them. We had two extra pins, and one of them disappeared, and I didn't know what happened to it. So she still has that pan on her desk. Nobody touches it. That's her. My wife right with a $500 mocha tie pin that we make here. So hey man, that's that's it. That's a classy lady. Yeah, no never get it back either. I'll lose a finger if I even try.

Bob DeMarco 1:04:14
Well Darryl Ralph, it's been a pleasure talking with you tell everybody how people can get in touch with your knives get get into one of your knives or what were the best places to to find you and to purchase your your your product.

Darrel Ralph 1:04:29
Just go to Darrel Ralph dot com. I had a website done about six months ago with a genius guy. Everything you want to order on a knife you can see the picture and click it. So you can click the backspace or you can click the clip you can do this clip that put that in. It's it's full blown and you can do it on any knife you want to or we have knives up there. Once in a while we do a spec knife and I'll throw it up there for sale. You can get it there. You can get ahold of me on Instagram. You can get ahold of me. I'm Facebook you can call my cell phone I'm an I'm an available guy. I'm not one of these guys that hides in a rabbit hole. And I'm around most of the time you can text me You can do whatever you want. I I work all day and then I work half the night to design and stuff like that getting ready for the next day. So that are just call our shop, it's right on the website, you can just call anytime we're here. And you know, we take care of all of our old knives. Also, if anything, if there's any way possible to do the customer service and repair on anything we do it, we try to keep a few parts of this a few parts of that to make sure that we can take care of our customers and make sure they have great customer service. So that's that's the best way to get ahold of me or just call my the 4697 to eight, seven to 14.

Unknown Speaker 1:05:48
That's our fun.

Bob DeMarco 1:05:49
I'm here to tell you your new website is awesome. I was you know, doing research for the show and kind of designing, designing my own knives. And then of course, I had Close the window sadly Thank you so much, Darrell for coming on the show it's been a real honor speaking with you and finally a you know a pleasure to finally get it get slightly into the mind of the man behind the knives Bob it's been a great honor man and I love that I love your interview with Bob Zola

Darrel Ralph 1:06:18
He's such a character man. What is he really really really did make a lot of inroads into this business. He did he changed things he was a game changer and you know in great respect great respect as Are you in your way sir. Thank you much sir.

Announcer 1:06:37
Subscribe to the Knife Junkie his YouTube channel at The Knife junkie.com slash YouTube

Jim Person 1:06:41
we're back on the Knife Junkie podcast Jim Person along with Bob The Knife Junkie DeMarco and Bob Darrell Ralph. Man What a great interview. Yeah,

Bob DeMarco 1:06:49
great interview. Great guy and I'm really loving his knives. Want to get my hand on that on that Mad Max? I gotta say, Jim. These interviews A common theme keeps emerging at least for me, I'm fascinated with how these knife heroes of mine are, how they've built their career. That's why so many questions about the past and how they got to where they are because very interesting to me to see that you don't just start at the top you don't just start with a highly polished knife and a good reputation. You got to build that over the years and, and something Darrell Todd, we didn't really talk much about it, but he got his start in Ohio, as did I and, and then at some point, he decided to break out and make a clean, fresh start. And he he headed west headed west young man and he went out to Texas, and he started his he restarted his company out there and he's got a small outfit with some dedicated young people working for him. And he's got the great situation worked out where he can he can cycle out knives designed by design, and do different production runs and grow his small business while Maintaining kind of a high profile. And at that that's inspirational to me.

Jim Person 1:08:05
Well, the thing that I really liked when he said it was, and I'm paraphrasing here, he can learn from the young people working in his shop, while he's teaching them the craft of knife making that he's learned over so many years. So I found that that recognition on his part, you know, just just really interesting.

Bob DeMarco 1:08:25
Thank you, Jim. Yeah, that's exactly right. And and we've heard that before. That's a common theme, Greg Lightfoot had had similar things to say about working with the next generation. And it's funny out there in the in the regular business world, you hear a lot of people griping about the millennials. And I'm sure there's plenty to gripe about. Every generation has something to gripe about the next generation. But everything I'm hearing from these knife makers are there are some really, really excellent young people coming up through the ranks, willing to learn and willing to add their own perspectives as young knife designers and knife collectors and I'm I think it's cool. It's like Like I said circle of life before joking about getting epic snuggle bunnies knife but it is keeping with the thing going and keeping the knife trade going into the future.

Jim Person 1:09:09
Want to remind you that episode 49 of the Knife Junkie podcast can be found at The Knife Junkie. com slash four nine and remind you that our podcast today is brought to you by audible. You can get a free audiobook download and a 30 day free trial just by going to audible trial com slash Knife Junkie, over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android Kindle or mp3 player again, just go to audible trial com slash Knife Junkie, get a free audiobook download and a 30 day free trial.

Bob DeMarco 1:09:39
I just want to say one more thing, Jim, I just want to thank everybody for watching the collection selection videos on YouTube and commenting. I'm getting some I'm having some very interesting interactions with the people who are watching. Thank you for listening to the podcast showing interest in this. It's just been an excellent experience so far and I just want to say thanks

Jim Person 1:10:02
But if you want to see some of those videos that Bob is talking about The Knife junkie.com slash YouTube Be sure to subscribe to the channel and hit that little bell icon so that you will not only be subscribed but you'll get notified anytime The Knife Junkie comes out with a new video and right now it's it's every single day so we'll see how long that streak continues but a The Knife junkie.com slash YouTube for those videos. You'll find everything at The Knife Junkie. com that's Instagram Facebook page, the videos, podcast etc. So we encourage you to visit there and follow along with the Knife Junkie journey for Bob The Knife Junkie DeMarco, I'm Jim Person thanking you for listening to Episode 49 of the Knife Junkie podcast.

Announcer 1:10:44
Thanks for listening to the Knife Junkie podcast. If you enjoyed the show, please rate and review it review the podcast com for show notes for today's episode additional resources and to listen to past episodes visit our website The Knife Junkie. com You can also watch our link videos on YouTube at The Knife Junkie. com slash YouTube check out some great night photos on the Knife Junkie. com slash Instagram and join our Facebook group at The Knife Junkie. com slash Facebook. And if you have a question or comment, email them to Bob at The Knife Junkie. com or call our 24 seven listener line at 724-466-4487 and you may hear your comment or question answered on an upcoming episode of the Knife Junkie podcast.

 

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