Michael “Pappy” O’Machearley of O’Machearley Custom Knives is featured on episode #64 of The Knife Junkie Podcast. O’Machearley began his full-time knife making career after DHL closed operations in his Ohio town, causing the loss of thousands of jobs including his. But, he had a sideline business of knife making that he turned into his full-time business.
Immediately following a “60 Minutes” television story — in which O’Machearley was featured — about the DHL closure and its impacts on the town, his phone started ringing for orders of his custom knives.Episode 64 of The Knife Junkie #podcast features an interesting interview into the mind of a custom knife maker and his transition from having a job with a knife making side hustle into a full-time custom knife and leather maker. Click To Tweet
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Michael O’Machearley 0:00
I don't want my knife to look like a CNC machine spit it out either. It is a handmade custom knife I've never made the perfect knife if I did happen to stumble on and make the perfect knife I'd probably never make another knife Don't be done in work and I go from there
welcome to the Knife Junkie podcast your weekly dose of nice news and information about knives and knife collecting. Here's your hosts Jim Person and Bob The Knife Junkie DeMarco.
Jim Person 0:38
Well hello Knife Junkie and welcome to episode number 64 of The Knife Junkie podcast. I'm Jim Person and I'm Bob DeMarco. Welcome to the show. Welcome to the Knife Junkie podcast. It is the place for newbies and Knife Junkie to learn about knives and knife collecting and hear from knife designers, makers, manufacturers reviewers, anyone who loves knives, and is in the Knife game. We want to talk to them. And that's what our Sunday weekend edition of the Knife Junkie podcast is all about. And Bob other great guests that we're going to hear from today.
Bob DeMarco 1:09
That's right. Today we're talking to custom knife maker Michael O’Machearley. Early. Michael O’Machearley came onto my radar in 2009 with a 60 minutes episode, it was there was a segment featuring DHL the the huge European shipping company, and their us headquarters was in Ohio. I grew up in Ohio incidentally. So it made my antenna pick up. And DHL left Ohio and indeed left their us operations, at least in terms of the size they were working with. And they left a few people in the lurch and one of those people was Michael omak. Early, he worked there at DHL, so they featured him on the 60 minutes segment. And part of that feature was talking about how he had a fallback plan and his fallback plan is Knife making. And of course, well, I grew up watching 60 minutes with my folks. But when I was out on my own, I sort of stopped. And just by sheer coincidence, I happened to watch it that one night saw this segment on the knife maker. And my brother also watched it simultaneously. And I remember after the show ended, he called me to see that Yeah, I saw that. And
he immediately called Michael O’Machearley, early knife maker and ordered a knife, as did many, many others. And his career as a worldwide collected knife maker was launched from that episode. So I decided to get in touch with him and we had a fantastic conversation. he's a he's a great guy.
Jim Person 2:43
Well, let's listen to that interview coming up next, but first, just want to remind you that we are on the ending, if you will, of the Thanksgiving holiday, the Black Friday sales, the Cyber Monday sales depending on when you're listening to this episode, Simon Monday could be tomorrow or it could be today if you're having to listen to it right when the show drops if it's after that well sorry because what I'm going to tell you is already out of date but a still time for you to take advantage of Black Friday Cyber Monday knife deals from our friends at the knife ship free. If you go to The Knife Junkie dot com slash bfcm. That stands for Black Friday Cyber Monday so The Knife Junkie dot com slash b f c m, you'll see all of the Black Friday Cyber Monday deals going on some great savings so again, go to The Knife Junkie dot slash bfcm
Bob DeMarco 3:38
It's funny one of the knives I'm celebrating it towards the end of the year we're going to be doing a most carried of 2019 and one of those knives the first knife I will feature on that episode was actually purchased by knife ship free they're one of my favorites.
Go visit The Knife Junkie at The Knife junkie.com to catch all of our podcast episodes, videos, photos and more
Bob DeMarco 3:58
I'm here with Michael O’Machearley to talk about forging knives and his career in knife making Michael, thanks for coming on the podcast.
Michael O’Machearley 4:07
Bob DeMarco 4:08
It's my pleasure. You know you you came into my, onto my radar about well 11 years ago when you were featured on a 60 minute story, tell us about that story and tell us how, how 60 minutes got got things going for your knife career?
Michael O’Machearley 4:26
Well I worked at DHL the the shipping, overnight shipping company and they had came into our town a few years earlier and bought out your Express. And they employed 10,000 people, and we're a town of 11,000. So I was a bus driver and we would drive to you know, different areas and pick people up to come to work and they announced that they were leaving and it was going to completely closed down and Everybody was going to lose their jobs. And that was my full time job. right near the house. I had really a pretty good part time business making knives and had quite a bit of coverage in magazines. But it was part time, the same the same as most knife makers are. And I was riding my bus one night and an older lady came on. And she said, Did you know that 60 minutes is in town? And I said, You mean that the TV show? She said, yeah. So no, I hadn't heard anything about that. And she says, Well, I told him about you. And I said, Why? In the name of our Lord and Savior, would you tell him about me? And she said, Well, you're you're losing your job out here. And you've got a part time business that you're probably going to have to lean on graveyard. And she said, and we kind of feel that a German company is stopping our freedom. And she said, quite frankly, your son gave his life fighting for our freedoms. I'm a gold star parent, my son, Steven died November 2 2003. We shut down on the Chinook helicopter with illusion. And I said, Well, okay, and the next daily call me from 60 minutes. She talked to me for a few minutes. She called me the next day and said, we would like to put you on TV and I thought, Well, yeah, sure, right. I'm just a guy making knives in my backyard, you know, and I got a call the next day. They told me where to be. At what time I sat down there were cameras everywhere. And then Scott Pelley comes driving in I thought we'll we just got pretty serious here. And he sat and we did a full interview for 60 minutes. The next day they came to my house and my shop and film All day. And when it aired, it was the first segment on that night, and the segments are usually 15 minutes. And it would, it would show me and then it would show things around the town that we come back to me and us kept going that way that ended up with me. And it went to commercial when it was off and my wife and I were just kind of cracking up, you know, we were just on TV, and my phone rang. And it was a man from Texas. And he was crying because of you know what I had said about my son, and he said I want to order a knife. And I said what kind he said I don't care. I said what price range he said I don't care. And my phone kept ringing for two solid weeks. Went took 250 orders in two days. By the end of the week I had over 400 orders and they still rerun that show. And I still get orders. I probably say if I had to gauge I probably got a eight or 900 orders just for that show. And then it springboard it into just they got crazy and wild every every newspaper, every magazine wanted to interview me and not just nice microwaving stuff, sporting magazines, outdoor magazines, and then German TV. Italian TV. Spanish TV. The last TV crew that was here was a Russian TV crew came to my shop from our teenagers Never heard of it. Mike Huckabee flew me to New York City. I was on two episodes of the Huckabee show on Fox News. It was crazy and I didn't didn't No, God just gave it to me. So it was pretty wonderful.
Bob DeMarco 9:03
What do you think resonated with people so, so intensely? You? You don't you don't often think of knives as having such a broad public reach, you know, emotionally What do you think it was that brought everybody out? By the way my brother Victor was was someone who called you initially right after seeing that I remember him telling me that. What do you think it was?
Michael O’Machearley 9:29
Well, if I had to, you know, pinpoint it, I would say a lot of people were telling me, everyone else that they talked to, from Wilmington, look like they were just going to roll over and die. And you just rolled up your sleeves and said, Well, this is what I'm going to do. And you know, that's the kind of guy I am. If, if I have to clean toilets to pay my house payment, somebody is going to get a clean toilet, you know? And I think That's what people that resonated with people was just like, you know, what kind of a can do spirit which, you know, that goes through Nijmegen? What drew you initially to the process of making? Well, I grew up hunting and fishing and trapping and just love knives, and had got away from it, you know, the outdoors for a long while. And I used to do a lot of skateboarding across the United States and I skateboard in our town with a few brothers. And their father was a custom knife maker. And it was around 1999. And I had a saw one of them at a local hardware store. And I asked how their father was doing and if he was still making knives, and they said, Yeah, you should go out and see him. So I, I went out and I worked my father in law nice. And when I went to pick it up, I think he just kind of song Me, you know, looking around the shop inquisitively and you know I like the smells I like the way things look that just you know, I like that kind of stuff and he said hey, why don't you come out and learn how to make a knife, you know we're making you know make a knife and it just lit a fire under me and I from very, very early on. I spent Monday nights in his shop and from very early on, I had goals and I have met and exceeded every goal that I that I went at and he is still a full time knife maker and you know, in 2009 when it came out on 60 minutes I was a full time knife maker and I still am to this day.
Bob DeMarco 11:47
So what is your process? Do you forge your own metal take take us through the genesis of a night the birth of it, and then all the way to the leather
Michael O’Machearley 11:59
okay? First, I'm a knife maker. I, I do stock removal and I forge I like both equally. I never want to pigeonhole myself into one style. I love doing both and if I forge you know I start from raw material, Fords the blade, grind the blade, heat treated, finish grind, you know guard handle, you do all that and you know you're mainly doing that on your grinders and in your you know, in a nice shop well, then I finished in my nice shop. And a couple years ago, I decided to dedicate another shop to leather goods. And so I can take I can have a nice clean environment. And I've got probably, I'm going to brag here I've got probably one of the best setup leather shops, and it is nice I inherited a 50 year are a 50 year leather crafters tools. And I've got tons of my own and I you know, I love doing the leather work just as much as as making the knives. And I do a lot of contract sheep work where, you know, some pretty big names will send me their knives. And I make some really fancy she's for him. And then some guys will say, hey, look, get my pattern number three out and give me 20 playing sheets, you know, so I do that and it, it works out pretty good. I'm never bored with any process. Because I'm not. It's not like a factory where you're doing the same thing every day. You get to flow around and do things and you know, frankly, if I want to go fishing, I'll go fishing. come in and work a little later. I love being My own boss now I do have a board of directors and when she says pay the house payment
Bob DeMarco 14:07
not always fishing not every day, not every day. So the the leather work, you do all of that I've seen, you know looking through your Instagram page and looking on your website some very intricately carved. I think that's what you call it right carved or embossed leather or tool. And so that's all you have. So do you have in your shop, do you have a number of different projects going at once in different stages, you have different knives and different stages and shields etc.
Michael O’Machearley 14:44
I will on a dry erase board, set out in the night shop and write out the batch that I'm in and who they go to. And I'll take that those knives, finish those knives. Take them over the leather shop finish those sheets ship them then start another batch of knives and during the holidays it's you know, it could be anywhere from five to 10 in a batch but usually through the rest of the year it's around oh three to no more than four time you know and then if there's one that is for a big collector that is very ornate you know I may take that project on just by itself and so there's nothing creatively coming else you know, anything else coming into my my thoughts as I'm as I'm making that knife making one right now for a collector in France and
it's, it's going to be by itself.
Bob DeMarco 15:47
You have a collector base, tell tell me about your customers who's buying these and, and d i think he told me You and I were talking on the phone, several weeks back and you mentioned in my area There's a collector. I do recall up here in Northern Virginia.
Michael O’Machearley 16:04
Yes. One of my oldest collectors used to work in, in Washington DC. And he lives in Oakton, Virginia, I believe it is. And he, he probably has, I don't know, I'd have to go cavity probably has upwards of 30 to 40 of my blades and he will open up a letter with him. I mean, he just, he just cherishes every night. He has mine and others. And he says, When I you know, when I watch a movie with my wife, I'll I'll pull four or five of them out and just appreciate them, you know, clean them and look at them. And that's his appreciation of the art. And then you have guys that are hunting guys in Wyoming that just beat him to death. And I love both of them, you know?
Bob DeMarco 16:52
Yeah. Well, you gotta love knowing that that some of them are being taken care of like pieces in a museum and Then others are living out their full destiny. You know, in terms of just out there doing the work. Oh yeah, you bet. What are your favorite materials to work with them? Currently I'm looking at it sort of a fighting buoy you made that has this gorgeous stag handle? Where do you would one of the materials you like to work in?
Michael O’Machearley 17:20
Well, I love to work with stag, but it's just there's the embargo has been on it for years and you can't hardly get it for for any decent price whatsoever. So you don't work with as much but we still we can still readily get mammoth ivory loved to work with mammoth ivory, and all the exotic woods. Any even even just plain Jane micarta you can put some style to it. You know, you have to you have to look at a knife and say, Okay, wait a minute, you know, I want to change directions on the handle. And it'll kind of tell you, you know, put her here put her There, it's kind of like when somebody will say, is my knife done? Well, the knife stone with the sheets not done, what kind of sheets are you going to put on? I don't know yet. The knife hasn't told me yet. You know, I have to look at an eye and say hey, what kind of sheet would this thing you know, be in what color what tool and you know what, what kind of style what color for it? And basically it sounds really weird. But the nice tells you, you know,
Bob DeMarco 18:27
well that's a writers approach or an artist's approach more so than an engineer's approach. You think of an engineer as someone who who very cut and dried has the plan soup to nuts and they execute it and then there goes the knife out in the post, post box but you are operating more like an artist and letting the work you know you're having a dialogue with the work as you're making it right.
Michael O’Machearley 18:51
The other guys are the guys that love micrometers.
Bob DeMarco 18:58
You mean to test how how thin it is behind the edge and all that?
Michael O’Machearley 19:02
No, no micrometers just for your, for your measurements. You know that? They'll say, Well, this is exactly point 252 I'm not that guy.
Bob DeMarco 19:13
Yeah, yeah. Well, how does your designing work? Do you do things out on paper? Or do you just go at it with the materials? What's your you explain your process?
Michael O’Machearley 19:24
Yeah, usually I start on paper with an idea. And it's always on graph paper. And I always use French curves. And French curves give you, you know, you might say, Oh, I can draw a really nice cover. No, you can't. You might soso do it. A pair of, you know, set French curves. You can adjust the curve and just make it perfect for the knife. You know, and then when you're done drawing is just sitting there. That's right. Right, you know, there's nobody that can sit there and draw a circle and it'd be perfect. But with a it's just a mechanical a, you know? That's it and they're just plastic templates basically. But I that's what I use every time to draw out a nice.
Bob DeMarco 20:12
Well, you can with a French curve you can always find the right curve. And and I mean for a long time you know I went I came up through art school and for a long time the French curve was a total mystery to me I just thought it was some superfluous little thing that that you bought with your rulers and your protractor. But I've realized in recent years because I like to draw knives that yeah, that French curve will give you exactly what you need. You just have to oriented correctly.
Michael O’Machearley 20:43
Yes. And you can change it as the flow of the knife goes. You know, you can move that French curve with the flow of the knife and it just as crisp and clean as can be. And then I'll take I'll take that drawing and hanging on the wall in my in my Smithy. And when I'm forging I can kind of forge to that shape, you know. And then when I take it over to the knife sharp, I profile it to the exact shape and then go at it that way with grinding and fence.
Bob DeMarco 21:15
So you keep mentioning the word flow like what does that how does that concept play into your knife making process.
Michael O’Machearley 21:23
A knife to me has to flow I used to build custom Harley's choppers and when you looked at the front wheel, and then you went into your you just drew your eyes all the way to the back of the bike. If something was leaning forward, it stopped your gaze. It didn't flow. Everything has to flow. It has to look like it's going fast when it's sitting still. And that's the approach I take the knives I don't want anything leaning the wrong way. I wanted all evil look at the tip of the knife just flow to the back of the night pleasingly, you know When it ends up in the palm of the knife at the rear, you just go Yeah, that's right. You know, that's that's just the way it should be.
Bob DeMarco 22:08
So you're, you're I mentioned the word flow and you go right to the flow of lines. And I was actually, I was actually thinking about the flow in your process the fact that you don't you know,
Michael O’Machearley 22:21
not think it hearing Yeah. rigidly to, to some sort of no schema that you set out. No, it's the exact same thing. Oh, I'll look at it as I'm making it. And one one process should flow to the next instead of being a stop sign. You know, it shouldn't you should, your grind should float next to the guard should flow next to the handle putting, you know putting that on. Everything needs to go together. Perfectly to me to make that good cutting.
Bob DeMarco 23:00
Did you learn this from from the gentleman knife maker that live close to you? I mean, is this something you picked up from your influences? I'm sorry, what's your name? What's his name?
Unknown Speaker 23:13
And he he taught me a lot about symmetry. You know you got a really look. I don't even know how many points you would have to look at on your night. That have to match. You know, it's you, you literally try to get a mirror image from both sides. Except for your mark. You know, your mark is on one side, but the knife itself and the handle thickness of the handle the the taper and the thickness of the Tang, everything has to be in symmetry. Sometimes that's difficult, but you get a good eye, you know, you get a really good eye for it. In grinding out the bevels side decided always in the few times I've noodle around in my backyard. It The hardest thing that I always experienced was having one side come out great, but then flipping it around and imagining that I'm doing it exactly the same way and having it all wonky. Well and and most, most of the time even with the best, biggest name knife makers, another knife maker can pick up their knife and tell if they're right or left handed. just bought just by looking at the punch lines, you know, and also I don't want my knife to look like a CNC machine spit it out either. It is a handmade custom knife. I've never made the perfect knife. If I did happen to stumble on and make the perfect knife. I probably never make another knife. Where can I go from there.
Bob DeMarco 24:54
Also spoken like an artist. The soap at Well, you Yeah, it's true. You know, it's it's probably the the frustration of not making that perfect night that that keeps you going to the next one going to the next one.
Michael O’Machearley 25:10
Yep. And every mind should show a little bit, you know, show a little bit of progress. And you know, I've been making knives since 1999. I'm well over 3000 knives. And I still get the same jazzed about it as I did the first one. And I you know, that keeps me rolling. I love it.
Bob DeMarco 25:31
So what what is your favorite knife to make?
Michael O’Machearley 25:35
Oh, gosh, the knife with a point on one hand and a handle on the other.
Bob DeMarco 25:40
All right. I'm looking at several of those right now. You have this loveless sub hilt fighter. That's just, I mean, you've got some amazing, amazing stuff I'm looking at here on your website.
Michael O’Machearley 25:53
Bob DeMarco 25:54
And yeah, you're welcome. And I like I like how you you are do a lot of compound grind. into which kind of seems unexpected because the knives have a an outdoors the ring to them you know, but have you been enticed by folders at all? Is there anything about the folding world that you find it yeah
Michael O’Machearley 26:17
i i really like slip joint folders, you know traditional and I've made quite a few of them. But when you're full time and you've got a lot orders, you don't have the time you'd like you know, to do on folders. This folders take more time. I am getting kind of a hankering to make a couple of them I I've always wanted a parochial slip joint for myself as a what I would call a Sunday Go To Meeting right got premium piece of pearl sitting out there staring at me for the last four years. So I'm thinking I might do a little overtime and and make a couple of In the New Year,
Bob DeMarco 27:01
well, yeah, four years you've waited You deserve it for sure. Yeah. Yeah. You made a cotton sampler which is interesting and rare pattern to kind of bust out with it to me. They look like scalpels. They actually look like medical May. Yeah. Yeah, just the way that the there's that little area, I guess for your finger to rest up there on the ricasso. But, yes, it's a cool pattern. So you mentioned before, you don't want your knives to look like a CNC machine, spit them out. What is your impression of the knife world as it's ballooned? And I don't mean balloon in a bad way. I just mean as it's grown kind of quickly over the last 10 years.
Michael O’Machearley 27:47
Well, you know, the mid tech stuffs out there, and you know, the full blown CNC knives are out there. And they all have a place. I mean, they really do. I can watch CNC machine stood out barks on it, I'm amazed by it. But when I, when I see steel move under my hammer and I feel steel move under my hammer that Jazz's me up. I really love that. And as far as like the knife world growing really has a lot of it's called the forged in fire effect. A lot of guys are jumping into this and they're buying tons of equipment. And probably what that's going to mean in the next five or six years is there should be a whole lot of grinders for sale.
Bob DeMarco 28:34
They're also burning down the neighborhood by the way, Michael they're
Michael O’Machearley 28:37
burning down neighborhoods, you know, it's gonna it's gonna wind up like, hey, this was a lot of fun. Now my wife says she wants her garage back. Right? You know, and that's okay. I mean, you know, that's okay. But there's just a whole lot of guys jumping in right now. And their learning curve is a lot shorter with with YouTube and things like that. I'm you know, I do a lot of Facebook videos on how I do leather work and how I you know how I grind. And I've gotten a lot of comments on that kind of stuff. And it's fun you know I have I'm if I'm known for one thing, probably if I can say one thing I grind efficiently and quickly. And you know, I'll have a guy sitting well, a loveless dropped her, and I can I can grind one of those in a couple of hours.
And then they say, how long does it take you to grind more? And I go two minutes.
Unknown Speaker 29:36
I just I learned how to a big man and bear down great grinder. And I and I have done a lot of work for factories. That will send me a box of knives to grind for them. I was told by a man Larry Harley, he passed away a few years ago. journeymen Smith out of Tennessee, he said never turned down those side jobs. Never. He said Pete Gerber called me one day and said, Larry, can you sharpen a machete? So of course I can. He goes, can I send you some machetes to sharpen? He said we don't have anything to sharpen these machetes in the Gerber factory. He said they came from overseas, unsure, he said, How much? Where's the two bucks apiece? The next morning he had 6000 machete. Oh man sold his wife brew the sweet tea. Leave me alone. And he said in one week, I sharpened every machete he said. And I made 12 grand that week. Wow. He said you don't get to do that very often. But when you do take those side jobs. You know I I took a side job one time grinding A small life and it was it was it went extremely quick. And I thought, how much do I make? You know? How much time am I putting into this? And it was just a little over a minute to grind both sides of it. Wow and then they wanted it back and they were paying me 10 bucks apiece and I thought wow prostitutes don't make that kind of money
Bob DeMarco 31:21
kwell you got something better
Unknown Speaker 31:24
yep got you know i i don't mind taking those side jobs. You know, I'll go to the blade show in Atlanta and there may be anywhere from five to 10 guys that are in various stages of the the knife game and age and everything where they need me to grind for them and I'll do their grinding. And you know, I don't mind that it's just contract. I'm sorry Why? Why would someone Why would a knife maker have another another knife maker grind his blade isn't well, if they're, if they haven't helped limitation for age? Uh huh. But they, but they want to say, relevant for a few more years. You know, gotcha. I see that as, Hey, you know what, I'll stay quiet. I won't say who you know, I'll tell anybody your name. And I'll describe your names and you put them on your table and we're good to go. You know, and there's there's a few brash knife makers and say, well, that's just wrong. No, it's not. It's just contract work, people. People contract out 30 treating all the time. You know, you can do that in your own house. There's nothing wrong with contracting it out.
Bob DeMarco 32:40
A lot of people don't make their own micarta or grow their own trees from which they harvest. That's exactly right. You can get very granular with that.
Michael O’Machearley 32:49
Yes, you got it.
Bob DeMarco 32:51
In terms of the knife industry. D Do you find it? Do you find it a welcoming place?
Michael O’Machearley 32:57
For the most part, yes. Some of the new crowds
Unknown Speaker 33:01
They don't have a sense of history. And I'm a firm believer in whatever you're doing. have a sense of history of where it comes from skateboarding. Study the old guys know who they were. Watch how they did things. Put your spin on that, you know, and and just just know, know where it came from nowhere it was birth. And a lot of these guys, they just come in and go. No, I'm just I'm just making this knife and love me. You know, we've been at we've been at this game a long time, and will be added a lot longer. And I see it every year at the blade show. We talked about it. Okay, where was those two guys who really? Were going great guns in the last couple years. Well, they're not here. They're stars burn bright and burned out.
Bob DeMarco 33:57
Do you think that's more likely to happen in Folding sector because folders are more popular because more people can carry them. Is that endemic to that area? Or is it straight across the board in that in the mid tech tactical guys?
Unknown Speaker 34:14
I don't know. It's just, it's all good. And I you know, all knives are good. But you have to go at it with the right attitude. I was talking to a good friend of mine today. He's a world famous woodcarver. And they have an association that puts on a big show. Well, this year was the very last show 35 hours of it. And I said, Why? Why are you having the last show? He said, we're old. We're just old. You know, he said, there's no young kids getting into it. They said we're going to go out on top. And, you know, I thought that's pretty cool. It's sad. But they're going out the right way. And it's kind of hard right now to watch. There's just a few young guys coming into it when there should be dozens and dozens of guys that are 15 to 20. That's why every blade show that I go to I've been to over 20 I will sit and watch and it's usually on a Saturday. I'll pick a father walking around with it could be a lawyer younger. And I don't pick the kids that are wearing $100 hat $500 sneakers that the kid with the holes in his knees, you know, they're not walking around with knives that they bought. They're walking around with a lot of brochures. Just you know, they're just there to see the nice show. And give the kid a really nice nice. I mean, you know a nice knife. And I have seen so many tears from the fathers and now I see a stair step effect. Every year, the blade show where these kids walk up that I gave a knife to 10 years ago. You know, and they're 20 and they're still coming to the show. So I'm planting seeds and I'm walking. Because if I if I die at 85 I don't want the knife business to die it, you know, dive in, I want it to go on. When I was a kid, I'm 58 Now, when I was a kid, I had a knife in my pocket. 24 seven at school everywhere. The teachers knew it. You know, they would ask to use my knife. You know, yeah, I got into quite a few tussles. kids in school. Never wants that I think about pulling my knife out. There must have been 20 trucks in our parking lot of school with loaded guns in the back window. And nobody ever thought about shooting the school.
Bob DeMarco 36:59
right because no one was a dangerous criminal there.
Michael O’Machearley 37:03
Well, no, we had a few of those.
Unknown Speaker 37:07
Right, right. But you know, people took care of it differently. You know, if you got in a fight with somebody was, hey, you beat me up pretty good. You went on. You didn't pull a knife on him. But everybody had a knife. I mean, everyone had a knife. It's a tool it's man's oldest tool. And if they ban knives, or they get a ban butter knives.
Bob DeMarco 37:31
Did you see how this the Church of England is demanding? That all kicks in knives be sold blunted on the tips wanted, so that you might go Yes, yeah, round it off. It's it's hilarious. So I mean, so you sound to me like someone who's got a firm appreciation for traditional for the value of traditional things. Yes. Does does a computer will a computer ever play into the making a O’Machearley knife.
Michael O’Machearley 38:04
Ah, as far as design know, as far as making the parts No.
I do use Facebook as a vehicle for sales.
Unknown Speaker 38:21
And that seems to work out pretty good that but I don't have to get my foot in too deeply, you know, my website is is horribly old. And one thing that we're seeing in knife making is the websites are going the way of the dinosaur. And it's all social media. Yeah. And, you know, I have to I have to kind of roll with that, even though I kind of, you know, look at it and say, That's not for me. I still have to do it. You know, or you'll get left behind and I do this full time. If it was just a hobby, really wouldn't matter. But I, you know, quite frankly, when you're 58 it's kind of tough to reinvent yourself and go out and get a job. Yeah, I love what I'm doing.
Bob DeMarco 39:11
The beauty of something like Instagram is that it's visual and it's simple and it's cheap. Unlike managing your own website, you know, I
have come across. I've come across a lot of people on Instagram whose work I've really fallen for, and I never would have known them, some of whom I've spoken to on this show. And, you know, they're just posting pictures from their shop or finished knives and it cost them nothing, but a little bit of time. And yeah, it's it and people get get in touch with them through that website and through that app, so it is pretty amazing.
Unknown Speaker 39:48
With a website, people have to come to you. They have to come to you and you don't have to seek out your website. with Facebook or Instagram. You're knocking their door down Ryan whereas you know two people see your website a day, man 20,000 people or more my see your post and that plants the seed. You know, I can't tell you the last time I really don't know the last time somebody said hey, I want this knife off your website. It's Hey, you still have that one available that you posted yesterday and works out great that way for me. And I you know, I'm anti technology, but I stupid. Yeah, that's a good easy way to go.
Bob DeMarco 40:36
You're not anti technology. You're just pro old school technology
Unknown Speaker 40:42
Bob DeMarco 40:44
Like the knife. Well, So Michael, tell everybody how they can find you and find your work and get in touch with you and and see what you have to offer.
Unknown Speaker 40:55
Okay, the best way is on Facebook. My Business site is Michael Pappy O’Machearley custom knives. And on Instagram, it's just O’Machearley. And the reason it's Pappy my grandchildren one day said, Hey, we don't know Michael, we know Pappy and I said, Wow. So I, I rolled it over in my tongue a few times Pappy O’Machearley, and it flowed really well. That's, that's Yeah. You know, that's what's going on. But yeah, and that's up to date, really up to date, lot of videos, you know, are on there that have me doing things. That's the best way to find my work or give me a call, you know, my, my, my phone number is on there. I don't like tapping on a keyboard to convey a message. Um, you know, give give me a phone call. We can talk about this.
Bob DeMarco 42:03
I'm with you on that. I love it when you can just make a phone call keep all the typing to a minimum. Yep. Well Michael thank you so much for coming on The Knife Junkie podcast it's been a pleasure speaking with you I've I've handled your knives as I've mentioned, my brother has two of them by the way. You also got him hardcore into leather making that but he does. He does amazing stuff. He's made some incredible shoes for me. And I'm so glad I got a chance to talk to you. You left an impact 11 years ago when I saw your story and it was great to finally meet you.
Michael O’Machearley 42:36
Awesome. Awesome. That is great.
You're listening to the Knife Junkie podcast.
If you've got questions or comments call the 24 seven Knife Junkie listener line at 744-466-4487
Jim Person 42:52
all right back on the Knife Junkie podcast episode number 64. If you want to catch some of the links to Maybe Pappy;s Facebook page that we're talking about or some of the other interesting takeaways or other resources links etc you can find those all on the show notes page at The Knife Junkie dot com slash 64. For every episode of The Knife Junkie podcasts that you hear that we refer to the number you can always look it up so if you want to go back and listen to an episode of The Knife Junkie podcast just The Knife Junkie dot com slash the number so this one The Knife Junkie dot comm slash 64 Bob key takeaways thoughts what you believe from that interview
Bob DeMarco 43:34
a couple of things actually I'm reminded by my brother that scene that 60 minutes episode is what got my brother into leather work and he's made some amazing leather stuff. Chief among them sheets for me and and a
pit fighting gauntlet Conan style, which I will show on the channel at some point. But yeah, he was inspired by Michael omakr Lee's kind of vast plane of knowledge, you know, he's not only a knife maker, but he makes exquisite sheets and is, you know, fantastic. At leatherworking. To me as as someone, as an artist, I hate to sound high handed. But as an artist, I'm impressed by his range of knowledge in terms of how to use materials and being able to make a beautiful custom knife soup to nuts. And by soup to nuts, I mean, from the start of making the knife to finishing up the sheath, that That to me is impressive. Another thing that kept ringing in my ears as he was talking was this concept of flow. He used the term flow a lot and I think about that term a lot. I know a lot of people who are, who are in the creative fields or who are athletes talk about flow a lot. It's that it's that space you get to in your head where you have enough expertise and how to do something, how to execute something to the point where when you're doing it, you're not thinking about how you're executing, you're just executing and you're in a flow state and it's Kind of forgetting time and forgetting space and just lost in that thing. And he kept mentioning that and it just really resonates. And finally, now I'm going to be high handed again, and I'm going to quote Seneca, the Roman stoic philosopher which don't worry, I don't do often. But everyone's heard this luck is when preparation meets opportunity. As Michael mentioned, as soon as that 60 minutes episode aired about his bad fortune, his fortune turned around, and that's because he was prepared and that was his opportunity. He'd been making knives for quite some time. And then the show came along
and you know, one door closes that's DHL leaving Ohio and another door opens and that's the opportunity of starting a knife business. So another inspiring story for me.
Jim Person 45:49
All right, well, that's what we like to bring you on the Knife Junkie podcast is these great interviews and conversations if you will, with knife makers, knife manufacturers, anybody in the knife and YouTube reviewers so if you know of anybody that you think would be a great guest on the show or you yourself would like to be on the show and have a conversation with Bob about knives, we'd love to hear from you call the listener line at 724-466-4487. That number again 724-466-4487. And we'd love to chat with you on an upcoming episode of The Knife Junkie podcast.
Bob DeMarco 46:25
And to all of you who have already sent me suggestions. I've taken them all to heart. I have sent out many an invitation and hopefully I hear back from these people. I know everyone wants me to have Ernie Emerson on and so do I and I've sent a number of invitations, but he's a busy man. So hopefully he gets back to me. Alright, we're working on it,
Jim Person 46:43
Ernie. Come on, buddy. All right, that's gonna do it for Episode Number 64 of the Knife Junkie podcast. We hope that you enjoyed it and we hope you'll join us again this Wednesday for our supplemental issue that number 65. That's when Bob is going to go over his top 10 knives that he carried for all of 2019 so if you're looking for some gift ideas you can use the top 10 carried knives of The Knife Junkie as maybe some guidance So join us mid week for that one. For Bob The Knife Junkie DeMarco I'm Jim the knife newbie Person and I want to thank you for listening to The Knife Junkie podcast
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 calm you can also watch our latest videos on YouTube at The Knife Junkie comm slash YouTube check out some great night photos on The Knife Junkie comm slash Instagram and join our Facebook group at The Knife Junkie comm slash Facebook and if you have a question or comment email them to Bob at The Knife Junkie calm or call our 24 seven listener line at 724-466-4487 and you may hear your comment or question answered on it. upcoming episode of The Knife Junkie podcast.
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