Klaasee, Tinus

Klein Brakrivier, South Africa                       

Cell.        084 440 3048      

eMail.     tinus.klaasee@gmail.com

My interest in knives began at the age of 6 when I began carving knives out of timber from old Tomato crates. My father had a Joseph Rodgers pocket knife which made the ideal carving tool!

For my 10th birthday my uncle gave me a Bowie that he made at work during his lunch hours. He was a machinist at Iscor. It was at this stage that I choose to start working in steel. Taking an old kitchen knife, reshaped the blade and replaced the handle with Teak. The first shape was proudly a “Bowie”. My father was overly cautions, took my knife and placed it in the kitchen drawer for safe keeping! I never argued with my father.

As an avid hunter, my interest in knives never waned. Hours spent skinning, slaughtering and processing my kill allowed me to appreciate the craftsmanship that went into a good knife that allowed for a keen edge and solid feel to the instrument.

In 1985 I built my first machines and started crafting my first knives using K110 and Bohler N685. Since then I have progressed to using Sandvic 12C27 Bohler N690 with various natural materials such as Ivory, various animal bone and tusks and other composites making up the handles. A recent addition to my work has been adding detail. I am greatly indebted to Mike Fellows who has guided and helped master the craft.

In 2010 I joined the Cape Knife makers Guild. Here I have found a group of knife makers who continually encourage and help one to learn new skills and tricks.

Recently I also started making folders and I am still trying to come to terms with the intricacies of folders. Being a perfectionist I place great emphasis on the finish and spend a lot of time on detail. Currently I still work full-time while plying my trade part-time but hope to retire soon and then make knives full-time.

I still learn and believe I am never too old to learn!