Lane (RAL Cutlery), Raley
I have loved knives since I was three years old. My father purchased my first one at a flea market in Alabama, dulled it, and let me start whittling on the front porch with all of the other 'MEN'. As a teenager, I would purchase broken kitchen knives at yard sales and reshape them on a grinder made from a washing machine motor.
I received my associates degree in education from Young Harris College in 1996. I then transferred to The University of Georgia. I established my major in art education with a focus in 3-D design, jewelry, and metalsmithing. In 1998, I was fortunate enough to gain the trust of Professor Gary Noffke, a world renown blacksmith, coppersmith, silversmith, and goldsmith. He allowed me to have a key to The University of Georgia's secretive hidden Black Smith Shop. Professor Noffke took time away from his busy teaching schedule to teach me a completely separate bladesmithing class while conducting an advanced jewelry class. He only gave me three rules I had to agree to follow before he would teach me: 1) Don't damage any of the tools; 2) I could not use the little giant Trip Hammer until I made Damascus the old fashioned way; and 3) Had to agree to never make knives that look like they were made on an assembly line. To quote Professor Noffke, my only reason for metalsmithing must be ""TO STOMP OUT THE UGLY"".
Since 1998, I have forged hundreds of knives and tomahawks. I have never made two that were exactly the same, as I consider each one to be an individual work of art. I forge 90% of my pieces from 1950's era Peterbuilt Leaf Springs. The other 10% consists of antique ball peen hammers and farriers rasps. Each piece is put through my own rigorous testing for quality control and research. If I don't like it myself, it gets thrown in the trash. I would be happy to answer any questions about the pieces I have posted via email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org"".