Red Blade Knives
Red Blade Knives was conceived in early 2012, and is the brainchild of three friends, Dan Rotblatt, Sean ?Griz? Coulter, and Robi Mukherjee. Once the idea was born, Dan quickly put together some initial design ideas. Because of Griz?s enthusiasm and Robi?s history with the military, it was decided that our first knife would be ?Grunt? capable and built as a rugged beast rather then just another pretty blade?thus the ?Pig? was born. ?Griz? likes ?Big? and ?Thick? and ?Strong? and this shows in every part of the ?Pig.? The ?Wasp? on the other hand, (our second offering) is based on a fied blade knfe designed and made by Dan some 30 years ago. It was his favorite carry and the 'Wasp' has all the grace, beauty and finesse that one might expect from the hands of a lifelong Artist!
A variety of avenues for production were explored, and after several expensive disappointments it was decided that in order to have complete control over quality and time, we needed to purchase our own mill? In February of 2013 we did! Since that time have been working like good little ?Mill Monkeys? to produce knives and refine our techniques.
Our knives are made completely in our studio here in California. The only two processes we send out are the water-jet cutting of the blanks and heat-treating the blades. Both of these are done here in the USA. (Though we do heat-treat our own stop pins, pivots and prototypes.). The quality of our materials is very important to us! We use S30V steel for the Pig, and CPM154 for the Wasp. Our liners are all 6AL-4V titanium. Handle slabs for the ?Pig? are coarse textured G10 in OD green, Black, or Tan. For the ?Wasp? there will be a wide variety of handle options including G10, carbon fiber and exotics.
For us, the creation of a knife is a careful multi-step process. Each step is discussed. We draw a number of design sketches, and then examine the pros and cons of each. Paper cutouts and mock-ups can be made to get a feel for the size and shape. Once decided and refined, a hand-made prototype is constructed and scrutinized. At this point either Robi or Dan models the design, along with any new changes using 3D CAD software. Here the blade can be moved in virtual space, the position of the detent, stop pin and pivot can be shifted and verified. The code for the mill is generated from the virtual parts and they are cut out to create our second prototype. In addition, tooling plates must be made, computer code for the mill tweaked and tested for problems, and final fit and finish resolved. Once all that is done, if we?re satisfied, a limited number of knives are made. This is our last set of prototypes, and gives us the opportunity to make sure that we can make all the parts consistently, as well as acting as a further check for errors. Once this is done we can start making the knives in earnest. The parts are milled on our machine, and then finished by us by hand. The blades are hand ground and sharpened by Dan and area of each blade on which the washers will rest is mirror polished to give the knife the smoothest action possible. We assemble every knife personally, with the final action being set by Griz.