My name is Zac Buchanan. I was born in Eugene, OR in 1984. My dad, Thad Buchanan, has made knives for as long as I can remember. As a kid I liked to help in the shop every now and again. Growing up I spent time around Bill Harsey, Bob Lum, Ron Lake and their families. I never realized that they were world renowned knife makers; they were just my Dad's friends. But looking back on it, it was pretty cool. These days I wish I would have paid more attention.
When I graduated from high school, my dad moved to Prineville, OR with his wife Melissa. My Mom moved to Portland to be closer to my older brother and his family. I stayed in Eugene and that's where I met my wife Sara through a mutual friend.
In 2008 my Dad asked if I wanted to move to Prineville and learn to make knives with him. After working in the restaurant industry I was happy to do something more interesting.
Sheath making was one of the first things my dad taught me when I started working in the shop with him. From there I started working with a local saddlemaker to better understand the art of leathercraft. I make all the leather sheaths for my knives as well as my fathers. I have made sheaths for other makers and collectors as well.
I attended my first knife show in April 2011, - the OKCA show in Eugene Oregon. It was that same show where I won my first award for knife making. I won best hunter/utility knife of show. I was shocked and overjoyed when they called my name.
In 2012 I started my own shop back home in Eugene.
In 2013 we were blessed with a beautiful addition to our family. Our first child, Arianna, was born. So far she's very interested in watching me work and checking out the finished products.
I love to make R.W. Loveless style knives, but I've made several of my own designs too. I usually put a high mirror polish on my fixed blades and the face of my guards and a nice satin finish on the handle bolts and the sides of the guard. I've used a variety of handle materials including Sambar Stag, Genuine Elephant Ivory, Mammoth Ivory, Mammoth Tooth, Cape Buffalo and many more. I've designed a few folding knife patterns as well.
Working with my dad has been an awesome experience and a blessing. I've learned so much in such a short time it's hard for me to believe. I enjoy knife making so much I know I'll do it for as long as I'm capable.
Dad and I are proud to be featured on the cover of KnifeWorld (December 2011)
Knifeworld has graciously provided a PDF of the issue (click the image below):