Saturday, December 18, 2010

Meet W.W. “Bud” Cronk

cronk03 72
This is W.W. “Bud” Cronk, a giant in the art knife field.
I did a story about Bud Cronk for The Indianapolis News in late October, 1982, shortly before his death from cancer. I had no idea how important this guy was in the knifemaking world.
Mark Oertel, a knife collecting friend, was very excited when he learned I was going to visit Cronk in his Greenfield, Ind. home, which should have been a clue. To me, it was just another feature story about a guy who made interesting things.
I know better now.
The fantasy knife Cronk is brandishing in the photo is named The Eliminator and is currently offered by Nordic Knives for $45,000. Yes, forty-five thousand dollars.
cronk 16Here’s the listing:
  • 14" blade of 440C, mirror polished with 19 spikes protruding from three sides, 20 1/4" overall length
  • Stainless steel hilt with three spiked hand guards
  • Wood micarta handle with a stainless steel pommel
  • No sheath
  • Arguably Bud Cronk's most famous knife, this piece is prominently featured in Jim Weyer's "Points of Interest" Book I pages 120-122.
  • Made in the early 1980's, mint condition
Small wonder that the Knifemakers Guild presents the W.W. Cronk Memorial Award to the maker of the best knife at its annual show.

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