I knew it was possible to buy old pieces of the Mackinac Bridge, but I never considered all the creative ways in which they could be used. A local blacksmith in southwest Michigan has combined two passions to create some of the most unique and Pure Michigan blades around!

Ben Graber forges each unique blade himself at his home shop in White Pigeon, MI. Growing tired of the "cookie cutter" factory knives, what was once a project that started out of necessity has now grown into a full fledged side-gig called Graber Forge and an appearance on The History Channel's "Forged in Fire".

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Mackinac Bridge Blades

While others simply buy pre-made blades and put handles on them, Ben builds his blades from the ground up. He was inspired to incorporate pieces of the Mackinac Bridge into his blades after seeing a fellow smith do something similar and began procuring his own pieces of steel bridge grating. His bridge knives feature a high carbon core and pieces of the steel bridge on the outside.

What I find most fascinating about Ben's blades are the unique etchings which are created when the blade is ground. After the layers are exposed, the blade is then etched in acid revealing a unique pattern-- meaning no two blades are the same!

Says Ben,

When etched these contrasting steels reveal a beautiful pattern that is a unique as a fingerprint... I strive to repurpose the steel into something functional and beautiful and to also honor the legacy of the men and women who built the Mighty Mac.

Each Mackinac Bridge blade comes with a certificate of authenticity in addition to a lifetime guarantee which follows the tool. That means no matter who inherits the tool or who it was gifted to, Graber Forge will repair or replace it.

However, if you're thinking ahead to Christmas or a birthday you'll want to get your order in sooner rather than later. With each blade being forged by Ben himself, his lead time for made-to-order and custom blades is 6 months! In addition to knives, Ben also makes skillets, firepokers, dinner triangles, and burger presses. Check out Ben's current inventory here.

This Michigan Man Forges Custom Knives from Mackinac Bridge Steel

From the fires of Ben Graber's workshop at his Michigan backwoods family farm come unmatched, custom blades. His hobby may be turning into a red-hot career.

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