Inspired by Function
Benjamin Lockhart Baker, aka Lock, is a self taught artist, engineer, fabricator, and amateur metallurgist. Better known for his highly customized motorcycles than his bladesmithing, Lock has nonetheless enjoyed crafting knives from the very start.
From dull wooden knives whittled at 7, to basic metal shanks, daggers and replicas of movie swords by 12, to pretty decent weapons at 16, the interest never ceased. Heat-treating and machining hit him by his early 20s, and on to the finer arts of forging, forge welding and Damascus production by his own hand at 35. Lock never stops learning and evolving in the quest for the perfect handmade knife.
Now 37, Lock says he “hasn’t gone more than a year” without making at least a few new knives. Inspiration for him comes primarily from the original American knife, the “Bowie” - made famous first by its namesake Jim Bowie, legendary frontiersman of the early 1800’s.
These knives, historically speaking, were close combat weapons, but their utility in the expanding west of the United States was undeniable. With a 12”-18” cutting edge, it was large by knife standards, but its larger mass gave it tremendous power and reach. A knife-savvy frontiersman could fell small trees, dress game, defend himself, improvise spears and traps from found materials, and prepare his food, all with the same implement.
Lock takes additional influence from many other sources, but a common thread to both his motorcycles and his knives, is function. It must do that first and foremost, and only in that way justify its own features and details.
Lockhart Knives takes pride in creating each knife from scratch at his shop in Los Angeles, CA.
Stellar Culture and Products
Each piece that's created at Lock's hands has a distinct character that represents the passion and determination that is Lockhart Knives
While the Lockhart knives are based on a style of knife from the frontier, they each posses function and strength exceeding expectations, through the use of modern methods.