The “Handles and Guards” book, by ABS Master Smith Joe Keeslar, is the best selling item in the ABS store inventory. This 127 page spiral bound book has detailed diagrams and describes many methods of work for making and fitting handles and guards.

Book Preface by James Batson, MS

Joe Keeslar is a master craftsman in metals,wood, and leather. I am an admirer of his forged knives, particularly his unique style. His file work, wire inlay and engraving add a special touch to his knives. As president of the American Bladesmith Society, I had several pamphlets printed on making knives. There was nothing available on Handles and Guards. Having seen Joe’s excellent demonstrations on Handles and Guards, I asked him to write a pamphlet.

I never dreamed that a pamphlet I envisioned would turn into this masterpiece you are about to read and, hopefully, digest. I want to thank Joe not only for his contribution to the ABS as a board member and president but also for the time, for his illustrative skill and willingness to give us the benefit of his years of knife making.

James Batson, MS

February 5, 2008

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