David Blomfield, Blacksmith and Toolmaker
I started making tools by default. My kind father gave me an old ABC buckjumping saddle, one of the EASYOUT variety. I was 16 years old and heading for the deep north to start my career as a ringer. I eventually got sick of falling out of the EASYOUT and decided to make my own saddle. At the station rubbish dump I found an old Barcoo Poley saddle; busted and discarded. I pulled it to pieces, making note of the construction and reckoned I could have a go at repairing and rebuilding it. After I’d spent most of my money on a couple of sides of leather, I had no money left to buy tools. After consulting my ever-present RM Williams’ catalogue and studying the design of saddlers’ tools, I set about making a set of these in the station workshop. After I’d made the third or fourth saddle, I’d worked out what knives and tools suited my version of saddle making.
Over time, different people saw these tools and asked if I would make them a similar set. Hence the start of the toolmaking business. Nowadays we run a small farm in the Goomburra valley near Allora, where we make knives, tools and other assorted steelwork.
Our range of saddlers’ tools includes all types of knives up to large round knives, as well as a full range of hand tools up to and including splitters. Most of the patterns are taken from old English designs (the good ones). We also do custom-made tools and will copy or repair old tools. We specialize in presentation knives with exotic woods and antler handles.
We have sourced the best materials available for our toolmaking. All blades are made from a German steel – Bohler N695; this is a specialty semi-stainless, high carbon, blade steel. Other hand tools are made from USA W1 and W2 high carbon tool steels.
David & Libby Blomfield