World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

William Scagel

Article Id: WHEBN0031114683
Reproduction Date:

Title: William Scagel  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: American Bladesmith Society, Knives, Taping knife, Fillet knife, Sabatier Aîné & Perrier
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

William Scagel

William Wales Scagel
Born (1873-02-12)February 12, 1873
Alpena, Michigan
Died March 26, 1963(1963-03-26) (aged 90)
Occupation Knifemaker, Bladesmith
Awards Blade Cutlery Hall of Fame

William Wales Scagel or Bill Scagel (February 12, 1873 – March 26, 1963) was a knifemaker whose style had a profound impact on the cutlery trade, influencing it for over 100 years.[1][2]

Modern replica of Scagel style hunting knife, made by 2G knives Mallorca

Early life

Born near Alpena, Michigan and raised in Canada, Scagel began making knives in 1910 while working at lumber camps throughout Michigan and Canada. Prior to this he worked as a bridgebuilder and an artist in wrought iron.[1] In 1920, after his shop in Muskegon, Michigan burned down he settled in nearby Fruitport and built a new shop on a piece of land he named "Dogwood Nub" which began his long full-time career of making knives, axes, cookware, and boats.[2]


From 1920 through 1929 Scagel sold his knives through Abercrombie & Fitch of New York and their subsidiaries such as Von Lengerke & Antoine.[3] Scagel made hunting knives, machetes, and axes for the expeditions of the Smithsonian Institution.[4] Scagel made a variety of knives throughout his career including Bowie knives, fighting knives, and pocketknives.[1] One of the rarest of Scagel's knives is his personal hunting knife pattern, a fixed blade drop-point hunter with a secondary folding spey-blade in the handle. Valued at over $15,000, seven of the twelve made are accounted for in private collections.[2][5]

Scagel used a half stag and half leather stacked washer assembly in his knife handles that became his trademark style.[6] One such Scagel knife provided the influence for Bo Randall to start making his own knives. In 1937, Randall witnessed someone using a Scagel knife to scrape paint off of a boat near Walloon Lake, without damaging the edge of the blade.[2] Randall bought the knife and in the years that followed Scagel became a mentor to Randall, influencing many of his designs.[7] In addition to leather and stag handles, Scagel had several friends who worked at the Brunswick Pool Table and Bowling Ball Company who kept him supplied with scrap pieces of ivory, rosewood, bakelite, vulcanized fiber, and maple spacers which he used in his knife handles over the years.[3][8]

Every knife Scagel made was completely by hand and without modern tools such as a grinder or buffer, his Fruitport shop was powered off a gasoline engine from a Cadillac automobile and as a result, the quantity of knives he produced over his 50 years of knifemaking is very low.[9] Scagel was known for not trusting "mass produced items" and even made his own rifle for hunting.[1] Scagel never visited doctors, resetting his own broken wrist at one time and successfully extracting his own teeth and making his own dentures.[10] During a polio epidemic in 1939, he made leg braces for children at his shop.[11] He made his last knife in 1962, the year before he died.[1] Twenty-three years later he was inducted into the Blade magazine Cutlery Hall of Fame at the 1990 Blade Show.[12] In 1996, Scagel was inducted into the American Bladesmith Society Hall of Fame as an inauguree.[13] The Randall Knife Museum in Orlando, Florida is home to the world's largest collection of Scagel's knives.

External links

  • 2G Knives
  • Scagel Knives, a company which contacts custom makers to make "Scagel inspired" knives.


  1. ^ a b c d e McEvoy, Harry (1985). Scagel: The Man and His Knives. Iola, WI: Blade Publications. pp. 1–28.  
  2. ^ a b c d Pacella, Gerard (2002). 100 Legendary Knives. Krause Publications. p. 18.  
  3. ^ a b Carter, Mike (2008). "Treasure Found in a Barn: Bill Torrance Buys a William Scagel Knife for$5 and Sells it for $10,700". Blade (F&W Media) 35 (3): 50–59. 
  4. ^ McEvoy, Harry K (1989). Knife throwing: a practical guide. Tuttle Publishing. p. 99.  
  5. ^  
  6. ^ Goddard, Wayne (2000). The Wonder of Knifemaking. Krause. p. 137.  
  7. ^ Barney, Richard W.; Loveless, Robert W. (March 1995) [1977]. How to Make Knives. Knife World Publications. pp. 6–10.  
  8. ^ "The Scagel Knife". Retrieved 2011-03-07. 
  9. ^ Goddard, Wayne; Kevin Michalowski (2006). Wayne Goddard's $50 Knife Shop: Get Started Without Spending a Fortune. Iola, WI: Gun Digest. p. 49.  
  10. ^ "Scagel Knives". The Muzzleloader (Indiana: Rebel publications): 21–36. 1976. 
  11. ^ McEvoy, Harry K. (1974). "Where are all those Scagel Knives".  
  12. ^ Voyles, J. Bruce (1990). "Blade Cutlery Hall of Fame". Blade Magazine 17 (1). 
  13. ^ Shackleford, Steve (1997). "Family Rules at ABS Hall of Fame". Blade (F&W Media) 24 (12): 66. 
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.