Tommy McNabb

Bethania, NC | In Memoriam

Tommy McNabb’s knives are expertly crafted for people who appreciate superb handling characteristics in elegant custom-made knives. Each knife starts with a functional design in which every line achieves a specific purpose. Beauty and function are an integral part of the design, and painstaking care is given to each step in the creation process to ensure a maximum blend of style and performance. The final product is a strong, beautiful cutting tool that works as a natural extension of your own hand.

Tommy became an Exhibiting Member in 1991.

Obituary: Tommy McNabb, 78, of Winston-Salem departed this life on September 23.  Leaving behind his wife Trena Yates McNabb and ten times more loving friends than anyone else we know; Children Julie Joiner Robards and Robert Joiner; Grandchildren Robert Davis, Shelby Davis and Jessica Robards; Sister Peggy Hadden and Nieces Julie Hadden and Jane Murphy from Tennessee. He loved adventures, traveling to see the world, working on and driving his MGs.

He opened his own photography studio in Winston Salem, providing photographs to corporations and individuals until his retirement in 2005. In 1979 he began to seriously pursue his interest in the craft of blacksmithing and knifemaking, studying at Penland School of Craft, John C Campbell Folk School and Sloss Furnaces in Alabama concentrating on Damascus steel. In 1992 he gathered some friends and fellow knife makers together, forming a group he named The North Carolina Custom Knifemakers Guild. He served as their first President. After drumming up support for an exclusively custom-made knife show to be held in North Carolina, the first show of the SouthEastern Custom Knife Show was held in 1995 in Durham, NC. The next year it was moved to Winston-Salem with Tommy as director (1995-2005). Tommy has always been willing to share his knowledge with others, inviting people of all ages into his own shop to promote and teach blacksmithing and knife making. He also taught classes through workshops for the NC Chapter of Artist Blacksmith Association of North America; Montgomery Community College; NC Custom Knifemakers Guild; ABS-Batson Hammer-In; free demonstrations or with individuals in his own shop. He was a member of Artist Blacksmith Association of North America (ABANA) (past treasurer); Piedmont Craftsmen; Alabama Forge Council; American Bladesmiths Society (ABS) and others.