A Halifax man has managed to carve out a business by turning something old into something new.

Josh Lamkey is a self-taught cutler who makes custom blades out of salvaged steel.

He says he’s always sharpening his skills.

“I love coming to work and setting up my own space,” said Lamkey. “I love meeting new people. I love meeting other entrepreneurs.”  

His north-end shop is always buzzing. If he's not sharpening blades, he's making knives. Everything is done by hand with his dog, Jetson, at his side.

“What I am using and holding in my hands and putting into practical appreciation was once very much appreciated by someone else decades ago for a completely different purpose,” said Lamkey.

His finds come from rundown barns, shut down mills, rusty saws, and old farrier files that were all abandoned decades, even centuries ago.

“You kind of learn these places if you sniff it out,” he said. “Antique stores, behind the garage – the rusty things. I sniff out rust.”

As an avid outdoorsman, Lamkey always appreciated knives. Eventually he thought he'd take a stab at making them.

The craftsman focuses on foraging and culinary knives.

The materials for the handles are also recycled. They’re made from wood, antlers, ivory keys from a discarded piano, even mammoth tusk.

“Some are from Yukon where mammoths roamed like elk 30 to 40,000 years ago,” he said.

The craftsman is proud of his art, with his use of such storied steel giving him a competitive edge.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kelland Sundahl.