Up Close with Dragonfly Forge

If Gabriel Bell of Dragonfly Forge looks familiar, it might be because you saw him on TV. Our local expert swordsmith appeared on The History Channel’s Forged in Fire in February as the season three finale champion. Gabriel won the competition by forging a 30-inch Viking sword, but his sharpening services at our market are decidedly more functional. Dragonfly Forge will sharpen your knives, scissors, fabric shears, axes, and machetes, and garden tools — all on the same day.

Gabriel Bell at the Dragonfly Forge booth at the market.

Dragonfly Forge, creates one-of-a-kind Japanese swords as well as special order and custom made knives, which taught Gabriel how to treat blades correctly. “I use a belt grinder initially but I finish all knives by hand on Japanese wet stones. This very high-quality service sets me apart and I’m proud of that,” notes Gabriel. “I can make damaged tools and knives as good as new, and I fix large chips, and broken points.”

When it comes to garden tools, Gabriel says that shovels and hoes benefit from being sharpened too. All items are priced individually by category.

Tips and Pointers

“Dull knives are really dangerous. You won’t cut anything but yourself,” Gabriel cautions. He asserts that good kitchen and garden tools can easily last your lifetime if properly cared for. “Don’t put knives loose in a drawer as it’s bad for blades to clang up against cutlery, and never put a knife in the dishwasher because detergent is corrosive. Get in the habit of hand washing them right away and put them away,” advises Gabriel.

As winter squash increases at our market, the best way to cut them is to make an initial cut with a small pointed knife. Then, use that as the starting point for a larger, heavier knife to cut across it. “Be careful not to twist the blade in the squash or it will cause damage.”

Gabriel finds it very fulfilling to work with his hands, and loves how our market patrons appreciate his service. There will be a Thanksgiving market this year on Sunday, November 19th, and Dragonfly Forge will be there to make your knives holiday-ready. If you need a fix in between markets, ask Gabriel about his mobile service.


Written by KJ Fields. She writes about people, projects and health from her place in Woodstock.

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