Rock and Roll A Typhoon by Dennis Greenbaum You may click on any image in this exhibit to see a higher-resolution version. The high-res photos average about 400K. Each larger photo will open in a new window. You may need to disable any pop-up blocking software you have. This jumble of parts is a Typhoon Balisong Kit from my friends at Knifekits.com. It was originally designed by my friend, noted knifemaker Darrel Ralph. The idea here is that the basic rudiments of a knife are already done. Particularly, the blade is already cut out, profiled, ground, heat-treated, and sharpened. And the critical holes are already measured and drilled. Following the simple instructions included, just about anyone can assemble a basic Typhoon Balisong. All you'll need is #6 and #8 Torx screwdrivers and maybe an 1/8" round file for the tang pin pockets which sometimes require just a little bit of adjustment for a perfect fit. A basic Typhoon, which can be assembled in about 15 minutes, is a darn nice balisong. The materials are all top-quality and the design is excellent. However, a basic Typhoon is rather plain. The Balisong Collector's Typhoon Gallery has pictures and stories from a number of enthusiasts who've customized their Typhoons in unique ways. There's a special name for adding decorative enhancements and style-elements to a knife. This work is called "embellishment." Many knifemakers become proficient at various forms of embellishment, in the form of "filework", carving, texturing, etching, engraving, inlays, the list goes on and on. There are even some artists who do nothing but embellishment choosing to apply their talents to existing knives -- whether one-of-a-kind customs, mass-produced factory knives, or something in between such as a kit. Coupling expertise and skill with creative vision, decorative art, and stylish enhancement, their techniques can be used in a such a way to make an otherwise plain knife, like a basic Typhoon, suddenly "light up!" In the past couple of years, one person who has become especially well- known for his artistic skills is Dennis Greenbaum of Baltimore, Maryland. He's known online in the various knife-related forums as "Osprey Guy". Dennis likes to tell the story of how he first got attracted to knifemaking. He had purchased an attractive folder called the "Osprey", designed by Darrel Ralph for Delta Z (sadly, now out of business). Dennis then learned about Darrel's new line of high-end "kit knives" from knifekits.com Dennis orderd a kit and the rest is, as they say, history. Within months, Dennis Greenbaum was already establishing quite a reputation for his modified and heavily embellished kit knives. Last fall, at Darrel Ralph's request, Mr. Greenbaum agreed to try his hand on a Typhoon Balisong. Dennis began with the same "jumble of parts" shown above. If you'd like to see what an expert can do with those parts, click on the finger icon below.