The best way is to find a maker and go to his (or her) shop to
see the equipment and get some hands-on experience. I’m in the
Arkansas Knifemakers Association (web site coming soon) and all
our members are very good about sharing info. We’re hosting our
3rd annual custom knife show in Little Rock, Arkansas on Feb.
13-14. If you’re able to attend this or any knife show, you will
be able to meet a lot of helpful people. Otherwise get a copy
of Knives Illustrated or Blade magazine. They have how-to
articles, shop tours, lists of makers, and lots of photos for
The equipment needed will vary depending on if your friend is
going to forge his blades or just grind them from
precision-ground steel (stock-removal method). The American
Bladesmith Society has a school in Arkansas and offers classes on
different aspects of knifemaking.
Tell your friend I’ll be happy to help any way I can.