Handmade Treeman knives, The Original J. Behring Handmade knife
About the Maker
Jim “Treeman" Behring is a lifelong native of Michigan, and his interest in knives -both collecting and creating them- goes back to his boyhood. Jim spent his childhood with a gun in one hand and a knife in the other. The birds wouldn't even fly by the family house in fear they would be shot on the spot! He used to hunt pheasants on his Uncle Tony's farm in Port Huron, Michigan with a Remington Pump Action .22, which were plentiful back in the mid 1960's. He learned his way around the woods and honed his hunting and fishing skills with a passion that ran deep in to his soul. It was also there that Jim learned the value of a good, reliable knife, and he has applied that lesson in the design of each Treeman Knife.
Jim’s natural interest in collecting knives started early, and he then began to gravitate towards repair and reconditioning of old and broken knives. His first attempt at knife making (at the age of 11) was ground out of a leaf spring from an old equipment trailer. Though his first piece was rough, he credits it with providing the inspiration to purse this craft. At the age of 16, Jim began working at a forging die shop and would continue to work there for the next 13 years, only interrupted by a tour of duty in the Army as a Recon Scout for the 3/32 ACR. He acquired many of his forging and metal working skills at the shop before moving into carpentry, then landscaping. He then transitioned into the timber buying and a land clearing business where the "Treeman" name evolved naturally from his line of work. A recognized specialty of Jim is his Scagel inspired knives and camp axes with a little Ruana, Morseth and Richtig flare. However, his work encompasses a wide variety of knives, including his own designs and replicas of time-honored classics (view Jim's knives in the Design Gallery on the site). Though he takes great satisfaction in his craft along with the high regard his customers have for his work, Jim feels even more strongly about the less tangible aspects of his skill. He says, "It's not just about collecting knives or making and selling them. It goes a lot deeper than that. Because of my association with knives and knife making, I've not only met people from all over the country, but I've made some life long friends.”