The Full Story
Michigan Native and 51 Bravo Owner, Shawn Moulenbelt, has spent years honing his bladesmithing skills, learning from some of the best in the industry. As a US Army veteran, he has a love for not only serving his country but pouring that same commitment into every individual knife 51 Bravo produces. Each knife made at 51 Bravo comes backed by the promise that it was made to last by somebody who values its longevity and legacy.
The business was founded with the experience and enjoyment Shawn has being a "maker". When he instantly enjoyed the process of making knives after being encouraged by his brother, he started striving to make the next one just a little better. Now, 51 Bravo exists to create heirloom quality knives worthy of being passed down for generations.
Since starting 51 Bravo in 2016, Shawn has strongly favored creating custom pieces from old items given to him by customers. He loves nothing more than seeing customer's reactions to what's created from their grandpa's old file and the handle from a piece of wood from his barn. Now, they can not only carry a piece of the relationship but remember him whenever they carry it as well. Shawn's most favorite part of what he does is being able to see customer's reactions to his creations and knowing he's created for them "the right tool for the job".
After having the opportunity to be a contestant on the History Channel's "Forged In Fire" in 2019, Shawn looks back on all the great relationships he's created and loves being a part of the knife making community. His time on the show has taught him to practice, practice, practice, and to not be afraid to try (and maybe fail) at new things, even the experts have failed first attempts.
In recent years, Shawn has started Knife University classes and getting people into the Forge to create their own custom knives. Being a licensed builder and seeing how the skilled trades are dying, it's a great concern that as a nation we have strayed from using our hands to create. He hopes that by teaching people to use their hands that it can help to not only address the shortage but impart a skill that students will always have and hopefully continue to learn.