FIND A LOCATION

  • NORTH FORGE SMARTPARK

    WINNIPEG

    CEO: Joelle Foster

    441 – 100 Innovation Drive
    Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 6G2• P: 204-262-6400

  • North Forge | East

    PINAWA

    President: Shane Li

    24 Aberdeen Avenue
    Pinawa, Manitoba R0E 1L0 • P: 204-753-5170

  • Fabrication Lab

    WINNIPEG

    Vice-President: Marney Stapley

    125 Adelaide Street
    Winnipeg, Manitoba R3A 0W4 • P: 204-799-2033

  • North Forge | North

    THE PAS

    University College of the North
    436-7th Street East, The Pas, Manitoba R9A 1M7
    (204) 623-0311

SEE ALL

Frustration With Poor Manufacturing Forges New Possibilities for Fehr Forgeworks

North Forge startup highlight Fehr Forgeworks Winnipeg Manitoba

Have you bought a product thinking it will solve the problem you have, only to find out it was manufactured poorly and breaks during its first use? Frustration and anger abounded after Graeson Fehr saved all his money when he was young to buy a camping knife, only to have it fall apart when he worked with it the first time. Inspired to make something better, Graeson used the metalworking skills he learned while in high school to forge a knife so well that it sliced through that poorly manufactured broken knife! With this newfound passion, he started forging more knives, and in 2019, Graeson incorporated Fehr Forgeworks.

In January of 2020, Graeson was introduced to the largest non-profit publicly accessible fabrication lab in North America, the North Forge Fabrication Lab (FabLab™). A knife maker friend, and FabLab member, gave him a tour and introduced him to the over $4 million of ultra-precision equipment, working spaces, and mentoring possibilities. With his mind racing with ideas and options for company expansion, Graeson quickly joined, “It really changed the way I work from doing one-off by hand projects to being able to use computer-aided manufacturing. It has been a fun, challenging experience.”

Fehr Forgeworks shapes his knives at the North Forge Fabrication Lab in Winnipeg ManitobaJoining the FabLab has allowed Graeson to think differently about how advanced manufacturing can positively change and grow his business. “I love the business side of things and learning manufacturing processes,” exclaimed Graeson from the comfort of his working space at the FabLab. Prior to the FabLab’s expansion, Graeson was required to work in 2 locations to accommodate his production schedule. Now, with his rented personalized space on the 1st floor, he can capitalize on his production time. Mentorship and learning opportunities have also been key to helping Fehr increase his production efficiency. He has gained experience from those who have many years of manufacturing, machine, distribution, and supply chain knowledge. Through working at the FabLab, Graeson has learned about many specialized manufacturing methods and types of raw materials that he would not have learned on his own. This information has given him the breakthrough he needed to increase his business potential. He now has the ability to work with computer-aided manufacturing to help him produce his designs quicker and more efficiently. He no longer needs to outsource templates for laser cutting. He can design quicker by iterating prototypes on various machines to find the best results, all due to becoming a member at the FabLab.

Graeson Fehr of Fehr Forgeworks designs and creates his knives at the North Forge Fabrication Lab in Winnipeg ManitobaLeaning on his connections with other FabLab members had helped him pivot and decrease his margins when his supply chains became disrupted due to the pandemic. Steel became scarce, pricing stability decreased, and delivery times increased. The type of steel he needed for his ultra-sharp high-quality blades became increasingly challenging to find. Steel quotes that were once good for up to thirty, sixty, or ninety days are now only applicable for 24 hours. Delivery times that were one week morphed into three to six months. These delivery timeline changes then affected his production timelines, expanding them from one month to between three and six months. This disruption negatively affected Graeson’s bottom line, causing him to change his thought processes for Fehr Forgeworks to survive. Through his connections with FabLab members and vendors, Fehr has expanded his supply chain and now has a wide range of raw material vendors to source his materials.

Building relationships is key for Graeson. He deeply values the relationships he’s built as they have helped him learn new ways to work efficiently with the FabLab equipment, source new vendors, and conduct industry research through insightful conversations with his customers.

Fehr Forgeworks uses computer aided advanced manufacturing to build prototypes and final products at our FabLabFehr’s products remain valuable and safe through this first-hand research. He has developed his knives to feel like they are an extension of your arm and work long term. By connecting with each person to understand their requirements and how his products need to feel in their hands, he aptly forged knife blades, handles, and sheaths. The blades for these special orders consist of various high-quality metals such as 200 layer Damascus steel and stainless steel. Black Walnut, Manitoba Maple Burl, and Red Cocobolo are some of the more exotic wood that Fehr uses for his blade handles. From culinary to camping to hunting and skinning, he listens to each person’s industry insights and individual needs so that each of his products fits the customer, industry, and environmental requirements. “I love getting to know each customer personally. I learn exactly what the person wants and needs, then I forge their knife down to the millimetre.”

You can connect with Graeson Fehr directly through his Instagram or Facebook pages. Fehr Forgeworks can also be found through his Etsy shop, on Pinterest, and YouTube.

North Forge startup highlight Fehr Forgeworks Winnipeg Manitoba

Frustration With Poor Manufacturing Forges New Possibilities for Fehr Forgeworks

READ MORE
Meet the new North Forge team members

Five new faces at North Forge!

READ MORE
North Forge Mentorship Network

Fueling innovation through mentorship

READ MORE

Supporters

North Forge Technology Exchange partners with PCL Construction Inc.

PCL Construction Inc.

From small renovations to complex billion dollar projects; from modular construction, to advanced digital technologies, to cutting-edge sustainability, PCL has you covered.

LEARN MORE
North Forge has partnered with 6P Marketing

6P Marketing

6P Marketing is your collaborative marketing agency, working with you to achieve your goals.

LEARN MORE

Bell MTS

Bell MTS is part of Canada’s largest telecommunications company, providing Manitobans with Mobile phone, TV, high speed Internet, and Home phone service.

LEARN MORE

Thompson Dorfman Sweatman

At Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP (TDS), we are devoted to serving our valued clients. Our collegial workplace fosters greater teamwork, responsiveness and communication, providing better results for clients. TDS is Manitoba’s largest independent law firm.

LEARN MORE

Wawanesa

Wawanesa works exclusively with insurance brokers across Canada, offering home, auto, farm and commercial business products.

LEARN MORE

Bit Space Development

Bit Space Development Ltd. is an interactive digital media studio that specializes in creating innovative learning experiences for the classroom and workplace. We work with educators and industry professionals from around the world to develop effective solutions for education and training using cutting edge digital media technologies.

LEARN MORE

Princess Auto

For more than 85 years, Princess Auto has been supplying trade professionals, home mechanics or people who simply love building things with the tools and equipment they need to figure it out – whatever that “it” may be. With a unique assortment of tools, equipment and products, ranging from hydraulics to welding, Princess Auto complements the home improvement sector rather than competing with it.

LEARN MORE
Bockstael logo

Bockstael

For over 100 years the Bockstael name has been synonymous with construction in Manitoba. From the humble beginnings of a Belgian carpenter, to the fourth generation of family ownership, building is in our blood. We pride ourselves on world-class innovation and a client-first approach to doing business. This is our commitment to serving the province we choose to call home for the next 100 years — and beyond.

LEARN MORE

Stu Clark Centre for Entreprenuership

The Stu Clark Centre for Entrepreneurship (SCCE) is here to support entrepreneurial activities across the entire University of Manitoba campus. In addition to supporting students at the I.H. Asper School of Business we also support students from ALL faculties across the University of Manitoba – Fort Garry and Bannatyne Campus including: Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Education and more!

LEARN MORE

SevenOaks School Division

LEARN MORE

Maples Met School

LEARN MORE
Pinawa logo

LGD Pinawa

LEARN MORE
CNL logo

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories

LEARN MORE

Canadian National Energy Alliance

LEARN MORE
North-Forge-Logo

North Forge Technology Exchange

LEARN MORE

SEED - Altona

LEARN MORE

Portage Regional Economic Development

LEARN MORE

Morden & District Chamber of Commerce

LEARN MORE

Morden Community Development Corp

LEARN MORE

Community Futures Heartland

LEARN MORE

Carman

LEARN MORE

Access Credit Union

LEARN MORE
North-Forge-Logo

North Forge East

LEARN MORE

Community Futures Winnipeg Rivers

LEARN MORE

Barkman Concrete Ltd.

LEARN MORE

Pinawa Community Development Corporation

LEARN MORE

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories

LEARN MORE

Canadian National Energy Alliance

LEARN MORE

Western Economic Diversification Canada

LEARN MORE

Government of Canada

LEARN MORE

City of Winnipeg

LEARN MORE

University of Manitoba

LEARN MORE

Fabbaloo

LEARN MORE

Red River College

LEARN MORE

Manitoba Government

LEARN MORE

les.net

LEARN MORE