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Goodbye, Cliff Stamp, a man in a billion

Posted by cKc 
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cKc
Goodbye, Cliff Stamp, a man in a billion
June 29, 2021 03:39PM
This is not an easy topic to write about. it fills me with great sadness to tell those are unaware that Cliff passed away this weekend.

As I am not sure where this site is run, or who is running it, perhaps this site will not be around much longer. I hope we can arrange to archive it before that happens as this site is a testimony to the love and dedication Cliff had for learning and honesty in the discovery of knowledge.

I can't really know how to feel right now. i could write a book, or a paragraph and equally not share how I feel about this loss.

For many here reading this, Cliff was a man to learn from quietly in the sidelines. for a smaller amount he had become a friend, or great friend.

Although Cliff has not been active on this forum for a long time due to his dedication to helping others which he prioritized over his love of knives, I count myself lucky enough to have been a friend who got to talk to him most weeks, or often daily. About knives, about life, philosophy, and a huge amount about the children that he was trying to give new life to through dedication, hard work, and education, and insane perseverance when confronted with extremely trying times.

In the knife world he caused a lot of conflict from people that didn't understand him, the didn't have the higher level of standards that he wanted to have towards knowledge. I think a lot of people simply misunderstood him, by not taking an extra moment to actually have a genuine conversation with him with ego removed.

What I discovered from Cliff over these many years was a selfless caring soul that would put all others before himself. to give, even if it meant to lose for himself. He set a moral standard in many ways too strict for the modern world, but at the same time a deep humor that often could confuse people that didn't know him well.

I remember well how i met Cliff, on youtube, in a comment on a video of mine. He asked a fairly simple question about the convex nature of the knife. a fairly innocent question in all cases, but at the time, all I knew of Cliff was all the stories and residuals on the internet, the banning from BladeForums etc etc, which led me to assume that he was simply there to troll me in some way or stir the pot. At the time, i think he had not been on the internet for quote a while (due to a sojourn in India)

so his simple question led to a tirade from me that when reading it later made me a little embarrassed, but laugh a bit at the same time. i was rude, condescending, affirmative, and in general said a few hundred words more than was necessary and waited for the typcial troll like response. But it didn't come what came back was a calm rational reply to the information he was asking about, and the portion of my reply that covered that, with a complete blind eye to everything else that I had said.

That moment in time is one I will never forget, because it is the moment I personally realized that something was deeply wrong with the impression I had garnered from a shallow but entertaining look through bladeforums archives.

It made me go and look at his videos a bit more, and listen to what he was saying. at which point it was obvious to me he was not what I thought. so my reply was of course to just say. "I have a knife i just made in the same steel as that one you commented on, i am curious if the issue is with a bad heat treat by the factory of the blade you have, or if it is really an inherent feature of the steel, can i send you a knife to compare"

he just replied sure as though nothing was afoot, and from that i got a fairly nice review of one of my knives. no praise because i was a brilliant knife maker. just praise because my knife behaved as he expected any decent knife that is not overbuilt should behave"

and from Troll, to amazing friend, to departed friend. This was an amazing ride and I am glad I am one of the few who got to know Cliff outside of just his love of knives and b-grade movies.

He was a giant. Physically, Intellectually, and Emotionally.
Knowing you are not there for our regular conversations each week is a deep loss to me. I hope you are in a better place.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
It's not Cliff, its Dr Stamp
#kebabstickcut, it's a thing - make it happen
Re: Goodbye, Cliff Stamp, a man in a billion
June 29, 2021 03:57PM
Kyley,
I couldn't have put it better. I have followed Cliff's online work off and on since the late 1990's, from rec.knives to Knifeforums, Bladeforums, and finally his own forum, the only knife forum I felt comfortable enough to do more than lurk on. Cliff was a dear friend, mentor, and peer, and he will truly be missed.

May his memory be a blessing.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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Re: Goodbye, Cliff Stamp, a man in a billion
June 29, 2021 04:41PM
Thank you to a friend for letting me know of this tragedy. A tremendous loss on so many levels.

May his memory be a blessing.
Re: Goodbye, Cliff Stamp, a man in a billion
June 29, 2021 04:57PM
I found Cliff on Noss's knife destruction tests forum. I was interested in weird knife shit... throwing giant knives, splitting wood with knives, digging with knives. I was a big fan of Noss and his tests and so was this other guy by the name of Cliff Stamp. Noss was getting a lot of flak for his knife tests. He pissed a lot of people off. I started defending Noss's tests and so did Cliff Stamp... in a much more thorough and effective way than me. It caused me to start reading Cliff's past posts both on Noss's site and Bladeforums. Eventually I started having conversations directly with Cliff, who surprisingly was more than willing to talk about strange topics that interested me, like what steels would survive heavy throwing and best retain their edge while crashing into the dirt and banging off of rocks.

Eventually Noss decided he had enough of the backlash. He quit his knife destruction tests and stopped supporting his forum. I remember emailing Cliff and saying he needed to start his own forum. He replied that he knew and was already working on it. When he first got it up and running Cliff emailed me and asked that I start participating. I had no idea that Cliff was planning such an extensive forum for all things knife related, I just knew I wanted to participate.

Over the years I had become one of Cliff's biggest proponents. It wasn't because I favored Cliff over maker xyz, it was because Cliff made sense and Cliff backed up what he said using the scientific method. Eventually I'd come to find out that Cliff was just a generally good guy as well as being a knife knowledge mad scientist.

I had discussions and arguments with Cliff over knives quite often, and eventually philosophical discussions and arguments over topics that had nothing to do with knives. Some of those arguments became heated. Despite that Cliff and I could always reel it back, knowing that we were both just dedicated to the truth, whatever that may be. I will admit that Cliff was right the vast majority of the time, and I was lucky enough to have learned something new.

I don't really have heroes in my way of thinking, except for my parents who I have always counted as my personal heroes, but Cliff is as close to that category as I can put someone. He was all about truth and he just didn't give a shit if he was bombarded with opposition, name calling etc. He stuck to what could be proven.

Cliff Stamp made a huge impression upon me. He was someone I looked up to. He was someone who wasn't afraid to speak the truth. He was a friend.

I will miss you deeply Cliff. I can only hope that you get to do some knife throwing in your next life.


Chumgeyser on Youtube
E-nep throwing Brotherhood. Charter Member
Re: Goodbye, Cliff Stamp, a man in a billion
June 29, 2021 05:09PM
I only had a very little bit of personal interaction with him, but I will miss him alot.

He taught me how easy it was for confirmation bias to swamp real differences even when I thought I was paying attention.
Re: Goodbye, Cliff Stamp, a man in a billion
June 29, 2021 06:20PM
Cliff Stamp, the paramount in knife world for those who has the steel fever is only the iceberg tip!

He showed us how to argue with sincerity, truth and facts and above all, chivalry and politeness, always aiming the subject and never the messenger.

R.I.P
Re: Goodbye, Cliff Stamp, a man in a billion
June 29, 2021 06:43PM
Rest in peace Cliff.

I think I can say in all honesty that Cliff was a friend. You'd only catch glimpses of it here and there, as he was never one to dwell on himself much, but from the way he wrote to us and often overlooked our lashing out of fragile ego, you could tell he was well travelled and experienced with dealing with different people.
He didn't care what was going on with you and it kinda showed, namely he wouldn't put things gently when it came to methodology and results in testing - to be clear, he didn't use rude language or use ad hominem arguments at people it was just that he'd look at the kind of work people did with good intentions and a lot of effort and if it wasn't useful for what it was they were trying to prove at the time he'd just come out and say it, and for a lot of guys being told outright "I think you didn't prove what you wanted to prove, your test parameters aren't sufficiently clear and you're completely open to confirmation bias" wasn't the words of someone who'd spent more time in a lab than they'd spent in the loo, it was someone putting them down, and that's why they didn't like him. All the worse for them, because those who did listen to him came out the other side wiser, more patient people, who were better in their craft.

I'll be forever thankful for all Cliff has done for this community, to this day when people ask me where I learned how to sharpen my reply is "I learned from Cliff Stamp, this cool physics teacher from Canada". It's true, without him and the community he fed here I'd probably have dropped off the hobby long, long ago.

I'm glad he got to spend his final years doing truly satisfying work, his descriptions of the struggles the children had and how far they came into becoming more developed and well-adjusted were inspiring. From metallurgists to students to people all across the world, he's touched our lives and made them better.

Thank you, Cliff. I hope you're in a better place, and your memory will forever be a blessing.
Re: Goodbye, Cliff Stamp, a man in a billion
June 29, 2021 07:29PM
Fuck.
Re: Goodbye, Cliff Stamp, a man in a billion
June 29, 2021 07:40PM
Like Kyley and many others, my early impressions of Cliff were rather negative, but eventually I came to understand that he was really was just seeking a deeper understanding and trying to inform and help other people. This is a tremendous loss.
Re: Goodbye, Cliff Stamp, a man in a billion
June 29, 2021 09:13PM
Bad and sad news!

He will leave behind a wealth of infomation, and he will be missed!

My best wishes to his family and friends.

RIP Dr Stamp....
Re: Goodbye, Cliff Stamp, a man in a billion
June 29, 2021 09:15PM
All my heroes are dead, goodbye Cliff.
Re: Goodbye, Cliff Stamp, a man in a billion
June 29, 2021 10:04PM
Knife stuff aside, that guy did a lot for me. This one really hurts.
Re: Goodbye, Cliff Stamp, a man in a billion
June 29, 2021 10:14PM
Hi Kyley.

Just tried to get hold of you on the phone, and in my hunt, I found that you now live in the Phillipines...

All the best Mate...

I think that you will miss Cliff more than most of us.
Re: Goodbye, Cliff Stamp, a man in a billion
June 29, 2021 10:31PM
Just read this on IG.

I don't really know what to say.

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Bill22252 on YouTube. "See you space cowboy"

Resident Emerson Fanboi

Folding knives are fun, fixed blades are important.
Re: Goodbye, Cliff Stamp, a man in a billion
June 29, 2021 10:40PM
“When an Elder dies, a library burns to the ground.”

We lost the library of Alexandria.

Cliff was a man who I never met, who I never spoke to verbally, but this loss hurts. He was a brilliant man who contributed more to the knife world than I think he realized. A humble, down to earth guy from every interaction I had with him. Witty, but still polite, even to his various foils. He wouldn't tolerate personal insults against them either.

As others have stated, he was a man I looked up to. One of those magical people that make life much more interesting. He certainly made mine much more so.


RIP Cliff, you had a greater impact than you ever knew.

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Bill22252 on YouTube. "See you space cowboy"

Resident Emerson Fanboi

Folding knives are fun, fixed blades are important.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/29/2021 10:55PM by Bugout Bill.
DK
Re: Goodbye, Cliff Stamp, a man in a billion
June 29, 2021 11:33PM
My first encounters with Cliff aside from reading his posts on BF was his comments on my videos, engaging comments that led me to ask questions and to pay attention to detail and he helped me learn at my level. I watched every single one of his videos and some more than a few times, on rough days I always enjoyed putting on his videos that calmed me down. We never got to meet face to face but, through YouTube, Facebook and this forum he was always a genuine friend who truly cared and deeply. I had times of strife when he was a voice of reason and let me know how much I meant to him as a friend, I appreciated that as before long the man was the top rockstar in my book AND I got to talk to him. I enjoyed that he took it upon himself to help children learn and relished in their prosperity of knowledge. It makes me sad to imagine the world less this wonderful and entertaining man in it, it's a lesser world in my opinion, I like to think of his sense of humor in some of his videos that he put up, he was a really funny guy, I fantasized about going to live there and having knifey adventures cutting up carpet and old garden hoses, chopping firewood and clearing brush. It makes me smile when I recall his experiments with crows and their memory, how fascinated he was and how fascinating he was. I think about him every day and have for years, basically every time I look at a knife or sharpening stone, it makes me think of him. I wouldn't have much knowledge of anything knife related if it wasn't for him. I love my friend Cliff Stamp and I will miss him so much. I'm so glad we got to be friends. I hope his videos are never taken down and that they stand as a monument of him indefinitely.

"knives save lives" on youtube
all i want for christmas is more arm hair -DK-
Re: Goodbye, Cliff Stamp, a man in a billion
June 30, 2021 01:08AM
Gutted.

Thanks cKc for sharing the news and all of you for your words about Cliff. Such an unexpected loss…

-Nate
Re: Goodbye, Cliff Stamp, a man in a billion
June 30, 2021 02:37AM
Just heard about this from Triple B knives on Instagram, what awful news. This is such a loss for the community and I’m sure for everyone who knew Cliff. I didn’t get to know him well but we corresponded a few times. I was greatly inspired by his deep search for knowledge and adherence to scientific method over intuitions and feelings. I read through many of his old posts and writings and was also deeply impressed by his ability to focus on facts and meaningful discourse even in the face of all manner of personal attacks and high tempers.

I haven’t been around here as I had put knife sharpening pursuits on the back burner for a bit, though I have thought of the forum here and Cliff almost every time I sharpened a knife over the last several months. Cliff’s videos and writings finally helped unlock for me the ability to rapidly freehand a working edge back onto my knives, and all these months later I still marvel that after all the stones and techniques I’d tried over the years, the answer was a $20 oilstone and a better understanding of what I was actually trying to accomplish.

I’ll always be indebted to Cliff Stamp for helping me learn a meaningful skill that had eluded me a long time, and for inspiring me with his dedication to science and by being the person he was. Rest in peace Cliff.

-----

-Jay
Re: Goodbye, Cliff Stamp, a man in a billion
June 30, 2021 06:35AM
His is a name that will go down in the history of our odd niche of the internet. Him and this forum made a huge difference in my life. This is a hard blow and hope all of you that were close to Cliff are holding up well
JDW
Re: Goodbye, Cliff Stamp, a man in a billion
June 30, 2021 07:06AM
R.I.P. Cliff.

Over the years I have learned a lot from Cliff's about knives, hones and sharpening from posts here
and on other forums and from his YouTube video's.
Re: Goodbye, Cliff Stamp, a man in a billion
June 30, 2021 08:24AM
Rest in peace Mr. Cliff stamp. You really helped me refine the techniques I still use to this day. I knew how to make things sharp, you knew how to make the edges last even longer though with you simple burr removal strategies that I still use to this day.

p.s I'm also still sorry I broke your SM100 knife that Kylie made years ago.....
Re: Goodbye, Cliff Stamp, a man in a billion
June 30, 2021 09:13AM
This is terrible news!!

I learnt so much from him. I appreciated his independent thinking and his scientific methods, and his dry humour.

We lost a giant of the knife world.

Rest in peace Cliff.
Re: Goodbye, Cliff Stamp, a man in a billion
June 30, 2021 02:12PM
This is terrible news. I learned a lot from him starting back before he got banned from Bladeforums. I certainly never would have tried the very thin and acute edges that I like now without his posts and the different knives he sent out for me to use and experiment with. Learning about how the latest hyped steels have their downsides to go along with their positives helped me to better understand the different strengths and weaknesses each steel has for knife applications rather than just buying into “x steel is best”. He certainly managed to piss a lot of people off, but as stated above he always approached things in the frank and dispassionate way a scientist needs to in order to generate true knowledge, and most people don’t get that. I read a lot of his posts about helping out troubled kids and you could see his passion for helping those kids, and how rewarding it was for him. Many people will miss him.
cKc
Re: Goodbye, Cliff Stamp, a man in a billion
June 30, 2021 02:47PM
Quote
Stuart Ackerman
Hi Kyley.

Just tried to get hold of you on the phone, and in my hunt, I found that you now live in the Phillipines...

All the best Mate...

I think that you will miss Cliff more than most of us.

Thanks Stuart. I am still stuck here. I will update my details for anyone that ever needs to contact me for anything.

It has hit me harder than I'd have imagined. I'm at least glad that I spoke to him beforehand, and had some closure (though not in the way i expected)

----------------------------------------------------------------------
It's not Cliff, its Dr Stamp
#kebabstickcut, it's a thing - make it happen
cKc
Re: Goodbye, Cliff Stamp, a man in a billion
June 30, 2021 02:50PM
Quote
rs-Travis
p.s I'm also still sorry I broke your SM100 knife that Kylie made years ago.....

And of course, for Cliff, this was just another valuable piece of information about a weird metal that added knowledge, for me it was that + FYMF now i gotta regrind it grinning smiley grinning smiley

he was all about the knowledge

----------------------------------------------------------------------
It's not Cliff, its Dr Stamp
#kebabstickcut, it's a thing - make it happen
Re: Goodbye, Cliff Stamp, a man in a billion
June 30, 2021 03:55PM
A member on the Spyderco forum found this, reposting here:

[necrocanada-com.cdn.ampproject.org]

Btw, if anything can be done to sustain this forum, even for just a while, I would be happy to contribute funds.

-Nate
cKc
Re: Goodbye, Cliff Stamp, a man in a billion
June 30, 2021 04:06PM
Quote
Nate T
A member on the Spyderco forum found this, reposting here:

[necrocanada-com.cdn.ampproject.org]

Btw, if anything can be done to sustain this forum, even for just a while, I would be happy to contribute funds.

Yes, once the family has had a moment to breath. i or jason will reach out to his brother, and see what can be done to take over the account and keep it running as one of his legacies

----------------------------------------------------------------------
It's not Cliff, its Dr Stamp
#kebabstickcut, it's a thing - make it happen
cKc
Re: Goodbye, Cliff Stamp, a man in a billion
June 30, 2021 04:08PM




Thank you Shawn for a wonderful video.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
It's not Cliff, its Dr Stamp
#kebabstickcut, it's a thing - make it happen
Re: Goodbye, Cliff Stamp, a man in a billion
June 30, 2021 10:52PM
Hi everyone.

The passing of Cliff has struck me. I never corresponded with him, nor anyone here, but I have lurked the forums for years. I had intended to start contributing by asking more questions but as always life gets in the way.

His approach to education and craftsmanship aligned with mine in a way that resonates with me to this day. He taught me sharpening, and through him I've taught others sharpening. It's no small feat, as someone on the Spyderco forums said, people treat knives (and tools) like funny little widgets that are disposable. Cliff cut through a lot of the mystical BS involved to help develop a heuristic that can be used to maintain and repair virtually anything, even beyond edges.

He would probably take umbrage at putting him up on such high a pedestal, but what he wrote and the content he produced was unparalleled, even when he pointed out where his ideas were not new and cited his inspirations.

All that being said, I hope the forums stay up. In an anxious fit after reading the news, I was able to archive his entire website and most of the external links. It's about 3gb of data. I haven't uploaded it anywhere, but if this site goes down please rest assured that there is a full copy (up to date as of 29 June 2021) sitting out there. I used HTTrack to do so, if anyone is curious. None of the forum software features work, so consider it a very rudimentary archive.

I may figure out a place to host it if it comes to it, @jasonstone20 has the email linked to this account and he has my permission to contact me if that so happens.
Re: Goodbye, Cliff Stamp, a man in a billion
June 30, 2021 11:29PM
https://www.cauls.ca/obituary/clifford-stamp

Here is a link to the actual obituary for anyone who was interested. You can sign the guestbook there if you wish to leave a comment, I'm sure the Stamp family would appreciate it.

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Bill22252 on YouTube. "See you space cowboy"

Resident Emerson Fanboi

Folding knives are fun, fixed blades are important.