Local CEO Shares in Unexpected Hobby

Published 07/18 2014 07:01PM

Updated 07/18 2014 08:46PM

CARTHAGE, MO.--- Leggett And Platt CEO David Haffner doesn't have a cliché hobby. In his spare time, he makes knives. 

"The knives I make today are significantly better than the first ones. I did keep the first knife that I ever made, just as he told me I should do. So I can see the progression," said David Haffner, Leggett & Platt C.E.O. 

He made his first knife at 18-years-old. 40 years later, he's still designing and making them. 

"Believe it or not, this is the start of quite a few very nice knives," said Haffner. 

Haffner picks the blade, but lets the recipients choose the design.

"I cut out individual patterns. There's, I got about 10 or 15 patterns," he said. 

They also get to choose the handle. 

"It will be a bone handle. Perhaps it will be a more sophisticated combination of wood or stone," he said.

Once the drilling, buffing, and details are complete, it is time to piece it together. 

"You'll have something that has a lot of different pieces. Hopefully they're going to fit properly and buffed up to a nice looking piece," said Haffner. 

Haffner makes these knives for close friends and celebrities. Actor Liam Neeson and some country artist are just a few of the recipients.  

"Erich Church really gets credit for the fact that I've made them for people like Jason Aldean, Toby Keith, Hank Williams Jr," he said. 

The knives cost a pretty penny, literally. The price was advised by his grandpa. 

"That if a man gives you a knife and you give him a penny, as long as you keep the knife and they keep the penny, you will always share in each other's good fortune," said Haffner. 

Haffner has never made two knives a like and says this hobby is a nice escape. 

"At the end of the day, instead of taking pictures or playing my banjo, I'll probably be here. Spending time decompressing from the day to day," he said. 

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