Old car spring coils receive a new lease of life from Coromandel craftsman Lloyd Franklin, who can be found hand-forging exquisite knives in his shed at peaceful Kuaotunu.

The suspension coils happen to make excellent material from which to fashion his specialty knives, which can be purpose-designed for cooks, hunters and fishermen and feature handles of native wood, deer antler, whalebone or greenstone.

Going for anywhere between $650 and $850, his works are regularly sold to international collectors and many others, including curious customers who spot his sign and pull off State Highway 25. "What you are paying for is that utilitarian craftsmanship - there is the art of hardening and tempering the steel, which can give you that hard cutting edge but also a flexible knife," he said.