Saturday, March 12, 2011

Exploration in Gyuto Land

 I have been enjoying experimenting with classic chef knife styles this year. This time around I was inspired by a knife called a Gyuto, which ultimately is a Japanese/American hybrid.
Gyuto is a name that usually refers to a western style chef knife made my a Japanese maker. Well I am not Japanese but I do certainly love Japanese style knives so these are built with the classic shape often the hallmark of the Gyuto, along with a fairly simple western style full tang which have been tapered for balance. Often you see the Gyuto style knives created with a stick tang that is enclosed in the handle material. Both tang commonly seen these days.

My adaptation of this all purpose chef knife is explored here in two sizes. Though quite different, each will perform as a main working knife. The longer one I think will be a great slicing knife but also serve as a primary piece in the kitchen, the wider and shorter will be very versatile and be a wicked veggie-prep knife. I did these little drawings a few days ago after I sketched out the Happy Fish Camp Knife and even though I have lots going on in the studio currently, I just could not stop myself from forging these two today.

Each is forged to shape out of .125"-thick 1095 High Carbon Tool Steel. I took extra care in establishing a nice distal taper on each of them, forging them thin to the edge. The Image at the top is of the blades forged-to-shape right off the anvil. The second image is my concept drawings. The third image is after refining the profile of each knife and having cleaned up the choil area. These will be thin and light knives that can do lots of work.  Most likely I will do a clay heat treatment on each of them as well.
Forging is FUN!!! Now the serious work begins. Removing the scale and draw filing in the final edge geometry,  several low temp. thermal cycles for each knife, then on to lots of sanding and finishing before they get clay applied and go through the heat treatment process. Then testing, and handle creation.
Please stay tuned for more on these as they progress.

I am very happy with how these are coming along. Here are three images of the knives; above they are in the final stages of sub-critical heat treatments, and below, ready for the final heat treatment, which I did today.
And then finally an image after the heat treatment, tempering cycles, clean up, testing then the etch to show the temper-lines. Just take a look a the beautiful multiple quench-lines and banding that resulted.  I decided not to go with the clay treatment, and am happy I did not, as I think these look wonderful! Next comes the handles:)


Here are the knives all finished up. I am very happy with both of them. The smaller has Kingwood scales and the larger has Desert Ironwood scales. All with peened bronze pins and detail carving.

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