Sunday, January 6, 2013

2013 Starts with Big Rustic French Knife WIP Post!

....for whatever reason I was compelled to forge a new blade on the first day of the year.

I had this preform cut out of a piece of very thick 3/8" material just cooling it's heels on the cabinet...
It just had to be forged.
It just kept getting bigger and bigger as I forged-in the distal taper! I'll get exact measurements later, but I know it's certainly over a 10" blade for sure.

I was thinking I liked the rustic forge finish high on the bevels on that last knife & have not done that on a large chef knife in a LONG Time, so time to revisit that style.
The challenge is on a chef knife,
when you leave the forge-finish, the distal taper and all the geometry really has to be forged in very very closely! No room to take off material high on the bevels since that finish is to be retained.

More to come soon.

Happy New Year Everybody!


 Back out in the studio today:
After descaling with a stone and water...then the first sub-critical thermal cycle.
 Then some more draw-filing.
 Then addressing the spine.
A big knife like this really has to have a radiused spine.
...I actually do this on almost every chef knife I make, but with the larger ones it is critical as the choked-up grip will be employed on knives like this for sure.

A shot before and after applying the radius to the spine,..... All done with hand held file.

 And finally the end of the day one more sub-critical thermal cycle.
 Here are a few more process shots....

I heat treated it today and it came out Gang-Busters-Killer! NOW IT feels pretty amazing in the hand. Alchemy!

Getting big thin blades like this out of the quench straight is always sort of risky business.
It all relies on the edge geometry on each side being very close to exact....which is slightly more difficult given the forge finish high on the bevels.

Here are some shots as I was working it towards being Heat treated. I'll have some better images of the blade after being cleaned-up tomorrow.

sorry for the bad cell phone pic...light was running low but it shows the preliminary etch on the other large chef knife I did coming-up really nicely! It was my first time trying a Hamon on Aldo's 1084M.

The little camp/recurve is from the other bit of Damascus I made two weeks also came out really amazing!
It might get it's own thread someday soon.

before and after HT with some clean-up started on the two chef knives.

 Here is a shot of the two French Knives ready for handles

Two shots actually one with too much light and one with too's always cool to see how the Hamon shows different characteristics in different lighting conditions.
Aldo's 108M brought-up a pretty nice Hamon! Not quite and bright and crisp as 1095 or W2, but still really nice for the first try at using clay with this steel.

More to come...stay tuned! 
Seriously-though, I love this knife. It came out amazingly well 
and is going to make someone very happy.

I hope you enjoy seeing the images:)