Monday, September 29, 2014

Two of the Most Blue-tiful-Ones Made to date!

OK a silly play on words.....
.....But these two knives are All-business!
..........And are two of the Most Beautiful Knives I have made this year.

 It all started with the thought of Blue.....
This after seeing some very rare Blue Ivorite Paper Micarta that I felt was just one of the most stunning blues I had seen anywhere, ever.
...I mean there is blue,....and then there is BLUE! This is that depth and quality and texture of blue.

AND...I got to thinking that, I did not recall seeing many blue-handled chef knives out there in the world today.

My idea was to laminate this to some translucent G-10 and include a round inlay of the same G-10 and add some detail carving as I do on many of my knives.

Two very sweet blades forged-to-shape out of 1095LM, and applying clay to get a Nice Differential Heat treatment and Hamon. I felt that they came out really nice!

I began the long process of creating the handles.

It all seems so simple, and for some it may be, but for me it took time and attention to get the results I was after............And I think I got them!

I hope you enjoy the images of these two Blue Beauties!

I will have these on my table at the California Custom Knife Show in two weeks!

And I invite you to come by and take a look at them!


P.S. I posted some process images of the making of these knives at the bottom for you to enjoy:)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tribal Utility and Paring Set

A Big Thanks to Mike C. for inspiring the creation of my very first "Tribal Paring Knife"!

Mike requested to have one made to match the "Tribal Utility Knife" that I bought, and I think the results are pretty awesome!

So..... This being a first, I had to take a some nice images of the two knives. I may actually make another set similar to these someday soon, but for now, these are it, and they will be heading out tomorrow to their new home.

This paring knife has a very keen geometry and nimble-tip, thin and flexible at the tip for detail cuts of all sorts, on-par with what I believe a traditional paring knife blade should be like. Just see the detail shots of the tip of these two beauties to see what I mean....these two are all business, but dressed for success:)

If you want more details about the sized of the Tribal Utility and to see other models of Utility Knives I have created and can create, just click on the link and read-on:)

These two are created out of 1095 high carbon tool steel and a dressed in African Blackwood with Mesquite Inlay and rosin-impregnated 1mm woven cotton line. Each has a fine differential heat treatment and resulting Hamon.

I hope you enjoy seeing these images!


Monday, September 8, 2014

A Recreation of a Classic French Utility

I am So Very excited about this project!
This being the first knife in a series of recreations of classic French Cutlery.

This whole idea started when I was lucky enough to purchase an older Sabatier utility knife dating from the early 1940's.
I got it from a good friend who knows more about classic chef knives than anyone I have ever known.
He has been collecting & buying out old department store inventory-stock etc... for over 60-years.
I have learned so much from him about French, German, Spanish and American Cutlery.

Here in the USA there is little to no documentation about chef knife and butcher knife industry & history. Sure there are bits and pieces, but no one has ever created a solid historical-record to speak of.... (if anyone knows of such a thing, please message me the links and info) Ralph G. is my go-to-guy for historical information at this time, and I will pick his brain for as long as I can!

Ralph told me that, "in over 60-years of collecting, this was the first Sabatier he had seen with a pointy blade in this size and handle configuration!" So I feel honored to own such a fine knife.
These knives with this old Alsastian-style handle were produced in the early part of last century.
Mostly distributed in region and rarely made it into the USA, as a result, not that many people have ever even seen one in person, however this style handle, if you look in old French Cook Books, is what you will see!

Hoping to be the first of Many......
......I was inspired to forge a recreation of this knife.... my version so to speak.

My thoughts are that,
.....these knives are so iconic, almost no-body even remembers them.
Our modern day take on Culinary-Arts in the USA is almost silly,..... and I feel is sorely-misguided by programs such as Hell's-Kitchen and Top-Chef, Beat Bobby Flay etc...
Modern Fine Cutlery for the kitchen has also taken a turn for towards the mundane and Mediocre.
And the majority of these knives not being made in the USA, and certainly not by hand.
ALL, and I mean ALL of the classic culinary knives of the past were hand-made! Most of them forged. Once-upon-a-time in the USA, we had hundreds of cutlery companies that mostly made chef and butcher knives! People have been asking for "hand-made-American steel" again......

So I figured what the heck,
I'll take a chance and make some of the old style knives,
the styles and patterns that have been used for a long, long time, and used hard, have proven themselves, and deserve to come to light again.
AND I hope to make my versions interesting! A tribute to the "glory-days" of Culinary Arts, When no-one really had TV ...because there was no such thing!

Over the next year or so.
Using modern materials and embellishing these knives with engraving and non-ferrous-inlay,
My plan is to do just that, re-create some beautifully embellished versions of some old French, Spanish and German Classics.

This is the first of them, and if this is any indication of how things will progress.....I am very excited!

I included some process images, because I was pretty stoked on how lucky I was to get a very accurate Hamon on this one, pretty-much about 95% of how the clay layed-up, which....
....for any who HT this way, you know all too well, it's a bit of a change/gamble to get "exactly what you want" and certainly not a precise thing much of the time.

I had this sweet piece of Old Westinghouse Micarta I chose to use.
Forged the blade out of some nice W2.
Spent a silly amount of time thinking........
The Handle-Fit to the tang was the best I had ever done on just about any knife! I was proud of that part on this one.
You can see it is registered into the front just a bit in the shot of the spine.
AND finally!
I had my good Friend Bill Rice do a beautiful Engraved Flower Motif on both sides with fine silver inlay in the center.
to accent the little-bit of my own simple carving around the pins.

Originally I had thought of doing the whole washer & peened-pin deal like the original, but decided that not only was it needed since this was not a slotted-tang like the original knife, but a stick-tang,
and since it was in Micarta, there really was almost no need for pins at all, but I wanted to remain faithful to the concept and did the little detail carvings to balance the pins aesthetically & I think it worked!

The overall Length of the knife I created is 11" with a 6 & 1/8" blade

I hope you enjoy seeing these process and final images of this beautiful knife!


Starting with a quick shot of the Original knife next to it's inspirational-Great-Grandpa, and a shot of the Rare Sabatier,
...that actually was unused for all these years and came with it's original protective retail blade covering!.... then a few WIP shots to follow!