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One for me...kind of

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  • One for me...kind of

    One for me to learn some new skills, not keep. Although I realize a chef's knife has little to nothing to do with winter camping. 😎 A few years ago I realized I needed to get good at a LOT of things to make quality knives. I can forge, and even enjoy doing it, but just don't have the tooling and time to do it as well I would like. As such, I've been buying blanks from reputable companies like Lauri, Brisa, and Morakniv to focus more on learning the craft of fit and finish. I get to make way more knives with dependable blades at a low cost to me (both in time and money) and then give them away to trusted friends who are able to give me honest feedback as they use them over time. It's been a great learning experience that I'm enjoying immensely, but I've been so focused on learning and about and making puukkos that I wanted to learn and refine some new skills. I have a good friend who is a professional chef, so I decided to make him a custom chef knife. His preferred knife is a 7" santoku. We collaborated on LOTS of details, including sourcing the right blank. We chose the Brisa 7" santoku in Sandvik 12C27 Swedish stainless steel from Thompson Scandinavian Knife Supply. Such a knife has all of the things I tend to shy away from (i.e. dislike) and can avoid when making puukkos: an exposed full tang requiring scales, HUGE flats that take forever to hand sand properly, a very thin blade with a keen edge, a finger choil, ricasso (what little there is), target balance, etc.

    I modified the Brisa blank by first rounding over the spine and sanding to 600 grit. I did the same for the finger choil and ricasso. Then I did an initial sanding of the blade to 400 grit and began fitting the stabilized walnut burl scales. I slowly worked them to shape before final assembly, taking mass from the center of the tang as I did to get the knife to balance perfectly in a pinch grip (my friend's preferred balance). After assembly, it was a quick dash to finishing out the scales and doing a final hand sand of the blade to 600 grit. I also decided to go with a traditional Japanese saya in laminated Baltic birch to house the knife. Here are a few in-progress of the build.

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    Last edited by 4estTrekker; 08-15-2021, 03:12 PM.

  • #2
    And here are the finished shots. The knife came in at 5.3 oz. I gave it to my friend yesterday, and I'm pretty sure he slept with it under his pillow. He's starting a new business venture soon (in fact, he submitted his finalized business plan for financing yesterday). I not only learned a lot about knife design and construction on this build, but also a heap about how working knives are used by professional chefs. He spent almost an hour going through each knife in his kit explaining why he carries each one, what its function is, and how they all work together as a system in his kitchen.
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    • #3
      Love the way you have finished the blade protector. I use a large flat 4 blade Saya for my carving knives


      • #4
        That is just gorgeous. There's tons of pride to be had being able to craft your own tools.


        • #5
          wow, that is very handsome ... I now have knife envy! I enjoyed the telling of the construction.