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Chef knife

Lukas MG

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Hey guys

It‘s been a while since I posted something in here. I was very busy with med school these last two years but I now finally find myself with more time at my hands and am catching up on several projects I‘ve started a while back.


The piece I‘m showing you today is a medium sized chef knife. The blade was made from a chisel so I have no idea what the steel is but it sparks very nicely and got hard in oil without problems.


The handle is a hidden tang construction and consists of several materials: Micarta, leather, antler and some beautiful wood I picked up at the same hammer-in where the blade was forged.






This is actually my first kitchen knife and it was quite a challange. With a blade this thin and wide, heat treatment is a real pain. Apart from the danger of burning parts like the tip or edge sections, thin blades just love nothing better than getting all wavy on you and it took me three attempts to get the blade straight enough out of the quench tank. Long even curves wouldn‘t be a problem to correct but this blade‘s edge twice got small curves while the back stayed mostly straight. This partly is my fault due to not getting the temperature perfectly even throughout the blade but I believe the main reason is the quite dramatic thickness taper from back to edge. The blade is very wide and flat ground from a mere 2mm at the base so you can imagine how thin it is at the edge, even though I of course didn‘t go into the quench with a sharp blade. Next time I will leave the cross section rectangular and grind the bevels after HT. Not this time though and because I didn‘t dare straightening the blade hard as it was, I twice had to re-normalize, tap straight and quench. All the more happy I am that I finally managed to get the blade perfectly straight!






On a side note: I got to say that my DIY coal forge isn‘t the best thing for making such blades. It proved very hard to get an even temperature all along the blade. I really need to upgrade...


Anyway, some stats:


overall length: 29cm


blade length: 17cm


PoB: at blade/handle junction


weight: 100g


I had the luck to be able to consult a professional chef during the forging of this knife, as well as handle a very high quality handmade chef knife. I greatly profited from that experience and learned things I could never have seen in pictures or read in writing. What struck the the most was just how thin and delicate a good kitchen knife is. It seems almost impossible to make the blade too thin... As mentioned, this blade starts out with a 2mm thickness at the base. From there it gradually thins out to nothing at the tip. Due to its width it remains very stiff though and doesn‘t bend while cutting stuff.




Those of you who have experience making (or owning) such knives will know this but I personally was amazed how ridiculously sharp this blade got when I was done sharpening. The edge is so thin that you can see it flex when pressing it sidewise on a finger nail (as it is supossed to do). I did give the last mm a just so slight apple seed shape to keep a minimal amount of strength though. In any case, this blade shaves as well as any razor I‘ve ever used and cuts vegetables, etc without effort.


What also continues to surprise me everytime I pick it up is the weight. I feel I have something in hand but the blade moves as precisely and effortlessly as my own finger. When I started working on this piece, I didn‘t think such a sizable knife could weigh that little.


All in all, this piece was a great learning experience and I enjoyed working on it, even though there were several moments during its making where I was close to throwing it against the wall ;) But as we all know, pushing our limits is the only way to get better.


Thanks for reading!








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Every chef I've met has a different idea of the 'perfect' knife,some like heavy,(me included,) some light, but most agree the number to own is 3! I use a HEAVY blade to do the 'donkey' work, an onion must slice through with no downward presure,ie weight does the work! Saves your fingers! Next thin knife try making a sandwich (mild steel will do) wire it up tight and heat treat, keeps everything straight! For even heat a salt pot is the best I've seen, havn't made myself one yet, but will soon! Great work and determination to get it right, I doff my hat to you!

To become old and wise... You first have to survive being young and foolish! ;) Ikisu.blogsot.com. Email; milesikisu@gmail.com mobile: +27784653651

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