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Mike Ward

Chef knife class

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Hey y’all,

Over the weekend, I took a chef knife making class over in Detroit with Niko Nicolaides. On Saturday we forged, profiled and heat treated the  knives. He showed us some of his examples and did some demoing then let us go at it. Because I have experience already doing this, I knew most of what to do but he still had some useful tips and tricks on how to move the metal to specific places. Sunday was spent grinding and finishing the handle.

This is the Detroit Smith Shop where the class was hosted.

FE2D8260-2092-4400-9C15-C293EE994730.jpeg

 

65163433-9E65-4151-8835-4C8586DCFF22.jpeg

Profiled

C6824907-1B1E-4DC0-B900-0CD9B6E8ECCF.jpeg

I learned the most in the handle construction. He did the method of drilling a .5” hole into a block and splitting a dowel to hold the tang. I’ve never done that and while I’ve read about, I didn’t really understand before. 

04B5496C-2924-450B-AB93-2F584988F246.jpeg

I’m really glad I took this class, it let me get a better idea how a kitchen knife should be made with out doing it 3 mores times. Taking a class is definitely one of the best things that someone can do to learn.

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Cool!  Tell me more about this handle construction method, it sounds like a good thing for some styles....

Nice-looking shop space, too.

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4 hours ago, Mike Ward said:

Hey y’all,

Over the weekend, I took a chef knife making class over in Detroit with Niko Nicolaides. On Saturday we forged, profiled and heat treated the  knives. He showed us some of his examples and did some demoing then let us go at it. Because I have experience already doing this, I knew most of what to do but he still had some useful tips and tricks on how to move the metal to specific places. Sunday was spent grinding and finishing the handle.

This is the Detroit Smith Shop where the class was hosted.

FE2D8260-2092-4400-9C15-C293EE994730.jpeg

 

65163433-9E65-4151-8835-4C8586DCFF22.jpeg

Profiled

C6824907-1B1E-4DC0-B900-0CD9B6E8ECCF.jpeg

I learned the most in the handle construction. He did the method of drilling a .5” hole into a block and splitting a dowel to hold the tang. I’ve never done that and while I’ve read about, I didn’t really understand before. 

04B5496C-2924-450B-AB93-2F584988F246.jpeg

I’m really glad I took this class, it let me get a better idea how a kitchen knife should be made with out doing it 3 mores times. Taking a class is definitely one of the best things that someone can do to learn.

If you have good instructors :)

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1 hour ago, Alan Longmire said:

Tell me more about this handle construction method

Get a drill either the same size as the widest part of the tang or a little bit smaller. Drill down as far as you need to go and if needed file little slots to fit the tang all the way in. Take a dowel the same size as your hole and split it in two. From there, sand the flats and size the dowels till the tang fits; you can leave a small gap for glue if you want. This method is SO much easier than drill 2 or 3 small holes and tediously needle file. 

I did that with the lower part of the handle and for the “bolster” piece, I split in half and filed away notches for the tang to fit in. Again bc it’s easier IMO. If you want, you can put hidden pins through the tang to help locate, I just glued them together.

Also, make sure that the shoulder of the tang is seated on the handle! Check and double check to make sure. I didn’t so now there’s an ugly gap in a otherwise pretty good knife. :(

 

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Not quite the same thing, but I’ve heard of drilling a hole for the tang as you described, then using a knead-type epoxy putty to fill the hole. Then oil or grease the tang, insert into the putty, and remove before the epoxy hardens. 

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I have an idea floating around in my head about combining the two methods.  Greasing the tang, epoxying the handle together and then shaping the handle off the blade. That should help with not accidentally hitting the blade against the grinder and other damages.

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