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The Bearded Utility knife


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A member on another forum instigated a conversation on vegetable knife design and with his sugestion of something along the lines of a chinese noodle knife but with a more wide ranging use with his main concern being to have some way of getting a power stroke with this type of knife without hand fatigue during long cutting sessions so this is the answer I sent him this morning

 

The Bearded Utility knife 

 

Had a play with patterns this morning and in comparrison or with influence from the chinese and the serb knives, decided this was the best iteration of the idea you mentioned.. No trigger hole as the curved transition from the handle down to the beard serves the same purpose. A two finger on the blade pinch grip allows for very precise and accurate cutting ability, The standard one finger on the blade chinese knife grip gives suffucient blade length for general work and the full handle hold will allow for a power cut closer down toward the beard end of the blade. The "nut crusher" pommel cap will allow for the crushing garlic and similar foods that may generally need to be crushed in a mortor with a pestle

 

IMG_20201214_114358.jpg

Edited by Garry Keown
Name change for the knife
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I’ve seen some on the web such as this: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/293462747200

Can't decide if the leading edge is also sharpened (which seems a bit dangerous) or just a false edge. Yours looks better. 

Edited by Charles dP
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3 hours ago, Charles dP said:

I’ve seen some on the web such as this: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/293462747200

Can't decide if the leading edge is also sharpened (which seems a bit dangerous) or just a false edge. Yours looks better. 

There is a Noodle knife for cuting of noodles from the sheet,

 

 

37_tojironoodleknife2-500x500.jpgbut what we are envisaging is a universal use knife that is a usefull for a wide range of utility chores from the kitchen to the camp knife. Having 6 x 4 inches of blade ahead of the handle and an 8 1/2 inch long blade it will cover a lot of chores. There is still some design changes to go yet but I think  it will be a very usefull knife when done. I may do a false edge on the front for use as a spatula and possibly radius the top and bottom edge so it could be used to skin an animal in a pinch

 

Edited by Garry Keown
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I did something similar years ago, a kind of hybrid between a noodle knife and a eel knife with a 45 degree point and right handed chisel grind. Really liked it, didn't take pictures before giving it away. I keep wanting to make a new one to keep, but it's been a few years since I have been in the shop. The "corner" was great to start cuts in difficult materials. 

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I have two sources of conversation / inspiration and ideas for this knife and after a few changes to include as many usage options as is possible to include on the one knife I have put these notes together for reference. There has been quite a few pattern trials since the first primitive one shown at the start of the thread with the final design now ready for me having time to make one.

 
 

The Bearded UTI (Utility)

 

 

The blade will be 1/8 (carbon steel) or it gets too heavy for prolonged use as a utility kitchen/camping cook box knife. 

 

I will offer it with two edge grinds. Leave the edge at something like 35 to 40 thou before sharpening for multi purpose work/heavier work or down to about 15 -20 thou for mainly kitchen work. Makes a difference in the strength behind the edge and its ability to either fine slice or to occasionally chop tougher material but not for bone etc.

 

The curve at the tip of the blade and a hold with the finger down over the curve of the blade toward the tip would make for a skinning knife use almost like a bullnose skiner or for accurate kitchen work.

The standard pinch grip over the front of the handle would allow for slicing cabbage for coleslaw etc or a camp loaf of bread etc with its full 6 inches of blade clear in front of the handle

The full handle hold will facilitate an almost ULU like use or for the power stroke against the heel of the blade as you initially indicated so I am seeing this knife as more than a kitchen knife 

IMG_20201215_212243.jpg

 

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That is almost identical to a design I was shown recently, and he wants it specifically for vegetables.

 

I asked him to indicate roughly what size he wanted it and (fortunately I think) never got an answer from him......

 

My concern with the design is your hand being in the cutting path......not sure if I'm clear but I imagine your knuckles hitting the outside of the e.g. pumpkin when you've barely cut into it.

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8 hours ago, Gerhard Gerber said:

That is almost identical to a design I was shown recently, and he wants it specifically for vegetables.

 

I asked him to indicate roughly what size he wanted it and (fortunately I think) never got an answer from him......

 

My concern with the design is your hand being in the cutting path......not sure if I'm clear but I imagine your knuckles hitting the outside of the e.g. pumpkin when you've barely cut into it.

For the likes of a pumkin you would treat it as a knife with a 6 inch blade which is the portion ahead of the handle and cut in from each side of the pumkin. My wife used to use a knife with a stout 5 1/2 inch blade for all the pumkin and other heavy work  (till I made here a couple of different kitchen knives)  so I know it can be effective for that. In most cases you would cut a wedge from the pumkin rather than needing to cut right accross the vegetable

Edited by Garry Keown
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Thanks for that insight Garry, I have never needed to process vegetables on any considerable scale, as opposed to this guy who cooks for a large family.

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Had a play in the shed with this prototype Bearded Uti and it is a bit more complicated/time consuming than any of the other knives.
I handsanded a Serbian blade the other day after heat treat and it is a very different proposition to handsanding a standard knife with the wide blade and I didn't want to have that same difficulty (read extra time) involved so there will be a new approach to making them.
I have made a new jig for grinding them and with handsanding to 320 grit before heat treat, I am going to try some anti scale on the blade. I also decided to do a new quench tank so I can do an edge quench up to about mid hole.
I weighed the blade after profiling it and it was just on 17 oz and as it sits now in the pic with grind done it is down to 12 oz so will still be within a good weight with handle on although brass bolsters will add a bit. I will rivet the copper pins into my makers mark over the hole and of course the brass bolster will have the three copper pins as well

IMG_20201224_164700.jpg

 

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  • Garry Keown changed the title to The Bearded UTI

I have decided to change from the .125 thick 1084 to .094 1095 for these blades  which is a 24.5% thickness reduction so that should equate to the same weight reduction with the 12 oz ground weight  coming down to 9 oz and if I do weight reduction holes in the handle it would come down even further

Edited by Garry Keown
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/24/2020 at 6:35 AM, Garry Keown said:

Had a play in the shed with this prototype Bearded Uti and it is a bit more complicated/time consuming than any of the other knives.
I handsanded a Serbian blade the other day after heat treat and it is a very different proposition to handsanding a standard knife with the wide blade and I didn't want to have that same difficulty (read extra time) involved so there will be a new approach to making them.
I have made a new jig for grinding them and with handsanding to 320 grit before heat treat, I am going to try some anti scale on the blade. I also decided to do a new quench tank so I can do an edge quench up to about mid hole.
I weighed the blade after profiling it and it was just on 17 oz and as it sits now in the pic with grind done it is down to 12 oz so will still be within a good weight with handle on although brass bolsters will add a bit. I will rivet the copper pins into my makers mark over the hole and of course the brass bolster will have the three copper pins as well

 

 

That, exactly that.
I thought I'd finished sanding one blade when I had a better look and spotted the remaining flaws.
Next one I went back to 100 grit, and it's only up to 220 grit.

I've seen how other guys cheat.....brut de forge (real or fake) or that flint-knap finish....with a bloody angle grinder and flap disk I guess. ;)

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7 hours ago, Gerhard Gerber said:

That, exactly that.
I thought I'd finished sanding one blade when I had a better look and spotted the remaining flaws.
Next one I went back to 100 grit, and it's only up to 220 grit.

I've seen how other guys cheat.....brut de forge (real or fake) or that flint-knap finish....with a bloody angle grinder and flap disk I guess. ;)

There is a point of diminishing returns and sometimes on some blades I will leave a coarser grit finish than the usual 600 but a 350-400 grit finish is ok on some hard work blades and so long as it is even can be an exceptable finish

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  • Garry Keown changed the title to The Bearded Utility knife

I edited the thread title and the name of the knife as the instigator of the project noted that with it as UTI the name (as initials) stands for urinary tract infection so I thought it better to change to the full name rather than the shortened version of the name.

 

Have been playing with the Bearded Utility knife and have had a few failures with warping. First few I pre ground the bevels but they warped so bad that they were discarded. Second lot I didnt do a pregrind and put them in the plate vise after and edge quench but some warped in the tempering cycles.
These have been discards

IMG_20210217_114616.jpg

 


Was able to save one and handsanded it to 350grit

IMG_20210217_114256.jpg

 

So with the handle on it is in the clamps overnight. I will get a length of 4 inch box and cut it in half to clamp to either side of the blade in the temper so that should be the end of the warping problems (I hope.)

IMG_20210217_164102.jpg

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The first Bearded Utility knife done. Not polished to a very high degree as it is a shop test blade to check the cross purpose usage I anticipate it will have. At 14 oz it is a well balanced knife and with the multiple hold options should offer a lot to the user, with the same uses as a Serbian chef knife, an Ulu, a western chef and even a skinner. I will do a video at some stage when the leather is done on the various uses and hold options.IMG_20210218_162903.jpg

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