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A few months ago I started a project to try and make dishwasher resistant knives and it ended up being a really interesting way to explore the different handle options that are out there. One thing I ended up getting into was resin casting, which I had a bit of experience with, but no real proficiency. I ended up making three "models" of handle; a small one for paring/ultra-lightweight camp knives (think bird and trout), a large one for chef knives, and one with more finger protection for fillet/bonding knives (though that last one I still need to iron some kinks out of). You can see my process at the original thread here:

 

 

And here are some of the ones I have actually finished:

 

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I just wrapped this batch up today (not the best lighting, but I was in a bit of a rush to get a few of these out of the shop). All are AEB-L with epoxy handles. The green one has silicone overmolded for grip.

 

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A bigger picture of my two successful "patterns"; the left is a 10" chef, the right is a small paring knife. Both are colored with mica powder, the paring knife is my attempt to incompletely mix two colors together before pouring. This works better with a bigger handle. I've had better luck with complete mixes. I really like "Victorinox red" for some reason and aimed for it by mixing red and black, but it still came out a bit bright. Both of the green handles were made with this approach from a very bright green mixed with dark grey, with better results.

 

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A detail view of some of the effects you can get with mica. Like I said, the mixing works a bit better on larger pours. These are both buffed, I've found that the sanded finish can look pretty dull, since nothing goes on top of it to add luster.

 

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I don't know if I'll be able to really sell these but being able to turn them out in so many different looks and pretty quickly they make great gifts! The left two are for the two people who introduced me to resin casting. The red one was a gift for a family friend and the green one is my own trout knife. It works well, is incredibly light, and if I'm cleaning fish at home, it can be tossed in the dishwasher.

 

It takes some patience to get into, but this has been a very rewarding thing to learn about. Thanks for looking!

 

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These are looking great Aiden. I have to admit I was quite skeptical of the idea at first, but you may have tapped into a niche market to be exploited.

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

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Quote

don't know if I'll be able to really sell these but being able to turn them out in so many different looks and pretty quickly they make great gifts!

Why do you doubt?

I enjoyed following your process, but I do admit they leave me with mixed feeling simply due to the similarity to a production knife.
My 2c, it would have to be above average in function and/or toughness, or above average pretty for it to "work"

.......and I feel silly for even saying the above because its amazing work B)

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I think they're great!  Finally a hand made knife that can face a dishwasher.  Good job!

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Yep, those are turning out good.

 

I'll admit that this isn't a direction I believed would bear fruit when you started, but you proved me wrong.  I appreciate you sharing the learning experience as you went.

-Brian

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thank you all for the kind words! I had a few in the works as gifts/for myself and decided to throw in one chef and one paring/trout knife to test the waters for potentially selling these.

 

On 5/10/2022 at 7:41 AM, Brian Dougherty said:

I'll admit that this isn't a direction I believed would bear fruit when you started, but you proved me wrong.  I appreciate you sharing the learning experience as you went.

I was skeptical at many points as well, and there were a few times I was almost sure I wouldn't even get one good knife out of this. I'm still not sure if they will be sellable. My past "passion projects," mostly odd kitchen knives inspired by old pieces, tend to not do very well sales wise, which is why I was hesitant with these. With knives I find it fun to poke at the edges of what has been done/documented in the online knife community, but that leads to a lot of dead ends and is often not very profitable. If I only made puukkos (which make up ~2/3 of the knives I've sold as is) I would probably sell 3x as many knives, but where would be the fun in that! 

 

On 5/9/2022 at 1:34 AM, Gerhard Gerber said:

My 2c, it would have to be above average in function and/or toughness, or above average pretty for it to "work"

That is a fair point. These knives do have a "performance" grind: shallow secondary bevel, very thin behind the edge, convexity for food release, and asymmetric grinds on my personal set, but none of those things are apparent in a thumbnail photo and 99% of kitchen knife users don't pay much attention to them. There does seem to be some appreciation for interesting cast handle scales, so maybe the swirling mica powder can appeal to the same tastes. I guess time will tell.

 

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The short chef knife is an experiment with liquid dye instead of mica powder. Not quite as flashy, but it gave me a lot more control. Also, if you can't tell, I like red handles on my own knives :D.

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This has been an interesting experiment to watch.

 

I definitely think you're on to something.

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