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Thin is in, right?


Faye
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So I forged out a kitchen knife the other day from 2" x 1/8" and it came out pretty thin. I opted to leave a forge finish to retain as much thickness as I could. It warped like crazy in HT despite my best efforts. I got most of the waves out in tempering, and ground the rest of them out, but now the knife is about 0.065" at the base of the spine. It is 7 1/2" long with a 2" heel. This knife was supossed to be for a customer, but I'm concerned I've hit the too thin mark. Should I send it to the customer with a note not to do anything stupid with it, or keep it in my own kitchen and see how many watermelons I can cut before it breaks?

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Edited by Faye
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Well, I like big bu...

...oh, we're talking knives.

 

Maybe @Joël Mercier will chime in here as he has more kitchen knife design experience than I do.  What I have noticed when I go real thin on a knife with a broad blade is that they feel unstable as I cut through thick food.  Particularly with the tip on the board pushing the heel down through what I'm cutting. (chopping)

 

If you have the time, I'd suggest you finish it, and try it out for a bit before you decide to start again.

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-Brian

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I would start by saying that I like the overall shape of the blade, with the exception of the tang that's a little narrow, but that's just my OCD.

 

Now, whether it can be salvaged into a useable tool or not will depend on the current edge thickness and the current grind geometry.

 

But salvageable or not, this is going to be a very light weight chef, with possibly not a great feel. 

 

 

 

Edited by Joël Mercier
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I tend to hit between 1.5-2.5mm on thickness at the heel on my kitchen knives, the last I did as thin as the one you've made was a tall integral that had great flexibility and lightness, but was still sturdy in the hand likely because of the bolster. I tend to aim for about 100g-125g overall weight for an 8 inch chef as I find it to be really pleasant to hold. 

 

Ultimately, the thickness/thinness will be good or bad based on the end users opinion on how it feels. Some people like a thick and heavier knife, but when I made a wedding gift for an old friend he let me know it weighed 3x less than his current favorite, and became his new favorite in quick order. 

 

I think you should ask the customer what they are used to or if they are looking for a more nimble kitchen tool and go from there. Since it is such a taste based thing, knowing what they are looking for specifically will help a lot. 

 

All that being said, I think your spine is right on for a light and nimble piece, and you should finish it out regardless of whether its destined for this particular customer and get a feel for whether you like it in the kitchen! 

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This

On 9/20/2022 at 4:43 AM, Brian Dougherty said:

If you have the time, I'd suggest you finish it, and try it out for a bit before you decide to start again.

 

And this

On 9/20/2022 at 2:54 PM, Joël Mercier said:

But salvageable or not, this is going to be a very light weight chef, with possibly not a great feel.

 

Sometimes we do things we probably shouldn't have done, and we learn a hard lesson. I would never forge on 1/8" flat stock. That's already at my final desired thickness, So it gives me nowhere to go. I have used 1/8" stock for knives (pocket folders, kitchen knives, and some small skinners) but it was always done by pure stock removal.

 

 

 

Edited by Joshua States
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“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.”

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I'll just add, if I may, that spine thickness is just one parameter. A 1/16" spine can be ok or bad depending on the grind. There are very thin Japanese knives BUT they use partial flat grinds. The idea is to not have a too acute primary bevel angle at edge or your edge will be and feel too flexible. There are two ways to make an edge stiffer/sturdier. You either leave the edge thicker, or grind a more obtuse primary bevel. A thicker edge will have less cutting power. A third way could be to use a partial convex grind, but the principle remains the same.

 

It's easier to explain with drawings :lol:

 

Edited by Joël Mercier
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16 hours ago, Joël Mercier said:

Now, whether it can be salvaged into a useable tool or not will depend on the current edge thickness and the current grind geometry.

The edge thickness is 0.025 with a slight convex grind.

13 hours ago, Emiliano Carrillo said:

the last I did as thin as the one you've made was a tall integral that had great flexibility and lightness, but was still sturdy in the hand likely because of the bolster.

So it might be possible to recover some weight and feel with some heavier handle material, particularly with a thicker chunck of metal for the bolster.

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7 hours ago, Faye said:

e edge thickness is 0.025 with a slight convex grind.

21 hours ago, Emiliano Carrillo said:

You can work with that. Keep grinding only near the edge to convex some more until 0.005" and I believe it's going to be sturdy enough. And the heavy bolster is a good idea. 

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