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Finally finished the Sushi knife

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by BobUrban, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    Took me forever to decide what to use for handle scales on this one but I finally decided to go with a piece of highly figured walnut I had at the shop and a little black canvas for bosters with a red liner to set it off. I also started a smaller version to complete the set. I may be obsessed?!?
    Now all I need to do is go catch a tuna
    [​IMG]
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  2. drewmo

    drewmo Feeling the Heat

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    Gorgeous. I'll be fishing off the coast of Panama in January, perhaps I can take the knife along and in the event we land a tuna, tell you how it works?
  3. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    That is some sort of pretty pattern ya got there.

    Have you ever done any fine line Damascus (or whatever it is called)? If not, you could always practice on a 10" chef's knife for me.:p
  4. Eatonpcat

    Eatonpcat Minister of Fire

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    Very Nice!
  5. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    Jags - I just bought a new set of draw dies for the power hammer that will make life a little easier - well not easy, just save time when making folded steel knives. the draw dies really move steel quick so getting the layer count up will make for some high count damascus knifes soon.

    It is basically the same process for low or high count patterns, I just have to fold the steel many more times to get the "Fine Line" you are talking about. The method is getting a billet started by forge welding a stack of oposing steel and then what you do with the billet dictates the pattern and layer count. The more times you stretch and fold over onto itself with subsequent welds you double the layer count and as you go the count grows exponentially. With the draw dies I can move the billet in one heat so mutiple folds can happen quicker translating to a high count blade after you get the count to where you like you then twist or disturb the steel with different hammers to get a pattern formed in the billet. All that said - keep an eye here because I see some high count stuff coming.

    Here is the lil sister knife I started for the sushi/sashimi set:

    [​IMG]
  6. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    They are lovely! I wish I could afford such a knife as the Sushi. Is the red line inlaid?
  7. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Waiting....patiently.
  8. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    You don't need me to tell you how awesome these are.

    I like the idea of irregular patterns, but I do like the lower fold count blades. They have that stark contrast design.
    The higher count are very cool as well- they have more "texture" if that makes sense.

    Does more folds translate into some improvement in performance?
  9. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Bob that is some fantastic smithing you did there. You have a talent, now dammit get them things to market. you could make some real jingle. Your knives are nicer than any I've ever seen, seriously!
    Eatonpcat likes this.
  10. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Hand made Damascus knives bring SERIOUS coin in the world of knives. If you ever watch some of the cooking shows, all the BIG name chefs use them. Ask Morimoto, the knives that he uses are said to cost into the thousands of dollars. All his big knives are fine damascus.

    AP - I think in the world of function for a chef, the high count damascus is preferred. Tighter grain - easier to clean - more consistent edge (you don't have a change in metals like on the gorgeous grain of Bob's knife). Most home owners probably couldn't tell the difference, but in the hi world of chefdom, these folks can. They will actually feel the "speed" difference of a knife and cutting board.
  11. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Sort of what I guessed
  12. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I have actually looked into purchasing a fine count damascus, but just couldn't justify the costs. I like good knives. The only problem with Bob's is that they are so darn pretty it would make it hard to use.;) It would probably give me the same feeling as the first door dent in a new car.

    Bob - I know I say it every time you post a new pic, but, that is some sort of awesomeness. Have you ever considered fleebay? You might just be surprised at the worth of that artwork. Do you have any idea of the finished RockWell hardness on your blades?
    ScotO likes this.
  13. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    I must confess that I love my Rada knives. Cheap, but better than others of the same price. They tend to not hold an edge for too long, but by the same token will take one easily, which suits my needs. I have had some of these knives for 25 years. Not by any means in the same class as Bob's artistic creations, but adequate. I mean, who would think to make a knife from an old chainsaw? Is that "green" or what?==c
  14. GAMMA RAY

    GAMMA RAY Minister of Fire

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    Awesomeness....
    Hey Bob, next time you pass through Nepa...how bout bringing me a couple..==c ;lol
  15. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    Truly - thanks a ton for all the props - I am not a master smith, just a hobbiest. I saw my first damascus knife when I was about 12 and thought... That is the coolest knife ever. Most would leave it a that or possibly, if really into it, buy one some day. Me, being me, I had to know how it was done and play with steel long enough to learn how to do it myself. I started with stock removal blades where you have a piece of steel and take everything away that is not a knife but, after years of collecting tools I finally began forging blades and then - damascus.

    Although I am pleased with my work it is humbled by some of the MS and JS smiths I learn from so there is a long learning curve ahead. Fortunately I enjoy the journey.

    As far as Rockwell - I do not have a tester but have had some tested and they typically are between 56-60. There are little tricks to have a close guess at the hardness and if you use the same file to test the steel post HT and post tempering you get a feel for how hard they are and can be pretty accurate. If the file skips - too hard and longer in the temper oven.
    File bites deep and easily - to soft and run another HT cycle(Damn)
    File cuts but struggles a bit - good stuff
    Just use the same, new, clean file, dedicated to these tests and you will get a feel for it. If you start changing up files or use your test file for other projects it will not be nearly as consistant.

    There is another trick with a brass rod you can use on thin blade to test reflex of the blade edge that works really good on kitchen type knifes with a fine edge but not so good with hunters and choppers because the blade is too heavy.

    As far as better performance with higher or lower count it really is not something that improves the blade other than asthetics as long as both steels are very similar in molecular structure and the normalization, heat treat and temper process are done correctly. All truth be told a single steel blade is the most perfect steel and, everything being equal, will perform better than any folded steel blade but for all practicality not many could tell in normal use.

    My best argument for this is that to get an MS or JS you need to put one of your knifes through rigorous, cutting and chopping tests and all test candidates use a single steel blade.

    G-Ray - although I had every intention to keep the sushi knife(like a lot of them I make) it looks like it will be rolling right past your place on its way to State College on Sunday. My sister is in town and she likes it, a lot. How can I not give it to her - she's my sister.

    I have sold a few blades. Mostly hunters and little neck knives with kydex sheaths. I am more obsessed with traditional archery and bowhunting with my longbows than knife making so the people on those sights have talked me out of a few. I have a friend working on a simple website for me. will see?
    GAMMA RAY and Eatonpcat like this.
  16. osagebow

    osagebow Minister of Fire

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    Beautiful,beautiful stuff! Are you on the primitive archer forum? Sorry if i asked you that already. Btw, if you ever want to trade for some hedge billets...; )
  17. SlyFerret

    SlyFerret Minister of Fire

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    The knives you make are absolutely beautiful! Do you make them to sell? Or do you make them for yourself?

    -SF
  18. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    SF - I mostly, up until now, have made them and then given them all away to friends and family. I just like making them. Recently I have sold a few and will sell more going forward from time to time as I make them and get requests. I have mostly sold hunting style and neck knives(sheath hangs around your neck/small knife) to people that are on my bowhunting sites I frequent.

    I could work with someone elses ideas and design but my style is not like that of many smiths who typically draw the knife to dimention and create it out of steel. I start with the steel and let the knife find me as I am working it. I sometimes start with an idea but that idea can do a 180 as the steel moves.

    So, to answer, yes to both. Do a search on custom damascus knives and you discover the cost is quite high. Not practical for many when you can go to Bed, Bath and Beyond and buy a decent knife for 100.00. The price, no matter what it cost, is never enough when you consider the many hours to get them right and the cost of tools and materials involved so if it were not a labor of love it would be futile.

    I find it funny that many of the individuals that are willing to pay high dollars for a knife are hunters and they want a nice hunting knife. I shoot a lot of deer and eat a lot of venison but even on a banner bow season my hunting knife gets used 4-6 times. Now the knives in my kitchen may get use everyday, sometimes multiple times a day, to prepare all the venison. Why not carry a lesser knife in the woods and buy a high end blade for the kitchen that will get to see action often, year round??? I digress, just one of my funny thoughts while smahing hot steel. I am a sociologist by degree so I find myself trying to figure out how people think and why we do what we do.

    For the record, the only custom knives I have ever bought have been hunters :)

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