Knife I just sold…

…and a few pictures of it’s making.

It’s a chefs knife (obviously, I hope), made from a laminate of stainless steel on the outside, and damascus steel on the inside.  The handle is african blackwood.

Finished pictures first:

Now the in-process pics.

The two outside layers of stainless are forged down from 1-1/4″ round stock.  Here it is heating up in the forge:

Here’s my power hammer, which does all the work.

The round stock is reduced to 1-1/4″ wide, by about 5/8″ thick.  I need 2 pieces 4″ long.

Cutting pieces off:

Next the damascus piece is forged and cut off.  The three pieces are then ground clean:

Then they are assembled into a “sandwich”, and the seams are all welded shut to keep out oxygen.  This is called a dry weld, as opposed to the normal forge weld, which uses flux.  Flux welding does not work well with stainless.  Also, a handle is welded on:

Back in the forge:

Now the billet is hammered, somewhat gently at first, to set the weld, then when it feels solid, it’s drawn out.  It’s difficult to forge things thinner than 1/8″ or so, because when you start getting thin, the piece loses heat quickly.  Here it is all drawn out, and cut into two pieces.  The long one became the chefs knife, the short will probably become hunting knives or something.

After thermal cycling the pieces, (thermal cycling is heat treatments which relieve stresses set up by forging, and also refine the grain of the steel) they are ground clean, and the outline of the knife is drawn on it:

Then the shape is cut out and all the pits are ground off:

Next the bevels are ground in, my mark is stamped on, and the holes for the handle bolts are drilled:

Now the knife is hardened, which means it’s brought up to 1475 degrees F, and plunged into quenching oil.  When it’s cool, then it’s tempered 3 times at 450 degrees for 2 hours.

The last picture is of handsanding.  I was in a hurry to get it finished, so that’s all I have.  Maybe I’ll cover the other steps some other time.



3 thoughts on “Knife I just sold…

  1. I didn’t quite understand some of that technical stuff, but the finished product is amazing! Definitely worth pinching my pennies! 🙂

  2. Thanks for the compliment! I’m not quite as happy with the damascus and stainless mix as I thought I would be. I think plain carbon steel for the core gives a more striking look.

  3. Oooohh…that’s the difference in this one and the one you sent me pictures of then? I think I do prefer the contrast in the other knife. This one is still great, though!

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