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Marko Tsourkan
06-02-2011, 02:20 PM
Well, this is going to be a long thread, as I am only at a first stage - finalizing testing for a heat treat. I need to ran one more test, and after that, I am going to attempt three knives in different length.

Steel - 52100, target hardness of the finished product - 62. Objective - a good balance between edge stability and abrasion resistance, and of course, a knife's ability to take a keen edge. Will keep you posted and post some pics.

All work is done in-house by me. :)

M

JohnnyChance
06-02-2011, 02:23 PM
Well Dave's knife thread is already 30 pages long, so you got a ways to catch up!

Good luck Marko!

Marko Tsourkan
06-02-2011, 02:25 PM
Maybe not that long. :)
I will start grinding mine on the weekend. I don't have high expectations, this is a learning experience, as far as I am concerned, to test the processes.

M

oivind_dahle
06-02-2011, 04:23 PM
F
I
N
A
L
L
Y

:)

Aphex
06-02-2011, 04:31 PM
While i'm looking forward to seenig the results of your new venture, i really don't envy you. I would imagine it's an absolute nightmare trying to grind your own knife. Most people believe a kitchen knife is just a triangular lump of steel.

Good luck.

Marko Tsourkan
06-02-2011, 04:36 PM
While i'm looking forward to seenig the results of your new venture, i really don't envy you. I would imagine it's an absolute nightmare trying to grind your own knife. Most people believe a kitchen knife is just a triangular lump of steel.

Good luck.

Actually, I am looking forward to it. I had a blast heat-treating and measuring hardness on Rockwell hardness tester (reminded me of B&W photography development and printing), and I am looking forward to a finished product, whatever quality it will be. I might get lucky, but this is mostly to get a hang of the process. Realistically, I think that the first dozen or two will be giveaways or throwaways - it takes a long time to get good at anything, so my expectations are VERY low.

M

watercrawl
06-02-2011, 04:38 PM
Although I think it silly to wish you good luck as you've seemingly got enough natural talent to make incredible work as anyone I've ever seen....good luck. :thumbsup:

Marko Tsourkan
06-02-2011, 04:48 PM
Although I think it silly to wish you good luck as you've seemingly got enough natural talent to make incredible work as anyone I've ever seen....good luck. :thumbsup:

Thanks Adam. I think I should keep a low profile, from now on, as I don't want expectations :)

M

mhlee
06-02-2011, 04:49 PM
Although I think it silly to wish you good luck as you've seemingly got enough natural talent to make incredible work as anyone I've ever seen....good luck. :thumbsup:

Definitely. Your attention to detail to your work speaks for itself.

Even if this first batch are giveaways, throwaways or seconds, I'm sure they'll be better than what other people are making.

Best of luck to you Marko!

Marko Tsourkan
06-02-2011, 04:56 PM
I will do my best and I am sure I will learn a lot.

M

oivind_dahle
06-02-2011, 05:04 PM
I suggest you send JohnnyChance a knife. He makes some really nice reviews.
And you also know where I live :)

maxim
06-02-2011, 06:10 PM
I am looking forward to see you knife Marko !! Long waiting is finely over :)

Marko Tsourkan
06-02-2011, 06:14 PM
:)

I am starting small. 180mm.

Andrew H
06-02-2011, 06:37 PM
Actually, I am looking forward to it. I had a blast heat-treating and measuring hardness on Rockwell hardness tester (reminded me of B&W photography development and printing), and I am looking forward to a finished product, whatever quality it will be. I might get lucky, but this is mostly to get a hang of the process. Realistically, I think that the first dozen or two will be giveaways or throwaways - it takes a long time to get good at anything, so my expectations are VERY low.


Where's the sign up sheet?

Cipcich
06-02-2011, 08:22 PM
Thanks Adam. I think I should keep a low profile, from now on, as I don't want expectations :)

M

Hmm. Might be a little late. I don't think the cork's going back in that bottle . . .

Marko Tsourkan
06-02-2011, 08:25 PM
Where's the sign up sheet?

No expectations, please. I am having a hard time handling stress already. I get there, when I get there. I took me almost two years to make a handle that I really liked. :(

M

PierreRodrigue
06-02-2011, 09:31 PM
Marko, you have a sound approach. Work in small steps, learn from each, try to understand what each phase is telling you. I have no doubt you will produce what your minds eye wants to see. Learn from set backs, keep moving forward, and most of all, HAVE FUN!! It can be a hoot, or a source of frustration. Its up to you which!

JohnnyChance
06-03-2011, 02:26 PM
I suggest you send JohnnyChance a knife. He makes some really nice reviews.
And you also know where I live :)

While I would love to do some testing and a review, if I did it on the first batch of knives the feedback would go directly to Marko. Only once he is happy and has a finished product would I do an actual review.

Marko Tsourkan
06-03-2011, 02:42 PM
While I would love to do some testing and a review, if I did it on the first batch of knives the feedback would go directly to Marko. Only once he is happy and has a finished product would I do an actual review.

Hey John,
I appreciate it and I will definitely take you up on your offer. This was a part of the plan, once I am comfortable with the process. We will be in touch over this (and other things, like the custom work I owe you :( )

M

tk59
06-03-2011, 09:11 PM
I can't wait to check out your progress, Marko! I'd love to witness your growing pains, in addition to your finished products. I'll spare you my expectations and good luck to you.

Marko Tsourkan
06-03-2011, 09:52 PM
Well, I am starting heat treating tonight. Will grind over the weekend.

M

Dave Martell
06-04-2011, 03:00 AM
Hey awesome Marko - I can't wait to see what you come up with. :)

Darkhoek
06-06-2011, 06:45 AM
Although I think it silly to wish you good luck as you've seemingly got enough natural talent to make incredible work as anyone I've ever seen....good luck. :thumbsup:

+1
You have a natural talent for this kind of thing and a very keen eye for details and aesthetics, and I am absolutely confident that you will grind out some very, very nice blades after a round of trial and error. Somehow I don't expect that period of trial and error to be very long as you seem to be very dedicated and a pretty fast learner :D Good luck anyways. I am looking forward to seeing the results.

DarKHOeK

Marko Tsourkan
06-06-2011, 11:37 AM
OK, so I heat treated and ground my first knife. Still need to do some grinding, finishing, and putting an edge on it but the bulk of work is done. 180mm on the edge, 52100 oil quenched, 62RC.


http://img196.imageshack.us/img196/6727/dsc1700a.jpg

http://img545.imageshack.us/img545/2297/dsc1699w.jpg

It was a lot of work. Between heat treating and grinding, it took me over 12 hours of labor. Granted I picked thicker stock (5.65mm), and worked very slowly, but still. I tip my hat to those who trodden this path before me. :)

I followed Devin advise and ground this knife without any marking or layout - free hand, to get a feel of the process. It think it will take a number of blades to grind to get comfortable, but that's OK. I have plenty of friends who could use a good knife (albeit a second). :)

M

PS: I quenched a desire to make a knife, now back to custom work.

oivind_dahle
06-06-2011, 11:47 AM
God in heaven - and this is your first!

Darkhoek
06-06-2011, 12:06 PM
It looks absolutely flawless to me, but hey, I already knew that. You would never present something sub par your own quality mark, and we all know from your other work that mark is waaaay up there. Congrats on your first born, Marko. I am truly impressed by the result even though I expected nothing less from your able hands and perfectionist mind. Hopefully I will be able to afford one of these beautiful babies before you have to rocket your prices due to high demand and never ending back-logs :)

DarkHOeK

Marko Tsourkan
06-06-2011, 12:50 PM
This is a practice knife, so I must of got lucky the first time. I am not done yet, so I still have a chance to mess it up. :)

I got a few hiccups while working on it, so will try to avoid them in the future. Learned some lessons too, but still a lot more to learn.

M

watercrawl
06-06-2011, 12:57 PM
Looks great Marko!

Devin told me that the first would come out good...the second one you'd try to correct the mistakes made in the first and it would get messed up. He hit the nail on the head there. My second knife sucked.

Marko Tsourkan
06-06-2011, 01:15 PM
I take Devin's word as a prophecy. :)

SpikeC
06-06-2011, 01:28 PM
Looks great Marko!

Devin told me that the first would come out good...the second one you'd try to correct the mistakes made in the first and it would get messed up. He hit the nail on the head there. My second knife sucked.

I'm still trying to figure out how to fix my second knife! I corrected what I didn't like about the handle, now to fix the blade!

JohnnyChance
06-06-2011, 01:32 PM
Looking good! Very shigefusa-esque!

stereo.pete
06-06-2011, 01:40 PM
Looking good! Very shigefusa-esque!

Ditto, nothing wrong with using a tried and true design. Nice work!

Marko Tsourkan
06-06-2011, 02:00 PM
Ditto, nothing wrong with using a tried and true design. Nice work!

thanks, guys!

Andrew H
06-06-2011, 02:55 PM
Very, very impressive for a first shot. Nice work Marko!

Ichi
06-06-2011, 04:11 PM
Distant relative of Kramer? keep makin`em like that and we shall see your smiling face on T.V :thumbsup2:

Dave Martell
06-06-2011, 06:12 PM
If you didn't mention the size I'd have sworn it was a 240mm gyuto, looks good to me. :thumbsup:

Marko Tsourkan
06-08-2011, 10:53 PM
OK, so I am down to making a handle and putting an edge on the knife on the stones.
Overall, this was fun experience. I have learned a lot and I am happy how my first knife turned out. I can't wait to use it. My next project will be 135mm honesuki. I still have my Watanabe honesuki and I liked it a lot, but I would like to make one in a different steel.

Here are the pics of the 180mm gyuto next to Shigefusa. As you pointed out earlier, the knife I made was inspired by Shigefusa profile and geometry. The last picture is 150mm Shigefusa petty.

180mm gyuto (180mm on the edge) in 52100. 3.25mm on the spine at the machi, 0.75mm 10mm from the tip. 94g.

M
765

766

767

768

PS: for those whom I own custom work. I am sorry for taking time to work on this project. I had to get it out of my system. I am back to working and you will be hearing from me soon. :(

tk59
06-09-2011, 12:28 AM
Nice. Can't wait to see how you think it performs.

Marko Tsourkan
06-09-2011, 12:35 AM
This one was to practice grinding, so I won't spend much time testing it, other than putting an edge and using it in the kitchen. Once I get comfortable grinding, I will do a rope cutting test, for the steels I am interested in trying out. I am going to make several identical knives (geometry) and test them side-by-side for performance.

M

tk59
06-09-2011, 12:49 AM
Don't get me wrong. I'd like to see the rope test results but the true test of a good grind is the way it goes through an onion, imo. As I'm sure you know, some relatively thick blades can fly through an onion while some relatively thin ones really don't. I like to take a LARGE onion and cut it Salty/Theory style with horizontal and vertical cuts rather than radial. If can get a feel for the grind by simply gauging the relative ease of making each cut, being careful to get through most of the onion on the horizontal cuts. I'm not saying other tests don't work. This is the one that tells me the most about how I'm going to like the knife.

DevinT
06-09-2011, 01:24 AM
Great job for the first one Marko.

Hoss

rockbox
06-09-2011, 01:49 AM
Good stuff man!!!

JohnnyChance
06-09-2011, 02:35 AM
PS: for those whom I own custom work. I am sorry for taking time to work on this project. I had to get it out of my system. I am back to working and you will be hearing from me soon. :(

Doesn't bother me a bit. Sometimes you gotta do something different to keep you motivated and loving what you do. Blade looks great!

RRLOVER
06-09-2011, 07:49 AM
How did I miss this thread:slaphead:..... It Looks Fabulous!

Vladimir
06-09-2011, 07:59 AM
Good job!
And given that this is the first knife is fantastic!
One gets the impression that you make knives for many years.:bladesmith:

Marko Tsourkan
06-09-2011, 09:41 AM
Don't get me wrong. I'd like to see the rope test results but the true test of a good grind is the way it goes through an onion, imo. As I'm sure you know, some relatively thick blades can fly through an onion while some relatively thin ones really don't. I like to take a LARGE onion and cut it Salty/Theory style with horizontal and vertical cuts rather than radial. If can get a feel for the grind by simply gauging the relative ease of making each cut, being careful to get through most of the onion on the horizontal cuts. I'm not saying other tests don't work. This is the one that tells me the most about how I'm going to like the knife.

Thanks, guys.
yes, geometry is a key here. I personally like knives that do not flex at the spine. I have had an opportunity (still have, sorry Jason) to study a Kramer chef and he is following the same principle - good geometry combined with weight at the spine makes knife fall through the food. I will continue this in all knives I will make.

I didn't take any measurements (or scribed lines) while making this knife. I just eyeballed it and I started with a fairly thick stock - 4.65mm (another lesson learned - select steel with closest thickens to your final product. I ended with a huge pile of dust that once was metal. Grinding 62RC steel is not easy, lemme tell you. :) ).

Final measurements are the following:
3.3mm - spine at the machi
3mm - spine over the heel
2mm - spine half way
.7mm - 10mm from the tip
.7mm - 1/4" behind the edge (zero or close to, at the edge)
Total weight of the knife with the handle should be in the area of 150g - it should feel light and nimble.

Will keep you posted as I keep making progress on it. But now i really need to get to custom work orders.

M

PS: I wouldn't have made this knife without Devin's help. The trip to Panaca and his advise has been priceless. I am gratefuller for this.

Marko Tsourkan
06-09-2011, 11:47 AM
A few more pics

769

770

771

Andrew H
06-09-2011, 12:56 PM
Looking good :thumbsup:

9mmbhp
06-09-2011, 01:41 PM
PS: for those whom I own custom work. I am sorry for taking time to work on this project. I had to get it out of my system. I am back to working and you will be hearing from me soon. :(

No worries, this new venture is fun to watch.

Vladimir
06-10-2011, 10:13 AM
I noticed a little rounded heel is on the knife, so it should be?

Marko Tsourkan
06-10-2011, 10:19 AM
I noticed a little rounded heel is on the knife, so it should be?

Yes. I borrowed this feature from Bob Kramer. On taller knives, like full-size gyuto, there is not need for rounding the heel, but on the shorter knives, such as petties or small gyutos, depending on a grip, your index finger might get cut by a sharp heel. My wife complained about it the moment I gave her a first Japanese knife 150mm petty. This was one thing she didn't like about it, and loved everything else.

The rounding is not as prominent as on Kramer knvies, but yes, it is intentional.

M

Lars
06-11-2011, 03:20 AM
Very nice work..!

Lars

PierreRodrigue
06-11-2011, 11:18 AM
Marko, looks great! (You should see my first attempt, oh boy!) Keep going, and have fun!

Marko Tsourkan
06-11-2011, 10:01 PM
Marko, looks great! (You should see my first attempt, oh boy!) Keep going, and have fun!

Thanks for encouragement, Pierre-

I am having a great time. I picked up a 250+ pounds anvil today for about .70-.80/lb so I am a happy camper though it was awful for one person to move, let me tell you. Now I can stamp my name, peen and do some work on metal ferrules.
As far as my next knife goes, it will be a single-beveled.

M

mc2442
06-11-2011, 11:23 PM
About the only thing I can add, with a very amateur eye, is that it looks clean....as in very smooth lines. Definitely does not look like a first attempt.

Congrats on getting it out of your blood....for now. I look forward to seeing what you impulses lead to next.

Dave Martell
06-11-2011, 11:38 PM
Thanks for encouragement, Pierre-

I am having a great time. I picked up a 250+ pounds anvil today for about .70-.80/lb so I am a happy camper though it was awful for one person to move, let me tell you. Now I can stamp my name, peen and do some work on metal ferrules.
As far as my next knife goes, it will be a single-beveled.

M


What'da score? I have an anvil fetish. :D

Marko Tsourkan
06-11-2011, 11:58 PM
What'da score? I have an anvil fetish. :D

This one:
http://newlondon.craigslist.org/tls/2433441215.html

These are BEFORE pictures. AFTER pictures will follow after I get to work a bit on it. I have witnessed what wonders wire-brushing and oiling can do an old hunk of metal. I have restored an old Wilton bullet vise recently. You would not believe it's the same vice. Just needs a paint job and will be like-new.

Back to the anvil. I suspect it was originally 300lb, and now with a hardy hole section missing it is probably 270Lb. As I needed an anvil mostly for stamping and peening, this is not a problem for me. It could use some wire brushing and oiling, but other than that, the surface is flat, corners crisp and overall it is in a very good condition. And the best things - it was about 30 miles from where my relatives (whom I visit regularly and happened to visit this weekend) live in CT. Shipping this anvil would have cost me more than the anvil itself. I was the first person to contact the seller, and he got seven inquires after me. :)

M

Dave Martell
06-12-2011, 12:21 AM
Cool

Line cooked
06-15-2011, 12:26 AM
Very impressive

Marko Tsourkan
06-15-2011, 08:25 PM
I always liked honesuki shape and have used mine (Watanabe) as a parer on occasions. It was a little too thick for that task, but one thing I liked even less was that it was not very easy to sharpen. I was basically flat ground to about 3/16 and from there a convex to the edge. So, when I was thinking about makign a single-beveled knife I dedided on a honosuke derivative - single bevel with a shinogi line, less height at the heel and thinner.

I gave a knife a hamaguriba edge, a hollow back (48" platen), and a kensaki (?) tip, which is mostly for decoration - I always wondered how it was ground. The knife is about 140mm long, 1.5" tall and 2.5mm thick over the heel with a moderate distal taper toward the tip. I set the ura, sharpened and brought it home yesterday to do some cutting. I decided to grind it a little thinner (did well on soft food, but wedged moderately on hard food like apples and pears). Let me tell you, 52100 performs like a charm, and I didn't even go over 3K in my sharpening.

Now need to pick up some backing soda to use as an anti-rusting agent and resharpen the knife and re-set the ura and touch up the shinogi line here and there. The knife has a machine finish now, and I don't think I will do a hand rubbed finish this time.

Not particularly good pics, but it's too dark to take more pics now.

M

817

818

819

Pensacola Tiger
06-15-2011, 09:13 PM
Good looking blade, Marko. You must be enjoying yourself, no?

Rick

WildBoar
06-15-2011, 09:29 PM
Cool -- I like the profile of that blade. Your work really looks great!

JohnnyChance
06-15-2011, 09:34 PM
Looks like a very useful shape for a single bevel utility knife. Nice.

Marko Tsourkan
06-15-2011, 09:51 PM
Good looking blade, Marko. You must be enjoying yourself, no?

Rick

Well, this is about the only fun I get right now. I have been working a lot lately for my day job.

M

Potato42
06-15-2011, 11:32 PM
sweet. I like that shape a lot.

apicius9
06-15-2011, 11:37 PM
Same here. I'm not big into single bevels, but love the honesuki/garasuki shapes. I use my double-sided Carter Muteki as a hefty petty... What you are showing looks great and I'd definitely be interested in a narrower than usual shape. Just wondering: Do you also sharpen the top of the tip - not sure how to say it, but you'll know what I mean.

Stefan

Marko Tsourkan
06-15-2011, 11:45 PM
Same here. I'm not big into single bevels, but love the honesuki/garasuki shapes. I use my double-sided Carter Muteki as a hefty petty... What you are showing looks great and I'd definitely be interested in a narrower than usual shape. Just wondering: Do you also sharpen the top of the tip - not sure how to say it, but you'll know what I mean.

Stefan

Thanks guys.

The picture distorts the actual shape. The knife is very narrow and very thin. For instance, my Watanabe honesuki is 4mm over the heel. This knife is 2.5. I will have to take a pic with a camera directly above the knife to show the actual shape and size.

The tip is for decoration. It could be sharpened in principle, but I don't see any real use for it.

M

Marko Tsourkan
06-16-2011, 08:32 AM
Better pictures

821

822

823

824

825

52100
2.5mm at the heel with moderate distal taper
140mm on the edge
40mm tall
79g (without handle)
Hamaguriba edge (need to re-set ura and re-touch up edge and shinogi line after machine finish)
Back hollow ground
Machine finish

Dave Martell
06-16-2011, 09:21 AM
Nice design and very clean work!! I can't wait to see this one finished. :thumbsup:

heirkb
06-16-2011, 04:14 PM
Nice knives, Marko. I especially like that 180 gyuto.
How would you use baking soda as an anti-rust agent?

Marko Tsourkan
06-16-2011, 07:13 PM
I typically grind to about 10/1000 on the edge and then take it to the sharpening station to set the bevels by hand, then go back to some more grinding and then onto polishing. As I grind, I frequently dip blade in water to stay cool, same when I sharpen, to rinse the blade. If there is no anti-rust agent in the water, your blade will start rusting on you.

SpikeC
06-16-2011, 07:23 PM
I haven't had that problem with the O1 that I'm using. We have pretty soft water here, though.

Marko Tsourkan
06-16-2011, 08:48 PM
I haven't had that problem with the O1 that I'm using. We have pretty soft water here, though.

I do all major grinding with a 50 grit belt, so scratches are deep and that's where discoloration is visible right away.

M

SpikeC
06-16-2011, 09:29 PM
Right now I'm grinding a blade with 24, but I have started with 36 and another with 50. We have magic water here in PDX.

Dave Martell
06-16-2011, 11:48 PM
Rust is good. :)

Marko Tsourkan
06-17-2011, 12:11 AM
Rust is good. :)

:)

apicius9
06-17-2011, 12:20 AM
Rust is good. :)

:word:

Marko Tsourkan
06-17-2011, 12:08 PM
Same here. I'm not big into single bevels, but love the honesuki/garasuki shapes. I use my double-sided Carter Muteki as a hefty petty... What you are showing looks great and I'd definitely be interested in a narrower than usual shape. Just wondering: Do you also sharpen the top of the tip - not sure how to say it, but you'll know what I mean.

Stefan

I think I will make honesuki/utility and sabaki my first production knives, while I am practice grinding other types. Now the big question is what would you prefer - more sharpness (edge stability is excellent and edge retention is excellent) or slightly less sharpness, but with excellent edge stability and phenomenal edge retention? The latter will be a little harder to sharpen though.

M

JohnnyChance
06-17-2011, 01:30 PM
I think I will make honesuki/utility and sabaki my first production knives, while I am practice grinding other types. Now the big question is what would you prefer - more sharpness (edge stability is excellent and edge retention is excellent) or slightly less sharpness, but with excellent edge stability and phenomenal edge retention? The latter will be a little harder to sharpen though.

M

For a honesuki, definitely option #2. If you need a scary sharp utility knife you can always use a petty. A pretty dang sharp honesuki with great edge retention is perfect for butchering lots of stuff in one session. The sabaki I am not sure. If it it is a utility knife, #1 is fine, if someone plans on using it as a boning/butchering knife, then I would go #2 as well.

Marko Tsourkan
06-17-2011, 01:32 PM
Thanks John,
that is what I thought, but it great to get a reaffirmation from a pro.

M

mattrud
06-17-2011, 03:59 PM
edge retention all the way for a honesuki

Marko Tsourkan
06-17-2011, 05:59 PM
OK, one down, one to go. What handle material for pro kitchen? Any natural materials would be preferred?

M

El Pescador
06-17-2011, 06:15 PM
See if you can get a piece of Butch's micarta. Durable and uniquely beautiful.

Pesky

Marko Tsourkan
06-17-2011, 06:21 PM
I need to select material that is readily available. How does stabilized wood fare in the pro kitchen?

M

mattrud
06-17-2011, 06:40 PM
Stabilized wood is no issue in the kitchen. I have really never had an issue with any wood handle in the pro setting as long as properly cared for.

El Pescador
06-17-2011, 07:19 PM
I like stabilized wood but g10/micarta is more durable.

Pesky

JohnnyChance
06-18-2011, 01:33 AM
No problems with any wood really, stabilized or not. I have some unstabilized ho wood handles and masur birch. Just some beeswax and oil and they have been fine.

I would much prefer a natural wood handle to a micarta or other synthetic material. I love the cocobolo/micarta handles Devin makes for the ITK, I just don't really care for the handles that are mostly synthetic.

Marko Tsourkan
06-18-2011, 09:24 AM
I was just wondering if there are any Health Department regulations that require certain materials not be uses in pro kitchen.

Natural material (wood and horn) are my favorites. I have a good supply of quality cocobolo. Excellent wood for handles.

M

goodchef1
06-18-2011, 12:46 PM
federal regulations have yet to create a guideline on knife handle material. On the State level, it probably varies a little throughout, but no handle restrictions.

OSHA would probably be the first to jump in on this and create some kind of guideline/restrictions if this gets to the point where a larger number people in commercial kitchens start customizing knife handles. :biggrin: