PDA

View Full Version : Lasers-can they be too thin?



Delbert Ealy
06-11-2011, 11:33 PM
The answer is yes, they can be as I found out with the knife I intended as a passaround knife and one of the others I recently made. These knives were ground even more thin than the one chazmtb had up for sale recently. I have been using the O-1 and L-6 damascus mix for more that 12 years now and I have become very adept at heat treating it, and even though the kitchen knives are harder than the knives I usually make, they are not as prone to chipping as many of the knives you are accustomed to using. Mine did not chip, but flexed along the edge and sprang back. I know that the fault that most commonly occurs when a new to kitchen knives knifemaker tries to make a kitchen knife the spine and or edge is too thick. I really want to pull hair every time I see a thread about thinning the bevels on a knife. So I have been grinding them thin, and thinner and thinner, and I went too far.
Dave sent the knives back to me, so thats why there are none of my knives currently for sale with him.
These knives are no lost cause however. I do full flat grinds, so that means I can take off a bit of that very thin edge to the point where it has a bit more support. So in a week or so you will see a few knives of mine that will have a slimmer profile(not as tall as usual). Please be assured that functionally there is not a thing wrong with these knives, it only showed up in the sharpening, and I am going to correct them, and once corrected sharpening will no longer be an issue. In addition, I will be doing some small handle modifications that have been suggested by several members.
In closing I will say that althoug I am a very experienced knifemaker, and my learning curve has been quick, it does not mean that I am incapable of the occasional error.
I respect honesty and after discussing this issue with Dave I decided to be open an honest about this issue.
Thanks to all those who have my knives, I haope they give you a lifetime of service.
Del

mc2442
06-11-2011, 11:39 PM
I think it was Salty who said (incredibly paraphrased) that if you can not say your true experiences, both good and bad, about the knives we use, then why have a forum at all.

It was about a thread that was treading the line about experience with something, and letting the maker correct the experience if it was out of line with the normal product.

Salty dog
06-11-2011, 11:42 PM
If you want to find the holy grail don't think flat. And thin is only as good as it functions.

Dave Martell
06-11-2011, 11:53 PM
In case anyone is wondering, Del gave me 3 knives to list for sale as well as sent out a passaround knife at the ECG. The passaround showed the first user an edge that wouldn't cut and was sent to me to check out. I was puzzled by how the edge flexed on the stones (not something you'd see from a thin Japanese knife - they probably would've snapped this thin). I checked the others and found the same so Del insisted that they be returned. Just to be clear here, Del did nothing wrong besides make the knives too thin - something that we've never heard of before, he simply pushed the boundaries until he found the line.

Del I commend you for being so positive in taking responsibility, taking action to make corrections, and then being so forthright to come on the forums like this and admit what you discovered. It's great on so many levels, it shows that you've got an open mind, you're honest, and humble - all traits that I admire in someone.

I have no doubt at all that this little stumble will only serve to make you an even better knifemaker and I can also say that we can all learn something from this.....I know I did.

JohnnyChance
06-12-2011, 12:51 AM
Well at least you know how thin is too thin now! Better than sticking your head in the sand and ignoring any issue. And I am glad you came forward an explained everything. Thanks Del and Dave.

tk59
06-12-2011, 03:43 AM
+1 on the flatness issue. With polished faces, food sticks like crazy once it's cut. With etched surfaces you get tons of drag from friction as opposed to suction. Thin is great until you don't have room to convex the face of the blade. Then performance drops pretty badly and I love thin knives, in general.

peterm
06-12-2011, 11:36 AM
That's a pretty honest assessment on your part Del. It's nice to see you're open to feedback and are working to continue making the perfect knife!
Peter

WildBoar
06-12-2011, 11:57 AM
It was an interesting thing -- the edge would easily bite into a finger nail, yet strugged penetrating into some food items (garlic and onion skins especially, when cutting off stem ends or halving in order to peel). Once the edge made it into the item it would slide through just like one would expect with such a thin knife. After having some cutting issues, I tried the three-finger test for chits and giggles (yeah, I know, not a real test), and the edge failed. And after that I slowly pulled the edge across the face of a finger nail, with the blade at about a 45 degree angle to the nail, and it bit right in. I then tried the hair shaving test, and had no love. So I suspect the initial cutting I tried may have rolled the edge a bit (although I could not detect it the way I test for a burr while sharpening).

It sounds like Del has a good understanding of the issue, and I'm really looking forward to trying out one of the 'fixed' blades :cool2:

goodchef1
06-12-2011, 12:57 PM
Super Dave, always looking out for the customer. I love "high standards" :biggrin:

All customs should go through you first!

Dave Martell
06-12-2011, 03:09 PM
Super Dave, always looking out for the customer. I love "high standards" :biggrin:

All customs should go through you first!


Thanks but it's easy for me to be like that when I know that the makers I deal with insist on it. :)

l r harner
06-12-2011, 07:24 PM
we are tring to build a custom maker base thats ok with making sure dave gives the thumbs up that way if you see it on daves site you know its good to go even sight un seen

EdipisReks
06-12-2011, 07:37 PM
it seems to me that finding out a knife can be too thin means that you are where you should be, regarding the knives that aren't quite too thin. :)

Eamon Burke
06-12-2011, 09:34 PM
You know, I often feel like the way you should salt a dish you make a lot is to keep putting salt into it until you can taste the salt, toss that one, and stop before it gets there. You want as much salt as you can use to wake up the flavors, but you never want to taste the salt!

I think it's the same with thinness, and it's great that you managed to do something I've never heard of! Now you can confidently say when a knife is ground "as thin as possible".

rockbox
06-13-2011, 12:42 AM
I guess I don't totally understand the issue. How can you not sharpen it if its too thin. Safety razors are as thin as thin can be and you can sharpen them. Are these blades thinner than that?

Delbert Ealy
06-13-2011, 01:19 AM
I guess I don't totally understand the issue. How can you not sharpen it if its too thin. Safety razors are as thin as thin can be and you can sharpen them. Are these blades thinner than that?

Actually they are thinner than that, by about two-thirds.
The issue is that sharpening with stones requires some pressure and the edge flexes, which makes it difficult to maintain a consistant angle.
I sharpened them with a belt and stropped them and that requires much less pressure, so in the excitement of preparing for the show I did not notice. My bad.
Del

Mike Davis
06-13-2011, 01:27 AM
This show's Delbert to be a stand up guy. There are some folks that would just let the criticism roll around and hope it is forgotten. To step up to the plate and take charge shows me that we are dealing with true professionals.

Mattias504
06-13-2011, 02:48 AM
I'm curious to see the "corrected" versions of these knives. God knows I love me a narrow gyuto.

Salty dog
06-13-2011, 10:49 AM
I don't have issues getting mine sharp. I'm a sectional guy and my fingers generally stay over the stone. One of my issues with the thinness is when cutting at a fast pace. I apply lateral pressure to the blade, so when the blade clears the product it naturally will run into my knuckle which is placed over the next cut. If the blade flexes too much it springs hard against my knuckle and affects the method. (And your chance of getting cut increases.) It's also harder to control. I like to know exactly where the knife is going and with a flexible knife it adds another factor to consider.

rockbox
06-13-2011, 12:59 PM
Actually they are thinner than that, by about two-thirds.
The issue is that sharpening with stones requires some pressure and the edge flexes, which makes it difficult to maintain a consistant angle.
I sharpened them with a belt and stropped them and that requires much less pressure, so in the excitement of preparing for the show I did not notice. My bad.
Del

Holy Moly!!! As Salty says, I could still probably sharpen it, but the flex when cutting would kill me. The suji I made is about .6 mm near the tip and it flexes a little too much for my liking. My knife and sharpening skills are mediocre.

Delbert Ealy
06-18-2011, 10:28 PM
I reprofiled these and also worked on the handles a bit, narrowed them down.

I also did some test cutting with everthing I could potatoes, onions, peppers, tomatoes, celery, sweet potatoes, bacon and cubing a round steak for stew. Oh and a cantaloupe, no twisting in the food and it still feels like a laser.

Pensacola Tiger
06-18-2011, 10:37 PM
That profile looks really nice, Del.

99Limited
06-18-2011, 10:38 PM
I think you nailed it. That handle is really thigh.

Delbert Ealy
06-18-2011, 10:45 PM
here is another one

mattrud
06-18-2011, 10:46 PM
Very Nice Del! Love the handle!

l r harner
06-18-2011, 11:13 PM
dell they look even faster then before and if they were longer they woudl be some kind of hybrid slicer chef knife. how tall are they at the heel ?

Delbert Ealy
06-18-2011, 11:34 PM
dell they look even faster then before and if they were longer they woudl be some kind of hybrid slicer chef knife. how tall are they at the heel ?
The first one is just a hair over 2 inches at the heel and the second one is right on 2 inches.

rockbox
06-18-2011, 11:48 PM
Most people find that the perfect height for a chef knife.

so_sleepy
06-19-2011, 12:32 AM
The height is just right at around 2 inches. Where is the balance point now that you removed some metal?

Delbert Ealy
06-19-2011, 12:44 AM
I thought I would post a pic of the handle comparison as well as the original blade and the reprofiled one(the lower one for both pics).

Delbert Ealy
06-19-2011, 12:49 AM
The height is just right at around 2 inches. Where is the balance point now that you removed some metal?

Part of the reason for reworking the handles was to adjust the balance point back to the original point, which was right ahead of the bolster. Part of the reason is that they were a bit fat at the bolster.

Mike Davis
06-19-2011, 12:59 AM
Those look great! I cant wait to check out some new ones in hand!

JohnnyChance
06-19-2011, 01:23 AM
Those handles look great. My top 2 favorite handles of yours so far.

Dave Martell
06-19-2011, 03:23 PM
Del, they look sexier than ever!

El Pescador
06-19-2011, 11:36 PM
These are amazing! I love the profile. Can't wait for mine!
Pesky

WildBoar
06-20-2011, 03:05 PM
:headbang: That looks, great, Del! Now when do I get the pass-around? :bat:

El Pescador
06-20-2011, 07:41 PM
What are the woods in those handles? Do you have more pictures?

Pesky

Burl Source
06-21-2011, 05:24 PM
What are the woods in those handles? Do you have more pictures?

Pesky

It looks to me like buckeye burl, redwood burl and maple burl.
I would like to see more photos as well.
Somebody drag Delbert away from the forge and get him to take more photos.

Delbert Ealy
06-22-2011, 01:34 PM
You were close Mark, the first one is amboynia and buckeye, and the second is buckeye and redwood.
I have a few more in progress that I hope to have pics of tonight. In the meantime, african blackwood and maple burl.

Dave Martell
06-22-2011, 01:52 PM
In the meantime, african blackwood and maple burl.


Oooooo....I likeeee! :)

JohnnyChance
07-01-2011, 03:52 AM
For those wondering how thin we are talkin here:

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-nWVNynuzSU8/Tg1uB9X3aWI/AAAAAAAAAu0/5swiCF9c1zU/s800/IMG_0603.JPG

~0.35mm thick 11mm behind the edge at the heel. And this was after Del fixed it.

El Pescador
07-01-2011, 04:38 AM
MORE PICS JOHNNY!

SpikeC
07-01-2011, 01:34 PM
Whoa!

Eamon Burke
07-01-2011, 02:19 PM
Hey you've got a record-setting wire edge on there.

WAITAMINUTE! :eek2:

UglyJoe
07-01-2011, 02:28 PM
That's ridiculous. I don't think you'd ever have to use anything but a 5-6k stone on that. Even then you'd have to be careful to grind it evenly or you'd change the profile. An experts knife, but if you know what you are doing I bet it's out of this world.

Delbert Ealy
07-01-2011, 03:09 PM
Joe,
This is exactly what my interpretation of what you guys have been asking for when you talk about lasers. Yes it would be advisable to sharpen this knife with a high grit stone and not with a lot of pressure. I have been working with this steel mix for over 10 years now and I know how far I can push it. When it comes to performance its amazing. I used the passaround knife for a day in my own kitchen, to guage the slimmer profile, and WOW. It went right through a cantalope seeds and all with hardly any pressure at all and no wedging either. I also modified the handle a bit, slimmed it down at the bolster. These knives are top notch right now, and there, at this moment, seems only one issue that has been brought up that I have not yet addressed, that is of convex bevels. This will be something I will be working on in the near future.
Thanks to all of you for sharing your knowledge with me and helping me improve.
Del

JohnnyChance
07-01-2011, 03:18 PM
I didn't realize this when looked at every single picture of your knives you have posted, or handling them at ECG, or for the first day I had mine. You have no maker's mark on the blade (or handle I suppose). You have a pretty distinctive style and I could easily pick one out of a line up, but any reason you don't have your name on these bad boys?

UglyJoe
07-01-2011, 03:29 PM
Joe,
This is exactly what my interpretation of what you guys have been asking for when you talk about lasers. Yes it would be advisable to sharpen this knife with a high grit stone and not with a lot of pressure. I have been working with this steel mix for over 10 years now and I know how far I can push it. When it comes to performance its amazing. I used the passaround knife for a day in my own kitchen, to guage the slimmer profile, and WOW. It went right through a cantalope seeds and all with hardly any pressure at all and no wedging either. I also modified the handle a bit, slimmed it down at the bolster. These knives are top notch right now, and there, at this moment, seems only one issue that has been brought up that I have not yet addressed, that is of convex bevels. This will be something I will be working on in the near future.
Thanks to all of you for sharing your knowledge with me and helping me improve.
Del

In case it came across that way, there was no intent of criticism in my post. I love the knives. You've somehow hit on that rare thing where your knives are distinct and instantly recognizable and yet still meet all the criteria that we judge a good knife on. It's a great accomplishment and something you should be really proud of. I wish I had the funds to afford one!

On the convex issue. This is a really personal thing (some people love thin knives with flat grinds, some people love convex grinds and thicker knives). I don't know if it would be possible to grind a knife convex and keep it as thin as you like your knives to be - though if you pulled that off it would be pretty amazing! But IMO this falls into the "there's no perfect knife that everyone who uses it will like every attribute of" deal. People that typically like convex knives like them because they want a heavier, thicker blade but they don't want wedging. Convexing helps with that. For knives ground as thin as yours, I'm not sure convexing will have much benefit... but then, what do I know! I'm looking forward to the results you get when you start playing around with a convex grind!

Delbert Ealy
07-01-2011, 05:01 PM
I didn't realize this when looked at every single picture of your knives you have posted, or handling them at ECG, or for the first day I had mine. You have no maker's mark on the blade (or handle I suppose). You have a pretty distinctive style and I could easily pick one out of a line up, but any reason you don't have your name on these bad boys?

Johnny,
There is a reason, when I moved from my old shop to my new one a couple of years ago, my etching machine got lost in the shuffle.
I was working on a new mark, a stamp this time, and have it finished, but not yet ordered. Then a week ago a friend came up with a shiny new idea, which I am working on now.
I really didn't want to hold up the process for these past few months, and I like you believe that my knives have a very distinctive style, which sets them apart.
Del

Delbert Ealy
07-01-2011, 05:05 PM
Joe,
I was glad for your post, I didn't take it as criticism.
As far as the convex grinding goes, a little convex goes a long way.
Thanks for the compliments,
Del

Dave Martell
07-05-2011, 12:56 PM
For those wondering how thin we are talkin here:

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-nWVNynuzSU8/Tg1uB9X3aWI/AAAAAAAAAu0/5swiCF9c1zU/s800/IMG_0603.JPG

~0.35mm thick 11mm behind the edge at the heel. And this was after Del fixed it.


This picture really tells the story of what Del can do with grinding, he has amazing skill.

WildBoar
07-05-2011, 06:07 PM
The passaround gyuto has been falling through a few tomatoes and onions over the last week :)

Delbert Ealy
07-06-2011, 03:20 PM
I want to thank Johnnychance for buying one of the modified gyutos, and especially for the wonderful conversation I had with him today. He has helped my understanding of the last few touches I need to make the perfect knife. I now have the understanding of the convexing that has been brought up and I will definately be working on that for knives in the future.
Thanks again,
Del

EdipisReks
07-06-2011, 08:50 PM
holy. flippin'. @#$&!. when does the pass around hit me? i can't wait to try something like that!

Delbert Ealy
07-06-2011, 09:00 PM
I will post a list soon, I have been a bit remiss with that. Its going to Jim next.
Thanks,
Del

El Pescador
07-07-2011, 11:35 PM
Good deal Del...I really want to see what it can do.

WildBoar
07-08-2011, 01:16 PM
It's in USPS's hands right now, and should be to Jim on Monday. I will post my review tonight or on Saturday. I was sad to see it go, especially since it wanted to play with Pierre's Damasteel pass-around :)

El Pescador
07-08-2011, 02:46 PM
Can't wait to see this review Wildboar. Del has been working on perfecting his knives and it wi be interesting on how it stacks up against other custom manufacturers.

Pesky