View Full Version : RBB Gyuto

09-25-2011, 06:08 PM
This thread is long overdue, but have had too much on recently.

It's kind of a show and tell for my newest Gyuto-a 270mm ish damascus made by Will Catcheside (Raisedbybrocks) that was made during a long weekend i spent at his workshop.

After a bit of planning i was fortunate to be able to spend a weekend at Will's workshop a month ago, of which the product was a Sujihiki, currently winging it's way to the states for a passaround, and a Gyuto which has pride of place on my new Knife rack-more on which later.

Will has come to making Kitchen knives relatively recently but has a lot of experience blacksmithing. I was able to pick up a Santoku style knife that he made on another forum, after i had been looking for a domestic (UK) maker of Kitchen Knives. After using the Santoku for a bit i custom ordered a Petty from him in his Damascus, which is another stunning knife.
sachem allison on this forum has a similar version of this knife:

Will was showing a bit of talent for this knife making malarkey, but not having a set of knives to look at to see first hand different profiles/grinds/geometries the learning curve to start making knives that had a profile/grind/geometry to fully utilise this skill may have been a longer learning curve. In no way denigrating Will, just trying to make my input into the weekend seem more worthwhile :D

So i packed up a case with knives and boarded a train. In the UK there does not appear to be a day that goes past in which there is not some media story about the horrors of knife crime, so i had everything firmly crossed that i would not be subject to a stop and search by the police-having around 30 knives on me, without being a chef, may have needed some explaining.

So back to the Gyuto, during the weekend we made up a billet of damascus, forged it out, fullered to give some pattern, and then forged roughly to profile.

The thought initially was to make 2 gyutos, but crazy ambition stepped in and there was a desire to make a long sujihiki as well so we settled on 1 of each.
The gyuto was modelled along the same lines of my DT ITK and Takamura, with a flat spot at the heel and a flattish sweet spot near the tip.
The intention was to have knife thin behind the edge to give it laser like performance and a compound grind on the blade face to hopefully give the performance associated with convexity and the ablity to retain some thickness down the spine to give rigidity.

During the 2 days we were able to get the Gyuto ground to the point where it could be hand finished, though the suji had only been ground to shape without the faces finished.

Having the ability to hold a knife whilst it is being made and to tweak it with a little off here, or flatten this section here, or careful not to raise the tip to high truly makes this a custom knife.

When i got home i spent a number of long tedious hours hand finishing the knife. A combination of HARD steel and my distinctly average quality abrasive paper made this a time consuming process. There were some 36g scratches in it from the belt grinder as well which taunted me mercilessly.

Once hand rubbed to an 800g ish finish i started to etch it. This was the first knife i had etched and involved getting myself some Ferric Chloride. After quite a bit of chat with Will, who had raced through with the Suji and was also at the etching stage, it was found that the steels we had used weren't as contrasty as to be expected, and so a series of short etches with dilute solution were used to try and get the best result.

I am very pleased with the pattern, it is clear but subtle, and gives it a sense of understated elegance.
Whilst i had the etch out i gave my Hattori HDs a once over which brought the pattern back to better than new-Cheers Dave for the thread over on ITK which gave me the reassurance to give it a try.

Post etch i sharpened it up, giving it a shallow relief bevel-roughed in with an Edge pro apex at it's shallowest setting ( i always sharpen freehand, but having just spent time getting the edge how i wanted and the shallowness of the bevel i wanted to put on i didn't trust myself not to wobble and mess up the pattern......

A quick microbevel -freehand :) followed by stroppping and the knife was shaving sharp, passing HHT and pushing through tomatoes faultlessly. Couldn't quite get it to TK sharp-Salty's vid of it going through a tomato under it's own weight is still a target i will need to practice practice practice for.

The handle was some stabilized redwood that Will had from Burlsource, with some blackwood for a ferrule. First time i have worked with stabilized wood-it's strange stuff compared to what i'm used to and took it's toll on my plane blade..... a lot of sharpenings :(

So the end result is a 270 ish Gyuto. Laser thin yet satisfyingly rigid. with a profile that is as good a fit to my cutting style as i could have hoped for. With a pattern that stands out for it's subtleness, and an edge that will get sharp and stay sharp.

I've been using it for nearly a month now and it has been my go to knife when i'm doing some proper cooking, i have a habit of chaning my go to knife when i get a new one-previously it was my RBB petty which still gets used for anything small, but any excuse to pull this one down and i take it :D

I'll try and get the time to make some vids of it in action, but i have 7 weeks to find a new job so am spending most of my job hunting...

Here are some pics:
Starting stack
Roughed out
Profile ground
starting face grind
blended bevel
Edge to edge with ITK
Spine to spine with ITK
Heel shot-ITK
Heel shot RBB
Heel shot-side by side
Damascus pattern with a bit of Onion related patina

And up on my new rack, which may get it's own thread- homemade 1.6 metre long Walnut with embedded rare earth magnets set below the surface of the wood. Still some globals in the set for when other people cook, but slowly on their way out...





And a making of vid from the weekend:


Andrew H
09-25-2011, 06:13 PM
Very nice looking knife, thanks for posting TB.

Gotta love someone who has a plastic handled knife on the same rack as a Hattori KD :razz:

09-25-2011, 06:15 PM
Is that a KD? Cant be too many people in Blighty with one of those

09-25-2011, 06:45 PM
What a collection, nice KD.

09-25-2011, 07:39 PM
Haha, first thing I noticed was the KD. I wish I had bought one when I had the chance.

09-25-2011, 08:55 PM
first thing i noticed was the Western handled Shigefusa, but that's just how i roll. really damn nice collection, and a nice looking knife!

09-26-2011, 03:19 AM
Cheers, it is a really good knife and my first gyuto that could fit into the laser category.

Interesting you noticed the plastic handled knife, it's a Swibo. It was my father's and my first experience of a sharp knife, I remember drying it around 23-24 years ago and it slicing through the tea towel and into my finger without me really noticing. He was a wood worker and used his oilstones to keep an edge on it. Parents split and I lost contact with him, spent a lot of time looking for him in my 20s but was always at least one step behind, I traced him to the US and felt like I was getting close but then had a call from a lawyer to say that he had passed away the week before. That was around 4 years ago and the knife is one of the few things I have from his estate. If the flat was on fire and I could only rescue one knife it would probably be that one over the KD. I love the KD but it's only a 210 and the Swibo is a 270 :)

09-26-2011, 04:59 AM
Tom, I'm very proud to see my work up there with your fabulous collection. It was a great weekend. Your always welcome to visit. Good luck with the job hunting.

09-26-2011, 06:50 AM
first thing i noticed was the Western handled Shigefusa, but that's just how i roll. really damn nice collection, and a nice looking knife!

+1...A rehandled western shigi!! What a PITA to rehandle.Very nice hoard you have:thumbsup:

09-26-2011, 11:13 AM
The shig was Adam's, and he did the rehandle as an extra when I bought it off him. It really is a beautiful handle that goes in and out in all the right places. This was another thread I intended to post to properly show off the quality of his work but it slipped off my to do list. It's still building a patina again after I somewhat foolishly removed the first one it had built. Need to start eating more big hunks of meat.....
Still building up to my first western rehandle, my sfgz carters are begging for some nice wood :D

I have everyone on this forum to thank/blame for this too, the amount of freely shared knowledge, techniques and skill is something I can only hope to emulate. I feel I could ask any question and get a well thought out answer, the only problem is thinking of new questions, the archives are immense at the old ITK, and are quickly growing here.

09-27-2011, 07:00 AM
nice collection!
what's that one just after the global bread knife?

09-27-2011, 07:26 AM
great looking knife.
On the heel shot side by side with the ITK, it looks like the knife has uneven edge, it has a bit of a frown , is that an optical illusion?

09-27-2011, 09:48 AM
@ Wenus 2
To the left of the global is a 10($15ish) Japanese steel slicer that the seller said they picked up in Japan, I bought it of curiosity-no one else bid as there were no pics, only just arrived and need to pit it to the stones before I try it.
To the right is another of Will's knives, a petty that I sketched out and Will made, en42 and 15n20 Damascus, with a mallee burl handle. It's a really nice knife, thin, the profile was as I wanted with plenty of flat, and is super light and nimble.

The dip in the edge I'm guessing is an illusion, I'm at work now but it definitely hits the board flat along it's length. If there is any wobble it will have been me over sharpening the centre but I really don't think I would have... At work ATM or I'd have run out and grabbed it and my granite plate to check....
I'll check when I get home tonight but certainly when I first had it the edge was straight and true, spent time during the making ensuring it would be and that slight doubt I have from looking at the pics on my phone is going to aggravate my OCD til I get home now lol, the only different thing I did to sharpen it was to initially set a shallow bevel with the ep apex, if I've messed it up with that, the ep's only purpose has been removed......

09-28-2011, 01:00 AM
Damn... nice collection. That Knife you made is damn sexy dude, congrats.

09-28-2011, 08:41 AM
To the right is another of Will's knives, a petty that I sketched out and Will made, en42 and 15n20 Damascus, with a mallee burl handle. It's a really nice knife, thin, the profile was as I wanted with plenty of flat, and is super light and nimble.

It's a curious little thing, super flat. Has an oddly attractive shape though, that's a pretty cool one to own.

09-28-2011, 02:08 PM
It's a curious little thing, super flat. Has an oddly attractive shape though, that's a pretty cool one to own.

Pic with some measurements of the petty if you're interested


Need to do one of these for the Gyuto when i get a chance