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Bill Burke
12-01-2011, 12:59 PM
The midtech Idea has kind of taken over the pass around thread so I decided to start this one.

since many of you seem to be asking about midtech I thought that I would let every one know my ideas. First there are some great people out there patiently waiting for their customs. THANK YOU GUYS. Be sure that I will not forget you. Second I will not get into doing orders for midtechs If need be They will be raffled if not they will just be sold first come first served. I will notify every one one the boards when a batch is finished and give ao long for everyone to jump into the pool then the knives will be sold. if anyone has a better idea for fair distribution I would love to hear it.

The knives will be water jet cut and possibly comercially heat treated I am also looking at having the rough grinding done, but worry that this will move these knives more into the production area instead of the mid tech area. the handles will be purchased from an outside source. I will then do the grinding either all of it or just the finish to get a convex blade and a sharp edge and then a machine hand rubbed finish will be put on the blades and then they will be assembled and sharpened. I plan on only doing batches of 25 every three months.

Erik "Shrek" Fritz
12-01-2011, 05:36 PM
Bill I think it is a heckuva Idea. Haveing had a table near you at a few shows your Kitchen knives garner so much interest that I don't see how it could go wrong.

Bill Burke
12-01-2011, 07:59 PM
thanks Erik

tk59
12-02-2011, 12:37 AM
After thinking about it, I think I want a Burke because the knives are pretty much legendary and you do your HT differently than everyone else. I'm not sure I'd really think of these as Burkes, per se.

Aphex
12-02-2011, 02:20 AM
I would worry about shipping out the blades for HT. The reason why i first heard of you was because of your superior HT of 52100. I'm still interseted though.

Bill Burke
12-02-2011, 11:33 AM
I would worry about shipping out the blades for HT. The reason why i first heard of you was because of your superior HT of 52100. I'm still interseted though.

I am still going to make Hand forged full customs for anyone who wants one. I am thinking about the midtech's more as a bridge to a full on custom that a replacement for them.

Eamon Burke
12-02-2011, 05:34 PM
That's a great idea. There are folks that want the full Bill Burke experience, and the joy of having a knife made with/by you personally, and a mid-tech knife should and will never replace that. Luckily, Mr. Burke, you are in a class of craftsman that can't be beaten out by a machine, so there will always be a market for both.

Bill Burke
12-02-2011, 11:53 PM
thanks Eamon.

tk59
12-03-2011, 12:12 AM
...Luckily, Mr. Burke, you are in a class of craftsman that can't be beaten out by a machine, so there will always be a market for both.Haha. You are certainly in the running for brownest nose.

Eamon Burke
12-03-2011, 01:07 AM
Well I'm certainly not one to decide that I have the right to condescend to a collection of craftsman with over a century of combined experience in a high performance, specialized field just because I am standing in the room.

But the point I was making was that Mr. Burke here can make and HT a knife a damn sight better than a Japanese Robot, and the market for the two will never overlap.

Chef Niloc
12-03-2011, 04:04 AM
I think this is a great idea as it puts a Burke with in buying range of the working chef!

So let's brake down what makes a Burke the Best.
1 skillfully forged to shape blade.

Best convex ground knife in the world! True talent, gift from the gods that no machine can replicate.

Superior heat treat, again talent and skill

Great geometry, ultra thin without compromising strength

Looks! This one is in the eye of the beholder but this beholder thinks that this is the biggest " edge" that Bill holds over other top end makers. I have handled top $$ Kramers and side by side Bill makes a better looking blade. Top that with superior edge retention. My Burke vs Kramer round 2 review is long over do. This time it's two chef knives side by side and It's apparent Bill has learned a few more tricks since he made my suji.

So now let's see what you get in a mid tec:

Still the Burke grind, we may louse that forged to shape magic but it's a needed loss to keep the blade affordable. I for one don't think much will be loosed by the water jet cut blanks.

Custom heat treat. I might not be sold on this loss but as lone as Bill hand picks his out source heat treat to his specks ( triple quench ext) I think ther may...I sad may not be that big a deference. Bill will still inspect and test the blades for proper heat treatv( I think) . Farming this step out rather then having to heat treat each blade one at a time is a big time saver.

Looks, big loss but hell you got to save something for those of us that are lucky to have a custom. I for one would like to see a concealed tang western handle on these. I have a few ideas for this that I will be running by Bill. One involves a sheep horn looking micarta.

Last comment is on the first come first serve or lottery method of sealing these.
First come first serve sounds like the best way, but maybe do a lottery for the 2nd batch? Also note that the #13's belong to me, no arguments on this one.

Keeping a few blade blanks to do a more custom knife I.e custom handle, you grinde and heat treat might be a nice way to go for a mid tec + knife. Maybe do 1- 3 knives this way per batch and auction them? #1, 13, and 25 come to mind

oivind_dahle
12-03-2011, 04:14 AM
Mr. Burke here can make and HT a knife a damn sight better than a Japanese Robot, and the market for the two will never overlap.

I have to agree

Ive been thinking about this project for a couple of days. Its easy to get carried away with enthusiasm for Bill and this project, however Im more and more concerned about it. First of I would like to say that I admire Bill and his skills, but going into midtech, is not any longer supported by me.

First off:
There are more and more makers jumping in an doing "kitchenknives", and of the 20-30 I have seen joining in just this year, I have to say that maybe one will become great. Bill is maybe one of the best knife makers that is. So competition is rising, cause a lot of people will ask them self why a mass-produced when I can get a custom to same price. We also know japanese knives are getting more popular, and the truth is that they are very good. Mizuno, Konesuke, Masamoto and others will make knives that probably will outperform most midtechs made in us.

We also Know Mark at C K T G, got something going on. Soon we will se Devins Bubblewrap damascus in his own chef line for 400-500 USD, and that is a real midtheck killer...

This forum is small, and the mass marked is however outside the forum.



Secondly:

How will this mid tech line affect your customers Bill?
I know you make like 50 knives a year, some kitchen knives but also outdoor knives like hunters and bowies. Would you offer midtch bowies and hunters? Why would you offer mid tech kitchen knives while you not offer the same on other areas?



Bill, before doing this I really would like to say that your concept must be well thought of. Please do a SOFT analyze, and consider your customers.

Chef Niloc
12-03-2011, 12:49 PM
I have to agree

Ive been thinking about this project for a couple of days. Its easy to get carried away with enthusiasm for Bill and this project, however Im more and more concerned about it. First of I would like to say that I admire Bill and his skills, but going into midtech, is not any longer supported by me.

First off:
There are more and more makers jumping in an doing "kitchenknives", and of the 20-30 I have seen joining in just this year, I have to say that maybe one will become great. Bill is maybe one of the best knife makers that is. So competition is rising, cause a lot of people will ask them self why a mass-produced when I can get a custom to same price. We also know japanese knives are getting more popular, and the truth is that they are very good. Mizuno, Konesuke, Masamoto and others will make knives that probably will outperform most midtechs made in us.

We also Know Mark at C K T G, got something going on. Soon we will se Devins Bubblewrap damascus in his own chef line for 400-500 USD, and that is a real midtheck killer...

This forum is small, and the mass marked is however outside the forum.



Secondly:

How will this mid tech line affect your customers Bill?
I know you make like 50 knives a year, some kitchen knives but also outdoor knives like hunters and bowies. Would you offer midtch bowies and hunters? Why would you offer mid tech kitchen knives while you not offer the same on other areas?



Bill, before doing this I really would like to say that your concept must be well thought of. Please do a SOFT analyze, and consider your customers.

I can think of a few.

Reach a market that can't afford his customs.

Let's say it takes Bill 100 hours to do a full custom. He works 10 hours a day 7 days a week on that knife that's 10 days to make one knife. 3000 knife/ 10days 300 a day or 30 a hour. If bill can finish let's say 25 knives in a week at 400 a knife that's 10k. 10K / 7 days = 1428 a day or 142.00 a hour, big pay rase!

Bill sales more knives/ makes mor money a year he can get out of the mines and go back to making knives full time. So that would give him more time to make customs

Chef Niloc
12-03-2011, 12:54 PM
We also Know Mark at C K T G, got something going on. Soon we will se Devins Bubblewrap damascus in his own chef line for 400-500 USD, and that is a real midtheck killer...

That knife will be made by lamson, don't care what steel you use still a lamson factory knife. Bill can poop out knives made from old beer cans better then those knives will ever be.

Chef Niloc
12-03-2011, 01:01 PM
How will this mid tech line affect your customers Bill?
I know you make like 50 knives a year, some kitchen knives but also outdoor knives like hunters and bowies. Would you offer midtch bowies and hunters? Why would you offer mid tech kitchen knives while you not offer the same on other areas?

First: good idea, I'd go for a mid tec pronghorn (:
2nd: sad to say but I would say maybe 1 in 100 knives bill makes gets used, rest just sit in a collectors display box. Very sad to here of knives not being used );
Most knife makers want there knives used, if not they would call them selves sculptors.

memorael
12-03-2011, 01:45 PM
I am down for any knife that performs as well as a full custom at a more accessible price. It's really a good deal if you ask me, as I have mentioned before I think the only real deal breaker would be quality control as in I want to have the custom maker check every knife that leaves with his name stamped on it which should take him maybe 5 min? that's still a lot of steel going out and making more people enjoy an excellent knife.

One day I am going to get the Burke extravaganza, until that day comes I can't wait for his midtechs.

kalaeb
12-03-2011, 02:04 PM
I am down regardless.

WildBoar
12-03-2011, 05:25 PM
I think it's worthwhile. I'm looking forward to hearing about the process once it's underway, and I'll be happy to play with a pass-around copy -- but I'll need a full custom Burke as well for camparison! :groucho:

Andrew H
12-03-2011, 05:35 PM
I think it's worthwhile. I'm looking forward to hearing about the process once it's underway, and I'll be happy to play with a pass-around copy -- but I'll need a full custom Burke as well for compensation! :groucho:

Fixed that for you.

Cipcich
12-04-2011, 05:08 AM
That knife will be made by lamson, don't care what steel you use still a lamson factory knife. Bill can poop out knives made from old beer cans better then those knives will ever be.
Maybe so, but will it make a difference? Apparently, there are a lot of people willing to buy German knives because they come with a pin made by Bob Kramer, and a piece of paper that says it's OK.
Slap on some DT bubble-wrap damascus and you could probably sell tin foil to that crowd.

Lefty
12-04-2011, 05:54 PM
There's a big difference between Zwilling Kramers (which are apparently great knives anyways) and a midtech by Bill, Pierre, or Devin. As far as I know, the final grind (most important part of the knife, besides perhaps a good, properly treated steel) is done BY THE MAKER. a machine can cut out a shape chosen by the maker, and it can be batch HT'd in a factory somewhere, as long as the steel passes the QC by the maker and the real work is done by him. To save a couple hundred bucks, I really can't see the issue people have with mid-techs.

Timthebeaver
12-04-2011, 06:01 PM
a machine can cut out a shape chosen by the maker, and it can be batch HT'd in a factory somewhere, as long as the steel passes the QC by the maker and the real work is done by him. To save a couple hundred bucks, I really can't see the issue people have with mid-techs.

^ This. For stock removal knives, why on earth should cutting out the shape matter?. And if the HT passes muster, why not?

mc2442
12-04-2011, 06:09 PM
I liked "machine hand rubbed finish"

mdoublestack
12-05-2011, 04:23 AM
I have been interested in Bill's knives for a long time, however, as a simple chef, I cannot afford one. I would be very interested in what the midtech would produce.

oivind_dahle
12-05-2011, 08:18 AM
So Bill, any more news on your project?
What will you do yourself, what you gonna outsource to others?

Will the profile be identical to your customs?
Will it include the "ms" stamp or your signature, gonna go for a stamp of your name on these?
Can customer upgrade the handle?

l r harner
12-05-2011, 08:27 AM
last time i talked to a MS a blade not forged or not finished by the maker is not to get theMS stamp (not sure if thats still the case )

oivind_dahle
12-05-2011, 08:35 AM
Thanks for info :)
btw; found this video of Bill on the web:
http://www.king5.com/on-tv/evening-magazine/Every-chef-needs-a-sharp-knife-107273454.html

I forge it like a campfire. Eveybody sits around, they stare into the campfire and you could see every dream you ever had in that fire...
Words of wisdom <3<3

Bill Burke
12-05-2011, 10:54 AM
So Bill, any more news on your project?
What will you do yourself, what you gonna outsource to others?

Will the profile be identical to your customs?
Will it include the "ms" stamp or your signature, gonna go for a stamp of your name on these?
Can customer upgrade the handle?

I plan on using the same patterns that I use for my customs, But since I forge my customs each one ends up a little different. No M.S. stamp. to start with all handles/knives will be the same. I am going to try the custom heat treat and see what the results are, plan on doing this before having a bunch done. Like Butch said I plan on getting the rough pre heat treat grinding done. I will finish grind the blades test for edge holding etc and assemble the knives. Mark will also be different. Probably just:


Bill Burke
52100
# xx 20xx

jmforge
12-06-2011, 03:36 AM
To me, the "mid tech" route would be very appealing for kitchen knives made from stainless. I'm not going to forge them anyway, so why not have them waterjet blanked? Likewise, I am not comfortable having a big Dewar flask full of nitrogen in my current sauna of a shop because it would probably evaporate much to quickly. If I could make knives of say AEB-L or CTS-XHP and have someone like Peters heat treat and cryo the blades after they are blanked, I might be able to get them into folks hands for a bit less than if I had to buy what would essentially be a whole new setup for heat treating stainless. I would rather spend that money on gear for doing my forged blades and damascus, like a rolling mill or high temp salt pots. Realistically, i could say the same thing about kitchen knives made from W2. Maybe I should buy some of Aldo's "skinny" .103 W-2 instead of using my finite supply of Don Hanson round bar, at least for non-integral kitchen knives. Remember also that a lot of damascus blades are NOT completely forged to shape so as not to disrupt the pattern.. Ladder pattern is a good example. I forged my "blanks" to a general shape before i laddered them, but once they were done and the ridges were ground ays, it was all basic stock removal because pressed ladders go all the way through the billet. The same with Turkish twist. You can do the "fish mouth" tip to bring the bars together, but much of the shaping of the bevels, etc. is still going to be stock removal.
yes, Bill has spent a lot of years tweaking his heat treat on 52100, but from what you guys are saying, the thing that makes his kitchen knives special are the grinds. he could just as easily do that with W2, Cru Forge, AEB-L or XHP if he chose to take the time to learn each new steel. IMO, "mid tech" knives of the type that Billis talking about (as opposed to the pure "factory" stuff that comes back to the shop merely to have G-10 scales or paracord attached and sharpened) are different from say the carbon Zwilling Kramers if for no other reason than the knifemaker is still directly involved in the entire process, even for the steps that are being outsourced.

bprescot
12-06-2011, 03:20 PM
What gets a bit lost in conversations about heat treat and farming is the fact that beyond Bill's skill I also trust him as a craftsman. If he gets back HT samples, thoroughly analyzes them and says that they're good enough, I will trust that they are good enough. I may not be buying a full-on custom Bill Burke, but I am buying a knife that the same man substantially (VERY substantially) contributed to and feels confident enough in to give his name. This isn't a Kramer by zwilling or Shun. Bill will (at least at first and maybe forever after) be far FAR more involved. At the end of the day, my interest in a mid-tech will be directly proportional to the extent to which the craftsmen was involved and my personal value judgement of their integrity and dedication to craft. If I trust that the latter two are there, I could care less who HT'd it provided that they themselves feel that it's a quality HT and a quality product.

Just my $.02

EDIT: And for the record, I would trust Bill.

oivind_dahle
12-06-2011, 05:06 PM
I trust Bill as well :)

My experience with Bill has only been pure pleasure. He is honest, he is gentle and one of the few people I have met that won't deliver a second.

jmforge
12-07-2011, 12:27 AM
That is what the ABS would prefer, but i think that it may still be a bit of an "honor system"
last time i talked to a MS a blade not forged or not finished by the maker is not to get theMS stamp (not sure if thats still the case )

Bill Burke
12-09-2011, 12:53 PM
hello every one from the rocky mountains. I am still at the mine so will keep this short. Since I will not be hitting these knives while they are hot they will not recieve the MS stamp.

l r harner
01-04-2012, 10:56 PM
hi Bill any new updates

bcrano
01-04-2012, 11:03 PM
When and where are these going to be available? Did I miss it?

Bill Burke
01-05-2012, 12:43 AM
I wil have a couple at the ABS EXPO in San'Antonio the end of this month. these will prototypes and will be more custom than mid tech. Right now I have a 240 mm gyoto and a 88mm petty, if all goes well I will have a 180mm slicer to go with the other two. I did a bunch of cold forging on the 240mm gyoto then thermal cycled it a few times above and below critical the a spherodizing aneal and a triple quench. I am going to sharpen and do some test cutting tomorrow. Also going to have a killer damascus 210mm gyoto laser there as well as the 210mm Tamahagane yanagiba and a couple of other kitchen type knives as well as a couple of hunters. I have the sheet 52100 in hand now for the midtech's just got to get my patterns drawn up in cad and take everything to the water jet guy.

tk59
01-05-2012, 01:53 AM
Sounds like somebody might get lucky in SA. :)

Eamon Burke
01-05-2012, 01:59 AM
I wil have a couple at the ABS EXPO in San'Antonio the end of this month.

Just put in a word with the spouse. I'm tentatively going to this. All it would cost me is a day off work and a tank and a half of gas.

Chef Niloc
01-05-2012, 03:26 AM
Just put in a word with the spouse. I'm tentatively going to this. All it would cost me is a day off work and a tank and a half of gas.

And 1+k in knives

ecchef
01-05-2012, 04:04 AM
And 1+k in knives

:2thumbsup:

oivind_dahle
01-05-2012, 05:30 AM
What will the pricing be on these knives?

Eamon Burke
01-05-2012, 11:43 AM
And 1+k in knives

Lol not unless someone gives me a few grand to but them a knife. I'm moving this month.

Is that kind of thing allowed, actually? Do they all go to auction? If it is, I'd totally be a proxy.

Bill Burke
01-05-2012, 11:56 AM
It would be great to meet you face to face. There will be an auction at the banquet but only for items donated to support the ABS. Most of the knives in the room will be a first come first serve kind of thing. There will be a preview time where no selling will be allowed. This lets everyone look around and see if there is something that they really want. If there is a lot of "want " for a makers knife he may do a raffle drawing for it/them but most don't. As far as I know proxy buying is no problem and has never even been mentioned.


Lol not unless someone gives me a few grand to but them a knife. I'm moving this month.

Is that kind of thing allowed, actually? Do they all go to auction? If it is, I'd totally be a proxy.

Eamon Burke
01-05-2012, 01:11 PM
Sweet! Who wants a Burke from another Burke?

jmforge
01-06-2012, 05:12 PM
I wil have a couple at the ABS EXPO in San'Antonio the end of this month. these will prototypes and will be more custom than mid tech. Right now I have a 240 mm gyoto and a 88mm petty, if all goes well I will have a 180mm slicer to go with the other two. I did a bunch of cold forging on the 240mm gyoto then thermal cycled it a few times above and below critical the a spherodizing aneal and a triple quench. I am going to sharpen and do some test cutting tomorrow. Also going to have a killer damascus 210mm gyoto laser there as well as the 210mm Tamahagane yanagiba and a couple of other kitchen type knives as well as a couple of hunters. I have the sheet 52100 in hand now for the midtech's just got to get my patterns drawn up in cad and take everything to the water jet guy.Bill, what size and thickness sheet of 52100 were you able to score and more importantly, where did you find it?:D

Bill Burke
01-06-2012, 11:28 PM
I was able to obtain some 1/8th inch from sheffield supply. it come in 6inch wide and three feet long. seems to work good so far.


Bill, what size and thickness sheet of 52100 were you able to score and more importantly, where did you find it?:D

Bryan G.
01-07-2012, 12:44 AM
I think the Mid Tech Burke is a horrible idea because it would put it in a range I might end up buying one! After seeing Colin's suji Bill has been at the very top of my list but can't afford a 1k+ knife even if I could get in on one ... at mid tech pricing and availability the wife and I might have to have a conversation or two. Please no one keep me informed about this *cough* Bill I PMed you my email*cough*

Kind Regards

Bryan

kalaeb
01-07-2012, 01:33 AM
Any chance we can get an inside scoop on a profile...pic of a cardboard cutout perhaps?

Bill Burke
01-07-2012, 12:04 PM
Any chance we can get an inside scoop on a profile...pic of a cardboard cutout perhaps?

there might be a way to arrange that. I am heading to the mountains today but I'll put something up when I get back home.

oivind_dahle
01-07-2012, 12:07 PM
I love this profile:
http://www.epicedge.com/shopexd.asp?id=89203

The more I look at the sheep horn, the more I love it.
Anyone got a feel on Bills horny handles: what do you prefer musk ox or sheep horn?

jmforge
01-08-2012, 01:25 AM
I was able to obtain some 1/8th inch from sheffield supply. it come in 6inch wide and three feet long. seems to work good so far. Excellent. They are not too far away from me. Let us know how it works.