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PierreRodrigue
01-31-2012, 01:22 PM
I took this project on a while ago, and have it all but wrapped up. I got the OK from the new owner to let the cat out of the bag as it were, so bear with me, this is a start to finish WIP.
The design specs for this one were fairly loose, with a lot of free reign being handed to me. All was required was a 300mm Wa sujihiki, sanmai construction, carbon steel core.
I started with 1084, and 15N20 and began the welding process...
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Next was the clean up, to the billet stage...
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PierreRodrigue
01-31-2012, 01:29 PM
After the billet was formed, I wanted to be sure there was some patterning in the billet...
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Now the moment of truth, I selected the "edge side" and started with the profile, and the blade faces, to ensure the core was centered, and the pattern was acceptable...
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PierreRodrigue
01-31-2012, 01:41 PM
The next step was heat treating, then to grind and true up the blade faces, and work in the distal taper, the whole while, trying not to reveal too much of the core, or remove too much cladding, yet not leaving thing to thick.
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During the process, I did several test etches to ensure things were going as planned...
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Here is where I sent a couple pics to its new owner for approval! Nervous times!
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PierreRodrigue
01-31-2012, 02:03 PM
With things a go, the next thing to do was a handle. Now over the process of doing the blade, him and I chatted several times about handle materials, colors etc., and it was during one of these exchanges I mentioned a material that gained a little excitement. I never worked with this material except in folder scales or inserts, but wanted to give it a try here. Black lip Mother of Pearl was ordered for the spacer, and the birth of the "Black Pearl" was official, and in future conversations, he refered to his knife this way. (funny how things get named!)

I/we selected a nice, should I say very nice piece of black dyed stabilized birds eye maple burl from Mark at Burl Source, I also got some black honey roll buffalo horn, and some spacer material for the handle construction.

I started drilling the spacers, and getting all my materialls ready, and drilling into the handle block. Then I squared things up and got ready to glue up.
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I had a step in here that I had a hard time deciding how to approach, the building of a MOP spacer. The material is only 2 to 2 1/2 mm thick, so to inlay it on a 8 sided spacer, then have enough to shape and polish, I needed to be sure I was near finished dimensions on the spacer, but then I would need to remove it to add the pearl. I used a couple drops of CA to hold things for the time being.

Once together, I squared all the spacers, and ground in the other four bevels...
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PierreRodrigue
01-31-2012, 02:13 PM
Now for the fun part, the MOP! I selected the bet pieces I had, and started cutting them, and mortising them to fit around the G10 spacer I had now ground to accept them. Piece by piece wer cut and fitted to creat the spacer...
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Now the handle pieces will be glued up in their final position, and the MOP ground and polished to match the handle facets...
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After finish sanding, it gets its first of severl coats of oil...
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PierreRodrigue
01-31-2012, 02:30 PM
To finish the handle we were thinking of just adding an insert of MOP to the but, in the black endcap, but why stop there. I mentioned I had a few Ammonite stones available, and this peeked interest! I built a bezel out of 3/8" thick nickel/silver, and fitted the stone. Now I didn't get pics of this part, but after assembly, here is the butt!
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This build took quite a while, and my customer, now friend, was nothing but patient, and offered guidance whenever he could. As well, showed genuine excitement at darned near every stage. It's builds like this, something different that keeps the fire in it for me, wanting to push things, try new materials and techniques to add something "else" the my craft. Some of you will understand why, some won't really care why, but thank you for taking the time to go through this post, this process with me. I hope you can glean a little about what myself and other makers go through to build custom knives, and see why we do it.

To my customer, thank you for your patience, input, and excitement!
There is one more thing to accompany the knife to its new home. "He" doesn't know what it is either, just a surprise, something else I don't think has found its way to the kitchen yet! Once its done, I'll add the photos!

For now, here is the finished piece. It hasn't been glued up yet, so ignore the wee gap at the front of the handle! Enjoy!

Pierre

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Eamon Burke
01-31-2012, 02:40 PM
Wow! Your ability to bring the bling does not fail to impress. This is, again, kitchen jewelry.

JMJones
01-31-2012, 02:51 PM
Impressive all around!

Twistington
01-31-2012, 02:57 PM
Cool idea with the stone in the buttcap, blingy knife, thumbs up!

Pensacola Tiger
01-31-2012, 02:57 PM
Very nice, Pierre!

WillC
01-31-2012, 03:03 PM
Nicely done Pierre, san mai is a fun juggling act. Handle looks fab too.:D

Andrew H
01-31-2012, 03:04 PM
Has some bling but remains very classy, I love it.

sachem allison
01-31-2012, 03:14 PM
awesome work Pierre!

markk
01-31-2012, 03:27 PM
looks great, very nicely done

bcrano
01-31-2012, 03:49 PM
Wow Pierre -- another absolute stunner!

Darkhoek
01-31-2012, 04:15 PM
What can I say... Wooooooooaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!! :D

DarKHoeK

SpikeC
01-31-2012, 04:39 PM
What a fantastic piece of work! This is really over the top, great job, Pierre!

stevenStefano
01-31-2012, 04:41 PM
I love the handle. It looks great and despite the bling materials used, it all works together

HHH Knives
01-31-2012, 05:03 PM
Impressive piece Pierre. I love it! Its one of them "special" builds that I truly enjoy and look forward to as a maker. You nailed this one!! :D

Thanks for taking the time to show us.. Its a great WIP..

DeepCSweede
01-31-2012, 05:18 PM
Great job Pierre, thank you for sharing it with us. Beautiful piece.

PierreRodrigue
01-31-2012, 06:36 PM
Hey guys, thanks for the kind words, I'm glad you enjoyed the process. It was a chalange, but a lot of fun as well.
That billet was actually the second attempt, the first wasn't up to snuff. :bladesmith:

Oh, I forgot to add at the begining, the core is O1, and the bright ribbon you see seperating the core from the san mai cladding is pure nickel.

WildBoar
01-31-2012, 06:41 PM
Beautiful knife -- wow! And thanks for the great thread -- you've made the whole process easily to follow.

Burl Source
01-31-2012, 08:43 PM
Really Really good looking knife Pierre!

Aphex
02-01-2012, 02:12 AM
That's as good an example of a suji that i've ever seen, quite simply stunning.

apicius9
02-01-2012, 03:19 AM
Very cool project, Pierre. You are just ahead of me there: I recently had a gentleman ask me about a handle that uses abalone in a similar way (maybe even the same person?) and a few weeks ago I ordered a box of ammonites for inlays. Looks like we are on similar paths :)

Stefan

Lefty
02-01-2012, 09:14 AM
That's pretty amazing work, Pierre! It's nice to see it all put together like that. You have a lucky customer waiting for this one!
I think it's safe to say, nobody is touching your sujis, at the moment. You're kind of changing the game, my friend!

echerub
02-01-2012, 09:36 AM
Verrrry cool to see the process and hear about your experience along the way :) Hey, the snazzy looking knife in the pics is pretty nice too ;)

mr drinky
02-01-2012, 09:39 AM
That is perty. Btw, is the profile a bit flatter than you normally do on your sujis? Sometimes photos can be deceiving.

k.

Tristan
02-01-2012, 11:36 AM
I hate you Pierre, I thought one knife from you was enough. It isn't new now and posts like this make me want more! Sigh. Which way to the bank?

PierreRodrigue
03-15-2012, 11:52 PM
It is finally finished! I promised Harald a while ago something special, something he had no clue about, and tormented him incessently about it. As you know H called the suji the "Black Pearl" from the black lip mother of pearl spacer. I added an amonite to the butt, essentially a fossilized shell, and keeping with the ocean theme, I selected materials to protect the knife. A saya was necessary, I didn't think I could match Haralds woodworking skills, so this is what I came up with. Thanks for looking!

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sachem allison
03-16-2012, 01:29 AM
badass Pierre! excellent work as always.

jmforge
03-16-2012, 01:39 AM
Very nice work, Pierre. Do you forge a little bit of taper into the blade?

Eamon Burke
03-16-2012, 02:16 AM
Wait, what is that sheath? Skate?

The Edge
03-16-2012, 02:40 AM
Absolutely beautiful knife, sheath looks like sting ray skin. Will definitely have to get a custom from you Pierre, mad skills!

mhenry
03-16-2012, 07:46 AM
WOW! that is gorgeous.

RobinW
03-16-2012, 08:16 AM
Turned out very, very nice.

I'm just curious, how are you going to up the game for my knife?:biggrin:

PierreRodrigue
03-16-2012, 08:58 AM
Thanks guys! Yes it is sting ray.

Yes taper is forged into the blade. My toughest part is keeping the core centered on such a long blade.

Robin, I'm going tp drill a bunch of holes in the blade, and then insert those little rhinestones (spelling?) I was thinking purple or orange. What do you think?? ( :D Kidding of course!)

Lefty
03-16-2012, 11:02 AM
Amazing as always, Pierre! You are stupidly talented. It makes my head hurt!

Pabloz
03-16-2012, 11:23 AM
One SSSWWWEEETTT combo!!!

jmforge
03-16-2012, 11:35 AM
There are supposedly ways to make both tapering and keeping the core centered "easier" like using a rolling mill that will taper a bar like the little McDonald design, but I suspect that the thinness of kitchen knife blades makes that process more difficult no matter what kind of cool gadgets you may own.
Thanks guys! Yes it is sting ray.

Yes taper is forged into the blade. My toughest part is keeping the core centered on such a long blade.

Robin, I'm going tp drill a bunch of holes in the blade, and then insert those little rhinestones (spelling?) I was thinking purple or orange. What do you think?? ( :D Kidding of course!)

mhlee
03-16-2012, 11:37 AM
Hey guys, thanks for the kind words, I'm glad you enjoyed the process. It was a chalange, but a lot of fun as well.
That billet was actually the second attempt, the first wasn't up to snuff. :bladesmith:

Oh, I forgot to add at the begining, the core is O1, and the bright ribbon you see seperating the core from the san mai cladding is pure nickel.

Great looking knife Pierre.

Do many san mai knives have a different metal to separate the core from the cladding? The only other knives that I know for sure that have that are the Jin knives that Jon sells. They have a copper liner. It looks tremendous.

Can you explain what the purpose is for using a different material to separate the core from the cladding?

RobinW
03-16-2012, 12:07 PM
.

Robin, I'm going tp drill a bunch of holes in the blade, and then insert those little rhinestones (spelling?) I was thinking purple or orange. What do you think?? ( :D Kidding of course!)

Did you say diamonds inserted in the end cap? My wife would like that! Especially if it's her new "benchmark" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hope_Diamond since we visited Washington.

Looking forward to discussing this further. I am a bit of a minimalist in knife design, but i might make an exception. :doublethumbsup:

PierreRodrigue
03-16-2012, 09:15 PM
Great looking knife Pierre.

Do many san mai knives have a different metal to separate the core from the cladding? The only other knives that I know for sure that have that are the Jin knives that Jon sells. They have a copper liner. It looks tremendous.

Can you explain what the purpose is for using a different material to separate the core from the cladding?

Micheal, in this knife, the nickel serves a dual role, the first is asthetics. It draws the eye, and gives a visual seperation between the core and cladding damascus. Secondly, to control carbon migration between the core and damascus.

Hope that helps.

Darkhoek
03-18-2012, 04:28 PM
Micheal, in this knife, the nickel serves a dual role, the first is asthetics. It draws the eye, and gives a visual seperation between the core and cladding damascus. Secondly, to control carbon migration between the core and damascus.

Hope that helps.

Aye, sailors! One doesn't want the carbon to escape from the O1 core. The Black Pearl is afloat! "C'mon yer useless land-crabs! Bring me that horizon!"
Yo, ho-ho and a bottle of Rum... :D

OMG! This is so incredibly bad-ass cool I almost soil myself :D

DarKHOeK
(Commander of The Black Pearl)

Deckhand
03-18-2012, 10:02 PM
It is finally finished! I promised Harald a while ago something special, something he had no clue about, and tormented him incessently about it. As you know H called the suji the "Black Pearl" from the black lip mother of pearl spacer. I added an amonite to the butt, essentially a fossilized shell, and keeping with the ocean theme, I selected materials to protect the knife. A saya was necessary, I didn't think I could match Haralds woodworking skills, so this is what I came up with. Thanks for looking!

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Sorry late to the party my wife has an still is in the hospital since Thursday. Definitely wanted to say this knife and saya raised the bar. Really really amazing work!!

Crothcipt
03-18-2012, 11:21 PM
Sorry late to the party my wife has an still is in the hospital since Thursday. Definitely wanted to say this knife and saya raised the bar. Really really amazing work!!

I hope your wife is all right.

Deckhand
03-18-2012, 11:32 PM
I hope your wife is all right.
Thanks I appreciate it. Originally thought it was food poisoning or flu, but it went downhill fast. ER, cat scans with contrast etc. Had me spooked. I had visions of no wife and raising our four kids without her. She has some form of collitis they are still trying to figure it out she will be there a few more days, but be ok.

Crothcipt
03-18-2012, 11:34 PM
in my prayers. Good to hear she will be ok.

PierreRodrigue
03-18-2012, 11:38 PM
Add my prayers! She will be fine!

I'm glad you liked the knife. Thanks for taking the time to post.

Pierre

Lefty
03-19-2012, 04:37 AM
Deckhand, sorry to read about your wife's trip to the hospital. Pass on our love to help with a speedy recovery.

Once more, great work, Pierre. Sorry, but I came back and looked at it again!

Deckhand
03-19-2012, 10:51 AM
Thanks guys! And yep that knife and saya are amazing.

oivind_dahle
04-07-2012, 03:31 PM
First off:

Pierre get another camera. Your pics truly does not justify the knife.
I had the pleasure of playing with it today.

I have to admit that I was very skeptical to this knife, but when I first saw it: I have to tell that this one is just one hell of a knife.
Haralds skill in sharpening and Markos strop made this knife crazy sharp. It felt really good in the hand, and Pierre is truly skilled.
The saya is amazing. Like small black diamonds shining in the light.

Pierre: I tip my hat. Im truly impressed. Really impressed! DAMN
I know Harald will post a review, and his words are far more worth than mine .)

PierreRodrigue
04-08-2012, 12:06 AM
Thank you sir. That means a lot! I am looking forward to Haralds review as well.