View Full Version : Zombie Buschef Knife

03-06-2012, 08:54 PM
Last summer I got the damascus bug and wanted to buy a chef's knife made with it. I found one that seemed cheap

and was thinking it would go quite high. I bought it for 20$. I got it home and was excited about the

metal of the blade not to bad of a handle. Took it to work and showed it arround, we joked about it how

big it was and "Zombie killer" was used to describe it.

I know someone is asking, "why is this noob on this forum?".:eyebrow: I will get to that. Talking to a fellow cook

I came up that I will never use that knife for cooking. The blade wedged way to early when cutting a

potato. Don't even think about looking at a tomato with it. With my steel system (ya I know:punish:) the edge

would roll over creating a wire edge and never losing any metal in the process. (I have put a edge on a

few knives with my coarse steel.:beatinghead:) It seemed to thick and heavey. Those are just a few problems I found

with the knife. So after thinking about this knife for a few months I posted a question between a chef's

knife and a Bowie knife. In the thread Butch called it a bush knife.


Within a few minutes of posting some pictures Randy contacted me and offered to try an fix this beastly

zombie buschef blade!!:knife: After a few days thinking about it I agreed to it.:pizza: He got it last sat, and I want

to thank Randy for taking the prescious time to make this THING into a kitchen knife.:bladesmith:

03-06-2012, 09:12 PM
Cool beans! That's why I love this place. It's in good hands and will come out as good as it possibly can for what it was originally. I don't know what steel or anything but Randy will certainly turn it into a useable item. Weather or not it becomes a great knife you will have to keep us posted. Best of luck!!

HHH Knives
03-06-2012, 10:16 PM
Awesome!! Im glad you posted this.

After receiving the knife, I couldnt help but think, What did I get myself into..:scared4: lol This thing is properly described as a "beastly zombie buschef blade!!" :rofl2:

OK so in a nut shell, I have determined that a simple regrind was not gona cut it.. And to do this "RIGHT" Its gona take a total OVERHAUL! Remove the handles, And thin the entire blade. Then....... Hmm. :chin: I think rather then telling you what Im gona do to it... I will just turn this thread into a mini WIP. :) Ill snap some photos of the knife and update this thread as I work on this one!! Could be interesting. Any suggestions on what you would like to see?

Crothcipt, dont worry,:wink: Ill get this one where you can actually use it in the kitchen and maybe even be proud to show your friends!! lol ... and ThEoRy thx. for the vote of confidence.. :D

03-06-2012, 10:27 PM
I can't wait.:bonsai::jumping3::notworthy::thankyou2:

03-07-2012, 12:01 AM
Umm, is it alright if I buy a $30 damascus chef and send it your way Randy? You can mail it back to me with my cufflinks! :)

I'm only kidding. Sorta. :razz:

03-07-2012, 11:13 AM
Umm, is it alright if I buy a $30 damascus chef and send it your way Randy? You can mail it back to me with my cufflinks! :)

I'm only kidding. Sorta. :razz:

It's cheaper than buying a Damascus billet and shipping it to him. Not the worst idea ever.

HHH Knives
03-07-2012, 11:42 AM
Alright, now let me set the record straight.. This is NOT something I plan on offering or want to start doing..So dont get any ideas about buying cheap knives and sending them to me to doctor up. :D

By the end of this thread, I expect that anyone who reads this will think twice B4 buying a cheap damascus knife! :P

I have serious doubts about the steel and even with the face lift, I do not have great expectations.. I do know it will look better and have a proper blade geometry etc, that should make it cut better regardless! Stay tuned for pictures and specs.

HHH Knives
03-07-2012, 11:11 PM
Took some pictures of the beastly blade.

Here are the current specs.

OAL 13 1/8", 335mm
Blade 8 1/2", 220mm
thickness 3/16" , 5mm
Heel 47mm at the heel growing to 49mm near midway between the heel and tip.. then sweeping to the tip.


Here it is next to a couple other knives, a 240 I made and a vintage carbon blade Son sent me.. :) Thanks Son!!!!!







Nxt step is to tear this handle off!! :)

03-07-2012, 11:19 PM
Oh boy! That thing is thick like a leafspring!

HHH Knives
03-07-2012, 11:31 PM
Oh boy! That thing is thick like a leafspring!

LOL, Thats what I was thinking.

Nothing a 36 G Blaze orange belt and my surface grinder cant fix!! :) Im planning on taking it down to about 2.5mm and then re heat treating it..

Then Ill test and see what RC I get right out of the quench.. and then go from there .. They said it is 1095 and 15n20. If thats the case. I should have no problem getting into the mid 60's out of quench. Time will tell..

03-08-2012, 12:56 AM
What fun! (At least for those of us watching, perhaps not so much for Randy.)

Always something interesting going on at HHH.

Can't wait to see what you are able to do with that thing...

HHH Knives
03-08-2012, 01:11 AM
Johnny, I always have fun in the shop! Its the second rule.. The first rule is. In the event of a fire.. SAVE THE BURL!!! :D

Once I get this thinned out the rest will be a blast! Im going to totally reshape the thing.. It should be fun to see the B4 and after photos side by side!! :)

HHH Knives
03-08-2012, 11:48 PM
A few quick photos of the blade.. :) I ground off the faces or the cutlery rivets and removed the handles. Reshaped the entire knife. then surface ground this blade to about 2.5mm thickness.

What ya think of the NEW profile?

03-08-2012, 11:57 PM
wow there for a sec. I thought those were in the wrong thread. Looks so much different. can't wait to see were this is going. How was the metal? Was is scary? Easy to work with?

HHH Knives
03-09-2012, 12:11 AM
To be honest. It felt very soft, and almost like it was not hardened at all. Felt dead soft.

After removing the handle I realized that there was a welded on tang section hidden under the handle. So the damascus ended just under where the handle started. There are many opinions about this.. and I dont care to debate if this is a acceptable method to do this style knife.. We can save that for another thread.. :)lol

When I surface ground the blade I could feel and see a difference between the steel on the tang and the steel on the blade.

Tomorrow, I have to do some normalization cycles to some other damascus billets, so I will add this to that batch.. and then after 3 normalization cycles. Ill Heat treat and quench the blade. After that I will be able to tell you more about the steel..

03-09-2012, 12:41 AM
This is so cool!

HHH Knives
03-10-2012, 01:14 AM
Annealed and Normalized the blade today, 3X and its ready for Heat Treat!!! Now we wait.. till I have a couple others to do at the same time. I try and do batches of 3 or 4 blades..

03-10-2012, 02:08 AM
I can't get enough of looking at the new profile. I keep thinking how they cut so many corners to get what they (the people that made the knife) got to. So sad they don't want to make anything to be used.:puke:

HHH Knives
03-10-2012, 01:04 PM
LOL.. yea, I tell ya what. As you know. with the shape and profile it had. you couldnt cut much with it!! Its sharper and a better cutter already and I have not even set the bevels! ! lol Like that thread where there cutting with a computer LOL

I hope you dont mind. I had to do some MAJOR changes!! :D Notably. totally re profile the blade and handle.. LMAO!

side by side..


03-13-2012, 03:08 AM
This is gonna be like getting a HHH custom for $30 made out of crap steel. I am sooo jealous!

Heckofagood one Randy!

03-13-2012, 06:11 AM
Great thread. Reminds me of that Koster knife I had a while ago. Looked great, but was more like a Bowie than a real kitchen knife... Look forward to seeing where this is going.


HHH Knives
03-14-2012, 03:29 PM
It looks like tomorrow or Friday I will be Heat Treating this blade and a few others. Im not sure what I will do for the handle yet. But probably will do it up nice for ya is the blade hardens. :)

03-14-2012, 07:56 PM
Man you are busy, which is good to hear. Man I can't wait to see what you come up with. I usually don't get excited but this is blowing me away.

03-17-2012, 12:55 AM
Ok I am chomping at the bit to know how Heat Treating went. :crossfingers: Did it melt all over the oven like I think it would? Pleas throw me a bone...:begging:

HHH Knives
03-17-2012, 01:19 AM
Hang in there. I didnt get a chance to HT the blade today. Im thinking tomorrow afternoon maybe.

That is if it doesn't melt!!!

HHH Knives
03-17-2012, 01:51 PM
Today was the day. I started the HT process on this knife! First I had to anneal it and ran it through a couple of normalization cycles. Trying to make the steel as ready as possible for the quench!

Believe it or not. HT went well. I took the blade up to temp, and held for about 5 minutes. Then quenched the blade in oil. And guess what, It didnt explode or delam or warp etc. seemed to HT well as far as I can tell at this point. And Is straight as a arrow. :)

Its not in the first of 2 temper cycles..

Here are a few pictures. I am working alone today. so I didnt get photos on the quench or clean up etc.

03-17-2012, 10:33 PM
wow. Just by how the metal acted, when I had it home I would have thought this would have been more of a problem than what it turned out to be. Thx for the pics.:thumbsup:

03-17-2012, 11:42 PM
It's ALIVE!! Isn't think disproving the old idiom that you can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear??

HHH Knives
03-18-2012, 08:54 AM
Dont get ahead of me on this one guys.. It did make it through the quench.. And after its quenched I tempered it. and then I tested it for hardness.

My initial tests are bad! Very low RC.. It is SO LOW that its softer then the test equipment that I use even goes.. I dont know what kind of steel they used.. but Its is not High Carbon steel, let alone 1095 like they claimed.. or I would of been able to get it to harden..

Am I surprised. NO

More to come later.

Eamon Burke
03-18-2012, 02:08 PM
Could it be that it had a very small core of 1095, and that damascus cladding is made from low carbon stuff?

HHH Knives
03-18-2012, 04:23 PM
I honestly dont think there was ant high carbon steel in this. I think That its a matter of them saying what they think you want to hear in there sales pitch. Knowing 1095 or 1080 are the higher carbon steel. Selling us lies is what there doing. Its a shame that it didnt harden. But I honestly didnt think it was going to.

I had heard that Damascus made in &&^^&&^& is made from cheap even sub par materials, like tin cans. and that will not harden. Its a BUYER BEWARE kinda thing, and even some of the makers or vendors here in the USA are using these materials or selling the knives saying because the handle was installed here that its made in the USA. Again devaluing the market and the makers who are working there butts of to make the best damascus they can with quality materials and processing.

I really dont want to make this a SLAM fest.. But will say it again, BUYER BEWARE! everything that is being offered as high carbon 1095/15n20 damascus is not!!

Im going to take it to my friend this week, and have him test it for hardeness on his machines. He has the ability to test in a few harness ranges. RC being only one..

03-18-2012, 05:36 PM
If they did have some 1095 in it, they probably cooked all of the carbon out in the mfg process.

HHH Knives
03-18-2012, 10:34 PM
Thats being very optimistic Spike. :) I dont think they used any high carbon steel in this. Its probably some mild steel. Heck it may be tin cans and aluminum foil for all I know. One thing for sure it's CRAP and will not harden.

There are lessons to be learned here.
My main reason for taking on this project was to find out for myself if the steel would or could make a serviceable knife blade.
Next I thought that it may help to educate anyone who has looked at or considering Pakistan damascus. my advise to you is, RUN!!

I think I have to find a way this steel can be used in its present condition. And make something usable or useful from it for Crothcipt.

Thanks guys for checking this out, and Buyer BEWARE.. there are alot of crooks and Liers in the world.. In this case they happen to be from Pakistan. Buy be assured that they are everywhere. At least you didnt loose hundreds or even thousands of dollars on this deal.

03-19-2012, 09:09 AM
Cut it up into cufflinks/keychains/spoons/etc?

03-19-2012, 09:43 AM
Split the blade and insert some real steel? Maybe it's the 1095 batch where they lowered the Mn content and it can't harden?

03-19-2012, 10:23 AM
Cut it up into cufflinks/keychains/spoons/etc?

Spoons, yes spoons!

HHH Knives
03-19-2012, 10:45 AM
LOL, I dont know what I will do, or IF I will make anything from it. At this point Im just not sure. Thanks for the suggestions!!

I have to fight the urge to bend it in half and throw it.. lol

03-19-2012, 10:50 AM
A boomerang then?

I've always wanted a damascus carving fork, and I can't think of a good reason why I would care about hardness in one of those.

HHH Knives
03-19-2012, 10:52 AM

03-19-2012, 11:06 PM
Draw it out and make dammy clothes hangers. :)

You can use burl wood bits at strategic points if you want. I'm sure someone will pay more than $30 for dammy clothes hangers no?

03-20-2012, 04:51 AM
I knew going in that this could be the problem with the knife. I don't blame anyone but myself for buying some piece of crap that I over spent even if it was 20$. I want to thank Randy for even trying this out. I myself would have been wondering what I did wrong. I am certain that after a cooling off time Randy will come up with something that will amaze us all. I wouldn't think that the metal is even able to become anything that has been suggested.

I know, and have always known that there is people out there that will try to swindle and lie to get money. I just got caught up on the cheapness and thought of having a damascus kitchen knife. The pic. I saw was not a very good one, there was only 1 picture and no stats. It seemed the seller was a reputable but looking at what else they are/were selling I would say not.:rant:

At this time I think it is up to Randy to make this into something, if he wants to. I am honored that Randy even wanted to try to do something like this. For going in to this blindly not knowing what the metal is, is a feat in itself. I am still a little surprised that it even made it to this point. :bashhead:

But one thing is for sure I now have more questions about this "knife" than I started out with. I am just not sure were this path of thinking will progress to or just a dead end. :popcorn:

HHH Knives
03-28-2012, 11:37 AM
After everything, I was sort of disgusted. So I have not touched this one yet. Its setting in the corner right where I threw it! LOL Just kidding. It stuck in the wall.

Crothcipt. I will message you about the options. And we can make a plan.. One way or another. we will make you something useful from this steel.. :D

Eamon Burke
03-28-2012, 02:39 PM
Forge out the letters "F U" and mail it back to the seller.

HHH Knives
03-28-2012, 03:11 PM

03-28-2012, 03:58 PM
Make it into buttons for chef's jackets?

(okay Randy, there is a challenge for you -- even if you use your own damascus. I'll bet you could sell a few to the kitchen pros here! For coming up with the idea, all I ask is 10% of the gross proceeds :groucho:)

03-28-2012, 04:31 PM
Make it into buttons for chef's jackets?

(okay Randy, there is a challenge for you -- even if you use your own damascus. I'll bet you could sell a few to the kitchen pros here! For coming up with the idea, all I ask is 10% of the gross proceeds :groucho:)


Ever since this started I've been wondering about getting a bunch of damascus buttons made and replacing some/all of the ones on one of my jackets. I can't decide if it would be too over the top.


03-28-2012, 04:33 PM
Oops! Sorry -- I knew it sounded like too good of an idea for it to have been thought up by me! :O

I'll give you 10% of my net :sofa:

03-28-2012, 04:36 PM
Not a problem Randy. Take your time.

Mokume buttons for chef jackets that would be sweet. Not sure about washing damascus though.

03-28-2012, 05:58 PM
You know the buttons would rust when the jacket was washed, so... Instead of traditional buttons use a variation of cuff links. I'm thinking something like mini barbells sized for buttons.

HHH Knives
03-28-2012, 06:16 PM
99, NICE! sorta like the cuff links but smaller. I agree the buttons if applied to the coat would be problematic. But thats not a bad idea!!

Currently Im still thinking boomerang for this particular piece! lol

03-28-2012, 06:50 PM
99, NICE! sorta like the cuff links but smaller. I agree the buttons if applied to the coat would be problematic. But thats not a bad idea!!

Currently Im still thinking boomerang for this particular piece! lol

Brought back a precious childhood memory. I had authentic Australian boomerangs. I had no idea what to do when I figured out how to throw it so it would return. Loads of fun having a boomerang coming back towards you. Catch it. No thank you!

03-28-2012, 07:16 PM
Currently Im still thinking boomerang for this particular piece! lolBe careful -- if you are successful, it will come right back to you!

03-28-2012, 08:51 PM
He's not as worried as I am. Its been years since I have thrown one but I'm sure its like ridding a bicycle.

10-06-2013, 05:29 PM
A new guy asking the same question lead to a redirect back to this old classic. I think we can say that there's at least 1 other person now who was saved from making the same mistake.

But whatever happened to this? No conclusion pics of the dammy boomerang?

Maybe sell it to this guy:


10-08-2013, 01:39 AM
Randy still has it. He has been really busy.