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View Full Version : Son's Old "Sabatier" WIP



tk59
04-03-2012, 02:33 AM
This is the knife Son sent me a while back. It was clearly a heavy duty 12+" chefs' knife type deal. A chef/slicer hybrid is what I'm shooting for at this point. The heel area is massive and the tip half of the knife is dramatically thin. On one side of the knife the word "FRANCE" is clearly visible. Next to that I see something that looks like "SIMON" in a smaller font. I don't know much about Sabs and I couldn't find anything relevant to the SIMON part of it. Anyway, here are the initial pics.
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tk59
04-03-2012, 02:40 AM
Here's the knife in it's current state after some reprofiling and some clean-up. One of thes is the spine shot and the other is an edge shot AFTER heavy thinning. Can you tell which is which?
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sachem allison
04-03-2012, 02:40 AM
ooooohhhh!!!!! let the games begin!

sachem allison
04-03-2012, 02:41 AM
last one is the spine shot

sachem allison
04-03-2012, 02:43 AM
A chef/slicer hybrid is called a trenchelard in French knife terminology.

tk59
04-03-2012, 02:43 AM
Haha. I shoulda ground the rust off the spine and reduced the shadow to make it more challenging. :)

tk59
04-03-2012, 02:44 AM
A chef/slicer hybrid is called a trenchelard in French knife terminology.Merci!

sachem allison
04-03-2012, 02:49 AM
Haha. I shoulda ground the rust off the spine and reduced the shadow to make it more challenging. :)

no, I just know that knife intimately. lol with that massive spine and super thin tip, i wouldn't get it wrong. it is unique.

Benuser
04-03-2012, 03:21 AM
Nice pictures! Have you performed all thinning on the right side only?

tk59
04-03-2012, 03:48 AM
Nice pictures! Have you performed all thinning on the right side only?Yes. Looking along the edge, it is clear that the right side has a lot of thickness. If I were to thin both sides, the edge would not end up straight or I would have to sacrifice a lot of blade due to the thinness of the tip half of the blade.

Benuser
04-03-2012, 04:11 AM
Thank you, tk59!

memorael
04-03-2012, 05:32 AM
OOOOO yeah this is gonna be good. Trenchelard I like the ring to it.

Benuser
04-03-2012, 12:57 PM
Interesting that the right side here is the fat one. Most western knives I've seen had a more or less flat right side, and a slightly convex left one. A strictly symmetric blade would wedge of course, beside the food release issue.

K-Fed
04-03-2012, 01:00 PM
I love this wip. Makes me anxious to see how the sab that I've got out to Dave for a refurb turns out.

heirkb
04-03-2012, 02:45 PM
Wow, that thing gets really thin towards the tip, huh? I'm assuming that you can't do as aggressive of a clean-up job there. Is that right?

tk59
04-03-2012, 06:00 PM
@Benuser: Since the right side is so thick, I'm planning on leaving it with some asymmetry, putting a decent machine finish and cut some things to evaluate. I may just end up with something fairly thin but I am trying to keep the old geometry, if I can.
@K-Fed: I'm sure Dave will come up with something really nice. This one has a lot of corrosion and pitting. It'll be a judgement call on how far to go before calling it good. I'm thinking I won't try to make it look new but just functional.
@heirkb: Yes. It is thinner than most lasers until you get to the very tip. And yes, I don't think I can get all the pitting out unless I want a piece of foil left over to cut with. :)

SpikeC
04-03-2012, 06:09 PM
Those aren't pits, they are Grantons!

tk59
04-03-2012, 06:17 PM
Those aren't pits, they are Grantons! Hmm. I think you're right. In that case, I should probably take out a drill and enlarge them a little. :idea:

Eamon Burke
04-03-2012, 06:32 PM
That is a CRUSTY looking bolster there!

Also looking forward to seeing this.

tk59
04-03-2012, 06:49 PM
That is a CRUSTY looking bolster there!...Yup. I'm thinking I'll ScotchBrite it to death and see how it turns out. :)

ajhuff
04-03-2012, 07:08 PM
According to the internet, there is or was a cutlery manufacturer is France named Usines J Simon which I believe translates as J Simon Mill. Little info other than that but could be your point of origin?

-AJ

Johnny.B.Good
04-03-2012, 11:22 PM
This is fun to watch. Thanks for the pictures and description TK.

Looking forward to seeing the end result.

tk59
04-03-2012, 11:50 PM
This is fun to watch. Thanks for the pictures and description TK.

Looking forward to seeing the end result.It's my pleasure. I can't ever tell what WIP's are going to be shot down, lol.

sachem allison
04-05-2012, 01:24 AM
Hey, Tk

Steeley found a French cleaver with the SI mone mark only it isn't. That mark is actually saying St Honore rue 84. That is the original Paris address of Sabatier before they moved to Thierss France. This may very well be one of the oldest Sabatiers around. The reason it looks like SIMONE is that the word St and Honore are butt up against each other and all the pitting and wear. Hope this helps solve your mystery.
son

tk59
04-05-2012, 07:34 PM
Yup. I just read that! Very cool. Too bad the hand part of the mark isn't visible in the slightest. I spent a lot of time looking for any other markings but 1. the pitting and rusting is pretty bad/deep and 2. This knife was clearly ground and reground several times over its lifetime. I did a little more work on it. I'll post some pics once I polish out the heavier scratches a bit.

Eamon Burke
04-11-2012, 03:52 PM
Any updates, perchance?

tk59
04-11-2012, 08:55 PM
Okay. Here it is in its current state. I've put a rough finish on it for testing. It will go through at least one more workout on the grinder before I declare it finished, in terms of cutting performance. Then, it will be about cosmetics. That's been tough for me to decide on. This is a very roughly forged blade. The thickness is inconsistent, the spine isn't straight (I've already straightened it some.) and the list goes on. Part of me wants to leave vestiges of its original state. The other part wants to make it look as new as possible. I dunno... Then there's the curvature decision. And there's also the pointedness of the tip and tip height...:dontknow:

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Benuser
04-11-2012, 09:53 PM
I agree the choice between performance and aesthetics might be a hard one. Not in this case though. It has to do with authenticity as well. Previous grinders and users, and perhaps even the maker, did clearly not care about looks. Apart from possible geometry and profile adjustments, I would just polish the first 1/2" from the edge as that is clearly performance enhancing. Whatever you decide: good luck and have fun!

heirkb
04-11-2012, 10:12 PM
The tip is pretty high, huh?

tk59
04-11-2012, 10:33 PM
...It has to do with authenticity as well. Previous grinders and users, and perhaps even the maker, did clearly not care about looks. Apart from possible geometry and profile adjustments, I would just polish the first 1/2" from the edge as that is clearly performance enhancing...Agreed.

@heirkb: Yes, it is on the high side. I don't have a problem dicing onions but if I wanted to mince garlic or something like that, the tip wouldn't be great.

Benuser
04-12-2012, 11:20 PM
The tip is pretty high, huh?
I would think a longer knife does need a higher tip than a shorter one to have the same tangent. Supposing both will be held in the same way of course.

Andrew H
04-12-2012, 11:54 PM
I would think a longer knife does need a higher tip than a shorter one to have the same tangent. Supposing both will be held in the same way of course.
Why would you go off tangent instead of absolute height?? That doesn't make any sense to me.

Eamon Burke
04-13-2012, 02:24 AM
High tip + long knife = elbow in the air

Benuser
04-13-2012, 03:39 AM
Why would you go off tangent instead of absolute height?? That doesn't make any sense to me.

With these knives traditionally the tip is at the level of the ferrule's bottom, no matter what height you may find at the heel. I guess the cooks worked with a very restrained space.

tk59
04-16-2012, 09:45 PM
Here's an update. I may refine it a touch but the main thing now is to decide on the handle. Holding it left-handed, I could see myself using it but right-handed is a bit wonky. Son specified that if the handle was to be removed, it should be sent to Kaleab. Regardless, here ya go. :)

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In case you can't tell which is the Sab, it's the bottom one. ;)

Crothcipt
04-16-2012, 09:54 PM
looking good. To bad he wanted the handle off. But it will look just as good or even better with a new one.

Benuser
04-16-2012, 10:05 PM
What is exactly the problem with the handle, and should you really have it changed, or do you have other options?

tk59
04-16-2012, 11:33 PM
I dunno. What do you think?
6168
This is why I always have something propping it up on one side.

The Edge
04-16-2012, 11:36 PM
Yeah, looks like it needs to be replaced. Though it would be cool if that old handle could be used for something else, don't know what though. Nice work so far, love seeing the progress!

Andrew H
04-16-2012, 11:50 PM
I dunno. What do you think?
6168
This is why I always have something propping it up on one side.

Best choil shot. Ever.

tk59
04-16-2012, 11:57 PM
Best choil shot. Ever.Haha. I was rather pleased with it, myself. :)

Benuser
04-18-2012, 04:29 PM
I have no experience with handles. Are there other options than replacement?

tk59
04-18-2012, 05:32 PM
I could try to reshape the handle. The downside is I might end up with a big pile of wood dust and have to rehandle anyway. If I want to preserve something of the history of this knife, it will be the handle material. I've thinned the blade all the way up to the maker's mark so with a little more use, that will eventually have to go away, as well.

heirkb
04-18-2012, 05:39 PM
Depends if you're restoring it to use it or to preserve the history. That handle looks really tilted. I don't think I'd be crazy about using a handle like that.

sachem allison
04-18-2012, 06:08 PM
I have no experience with handles. Are there other options than replacement?

well in this particular case the handle is only held on by a very small piece of metal. since it is a nogent style there is only a round rattail tang with the end pinged over. All you would have to do is grind off that little pinged end, which should take like 10 seconds and pull the handle off. I would then take the handle and use it as the sample to trace on a new piece of wood of your choice, cut it out, reshape it, drill it, shove it on and ping it over, give it a final shaping, put some oil on it and you are good to go. This method will allow you to save as much of the original handle as possible for posterity.

Benuser
04-19-2012, 12:30 AM
Thanks for taking the time to explain, guys. Very appreciated.

tk59
04-19-2012, 12:49 AM
well in this particular case the handle is only held on by a very small piece of metal. since it is a nogent style there is only a round rattail tang with the end pinged over. All you would have to do is grind off that little pinged end, which should take like 10 seconds and pull the handle off. I would then take the handle and use it as the sample to trace on a new piece of wood of your choice, cut it out, reshape it, drill it, shove it on and ping it over, give it a final shaping, put some oil on it and you are good to go. This method will allow you to save as much of the original handle as possible for posterity.Sounds pretty simple. What is the metal ferrule there for? This handle is solidly attached. You think it's just rust?

sachem allison
04-19-2012, 01:50 AM
Sounds pretty simple. What is the metal ferrule there for? This handle is solidly attached. You think it's just rust?

I think rust is part of it, but those rat tailed tangs were put in red hot just like traditional wa handles and the back was hammered like a rivet holding the whole thing under compression that's why it is so solid. The head is like a nail head, wide at the top with the shaft going into the wood. If you look real closely at the heel of the handle about dead center you should see it, it's almost the same color as the wood by now and I'm sure when it was cooled it contracted and pulled itself in a little further countersinking itself and tightening the fit. Some of them even had a threaded tang and a little nut at the end that was threaded on and then pinged over. Those worked on the principle of post tensioning, the more you tightened the handle the stronger it got so long as you didn't over tighten and split the handle. That handle very definitely twisted that means there is nothing on the other end holding it in place, it is essentially rotating in a socket, got to a certain point were the width of the bolster end prevented it from twisting any more and got stuck, This is very common in old Nogent style Sabatiers.

tk59
04-19-2012, 01:53 AM
I see the little end of the tang that's been bent over. I'm just surprised that the handle somehow ended up twisted like this and then locked into place.

sachem allison
04-19-2012, 01:57 AM
like pushing a fat girl through a window, You know she got in, you just can't figure out how come she can't get out. then you just run away before the cops come.

kalaeb
04-19-2012, 02:09 AM
like pushing a fat girl through a window, You know she got in, you just can't figure out how come she can't get out. then you just run away before the cops come.
:spitcoffee:

K-Fed
05-16-2012, 11:47 AM
What ever became of this? I've got my eyes on an old nogent that needs some refinishing and a new handle. Want to attempt it myself if I get my hands on it on the cheap. Did this WIP get finished?

Deckhand
05-16-2012, 01:41 PM
Fun thread. Appears something needs to be done handle wise to make it truly useable again.

tk59
05-16-2012, 06:44 PM
Sorry about that. Getting the handle off without destroying the piece of wood is proving to be bit of a pickle and I've been very busy lately. I'll be back to messing with it soon.