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View Full Version : WIP.... custom carbon Sabatier



DevinT
04-07-2012, 12:17 AM
I bought some blanks from a guy at the Vegas knife show about 20 years ago. I can't remember now which company/family made them except that they are Sab's.

This one is carbon steel and has almost 10 inches of blade length. It has not been heat treated yet. I plan on doing my multi step HT on it.

I haven't decided on the handle material yet.

We'll take some pics of the process and post them.

With the recent posts on Sab's I thought that this would be fun.

Hoss

PierreRodrigue
04-07-2012, 12:28 AM
Looks like a fun project Devin. Take lots of pics!

kalaeb
04-07-2012, 12:30 AM
Cool, I can't wait to see how it turns out.

tk59
04-07-2012, 12:57 AM
:hungry:

Adagimp
04-07-2012, 01:20 AM
Interest piqued.

The Edge
04-07-2012, 01:24 AM
Can't wait!! :goodpost:

Johnny.B.Good
04-07-2012, 01:34 AM
Looking forward to watching this.

DevinT
04-07-2012, 01:46 AM
before heat treat

Hoss

DevinT
04-07-2012, 01:49 AM
more prep work

Hoss

DevinT
04-07-2012, 01:50 AM
name stamp

rhygin
04-07-2012, 01:56 AM
This is really interesting. As a user who doesn't know much about the heat treat and tempering processes, how do you know how to approach this with a blade forged by someone else? It might be common knowledge (not to me) about the steel used in Sabs, but this seems like it could be difficult. Is this a trial and error process, or are you pretty confident about how to approach this? Or is the heat treat process generic enough that you can apply some general principles regardless of the steel composition and feel confident about the outcome?

Whatever your answers are, this seems like a really cool project. Curious to see the outcome.

DevinT
04-07-2012, 02:01 AM
most carbon steels fall into a pretty small window temp wise. Just to make sure I heat treated and tested one by measuring the hardness, and breaking it to look at the grain size. Good hardenability and very fine grain, lookin' good so far.

Hoss

rhygin
04-07-2012, 02:06 AM
Thanks for the response. As an outsider, the information is great to hear. To me this sounded like a puzzle.

Eamon Burke
04-07-2012, 02:20 AM
Way to dark horse this one, Mr. Thomas. Gonna be so badass.

Marko Tsourkan
04-07-2012, 03:56 AM
Devin gets all fun projects on this forum. :)

99Limited
04-07-2012, 11:02 AM
Wow, I'd like to have one of those slicers.

obtuse
04-07-2012, 03:31 PM
will these be for sale?

DevinT
04-07-2012, 04:03 PM
will these be for sale?

I am willing to do a limited number of these, PM for details.

Hoss

DevinT
04-07-2012, 04:05 PM
a few shots of the heat treating.

Hoss

Bill Burke
04-07-2012, 04:46 PM
Nice Hoss, It is funny but I was thinking of try my hand at a sab or two. looks like you beat me to the punch. I may still giv it a try though nice wip btw.

tk59
04-07-2012, 05:56 PM
I am willing to do a limited number of these, PM for details.

Hoss
Hmm... SuperSabs... I'm feeling the urge.

kalaeb
04-07-2012, 06:06 PM
I am willing to do a limited number of these, PM for details.

Hoss

You have to keep a few for yourself. This sort of thing does not come around all that often.

Eamon Burke
04-07-2012, 08:50 PM
Please tell us anything that you learn from doing these. I'm not sure you can learn much from making knives these days, you old master, you; but there has to be some kind of revelatory quality to working on world class knives from another time and culture.

Mike Davis
04-08-2012, 07:42 PM
Very awesome Devin. I will follow this one for sure!

DevinT
04-14-2012, 04:58 PM
Final grinding.

Hoss

oivind_dahle
04-14-2012, 05:10 PM
Of all makers Ive tried you are still at the top! :)

DevinT
04-14-2012, 10:05 PM
squaring, splitting, and flattening the stablized ebony. That's John doing the prep on the handle material.

Hoss

SameGuy
04-15-2012, 02:09 AM
Whoa.

Anybody need a car? My kidney? A pint of blood a week?

obtuse
04-15-2012, 04:03 AM
Time for a new credit card!

DevinT
04-16-2012, 11:11 PM
The handle is fit and glued up.

About these knives, the blanks I got were rough forged and trimmed. They had to be fully annealed, straightened, rough ground, hardended and tempered, straightened, finish ground, polished. The tangs needed a lot work also. These blades are heavy when they come and need a lot of grinding and straightening. It is easier to make a new knife from scratch.

The steel is a simple carbon steel with good hardenability and fine grain. The steel is clean and was nice to finish. Another couple of hours of work and this one will be done.

Thanks for your support.

Hoss

don
04-16-2012, 11:16 PM
Can't wait to see the finished knife. Thanks for sharing the process.

DevinT
04-16-2012, 11:16 PM
rough handle pic.

tk59
04-16-2012, 11:50 PM
...About these knives, the blanks I got were rough forged and trimmed. They had to be fully annealed, straightened, rough ground, hardended and tempered, straightened, finish ground, polished. The tangs needed a lot work also. These blades are heavy when they come and need a lot of grinding and straightening. It is easier to make a new knife from scratch...Sounds like a heckuvalot of work!

SpikeC
04-17-2012, 12:01 AM
I dunno, man, that last pic looks a little clunky......

DevinT
04-17-2012, 01:08 AM
taking the chunkiness out.

DevinT
04-17-2012, 01:10 AM
more handle work

DevinT
04-17-2012, 01:11 AM
handle roughed out

obtuse
04-17-2012, 01:14 AM
Wow, looking good

DevinT
04-17-2012, 01:16 AM
tradegy at the tip.

While rounding the spine, I got the tip into the wheel and busted off about 3/8 of an inch. Major bummer. I started to reprofile the blade but I thought that I better wait until tomorrow. Some times you have to put things down and start again the next day.

Hoss

Johnny.B.Good
04-17-2012, 01:18 AM
Super cool Devin.

Edit: Doh! Hope you can fix the tip issue without spending all day on it.

WildBoar
04-17-2012, 10:16 AM
Ouch! Glad to see you are human though; lately I've been doubting it :biggrin:

Looking forward to seeing the finished project. Thanks for posting all the WIP pics!

DevinT
04-18-2012, 12:05 AM
Finished knife

Andrew H
04-18-2012, 12:10 AM
Finished knife

Very nicely done, Devin.

don
04-18-2012, 12:23 AM
Absolute stunner.

tk59
04-18-2012, 12:28 AM
Now, THAT is a beautifully clean, classy-looking knife.

sachem allison
04-18-2012, 12:31 AM
Finished knife

wish I could afford to buy one, that would make a much more worthy replacement for the ones I had stolen. Beautiful work as always Devin.

Eamon Burke
04-18-2012, 12:32 AM
I like the Thomas tip you put on it. Good solution!


That is really cool. These sabs are nothing but fun. I would have been so excited to buy one back in the day, you had to know it was going to be a useful gem even half a century and half a dozen owners later.

SpikeC
04-18-2012, 12:59 AM
Boy-Howdy, is that tasty or what?

obtuse
04-18-2012, 03:26 AM
Classic, very classy.

Marko Tsourkan
04-18-2012, 09:09 AM
Finished knife

I like this profile waaay better than the original Sab profile (have one blank from Devin from the same batch). This one came out really nice.

M

Vladimir
04-18-2012, 10:10 AM
Finished knife

Exquisite knife
But a closed heel and a thin handle makes me melancholy
That's the reason I do not like knives Sabater

oivind_dahle
04-18-2012, 10:14 AM
Exquisite knife
But a closed heel and a thin handle makes me melancholy
That's the reason I do not like knives Sabater

+1

Not impressed by the bolster either .)

El Pescador
04-18-2012, 12:43 PM
+1

Not impressed by the bolster either .)

For those of us that do like the shape of the bolster and really don't mind the heel, this is an incredible knife. If I had some money and were looking for a "sleeper" type knife that you could use in a pro kitchen w/o someone walking off with it, this is probably it!

DevinT
04-18-2012, 12:46 PM
Exquisite knife
But a closed heel and a thin handle makes me melancholy
That's the reason I do not like knives Sabater

You don't have to like it, you just have to think it's cool.

Hoss

WildBoar
04-18-2012, 01:01 PM
:doublethumbsup: It is very cool. I wish it would have been easier to make then it turned out to be, but I'm still interested in hearing the pricing once you get that worked out. I know a couple people who really love those knives, and snub their noses at gyutos.

Eamon Burke
04-18-2012, 03:01 PM
You don't have to like it, you just have to think it's cool.

Hoss

Amen to that! :knife:

Marko Tsourkan
04-18-2012, 07:06 PM
Devin has a few more of these, so I am sure you guys can talk him into making one without 'closed heel. Don't forget to ask for detailed pictures - more is always better!.

This way he gets to work out the kinks and I will just copy him. :)

M

eto
04-20-2012, 08:23 PM
Awesome work Devin. You turned a classic back into a classic. Great work!

Deckhand
04-20-2012, 08:36 PM
You don't have to like it, you just have to think it's cool.

Hoss

I think it's cool. All your work is cool. One day I want a feather damascus. Yours is the best.

DevinT
01-31-2013, 12:31 AM
I'm not currently taking orders on these but thought I'd bump this WIP because of the thread in the main forum area.

Hoss

don
01-31-2013, 12:35 AM
Well deserved bump. Amazing work on the Sab.

knyfeknerd
01-31-2013, 12:36 AM
Thanks for bumpin' this Hoss! Great thread.

chinacats
01-31-2013, 01:18 AM
Has to be the best cutting Sab on the planet...beautiful work!

vicv
02-02-2013, 04:51 PM
what did the final hardness come out to? I think a nicely finished sab but with the steel actually being brought to it's potential would be an amazing thing. Nice work

Johnny.B.Good
02-02-2013, 04:58 PM
Finished knife

Super, super cool.

EdipisReks
02-02-2013, 07:47 PM
Super, super cool.

no it isn't, it's super, super, super cool.

Von blewitt
02-02-2013, 08:25 PM
Let's start a petition to ask Hoss to put these into production :)
I'm in

El Pescador
02-02-2013, 09:39 PM
Let's start a petition to ask Hoss to put these into production :)
I'm in

He'll make you one. All you need to do is ask...

Don Nguyen
02-08-2013, 01:46 AM
Devin this is super awesome to see.

Are they similar to 1095 or such?

Benuser
02-08-2013, 07:50 AM
I would expect XC75.

KVacc
03-02-2013, 09:54 AM
Nice Sab !

Amused
09-12-2013, 07:23 PM
Whatever happened to these customized Sabs? Were the other blanks ever finished?
Really cool project!

Chef Niloc
01-08-2014, 12:30 PM
I never saw this post Von-blewitt just pointed it out to me. 1st awesome WIP Hoss and beautiful finished project! I'm thinking about trying this myself, so this thread will be come my step by step instruction manual (:

A few quick questions Hoss (if you see this)
1) how can you tell the blanks were stamped and not foraged to shape? I'm not questioning that you do know ( that would be dumb of me) I'm just wondering what shows you how do you tell the difference?

2) as for the heat treat: first if you were to do it again would you do anything different or use A different method? 2nd did you mention how hard you tempered the steel? if so I missed it, how hard did you make it?

3) you sad the tang needed a lot of work, Could you explain this better?

4)have there been any "updates" from the user of this knife about how it's preformed?

Side question I know a lot of you guys will be able to answer, how do you mark the centerline along the blank? You know the guideline you use to make sure that your evenly grinding both sides? I've seen it done but don't know what tool people use to do it.

stereo.pete
01-08-2014, 01:07 PM
I never saw this post Von-blewitt just pointed it out to me. 1st awesome WIP Hoss and beautiful finished project! I'm thinking about trying this myself, so this thread will be come my step by step instruction manual (:

A few quick questions Hoss (if you see this)
1) how can you tell the blanks were stamped and not foraged to shape? I'm not questioning that you do know ( that would be dumb of me) I'm just wondering what shows you how do you tell the difference?

2) as for the heat treat: first if you were to do it again would you do anything different or use A different method? 2nd did you mention how hard you tempered the steel? if so I missed it, how hard did you make it?

3) you sad the tang needed a lot of work, Could you explain this better?

4)have there been any "updates" from the user of this knife about how it's preformed?

Side question I know a lot of you guys will be able to answer, how do you mark the centerline along the blank? You know the guideline you use to make sure that your evenly grinding both sides? I've seen it done but don't know what tool people use to do it.

Niloc,

You can purchase centerline scribes from several knife maker supply websites or you can use the low tech approach and if you are using 1/8" stock, use an 1/8" drill bit to get a centerline. Also, if you plan on heat treating after grinding in bevels (not the edge) you should leave some material (dime's thickness) to the edge so that you don't warp it during the heat treat process. From what I have gathered, many of the great kitchen knife makers heat treat prior to grinding so they don't have to worry about edge warp, but again you run into different concerns.

DevinT
01-08-2014, 01:59 PM
These blanks are drop forged and then trimmed. They need to be annealed, rough ground and heat treated. Then the final grind, finish and handles put on. Austenitize at 1500f and temper at 375f for 1 hour two times. These will benefit from a sub zero quench, right after the oil quench, but I did have some trouble with warping. Hardness should be ~61hrc. The steel seems to be 1075 or similar.

The tangs are not straight and do not have a uniform taper. The blade also has a forged distal taper which makes a little more difficult to mark the center line. To mark the center line, I use a carbide tipped caliper.

Good luck, these are a lot of work and a lot of fun.

Hoss

DevinT
01-08-2014, 02:07 PM
These blanks are probably not 100 years old. The guy selling these is a bit of a talker/salesman.

Hoss

cadberry
02-26-2014, 08:09 PM
Just out of curiosity, what happens if you grind and sharpen a knife that is dropped forged like these were? What if you had not heat treated them yourself and just finished them? Thanks

-Anthony

vicv
02-26-2014, 08:25 PM
From what I understand they're basically at a level where there's one normalize cycle put on it. So very soft. Wouldn't take an edge as you've basically got an un heat treaded knife shaped piece of iron Carbide

cadberry
02-26-2014, 08:32 PM
I may or may not have bought one like this and finished it assuming it was good to go :slaphead: