Pre-Orders for 52100
I got two people contacted me in the part several days to get in on the list for purchasing 260mm gyuto in 52100. Though I don't like to rush with anything, I spent this entire month experimenting with heat treatment (testing for toughness, edge retention, sharpen-ability, hardness, etc) and grinding, At the moment, one of my knives in being tested and so far a feedback has been encouraging. I have used one knife I made in my kitchen without resharpening or re-touching for more than two weeks now and the edge is holding pretty well.
So, I think I have gotten enough to start and I will adjust as necessary.
I would like to do following things. I am working on a pass-around gyuto in 52100, so you will get an idea on geometry, grind, heat treatment, and F&F.
I also will start a list for preorders for 260mm gyuto in 52100. The finished knife will be 61RC, and I will weigh under 220g with handle. This will be essentially a custom knife, as all processes are done in house by me, including a 6 or 8 step heat treatment. You will be able to make requests for minor profile, thinness, and geometry adjustments, handle type (octagonal or meiji like) and handle material. Price will include a poplar saya (I will prorate if requested without). Also, all knives will come with 100% satisfaction guarantee, should they not meet your expectation, as long as your return them condition received. I will address any issues related to workmanship.
Shortly thereafter, I will offer pre-orders for 280mm suji in 52100. I am working on a prototype, so I haven't finalized the profile or geometry yet, but that should not take long. There will be a pass around for this knife as well.
I will introduce a few more steels options at a later time.
Prices will be available on my web site shortly. In the mean time, you can contact me via PM.
Price includes shipping.
PS: these will not interfere with my backlog of custom orders. I am clearing them slowly, but should be done very soon.
Thanks for those of you who contacted me. It's very exciting to finally do it.
I am going to start looking in my wood stash to see what I come up with for handles. I have to order some more ironwood, but I have a good amount of really nice maple, koa and walnut burl that I am to resaw and send out for stabilizing.
I just love Koa!
But I also love Maple Burl :)
Will you post pic so we can pick our own woods, Tiger?
Very nice to see that you are up and running and ready for production, Marko. Knowing what perfectionist you are in all details on what you make, my guess will be that your HT of the 52100 will be on par with the very very best around. You just can't quit until it's perfect, can you? :D I believe that is a very good thing. Good luck on your great endeavour, Marko. (Just like you were needing that...). I know for sure that you will be making a lot of very happy customers. Hope to be one of them soon :)
Now that I am in this thread, here is a quick run-down where I stand with the pre-orders
I finalized a heat treatment method #1 that resulted in a very stable edge that is easy to sharpen and has excellent edge retention (one of my knives has been used in a pro kitchen since July 25 and has not needed resharpening, just one retouching on leather loaded with 2 micron silicon carbide and the edge came back to shaving condition)
I am also working on a heat treatment process #2 that would retain a stable edge, easy sharpen-ability but would increase edge retention. So far the indications have been that the heat treatment is on target, but I wouldn't know it for certain until the knife has been tested in a pro kitchen as well as on a rope-cutting test. So #2 is on hold for now.
I finalized profile, geometry and finish for the gyuto and working on a suji (two lengths), 150mm petty and 180mm gyuto.
I like to keep the weight of the 260mm (on the edge) gyuto under 225g with the handle so it is light and nimble. At the same time, it is over 3mm thick at the handle, and 1mm .75" from the tip, so it's a pretty rigid knife. I will grind a suji with more flex near the tip, but a gyuto (unless requested) will have very little or no flex near the tip and ZERO flex at the handle.
Finish is going to be similar to Shigefusa kasumi line with horizontal finish lines, rounded choil and spine.
Grind will be shallow convex with thickness above the edge under .010. This is more of a Carter-like than Shigefusa-like grind, but I think it will complement the lightweight of the knife well. It should cut well. I am also considering doing an asymmetric grind (for right hand users first and then maybe left), but would need a feedback before offering it as an option. I am sending one out to evaluate fit, finish, grind (includes asymmetric) early next week.
I grind to about .015 at the edge and then take to stones and remove the rest by hand. I have a better control over the angle, and though it takes much longer than on a grinder, I like the result better. I think this is what puts Shigefusa apart from many Japanese makers - no over-grinds, uniform bevels, etc., and I will try to replicate that. There is a learning curve to this, but I am in for a long haul, I hope.
As far as sharpening is concerned, I converge two planes to zero degree and then put a small micro bevel and polish it. I use a mix of synthetic and natural stones, but the resulting edge should be over 6K. If you like wider bevels, you will welcome to put on your own. :)
Working on D handle. A little bit of a learning curve, but should get good results within day or two. Octagonal doesn't need any improvement, I think.
Logo is finalized and will order stensils today, so will get them by then end lf the week. I have the etching machine already.
I will start working on a pass-around knife withing a week or so (still getting feedback). I feel pretty confident about my HT and the rest, so if the brave ones of you want me to start working on your knives before the reviews, please let me know.
Here are the pictures of a knife I am sending it for evaluation for grind, fit and finish (as well as sharpen-ability and edge retention). This was an experimental grind (an asymmetric grind) and experimental heat treatment, and it is a bit narrower than a standard (learning experience). In any event, this is a practice knife for testing processes and I accomplished that.
It took me a second to figure out what I was looking at on number 6. Very nice and I like the logo, too!
I like the looks of this narrow gyuto. What are the dimensions, heel height and edge length?
Very nice, Marko, very nice.