Bill Burke 300 Suji Dragon's breath damascus
A few years back I came across this knife on the old forum:
Amazing knife owned by an amazing man. The knife struck me by its beauty, and starting to read about the making and the maker I knew I would be truly unhappy not having one of my own.
The blade was hand forged in a technique known in Japan as hon warikomi, meaning "authentic wedging" and means the lamination is done by hand as compared to using available factory-laminated material. I started to read my up on Bill and his work. I was at this point unfamiliar with the 52100 and different HT. From Bill Ive learned a lot of words like jigane and hagane - gotta love the words.
Browsing through forums and the net, it was hard to find out about Bill. One of the coolest stories was on Bob Kramers site:
"All this may sound extreme, but so are the judges' standards, which are neatly illustrated by the story of Bill Burke. In 2002, a trucker used Burke's knife to escape from a wreck. The trucker had first tried another knife, made of the same steel, but it snapped; Burke's knife cut a large hole in the truck's cab, reportedly made of "double-thick-layered steel," and suffered only a mild chip. When the news spread, knife orders poured in. Several years later, Burke applied for his master's smithing stamp, but the judges turned him down--for mistakes that apparently didn't bother the show's buyers. "Even though the judges failed me," Burke told me, "all of the knives I brought were gone in about fifteen minutes." One sold for forty-eight hundred dollars. This year, the judges finally passed him."
You can also read about the ABS MS on that site. I was sold.
I contacted Bill with some questions and what his price was. I talked with my GF and ordered one of his knives, however I wanted something special. I am highly influenced by Devin Thomas, Shigefusa and I pick the best of the best from other makers. I really like Mr Raders bolsters, so I asked Bill about an integral bolster on mine. Long story short, I ended up with lots of knives from Bill. We have discussed the knives from time to time, and Im pretty sure Bill is happy I live on the other side of the world cause I might be a person calling him every five minutes.
I wanted a san mai knife, as I really want to test Bills legendary 52100. But a few weeks ago I tested 52100 (Marko) and Pierres Suji. The 52100 couldn't take the same sharp edge, so I asked on the forum about it. THen I decided to go for a Dragon Breath suji instead of the sanmai.
Here it is in the early process of making. I know Bill will post some more pics in this thread, I also know the other knives is kicking his butt. Anyway:
Bills first integral bolster (ASAIK):
So far I have had the pleasure of talking to Bill a lot the past 2 years. Knowing the amount of hours spend pounding that knife its a privilege to have the opportunity to get my hands on it. Cant wait to see how it turnes out :)