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Thread: Lamson Collaboration: Next Step

  1. #451
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
    Yeah, I literally sketched it in the cab of the firetruck, one day, and didn't use any "sure science". Haha.
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  2. #452
    Senior Member cclin's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
    The profile looks a lots like my z-kramer chef knife with lower tip & sloped choil.......
    Charles ***[All statements I made here only my personal opinion and nothing more!]*** & Please bare with me for my crappy English!!

  3. #453
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
    Well, I don't think this is going over too well, so maybe bak to the drawing board.

    Thinking more heel height (than the original)
    A bit of a handle tweak
    Maybe more thickness at the spine (if it works)
    A tiny (and I mean tiny) bit higher tip than the prototype.

    I wish I was sleeping, by the way.
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  4. #454

    ecchef's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    In the Village.
    Was the pass around prototype ever returned?
    Though I could not caution all I still might warn a few; Don't raise your hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools. - Robert Hunter

  5. #455
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    I think it's hard to generate good feedback with a sketch like that. The numbers are helpful, but that drawing makes the knife look taller, in relation to its length, that it would really be. How about sharing some more accurate drawings (such as some of the ones I remember at the beginning of this project)?

    Was that a year or so ago?!?

  6. #456
    PierreRodrigue's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
    Alberta, Canada
    So. I took the time to review all the posts, and select some of the early discussions, as a review. I know it has been a long time since this has been on any ones mind. These quotes are a time line of what was discussed in order. Tom and I discussed tweeks. Any thing I add today will be in blue script.

    "A good compromising length is 255mm, it's smack in the middle of 240-270 and I'd be willing to settle on that. O1 or 52100 hardened to 62-63, modified Sab profile, 2.5-3mm at the spine, "s" shaped grind, real thin behind the edge, 52mm height, distal taper, tapered tang, integral bolster, no fingerguard/full bolster, fully rounded spine and choil, stabilized burl handle, 1 mosaic pin."

    "There are a lot of great ideas here, but as this is going to be a production knife, I would try to concentrate on things achievable in a production knife at a decent price point. It might not end up the exact knife with all the bells and whistles you wanted, but hey, that is what customs are for. We have plenty of craftsman here for that as well. Think of it as maximizing your value. Sure, you can spring for integral bolsters, but that might increase the price by 50% or end up compromising the finish or material quality. Combination or concave grinds are labor intensive in both the grinding and finishing processes. Coke bottle westerns are great, I love them, but they don't really lend themselves to mass production. Both require a skilled craftsman's work, ie, no robots. Even wood: stabilizing adds cost and there some great oily natural woods out there. Cocobolo, wenge, rosewood, etc. The supplier can also buy them in large blocks/boards, as opposed to many small pre stabilized pieces.

    If you are going with a Sab/Forgecraft inspired profile, then I would use that as a basis for your theme: An updated Sab/Forge with improved steel, readily available, with no restoration needed. Any of the steels mentioned in this thread qualify. Carbon obviously fits the theme a little better than stainless. Plus it sounds like Lefty really likes O1. 10"/255mm edge. Forgecraft style handle with a natural wood, which makes for simple wa conversions. Finish would most likely be simple machine finish, not much in the way of options there. You maniacs can attack them with whatever mesh or stones or paper you have laying around. Where you put your money is the grind and distal taper. Unlike some of the examples in the first paragraph, I think a strong distal taper is something that can be achievable with this project, but it will add cost. When grinding thin, it is cheaper to start with thin stock, that simple. Thin stock does not lead to dramatic distal tapers. Starting with thick stock and distal taper kinda sorta dictates your grind, which would lend itself well to a slight convex on the upper half of the face, with most of the stock removal and convexing on the lower half of the blade face, to get thin behind the edge like everyone likes. Should be a sturdy cutter, suitable for any linecook or homecook. I think you will end up with an affordable performer that leaves the door open for plenty of tweaking and customization, but still had a fairly unique identity. "

    "Damn, I made one of the first posts in this thread, but something happened and it got swallowed by the cyber-abyss.
    It all worked out though and I think that people have already brought up most of my suggestions / opinions.

    Aside from just talking specs, I think it's important to have a clear design philosophy for the knife:

    -It should be a homage to the hay-day of Lamson / 1900's American knife making, but updated / informed by what we have learned since then from Japanese, European (French), and North American customs.

    -It should be about utility, craftsmanship, and quality. I love fancy burl and mosaic pins too, but IMO they have no place on this knife. Anything that adds bling, but does not add function, performance, or value per$ should not be on this knife. All North American materials and labor.

    -It should be carbon mono-steel. Not stainless, not san-mai. I like fancy cladding. I like laminate construction, but that's not what this knife is about. I think 01 sound great.

    -It should be robust / rigid at the spine for at least 3/4 of the blade. Strong spine, but THIN behind the edge. I like Lefty's "almost" grind profile but it should transition from the heel to tip (in conjunction w/ the distal taper) to a flat-grind near the tip.

    - Profile should be reasonably flat, flat "sweet spot" near the tip, but its important to understand that even gyutos that LOOK flat near the heal are not actually truly flat in any one spot for more than an inch or so. If any one has even used a knife that actually has big, dead flat section of edge, it feels just that: DEAD. It creates a horrible "clunk" when a big section of edge all hits board at the same time.

    -It should have a full tang(distal taper) with western scales. Handle should look clean and with obvious roots in tradition, but no bolster and nice and thin before the blade. Great handles are great because of perfectly placed nuances. It should be comfortable for a full range of hand sizes. I may be in the minority here, but I think that handle should me maintenance free: resin-stabilize wood, g10, or micarta... Personally I like the simple, classy look of polished black linen micarta and simple silver pins

    -This knife should be the answer to the "What knife should I buy?" question of "I'm looking for 1 good knife where I can learn about carbon steel, proper (non- rockn' chop) technique, and which I will not out grow. It must be durable enough for whatever work I throw at it, and comfortable enough for many hours of continuous use."

    "Here's what we have so far. We're thinking O1 (and maybe a stainless like AEB-L if we can), hardened to Pierre's specs, to 61-62hrc. The handle design is coming, so you never know. We might be able to do a mix of western and wa.

    Here's the initial drawing. This is a starting point, and way to get the ideas flowing. You can see it's a Sab, with a cool topline, dropped tip and tightened choil (compared to Pierre's). Let me know what you think.

    Thanks, guys!

    Here are the specs on my rendition...

    50mm high at the heel

    250mm cutting edge

    2.5mm spine at the bolster

    1.5mm mid spine

    .8mm 1 inch from the tip, give or take of course...

    So raising the heel is easy. to say 53-55 mm?

    Keep it frickin simple people. We're trying to make a knife for the masses, right? That is the point, correct? How do most people hold a knife? By the handle. Not with a pinch grip. I KNOW- not everyone has the same grip, but the majority of people DO(I personally use a pinch grip, but I've learned from experience- that the majority of people do not). So who are we designing this knife for? Ourselves? Pros? Semi pros? The unenlightened? The inbetweeners?

    A simple, comfy handle, will help to accentuate a superior blade profile. And no- I don't think blade profiles are quite as negotiable as handles. What is a simple comfy handle? I'm not sure yet. But wa's are still a bit foreign to the majority(and this coming from someone who HEAVILY PREFERS WA'S!). Marketing can help overcome this, but that's a whole other kettle...

    Trying to take into account after market customization is limiting the end product. Presume that it's made to last. And if it succeeds- produce another line that's better suited to nitpicking.

    My vision for this knife is somewhat complicated and multi-leveled. I see this knife being:

    Around 7 years from now, like the Hattori Forum knife.

    The answer to, "I really want a great carbon steel knife that will last and impress for a very reasonable price. What should I get"?

    And the stainless version that I hope comes out as a clone, with different steel should be the answer to, "What knife should I get that is low maintenance, and pure performance"?

    This knife should not need to be upgraded, nor should it have what I call a "throw away handle". These aren't Carter SFGZ offense, Murray (we all know you read this forum).

    Even though the price will be very reasonable, I don't want it to appear that we cheaped out. In fact, I won't cheap out. You'd be amazed what we can get done for a difference of only a few bucks.

    This knife should be one that we don't get tired of in a year; It will be designed with quality and style in mind, and not a fleeting trend, or on the premise of, "well, guys are just going to change it anyways"

    To further emphasis the above point, this is a complete package and NOT a knife blank.

    This knife is designed with the input of the members here, to match up with our ideals, and overall skill-set. While we aren't all knife ninjas. We most definitely do have better knife skills than many chefs out there, and 99% of the general public.

    However, there's no reason an advanced knife with upscale styling, great quality and high performance can't be affordable, feel good in anyone's hand and make people look at it and think, "Now that's a knife I would like to own".

    "One of the craftsmen here recently posted a photo of a Forgecraft they re-handled and I can't seem to find it. It looked outstanding and IIRC it would be a super example of inspiration for this project. Maybe someone will recall it and post a link up for us?

    I think it is important for this knife to have a handle that allows it to stand firmly on it's own as a complete knife."

    "Gentlemen, food for though. From a construction point of view first.

    Bolsters. An issue has been raised with galvanic reaction. Copper if not cared for could likely turn dark, then green. You have voiced an objection to stainless. Fair enough. I would like to suggest bronze. It is a mix of brass and tin, as you know, and would be less likely to turn then copper, or straight brass. Thoughts?

    Pins. Or as far as a produced knife goes, rivets. There are a few sizes, essentially, the smallest is .1875 in dia. Issue with the pins/rivets is color match to the bolsters. I believe there are brass, stainless, and maybe nickel/silver. No copper, no bronze.

    Potential configuration. In my minds eye, I think bronze bolsters, and cocobolo would look sweet, and unique. The pin issue can be as simple as nothing visible. Blind/hidden pins are a possible answer.

    The issue is... When constructing a knife in mass numbers, the more a knife, or component is handled, the cost rises. So for example lets take a knife through the steps.
    1. profiles are computer fitted to a sheet to yield as little waste as possible.
    2. cut out by precision laser.
    3. Heat treated
    4. ground, and polished to desired finish
    5. in another part of the shop, the handle scales are profiled and drilled/countersunk to receive the rivets. Bolsters have been CNC machined to desired profile, and drilled to accept the pins.
    6. bolsters are epoxied/pinned/pressed into place
    7. Scales are epoxied, rivets placed, scales checked to ensure a tight fit, then the rivets are pressed to secure them. And laid aside to cure.
    7b. scales are epoxied, pinned/clamped, by hand and laid aside to cure. (much more time and hands on here)
    8. Handle is trimmed, shaped, and polished.
    8b. pins are trimmed flush, handle is trimmed, shaped and polished

    It doesn't sound like much of a difference, but to clamp ( 2 clamps per knife) 80 or so knives would take a considerable amount of time. Its not out of the question, but would add cost and is a PITA in terms of production.

    Now this post will be a surprise to Tom, as he has been busy today. So I apologize if this post is out of turn, or not along the projects vision. Just options, and an explanation of how the knife will be built. Reading how it will come together, will dispel some ideas we may have of possible options. Remember, these are not customs. We want to build a solid, aesthetically pleasing knife, out of quality materials, for a low price, that will be acceptable to the group as a whole.

    As an added FYI, I was speaking to my steel guy today, and talking of new things coming down the pipe. He informed me on the composition of the O1 we will be using, and chemically speaking, it will sit squarely between white 1, and blue 2. It is a very clean smelt, and will produce an excellent carbon steel knife. I am excited to be part of this project.

    Also, Lamson is taking interest in this thread, and has read it from end to end!"

    "The O1 we have procured, chemically falls between White 1 and Blue 2. As a steel, it isn't as reactive or stinky as most. It likes to patina blues and purples in proteins. Don't misread this, it can and will rust as any carbon will.

    It has a great, fine grain structure, and is awesome at HRC 61-62. But "sings"
    if taken higher. For this project, and for toughness sake, I recommend 61-62. Much higher increases the risk of chipping.

    52100 has been coined by some as poor mans O1."

    "I understand the original goal was a throwback design. A solid carbon steel (O1) A solid retro-ish profile (A tweaked sab profile) Natural stable wood (cocobolo)

    The hickups were on which handle. This is where we explored new territory. Some wanted wa, some wanted western, some bolsters, some no bolsters, some one pin some 3 pins. This made it tough to please everybody 100%. Ain't gonna happen...

    So Here are my thoughts, to take some of most of the wants and make a handle that when looked at is understated and different, yet embodies the spirit of what we started to create.

    How can a geometric octagonal Wa, and a curvy western be combined? I tried to combine the taper of a wa, the height and width of a western, the facets of a wa, and some of the westerns curves and feel. How do we do a cross on a bolster, and no bolster... we cant. BUT, we can use materials that are visually subdued, and still aesthetically pleasing. Copper wasn't the answer, or the first mockup, so back to the drawing board. G10 shaped to match the facets on the handle.

    How do we pay homage to the handles of old, yet not make a copy? To that end, we have the flats and beveled corners, slightly tapering handle, with three pins. Why not a traditional wood. No real reason, only there are other choices that have nice figure, are solid, and relatively stable. Why add G10? I think capping the end of the handle at the "food" end makes sense for cleanliness, comfort, and looks. Check out some of the 50 plus year old knives with straight wood handles out there. The fronts are stained, chipped, splitting, lifting etc. Could we have gone that route? Yes. Is there a real reason apart from historical accuracy to do it? I don't know. We are paying homage to an old style, top materials, and having it built by the oldest knife maker, I think, in North America. We have a chance to build the next classic (hopefully!) with input from a large group of knife enthusiasts who can say "we were part of that".

    I don't want to sound corny (too late I fear! lol!) there is no way to please all of you who posted ideas, but we took what most of you liked, and trashed most of what you didn't like. All the while trying to keep some tradition in the design, and bring that tradition into the present.

    Look at it this way. We have designed a knife from the ground up in a week that may not be historically accurate, but has its roots in history. When you look at it, you will see Sab, Forgecraft, and even Lamson.
    We agreed to use a company that hasn't been given the time of day around here, give them a chance to do it our way, and generated some excitement doing it! Nearly 14000 views in a week! Either your interested in the knife, or your interested in the process of the design, but hell! Thanks for being part of it!

    Now. Any other things we need to work on? We got time and resources! A prototype is next!"

    So, as discussed there are to be some tweaks. This post is a refresher on how we got here, It took a bit of time to go through everything, and I am sure you all aren't gonna do it, neither will the older members remember all that went down. This will also bring the new guys up to speed. So if this refresher brings it back to life great. What are we looking for as a final.

    Tom and I chatted over the reviews, agreed on some changes. If we do a complete overhaul, we are back at stage one.

    So we are raising the heel, maybe dropping the tip. Could some of you weigh in on this? Tom, if I missed anything, post it here, lets nail this down.

    Feel free to visit my website,

  7. #457
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Martian penal colony 01-002 (Indiana)
    Thanks to Pierre and Tom for their efforts on this knife. I like the knife you came up with.

    That being said I am not a pro, I am a member of the masses. I cook at home more than I go out for good reason. I can plate a meal cheaper and better than what I can get where I live, so I use my knives and my limited skills.

    I can tell you I have bought custom and mass produced. I like both, for a custom I prefer carbon for mass produced I prefer stainless. I like stainless because I can lay it down and if I forget about it, it's not a mess when I get back to it. I'm a home cook not a pro so I screw up. I looked at line knives, which are now the fad, I even bought a 210 petty from Jon, but honestly, I don't like the height I have big to medium hands, I just purchased a 240mm 49mm high Tojiro western stainless that I now use as an everyday knife or until I get bored and go back to another that I have or buy.

    Looking at your drawings listening to your thoughts it's a great design, and to paraphrase you can please all the people some of the time, you can please some of the people all of the time, but cannot please all the people all the time, but your close. Go with it.

  8. #458
    I am still unclear as to whether the prototype has been recovered. The final image seems to have patina from use.

  9. #459
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Pensacola, FL, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by theo59 View Post
    I am still unclear as to whether the prototype has been recovered. The final image seems to have patina from use.
    I took that pic when I evaluated the prototype, some time before it was "lost". I don't think it has been "found".
    “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”

  10. #460
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    That is so messed up, I am sure you guys know this "persons" address why don't you find him/it? or did they just fall off the face of the earth?

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