I hope this isn't too far afield as a de-capping knife isn't really a kitchen knife, per se, but more or less fits the description. I've been looking for a while and all I can find is serrated "you never need to sharpen" (ha!) blades or a very few European hand-crafted knives with plain blades but riveted to the offset handle.
Before I ask specific questions, let me describe the knife - it has an offset handle parallel to the blade (to keep the operators hand out of the honey), a flat blade about 10 inches long, it's sharpened on both sides so you can cut up or down, and is used to slice the cappings off filled honeycomb which is contained inside a wooden frame. I've seen a number of different designs, but typically they are an inch to 2 inches wide with about an inch and a quarter offset. Some have square tips, but the one I've been borrowing has a rounded tip.
It is used to slice off the capping and very top of the cells of honeycomb to permit centrifugal extraction of the honey. Normally used from bottom to top of the frame, with the frame held at a double angle to allow the cappings and honey to run off the blade into a container to drain the honey out. While the comb is fairly soft as things go, it's also very easy to crush, and the objective it is to shave off the minimum amount of cell wall to make it easier for the bees to fix it and re-fill it with honey. Sharp cuts also mean less wax in the honey, faster filtering, and happier consumers.
Since this needs to be razor sharp to cut the wax comb without crushing it, what's the best material? We can get just about any steel we want through MSC. I'm thinking carbon steel (1095 probably) about 1/16" thick, but am open to suggestions.
What's the best way to bend the offset? Forge? I have access to a good blacksmith and forge.
Sharpening angle? I'm thinking single bevel and fairly shallow -- this is a slicing knife in fairly soft material, no need to worry about chips unless someone runs it into a nail at the end of the frame or something.
Heat treat? Needs to be hardened and tempered, again I have access to a coke fired forge so heat is no problem.
Someday I'll probably cough up $150 for a heated knife for this job, but that's a way off, I think, about the same time I buy an $800 extractor instead of borrowing one.