I've asked a few of the makers that we work with to show their techniques of making chef's knives. Below, Jim Arbuckle shows his technique with a knife we've just posted:
Jim and I went to the ABS school together in the early 90s and have been fast friends since we first met. He is one of the most genuine folks that I have ever had the opportunity to know. Jim makes a fantastic chef’s knife.
Since the forum seems to be only allowing me to add 10 photos at a time, this'll be broken up into several messages. I’ll be adding the next segment in the next day or so.
1. Select a sheet of steel of the appropriate thickness and type.
2. Pick out a design for the knife or knives. Do I use a pattern I’ve done before or do I start fresh.
3. Chef’s knife pattern traced on the steel (try to keep the tip of the knife away from the end of the sheet; this reduces the chance getting inclusions in the blade).
4. Try to maximize use of steel.
5. Knife blanks are cut out of sheet utilizing a metal cutting band saw. Cuts are usually almost straight due to the blade width.
6. Here is the Chef’s knife blank after cutting with the band saw.
7. Next, it goes to the grinder and a 60 grit belt to profile the blank. (Shown in the foreground is my Burr King and in the back you can see the KMG grinder.)
8. Here is the blank after is has been profiled. Some of the mill scale and imperfections removed from the flats. Note finger grove is left rough.
9. Using a flat surface (bandsaw table), a tungsten carbide tipped scribe and a small machinists’ vise, I mark the center.
10. Position the tip of the scribe close to the center of the edge.