High Carbon Steel Blades and Wooden Handles
For many years, I've enjoyed going to estate sales to find junk that I think it interesting. A few years ago, my wife mentioned to me that she thought all of the stainless steel knives in our kitchen were not very good, and they don't hold an edge. The wife's mention of our kitchen knives added one more item to my mental shopping list at estate sales.
Not long after her statement, I was poking around at an estate sale at an old house, and I came across an old kitchen knife with an eight-inch, grey-ish colored blade and a wood handle. The estate sale lady asked 50c for it; I gave her a dollar. When I got home, I shined up the blade with some steel wool, refinished the wood handle, and sharpened the blade. The wife loved it!
After that, I began to find other old kitchen knives. I liked the old-ness to them, and the quick re-habs are fun projects on a Saturday morning. I researched the manufacturers (if the blade had an ID stamp), and I found the history behind many of the old knives to be quite interesting. I learned about them. They became a cheap and fun item to collect.
After a while, a guy can have only so many kitchen knives. So, I started giving them away to friends. High carbon steel blades aren't shiny and sleek like stainless. Admittedly, an old kitchen knife IS sort of an odd gift. A look of bewilderment mixed with surprise on a friend's face became the typical reaction when I presented an old kitchen knife to him. I've given away 25-30 in the past 3-4 years. Every time I give someone an old HCS blade knife, they look at me funny. But, then, some weeks later, when I bump into the friend -- I get the same feedback: "Remember that old knife you gave me a couple of weeks ago? Man, that is the BEST knife! I love it!"
Need pictures please...
Originally Posted by LCouv
There's a thread on here called "Old Dirty Carbon" or somesuch. You would probably enjoy it.
Google fu is weak. Maybe someone could help find it.
Most Chef that i have worked with prefer Carbon steel over SS. They keep an edge better and are easier to sharpen . Certainly SS stains less but carbon steel knives with a bit of TLC and you are good. I make chef knives out of damascus steel , which is a combination of carbon steel and nickel.. looks great but keeps a edge well .
restoring old carbon steel knives is a great past time. I have done several older knives that I found at the old home place.
the top knife had been in the dirt by a tobacco pack house for many years. cleaned it and put on a new maple handle. could not find a maker's mark. was Granny's favorite. bottom knife is an Old Hickory clone from Columbia. cleaned it and put on a new cedar handle.