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Thread: Why I do what I do.

  1. #1
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    sachem allison's Avatar
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    Why I do what I do.

    One of the Reasons I started this thread was because several of the cooks over the years that I have given vintage knives too have complained that I gave them an old rusty p.o.s. knife and that I had no respect for them as cooks or human beings. Other cooks totally understood what I was telling them and the true value of the gift that I gave them. They cherished them and brought them back to life and when the time came they asked me to help them find similar pieces, so that they could give them to their apprentices and cooks. Am I crazy in wanting to bring quality and tradition back into the kitchen?
    My Master chef gave me a piece of **** paring knife that I dearly love and I haven't found anything sharper or more comfortable. He was given his first working knife by one of Escoffier's apprentices, who also gave him a bandoleer butcher belt similar to Colin's that belonged to Escoffier himself. Colin, himself carries on the tradition by giving me (a complete stranger), the butcher belt he made for himself. Travis carries on the tradition , by asking me to find a vintage Sabatier for a friend. Randy carries on the tradition by sneaking a little something extra into a order. I personally know that some of you on this forum carry on that tradition as most of the knives I sold were bought to give to your cooks or to touch memories of long ago.
    I posted a thread yesterday that really started a little debate. The oldest Sabatier in the world thread. In this thread I challenged you guys to find a way to bring back to life a sorely abused, but deeply loved Sabatier. I gave you free reign to do as you saw fit. Many of you guys felt that the knife had earned a well deserved retirement and was best left alone. I received quite a few personal emails telling me that it was unacceptable to mess with history and that I should be ashamed of myself. Passion can be an interesting thing.
    On the other side I received a few Pm's asking if they could restore it, not just so they could have it, but so they could actually use it or give it to a new cook or an old timer who would appreciate it. Some just wanted to do it, so that they could experience the craftsmanship that went into making it in the first place. And many thanked me for wanting to bring a forgotten thing back to life.
    I understand both sides of the argument and am in no way offended by the passion that both sides have on the subject. This was and is a necessary debate. There will always be people who love and want to preserve history and those who want to move forward. Myself, I prefer living history. preserving the good traditions and qualities of the past by passing them on to be used by the present and future generations. I want this debate and there will be times where I side with one side and then another.
    This is a great forum and I respect the members here and their opinions and passions. With that said, I will be having the pieces listed brought back to life. I have many pieces that I will keep as is for future generations to decide what they want to do. Right here and now, I feel that the pieces will be in good hands. They will be with folks who will coax out what life remains and light a little fire that will grow. I ask that you pass on these traditions to the younger generations as many of them seem to be lacking in guidance and care. Smack them upside the head once in awhile. I firmly believe we don't beat our kids enough.lol

    I am going to be posting more of these challenges as the days go by and hope that you guys, accept them in the spirit they were intended.
    Have a great day. Son
    I haven't lived the life I wanted, just the lives I needed too at the time.

  2. #2
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    Son,

    This is really cool. I have personally passed on 2 of my japanese knives to my kitchen employees. They both cherish them and use them every day. I really like the idea of using something older and bringing it back to life then passing it on. I hope these all work out well and end up in good hands.

    -Chuck

  3. #3
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    Here is the next challenge. it is simple gently restore this beautiful slicer. This is one of my favorite knives. I love the feel and texture of the handle. the copper birds eyes rivets, The ancient British Oak handle and the gorgeous lines of the 12 in blade. It is a masterpiece of the knife makers art. The knife was made on the late 1800's probably 1880's by the Gregory Bros cutlery company. They moved to the Bee hive works in Sheffield , England I do believe in the 1870's or 80's. They have been in business since the 1820's. they were bought out by Fenton in 1968 and became Gregory Fenton something. Like most acquisitions quality suffered and most of what they make is **** now, When this was made Sheffield was at the peak of their game and were world renowned for the quality of their blades and steel. This is something you won't see. It is rare, both in quality and quantity, It very well may have been made for a top hotel or country estate. It is quintessentially British in design, as is evident by the bird's head handle. for some reason higher end British Blades always had saber shaped handles . The handle I have been told was made from old ,now non-existent British Oak. It has a character that I have never seen or felt. It is magnificent. It has handmade patinated copper bird's eye rivets, not corby bolts. The blade is beautifully proportioned from virgin carbon steel and hand forged by a master smith. It is a 12 in razor. There is a gradual distal taper both in the blade and the tang. It balances just forward of the bolster. Did I mention how magnificent this knife is. It need a very gentle restoration. it is perfectly useable and beautiful now, but if you want to use it professionally, which I would, it needs some tlc.
    So, same deal as the Sabatier if you are willing to take on this project, provide a wip and let us know what you did or are doing with this knife, I will give it to you. I need to pass on these things, as I have so many projects that I can never get them done. Have fun. son
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    I haven't lived the life I wanted, just the lives I needed too at the time.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Deckhand's Avatar
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    "Many of you guys felt that the knife had earned a well deserved retirement and was best left alone. I received quite a few personal emails telling me that it was unacceptable to mess with history and that I should be ashamed of myself. Passion can be an interesting thing. " Sachem Allison

    Damn I knew there were differences of opinion on that thread, but never expected it got that heated. Pm's saying you should be ashamed. Ridiculous. I get people have differences of opinion but that is too far. I for one consider you a friend. I believe you go out of your way to be helpful and to make the world a better place and I appreciate you. I am very grateful for all the help and kindness of others on this forum and found it to be a Shangrila for food,cooking, knives, etc. There is a core group of very helpful and kind people on this forum and you are one of them.

  5. #5
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    Thank you,
    But it is okay, I really understand how passionate people can be, look how passionate you are about the above subject. I listen and I take into consideration what was said and if it is a valid point, I may lean that way, if not there is no harm in letting someone express their opinion. I can honestly say that it was none of the members that posted and that I am glad that the comments were done privately, as I do not want to have the same situation that occurred on other posts happen here. Let's agree to disagree and move on. I want this to be a fun project, so lets keep it that way. Drama free zone.lol
    I haven't lived the life I wanted, just the lives I needed too at the time.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Candlejack's Avatar
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    With every post i respect you more Son. You really are an interesting person.


    I love that slicer, it's really beautiful. I love old knives with history. I'm not sure i would be able to restore anything though, so i'll sit in awe waiting for others to do it and watch their results.


    But if you have any old piece you might be thinking of selling, i am really interested. They are beautiful and all that history just does it for me. It's something i just must have.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Salty dog's Avatar
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    I missed the point on that thread because I only looked at the pictures.

    I have gathered several vintage knives from several makers, including Sabatier. (I think I have three in different quality)
    I sharpened one up yesterday and it was completely useable. (Someone really messed up the tip though.)

    The one one the left below is a vintage Dexter Russel. It was a 14 inch chef's knife with a HUGE bow in the edge. It's now going to be a slicer or suji. The one on the right is it's sister knife but only 12 inches. It's almost unused. Both are vintage American 1095.


  8. #8
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    Son, if I had the talent, i'd be all over this challenge. That slicer is beautiful, and I think we look at things in about the same light.
    I'm really glad you're a member here, as the whole forum has benefited from your joining.
    09/06

    Take a look around at: www.sharpandshinyshop.com

    Email me at: tmclean@sharpandshinyshop.com

  9. #9
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    Son, this is a very cool thing you are doing. I wish I had the skills and knowledge to take on one of these projects. I really look forward to seeing what some of the members here can do for these knives.
    __________
    David (WildBoar's Kitchen)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salty dog View Post
    I missed the point on that thread because I only looked at the pictures.

    I have gathered several vintage knives from several makers, including Sabatier. (I think I have three in different quality)
    I sharpened one up yesterday and it was completely useable. (Someone really messed up the tip though.)

    The one one the left below is a vintage Dexter Russel. It was a 14 inch chef's knife with a HUGE bow in the edge. It's now going to be a slicer or suji. The one on the right is it's sister knife but only 12 inches. It's almost unused. Both are vintage American 1095.

    huge fan of vintage dexter, a highly under rated knife maker. nice pieces Salty, let me know how they turn out.
    I haven't lived the life I wanted, just the lives I needed too at the time.

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