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Thread: Bill Burke 300 Suji Dragon's breath damascus

  1. #1

    Bill Burke 300 Suji Dragon's breath damascus

    A few years back I came across this knife on the old forum:

    Amazing knife owned by an amazing man. The knife struck me by its beauty, and starting to read about the making and the maker I knew I would be truly unhappy not having one of my own.

    The blade was hand forged in a technique known in Japan as hon warikomi, meaning "authentic wedging" and means the lamination is done by hand as compared to using available factory-laminated material. I started to read my up on Bill and his work. I was at this point unfamiliar with the 52100 and different HT. From Bill Ive learned a lot of words like jigane and hagane - gotta love the words.

    Browsing through forums and the net, it was hard to find out about Bill. One of the coolest stories was on Bob Kramers site:

    "All this may sound extreme, but so are the judges' standards, which are neatly illustrated by the story of Bill Burke. In 2002, a trucker used Burke's knife to escape from a wreck. The trucker had first tried another knife, made of the same steel, but it snapped; Burke's knife cut a large hole in the truck's cab, reportedly made of "double-thick-layered steel," and suffered only a mild chip. When the news spread, knife orders poured in. Several years later, Burke applied for his master's smithing stamp, but the judges turned him down--for mistakes that apparently didn't bother the show's buyers. "Even though the judges failed me," Burke told me, "all of the knives I brought were gone in about fifteen minutes." One sold for forty-eight hundred dollars. This year, the judges finally passed him."

    You can also read about the ABS MS on that site. I was sold.

    I contacted Bill with some questions and what his price was. I talked with my GF and ordered one of his knives, however I wanted something special. I am highly influenced by Devin Thomas, Shigefusa and I pick the best of the best from other makers. I really like Mr Raders bolsters, so I asked Bill about an integral bolster on mine. Long story short, I ended up with lots of knives from Bill. We have discussed the knives from time to time, and Im pretty sure Bill is happy I live on the other side of the world cause I might be a person calling him every five minutes.

    I wanted a san mai knife, as I really want to test Bills legendary 52100. But a few weeks ago I tested 52100 (Marko) and Pierres Suji. The 52100 couldn't take the same sharp edge, so I asked on the forum about it. THen I decided to go for a Dragon Breath suji instead of the sanmai.

    Here it is in the early process of making. I know Bill will post some more pics in this thread, I also know the other knives is kicking his butt. Anyway:

    Bills first integral bolster (ASAIK):

    So far I have had the pleasure of talking to Bill a lot the past 2 years. Knowing the amount of hours spend pounding that knife its a privilege to have the opportunity to get my hands on it. Cant wait to see how it turnes out

  2. #2
    Oh I forgot. The other knives will be sanmai with Bills legendary 52100 as hagane

  3. #3
    Man, you like to brag.

    "If there’s something worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.” - An US saying.

    If my KKF Inbox is full (or not), please contact me via Email:

  4. #4
    Senior Member DeepCSweede's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Mequon, WI
    That is already awesome!! Oivind, your vision along with great artists is producing some amazing work. Continue on....

  5. #5

    Bill Burke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Lives in the mountains near Boise, Idaho.
    Thanks Oivind, a little correction. That is the first integral bolster Dragons breath but not the first integral bolster.

  6. #6
    More info Bill

    However Bill is the maker, Im just a wannabe hang around paying the Bill

  7. #7

    Bill Burke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Lives in the mountains near Boise, Idaho.
    300mm sujihiki blade steel from 1084, 15n20 and n201. The Dragons breath pattern has 27 seperate welding steps in it. This blade started out as a six to seven pound billet. through forging grinding and cutting losses when the dragons breath was finished there was only about a pound of steel left the forging of the blade and grinding further reduced that to a few ounces. this blade is 2.86 just in front of the bolsters and tapers to 2.0mm at about one third the blade length where it starts to taper more quickly ending up at .4mm at the tip. it has a full convex grind to a zero edgeand is less than .5mm 10mm behind the edge.

  8. #8
    God damn it will be fun to split lobsters with this one!

    To bad your camera is broken Bill, cause we want pics!

    Amazing work!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Cadillac J's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Colin's BB suji has always been one of my favorite knives on the forum--just something about it that drew me in.

    Dragons breathe design looks so freakin amazing on a narrow blade liks a suji...I can't wait to see the final product.

    I might have to get my leather gloves and piano wire ready and make a trip out to Norway soon--kidding.

  10. #10
    Can't wait to see a close up of that bolster transition.

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