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Thread: Seem's to be a stigma

  1. #11
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    I think Glass, Marko and Eamon covered it. I generally associate American makers (Murray doesn't count.) with a little too much creativity and too little substance/experience with regard to blade design.

  2. #12
    Weird Wood Pusher Burl Source's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tk59 View Post
    I think Glass, Marko and Eamon covered it. I generally associate American makers (Murray doesn't count.) with a little too much creativity and too little substance/experience with regard to blade design.
    Like my Yanagi?

    Mike,
    I think that anything that you make will sell if it performs well, looks good and is realistically priced. I don't mean cheap. I mean in accordance to the materials, workmanship and performance. As long as it is just you making the knives and not a mass production, I would bet most if not all of what you make will find happy homes.
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  3. #13
    Senior Member eshua's Avatar
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    Imo Single bevel knives do a few specific tasks extremely well, but most working cooks could not get though their shift with one single the way I can with one 240 gyuto.

    As to stigma, I have heard so much on the forum about how maker X or Y has really improved their profile, or grind over time.
    First run knives can seem like a gamble, becoming either a collectors bragging rights, or something you want to thin dramatically.

    Maybe think of it as an opportunity to work on something creative and not just a copy. Single bevel slicers tend to steer, especially when you are new to ura sharpening like me. To assuage that concern, run a few 190-210 line knife style slicers. It could be a popular project...steering is less an issue if its carving proteins all night, a smaller knife is less of an investment for buyers, and its tasked to work that all restaurant cooks would do a lot of. I enjoy my usuba, but it comes out of the bag for daikon, cucumbers, carrots, and that's it.

  4. #14
    Marko Tsourkan's Avatar
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    I think the best way would be to make one and to send it to somebody in a pro kitchen who uses single bevel knives as intended. Say, make a mioroshi deba and send it to Theory. He uses his Konosuke mioroshi regularly, and should be able to compare the two and to point out any improvements to be had (if there are any). There are sushi chefs here as well, if you were to try to make a yanagiba.

    As for tremendous skills involved in making single beveled knives as some said, well, those are different skills, but within maker's ability - making a double beveled knife requires more work for that matter (and tremendous skills as well) - more metal to remove, more distal taper, bevel ground on both sides, etc.

    If you have a 36" radius platen, and can grind an uniform width bevel to mirror the edge profile, you are in business. If you want to make as close to as Japanese, flat grind the bevel to .016-.020 and then convex to the edge by hand. You will get a hamaguriba edge

    I would say go for it, but do a prototype run before you start a production. There is nothing worse in my opinion, when a maker makes knives he doesn't understand the design, the profile, the geometry and the purpose. It takes time and a few back and forth with knowledgeable people before it 'clicks'

    M


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  5. #15

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    I'll be more than happy to test out your work Mike!

    & pass it around to the local Chefs as well.
    Though I could not caution all I still might warn a few; Don't raise your hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools. - Robert Hunter

  6. #16

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    I just do not see a stigma.There is not that many american knife makers making chef knives,specially good ones let alone a specialized japanese knife.The market for single bevel knives is very small know matter who makes them.That being said I think getting some lesser expensive steel to hone your skills would be a great idea.Good luck and remember I am only a few away if you want to put two heads on a project.

  7. #17
    Senior Member VoodooMajik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eshua View Post
    Imo Single bevel knives do a few specific tasks extremely well, but most working cooks could not get though their shift with one single the way I can with one 240 gyuto.

    As to stigma, I have heard so much on the forum about how maker X or Y has really improved their profile, or grind over time.
    First run knives can seem like a gamble, becoming either a collectors bragging rights, or something you want to thin dramatically.

    Maybe think of it as an opportunity to work on something creative and not just a copy. Single bevel slicers tend to steer, especially when you are new to ura sharpening like me. To assuage that concern, run a few 190-210 line knife style slicers. It could be a popular project...steering is less an issue if its carving proteins all night, a smaller knife is less of an investment for buyers, and its tasked to work that all restaurant cooks would do a lot of. I enjoy my usuba, but it comes out of the bag for daikon, cucumbers, carrots, and that's it.
    Seems like a decent Idea. If you do decide to do one, I'd love to give it a shot. We have a couple guys around that bring out a Deba or Yanagi on occasion that might be able to offer some feedback as well.
    It's not the Answer it's the Experience

  8. #18
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    Mike, and everyone, I quite honestly think the idea that American (or Canadian) makers don't understand single bevel knives enough to make them is complete crap.

    Yes, a maker from Japan will have grown up using and seeing these knives, while in North America, the concept is new and definitely foreign. However, if any of the talented craftsmen on this forum studied multiple single-bevels and learned what makes them tick, then copied (as Marko suggested) a tried and true deba, for example, I have every confidence that after a few attempts, there would be success.

    Just like switching from hunting knives to kitchen knives, there will, no doubt, be a learning curve a few near misses. However, once the kinks are worked out, I trust that eventually, any single-bevel you make will be every bit as good as a Japanese made one.

    To bring it back to something I have experienced, this reminds me of a European telling me that North Americans can't play soccer, because it's "not in their blood". Personally, that just made me and and my Canadian teammates dig deeper, and and show that skills are not determinate upon who/where we come from, but the amount of time we put into our craft.

    Someone needs to break down the single-bevel barrier, and I know how much studying you've done in regards to the topic. Hey, why not let it be you?
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  9. #19

    knyfeknerd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty
    Someone needs to break down the single-bevel barrier, and I know how much studying you've done in regards to the topic. Hey, why not let it be you?
    Yes! +1
    If you do a passaround, I would love to give it a shot too. I have a kamagata usuba, kiritsuke, takohiki and yanagi -all are used each day(except for tako). I don't do traditional Japanese cuisine by any means, but each of these knives are used on a daily basis and are extremely important in my kit.
    If "Its" and "Buts" was candy and nuts, we'd all have a Merry Christmas
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  10. #20
    Marko Tsourkan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty View Post
    ...

    To bring it back to something I have experienced, this reminds me of a European telling me that North Americans can't play soccer, because it's "not in their blood". Personally, that just made me and and my Canadian teammates dig deeper, and and show that skills are not determinate upon who/where we come from, but the amount of time we put into our craft.
    ...
    Soccer is played around the world -almost every country has a national league of sorts. However, the titans of soccer (countries who consistently win championships) are few. The point I am making, people can make single-bevel knives, it is not that difficult once you figured out how to deal with some issues. At the same time, to make single-beveled knives cut on par with knives from top Japanese makers is not that easy. Encouragement (and assurance of success) from forum folks won't be enough.

    Studying, comparing, and getting feedback from pro users (who actually use them at work), is a way to get there, but it probably won't be a quick trip.

    At the end, put your knife against a knife from a top Japanese maker, and cut with both. Performance is best indicator whether you made a good knife or not.

    I personally believe that people can do anything, as long as they put their mind to it. But I also believe it is not a quick process and could take years to become good.

    M


    "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: anvlts@gmail.com

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