CJA Edged Art/Scorpion Forge
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Thread: CJA Edged Art/Scorpion Forge

  1. #1

    CJA Edged Art/Scorpion Forge

    Hello everyone!

    My name is Cris Anderson, and while I'm relatively new to the forums, I've been lurking here for about two months now. The information shared here, and the community in general are second to none, and I've quickly found it to be my chosen home on the internet. When I first came here my goal was to learn as much as I could, and share the results of that education (along with a few other things I might be able to toss in) with the forum as a whole. That never changed, but I quickly found out that there's a very firm structure in place for that sort of thing lol. It never even entered my mind not to purchase the Hobbyist Craftsman tag though (once I found out about it!), so here I am.

    So, a little about me. I started making my first knife in September of 2008, from a rail spike. It ended up being little more than a shiny letter opener (not enough carbon in most rail spikes!)...but I knew I'd found something that was uniquely tailored to who I am, and immediately fell in love with bladesmithing. My initial tools were an old 2lb sledge I had laying round, a $10 Harbor Freight cast iron anvil I got off Craigslist, a small shop vac, 8 fire bricks, and a half dozen cinder blocks for my forge...and a handful of files. The little knife turned pretty ok if I do say so myself lol. Anyhow that was just the start. I kept on making knives for about six months...first another spike knife, this time HC!...then what started as an osaraku tanto, but ended up a shobu style o-tanto, and finally a 23" ko-katana. My steel choices went from the rail spikes, to some very interesting 1060 rail clips I found in a busted crate by the tracks (I've still got about 75 of them lol), and finally to 1075/1080 from Admiral Steel. At that point we moved, and it took a good while to setup my small shop again. I built a new propane forge from a paint can, and made a handful more blades...some more ambitious than others, and even tried my hand at a kitchen knife (which was the only blade I've really had crack in the quench lol...FIVE places no less!). I cut down the profile and heat treated it again (which it survived lol). The funny thing is...even though it was the thinnest blade I'd ever made to that point, by my current standards it was little better than a cleaver, lol. Anyhow, not long after we moved again, this time out of state. Another six months passed before I got things setup again, but when I did I ordered some W2 from Aldo, and instantly fell in love all over again. This steel did everything I could possibly want, and then some. I even quenched it in brine, lol. I forged out another handful of blades during this time...some of which I completed, then moved back to Arizona. Two years later, here I am. I just setup my shop again about two months ago, and made my first REAL kitchen knife. I'm hooked. So much so that I don't see myself making much else for the foreseeable future lol. As things stand I have forged exactly sixteen blades, one of which was a sword, and three of which I count as knives I'd be proud to have anyone use in a kitchen.

    Oh, one other odd thing about me and the knives I make...is that every single solitary blade...has been clay hardened. For me...if it doesn't have a hamon, it's just not worth making .

    Anyway, I was told I could have one thread for the purpose of showing my finished work, so I guess this is as good a place as any! I'll refrain from posting work outside of kitchen knives so as to keep with the theme of the forum! I would ask that if ANY of you have any critique or comments, feel free...and don't hold back! I will never improve my ability to make (hopefully) professional quality kitchen knives, if I don't receive corrections and commentary from those of you that use these knives every single day. And honestly...that's my overall goal, to make the best knives I possibly can.

    Thank you for looking and hopefully following along,

    Cris Anderson
    [B][I]I try to be the man I am..in times of broken lives. Shattered dreams and plans..standing up to fight. Pressures and demands..staring at the knife. Holding in your hands..[/I][/B]

  2. #2

    ANY critique or commentary is very welcome! (I'll be giving you LOTS of information to base your commentary on lol).

    First up is the first 'real' kitchen knives I'd ever attempted. A 200mm gyuto, and 150mm petty in Aldo Bruno's W2. I made them as a matching set for my dad for Father's Day.

    And a closeup of the handles, Arizona desert ironwood and copper.

    Not only were the kitchen knives my 'first', but the handles were too. They were actually my first ANYTHING made out of wood.

    Dimensions on the knives are as follows.

    200mm long, 43mm tall at the heel.
    Spine thickness is 2.35mm at the heel, 1.7mm mid blade, .55mm 1cm from the tip.
    Thickness 1cm above the edge is .94mm at the heel, .89mm midblade, .50mm 1cm from the tip.
    The thing is very light (144oz), but the balance point remains right at the ferrule. Its relatively flexible, but I've had no problems cutting spaghetti squash with it. In all honesty, I like this one better than the second gyuto I made, though I think this one might be a bit fragile in a pro kitchen. It cuts like mad, but I'm not sure how durable the edge would be in professional use. At home it's seriously a joy.

    150mm long, 30mm tall at the heel.
    Spine thickness is 2.49mm at the heel, 1.9mm midblade, and .65mm 1cm from the tip.
    Thickness 1cm above the edge is 1.13mm at the heel, 1.10mm midblade, and .65mm 1cm from the tip.
    Weight is 89g, and it is of course handle heavy. I designed it to be a good, relatively stiff general use blade.

    Again, any critique or commentary is more than welcome. It would actually be very much appreciated. I've been studying all overt the internet for months now, soaking up all the information I can in regards to these kinds of knives. Any information I can gain from you all would help me a long way towards improving my work!
    [B][I]I try to be the man I am..in times of broken lives. Shattered dreams and plans..standing up to fight. Pressures and demands..staring at the knife. Holding in your hands..[/I][/B]

  3. #3
    Next up we have a 225mm gyuto I made for a very close friend of mine in Canada. She's a photographer, graphic artist, painter, tattoo model, and does some really varied types of catering. She's also rather...outgoing, to say the least. At the same time, she's one of the most classy women I've ever met. I felt her knife should reflect both traits.

    So...the pictures!

    And a couple so you can see more how I setup the dimensions on the handle.

    This is from the top.

    And this from the side.

    Overall stats:
    Weight - 173g
    Balance right at the ferrule (its a tad handle heavy in my opinion...the blade came out a good bit lighter than I expected for various reasons)
    Edge length - 225mm (8.5")
    Heel to belly (flat part of edge) - 115mm (4.5")
    Overall length - 365mm (14.4")
    Height at heel - 40mm (1.57")
    Height at midblade - 33.5mm (1.34")
    Height 5cm from tip - 19mm (.75")
    This blade was originally intended to be 230mm. I'd never quenched with oil (Parks 50 in this case...previously I'd always used brine), and so I wasn't prepared for the rather massive downturn in the blade post quench. I'd of course read about it, but seeing how drastic it was caught me off guard. I ended up having to shorten the blade by half an inch in order to get my edge profile back where I wanted it. I also ended up taking nearly a quarter inch off the heel to spine width in order to get the edge flat from heel to belly as well. This will be taken into consideration on the next one.

    Blade: W1 drill rod.
    Spine thickness is 2.35mm above the heel, 2.27mm midblade, and .50mm 1cm from the tip.
    Thickness 1cm above the edge is 1.14mm above the heel, 1.10mm midblade, and .5mm 1cm from the tip.
    The blade seems to cut well. My previous attempt in W2 above cuts better, but is much thinner and more flexible. This doesn't bother me personally, but I was advised that a stiffer blade would be better in a professional kitchen. If this knife were being made for my own use, I'd have thinned it out a bit more behind the edge (from 50mm to 150mm above the edge in particular). As it is, I can't wait to get the feedback on it...as it's going to be in use in a pro kitchen for a week (It actually ended up being over two lol...this one went to Son for critique!) before going out to the end recipient.

    Handle: Stabilized cottonwood burl, African wenge, and brass (special thanks to Craig Stevens for the burl).
    Length - 120mm (4.73")
    Ferrule, width x height - 19.2mm x 22.8mm (.76"x..90")
    Butt, width x height - 25.73mm x 25.92mm (1.013"x1.020")
    I'm pretty happy with the handle. The young lady who is receiving it has smallish hands, thus the intentional shorter length. I considered thinning it out a little for balance, but to be honest...she seems very happy with the dimensions as/is. We discussed the handle size on her current favorite knife...and I figured this would work out well for her.
    [B][I]I try to be the man I am..in times of broken lives. Shattered dreams and plans..standing up to fight. Pressures and demands..staring at the knife. Holding in your hands..[/I][/B]

  4. #4

    Zwiefel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Little Rock, AR
    Nice intro, beautiful blades and handles!
    Remember: You're a unique individual...just like everybody else.

  5. #5
    Now...I don't think I'm allowed to post WIP knives here, but since the blade is technically finished, I hope I'm not breaking any rules . I just wanted to give you guys a sneak peek at the blade I'm working on now. It's a 325mm suji in Aldo's W2. I'll post up a profile and choil shot...then give you guys the rest of the stats once I finish the handle work.

    Every time I see it it puts me in mind of a mako shark, lol.

    Fun stuff !
    [B][I]I try to be the man I am..in times of broken lives. Shattered dreams and plans..standing up to fight. Pressures and demands..staring at the knife. Holding in your hands..[/I][/B]

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    sachem allison's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    They really are. you guys will love these, they are unique and great cutters. I was fortunate enough to meet Cris on Don Fogg's forum and contacted him about his knives there and a few weeks later he popped on here. I hope you guys welcome him with open arms. He has a lot contribute and is willing to share what he knows.
    Welcome, Cris!
    I haven't lived the life I wanted, just the lives I needed too at the time.

  7. #7
    Thanks zwiefel and Son! I really have come to love this forum already, and hang out here waaaay too often lol. If I can give back anything in return, I'm more than happy to!
    [B][I]I try to be the man I am..in times of broken lives. Shattered dreams and plans..standing up to fight. Pressures and demands..staring at the knife. Holding in your hands..[/I][/B]

  8. #8
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Pensacola, FL, USA
    Nice looking knives, Cris. Welcome to KKF. I really like that suji!

    “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Central, NJ
    nice looking knives

  10. #10
    Senior Member turbochef422's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    New York
    Welcome you made some nice stuff. Love the suji

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