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Dave Martell

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So after getting a good 12 page response in the help to build a forum knife thread we've come to the conclusion that we're going to try something different - to design and make a western butcher's knife set.

Please throw down your ideas on what you'd like to see. :D

Dave
 

Vertigo

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Subbed to the thread. Looking forward to this!
 

Pensacola Tiger

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Here are two patterns taken from Forshcner/Victorinox - a boning, and a cimeter. Make them from 01 and put some nice handles on, and they might be what we're looking for?



 

Dave Martell

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How important, or not, are the finger guard part of the handles? Nearly all old patterns were made with no guards built into the handles like the guarded versions shown in the two photos above. Are they necessary?
 

UglyJoe

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Dave I think you should post those images of the catalogues of old cleavers again here. Doing something traditional that you can't get anymore cept secondhand would be pretty cool.
 

sudsy9977

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You know what i want, Can't find an old pic of it though Dave An old french patterned peasant knife....like the crappy Le valley one. Coolest boning knife ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Dave Martell

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You know what i want, Can't find an old pic of it though Dave An old french patterned peasant knife....like the crappy Le valley one. Coolest boning knife ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LOL, I was just waiting for you to come along with this. It's actually quite do-able. :D
 

Dave Martell

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Dave I think you should post those images of the catalogues of old cleavers again here. Doing something traditional that you can't get anymore cept secondhand would be pretty cool.

Here's the pictures again.
 

Jim

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How important, or not, are the finger guard part of the handles? Nearly all old patterns were made with no guards built into the handles like the guarded versions shown in the two photos above. Are they necessary?
Good question- My impression ( as a amateur with no formal training) is that they did not have highly structured handles so they could be used "back-wards" or reversed grip. Working on a hanging carcass, reversing the grip was sometimes necessary to make some of the cuts. I know I have used my knives this way when dressing and butchering deer and hog.
 

ThEoRy

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Didn't realize the discussion had moved to this thread so I'll just quot what I last said over there...


Hmm maybe something like a honesuke and a petty/boning knife combined. Or like a kiritsuke tip boning knife?
 

JohnnyChance

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I prefer a straight or almost straight spine on a boning knife. And I think it should be a bit longer than most western boning knives, maybe 7.5" or so. Carbon is fine by me.

I think a formed handle with some sort of finger guard is necessary. I know some of the old school butchers knives have basic block handles so you can grip it backwards and whatnot, but I would rather have the knife be really comfortable the way I hold it 99% of the time. Even with a formed handle you can flip it around if you need.

What I hate about westerns is when the heel of the blade curves outwards, always annoying to sharpen.



What I thought might be cool and unique way to deal with a finger guard, is a cutout like on some camp/field knives. Like this one Pierre made:



The Scimitar should have a good sized handle with a traditional finger guard.

Also mentioned in the original thread was to maybe include a leather knife roll for the set. Good for home users to store the knives in a drawer, good for pros to add to their kit/bag.



Just an example. Another leatherworker's examples here:
http://http://www.leather-worker.com/Chef-Knife-Roll.html

I also like theory's idea of a kiritsuke tipped boning knife. Profile could be interesting and useful.
 

chuck239

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Dave,

I think a mix between a Honesuki and that knife Pierre made would be an awesome knife for butchering. I break down lots of tenderloins and french bone in rib eyes and I currently use a honesuki or an old school dexter that I have. But I feel like a mix of the honesuki and knife design Pierre made would make for a very useful butchering knife. I will say, I would prefer one of the knives to be very short (speaking about height). I like the old school looking knives but feel the profile is difficult for breaking down things like tenderloins (but then again, if there is that scimitar....)

-Chuck
 

mr drinky

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How about a meat hook with a Dave handle on it?

With that said, butchery classes are all the rage these days, and that got me thinking. It might be interesting to get feed back from actual butchers and especially places like Fleisher's in NY that offer classes. Who knows, you might find some aspiring butchers looking for some new kit.

k.
 

Dave Martell

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You guys are getting me thinking here. :)


Chuck, I'm having a hard time visualizing that combo and how it would be made into one knife. Do you have anyway to draw this up?
 

monty

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How important, or not, are the finger guard part of the handles? Nearly all old patterns were made with no guards built into the handles like the guarded versions shown in the two photos above. Are they necessary?
There were a couple of knives on those vintage charts with some sort of finger grooves, for lack of a better term. Maybe not "guards" but something that seemed to suggest ergonomics. I also notice that those knives were much more expensive than the knives with relatively straight handles. Perhaps the reason they didn't produce as many ergonomic grips had to do with cost rather than utility? Even if it didn't cost more to produce them - though I suspect a specialty jig was needed thus slowing production a bit - ergonomic knives certainly seem to be part of the luxury of the more expensive knives. Personally, I like the finger guard.
 

jaybett

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I'm not sure if the hankotsu gets overlooked or it doesn't meet the needs of a pro kitchen. The hankotsu has a number of features that make it a good boning knife. The front edge of the knife, does all the cutting, the middle is for scraping or for pressing down against the meat, while pulling on a bone, and the end is ground flat for safety.

The knife is designed to provide a strong base, to the front of the knife, with a thick spine at the bolster which tapers down to a thin tip. The spine comes down at a angle to the tip, not as severe, as a kiritsuke. This maintains the profile of the edge, which gently rounds up to the tip.

The tip is agile, it can easily trace around most bones. It really shines, with pork shoulders that are cut up into roasts, from the shank end, dealing with those odd sized shoulder blade bones.

No matter how cautious one is, eventually the hand is going to slip, especially when the handle is slick. Having the edge ground flat, by the bolster is a good safety feature. A finger would have to go three inches or so, before it gets to the edge.

The advantages of a hankotsu are the semi reverse tanto tip, which gives the tip a fine point and the edge being ground flat at the bolster. The middle part of the knife, which is v shaped, but has no edge works well as a scraper. I wonder how well it would work at removing silver skin?

At the very least, I hope this gives people some food for thought in designing the new forum boning knife.

Jay
 

monty

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I'm not sure if the hankotsu gets overlooked or it doesn't meet the needs of a pro kitchen. The hankotsu has a number of features that make it a good boning knife. The front edge of the knife, does all the cutting, the middle is for scraping or for pressing down against the meat, while pulling on a bone, and the end is ground flat for safety.

No matter how cautious one is, eventually the hand is going to slip, especially when the handle is slick. Having the edge ground flat, by the bolster is a good safety feature. A finger would have to go three inches or so, before it gets to the edge.
Interesting, the Ergo Chef boning knife has the same feature
 

ThEoRy

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I love my hankotsu for lamb shanks/racks, short ribs, boning out strip steaks. Problem is, I already have one! :D I'd like to take this time reiterate my interest in a honesuke hybrid or kiritsuke tipped boning knife with no flex and no curve at the top or bottom for easy sharpening. :) Now do we go single bevel with this bad boy or what? Pros, cons?
 

nikoz

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How important, or not, are the finger guard part of the handles? Nearly all old patterns were made with no guards built into the handles like the guarded versions shown in the two photos above. Are they necessary?
Absolutely! If you stabbed someone, if the guards weren't there, your hand would more likely slide over the blade cutting you, leaving DNA behind for the CSIs. Seriously tho, my wife likes em so yeah we want em.
 

cnochef

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I too have one of these, and think everyone should consider it for their kit. I use it as a boning knife, small prep knife and picnic knife.

I think a modern version of it, with a longer blade, would be excellent.
 

cnochef

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I love my hankotsu for lamb shanks/racks, short ribs, boning out strip steaks. Problem is, I already have one! :D I'd like to take this time reiterate my interest in a honesuke hybrid or kiritsuke tipped boning knife with no flex and no curve at the top or bottom for easy sharpening. :) Now do we go single bevel with this bad boy or what? Pros, cons?
I think Chef Niloc's Heiji stainless honesuki might be very similar to what you envision, look under the thread "Chef Niloc's Tool Box" in The Kitchen Knife, The Media Room. But, most of us would want a western handle of course.
 

dough

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well i cant blow up the pictures bc it says im not allowed but i like a finger guard as you call it but no it is certainly not needed.
also im less into the weird designs and like the first boning knife suggested by pens tiger.
i also have been taught by chefs that use a cimeter so in turn id like to see those made out of nicer steel however i dont know many that use that and while i enjoy using a cimeter its hardly my go to butcher knife... i like it way better for things other then fish and sadly way less then my chef knives but i have never tried one better then a crappy soft steel.
eitherway some input im sure whatever you make will be interesting and be wicked sharp.
 

cnochef

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My $0.02:

+1 I like the old Forschner patterns, like those Pensacola Tiger posted. A 12" scimitar and 7" boning knife, modernized with better handles and steel would be perfect.

+1 on either thumb indentations on the tops of the handles OR the Pierre Rodrigue-style notch in the blade to improve grip.

+1 on a custom roll from www.leather-worker.com. He can also stamp the roll with the KKF and/or name of buyer.

-1 on finger guards, not aesthetically pleasing at all.

Cheers,
Lyle
 

Dave Martell

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Thanks for all the input guys, I'm listening to every little thing you say.


dough, I love lambsplitters but I don't know about making them though. :laugh:
 
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