Finished western chef

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milkbaby

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This is a bit of a continuation of the albatross knives thread I posted earlier (here: http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/32981-The-albatross-knives), but I figured I'd just post a new thread with the completed western chefs knife pics here at the top. Apologies for the crappy phone camera pics, it's the only good camera that I have. Also, the sunlight refused to cooperate, it was just about to rain when I took the outdoor pics. I think I will just need to put up a white sheet and shine a lamp on it to get some decent pics.

The steel is 15N20 high carbon steel, a relatively simple carbon steel with very good toughness. I think the edge retention is a little bit better than the 1084 I've been using but I haven't kept a 15N20 for long term testing yet. There is some patina on the knife in the pics, but I'll clean that up after I finish testing. The handle is dyed maple burl and bocote with brass pins and brass/G10 liners/spacers.












I think that I am finally making some decent progress in translating what I see in my mind's eye to the actual physical knife. I was much happier with the grind on this knife than any one I completed previously. Below is the choil pic again. I've been doing righty biased asymmetric grinds, something that is relatively rarer in the western knife world. I like different. :)






I always feel some relief when a knife seems finished (I say "seems" because I will do a little more testing and then final clean up and edge touch up). I still need to make the saya though, but I'll probably do a basswood saya with some type of exterior covering so it won't be as painful as chiseling out a pine or poplar saya.
 

Matus

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Nice work! That handle must have been a lot of work. I really like the forged blade finish - how did you do that? The texture is rather particular.
 

JaVa

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Cool design. I'd love to try to hold the handle.

I'm with Matus, the textured KU finish is so sweet? :doublethumbsup:
 

milkbaby

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Thanks y'all! :)

The hammered texture is done by a regular hammer hitting the steel with the head of the hammer at a slight angle and not straight on. Basically the edge of hammer head makes the pattern and I hit it in one direction then at 90 degrees to the the first direction to get the pattern. I just figured it out by trial on a test coupon of 1084 that I patterned and heat treated. It was only later that I learned other makers also pattern their flats with hammer texture. Though in actuality, my blade doesn't have "flats", it's ground full height convex then I hammer texture only where I plan to leave the scale from heat treat.
 

pd7077

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Looks great MB! What did you use to finish the handle? The color looks much deeper/darker than it did after the initial glue-up.
 

milkbaby

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Looks great MB! What did you use to finish the handle? The color looks much deeper/darker than it did after the initial glue-up.
Thank you for the kind words! :)

I tried something new and used Watco Teak oil finish as the initial base since it is marketed as being good for dense oily woods. I used Watco Tung oil finish before, but it didn't seem to get into bocote much, so I wanted to see what would happen.

I'm not sure if the color would've darkened as much with the tung oil finish, maybe the solvents in the teak oil soaked in more and pushed the dye around? I may check on some of the scraps I kept from this wood. But yeah, it turned a lot darker than I expected though in a beautiful way. Kind of looks like a midnight blue marble slab to me in person, haven't got a good picture of it yet.

After it turned dark, I switched back to watco tung oil finish a bunch of coats wiped on and off then paste wax on top.
 

pd7077

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Might not have turned out how you were expecting, but I think the midnight blue looks pretty freakin awesome! Great work man [emoji106]🏻
 
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