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It's not finished yet but I couldn't help appreciate the contrast I got in the cladding of this littler ~190mm ironclad Apex Ultra gyuto
 

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I don't usually make knives with a ton of taper, but I definitely can. This is a midweight in CPM-3v. 3v is a somewhat legendary knife steel known for its remarkable toughness, and as I have the freedom to I like to try out different knife steels so I picked up a bar. I doubt I'll ever use it of my own volition again, but it's been fun to get this box checked off. Tapering 3.5mm at the neck-.3mm 1cm from the tip, 50/50 ground. This blade will be up for sale as soon as I get the handle installed.

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Well, damn, what a year.

121 blades completed, and 28 remain in heat treated but incomplete condition.

This year had some some interesting experiments, including high alloy san-mai, and wrought iron clad blades, as well as tremendous advancements in my efficiency and overall workflow. Not to mention some interesting collaborations with @KasumiJLA.

Thank you to all of you who make this operation possible. I would not be here without you.

And thank you to the guys that make this forum a pleasant and entertaining place to hang around, @M1k3, @HumbleHomeCook , @Michi and of course, the man, the myth, the legend in gift wrap jammy bottoms himself, @BillHanna
 
It's been awesome watching your evolution Matt and it seemed to really kick up this year. You've always had the natural knack for this but there was a maturity in your work that really started come through as this year progressed. I told you early on that I couldn't wait to see where you are going to be in five or ten years. I'll be proud to say I have some early Sicards but look forward to having a go at whatever you're doing then. Of course, whenever my name comes up on the inevitable waiting list. 😁

Can't wait!
 
Well, damn, what a year.

121 blades completed, and 28 remain in heat treated but incomplete condition.

This year had some some interesting experiments, including high alloy san-mai, and wrought iron clad blades, as well as tremendous advancements in my efficiency and overall workflow. Not to mention some interesting collaborations with @KasumiJLA.

Thank you to all of you who make this operation possible. I would not be here without you.

And thank you to the guys that make this forum a pleasant and entertaining place to hang around, @M1k3, @HumbleHomeCook , @Michi and of course, the man, the myth, the legend in gift wrap jammy bottoms himself, @BillHanna
Wow! Thank you for the shout-out and making some nice looking knives. Looking forward to using your knife and seeing where you progress to in your knife making.

*cough*western handled Sanjo/Wakui WH style*cough*
 
It's been awesome watching your evolution Matt and it seemed to really kick up this year. You've always had the natural knack for this but there was a maturity in your work that really started come through as this year progressed. I told you early on that I couldn't wait to see where you are going to be in five or ten years. I'll be proud to say I have some early Sicards but look forward to having a go at whatever you're doing then. Of course, whenever my name comes up on the inevitable waiting list. 😁

Can't wait!
Thank you. Really.
 
WIP time

As many of you know bearing balls and races are sometimes utilized as a source of 52100. A friend of mine picked me up a couple of balls and I finally felt like drawing one down this afternoon once I finished up some 10v san-mai.

20240118_142324.jpg

The second of the 2 balls along with the first after a little squaring up.

20240118_145854.jpg

In the forge, square up to 1"x2"x~4"

I generally don't see forging as necessary outside of a few select instances, laminates, integrals for instance, but there is a time when I feel it should absolutely be formed regardless of the blade design, and that's when using "recycled" materials. Material fatigue is a nasty thing, and it can lead to stress fractures, especially in things like these crusher balls, or leaf springs. Fractures like that can be so fine you wouldn't even see them with a hand finish except under very bright light. Forging, especially heavy forging, makes it all but impossible for failures in the material to hide, and it's far better to discover these things early in the process then at the end.

20240118_150457.jpg

The start of the step down that will become the integral bolster/tang along with a 1" kiss block in my press dies


20240118_151203.jpg

A little bit of taper forged in with the flat dies

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A spine shot of the blank at this stage. From here the blade is just essentially thinned out in the drawing dies and the tang drawn


20240118_155421.jpg

20240118_155442.jpg

The spine after drawing. Currently about 9mm thick ahead of the bolster, tapering to about 6mm for a couple of inches, and then down to 3 for the remainder of the length. I'm not sure what to expect for warp, so I'm leaving it extra thick.

20240118_155429.jpg

Choil shot at the current stage.


From here I normalized the blade and gave it a single cycle at 1475f. I may give it a proper DET later, or possibly leave it as it.

The final plan for this is to be a ~270mmX55-60mm integral in my sab profile, or possibly something a little closer to a KS with lots of taper. I want to go from 7/8mm at the bolster to 3mm before halfway and taper more gradually from there. I haven't ruled out the possibility of putting an s-grind on this blade, but I'll try to avoid it if possible.

Everything is extra thick right now mostly to make room for correcting misalignments on the grinder, so we'll see what the weight is like after profiling and squaring up.
 
It’s really cool to see the progression and learn from it! But there is only one aspect that has not been mentioned. What mines do the jnats in the first photo come from? 🤓
 
WIP time

As many of you know bearing balls and races are sometimes utilized as a source of 52100. A friend of mine picked me up a couple of balls and I finally felt like drawing one down this afternoon once I finished up some 10v san-mai.

View attachment 294064
The second of the 2 balls along with the first after a little squaring up.

View attachment 294065
In the forge, square up to 1"x2"x~4"

I generally don't see forging as necessary outside of a few select instances, laminates, integrals for instance, but there is a time when I feel it should absolutely be formed regardless of the blade design, and that's when using "recycled" materials. Material fatigue is a nasty thing, and it can lead to stress fractures, especially in things like these crusher balls, or leaf springs. Fractures like that can be so fine you wouldn't even see them with a hand finish except under very bright light. Forging, especially heavy forging, makes it all but impossible for failures in the material to hide, and it's far better to discover these things early in the process then at the end.

View attachment 294066
The start of the step down that will become the integral bolster/tang along with a 1" kiss block in my press dies


View attachment 294067
A little bit of taper forged in with the flat dies

View attachment 294068
A spine shot of the blank at this stage. From here the blade is just essentially thinned out in the drawing dies and the tang drawn


View attachment 294069
View attachment 294071
The spine after drawing. Currently about 9mm thick ahead of the bolster, tapering to about 6mm for a couple of inches, and then down to 3 for the remainder of the length. I'm not sure what to expect for warp, so I'm leaving it extra thick.

View attachment 294072
Choil shot at the current stage.


From here I normalized the blade and gave it a single cycle at 1475f. I may give it a proper DET later, or possibly leave it as it.

The final plan for this is to be a ~270mmX55-60mm integral in my sab profile, or possibly something a little closer to a KS with lots of taper. I want to go from 7/8mm at the bolster to 3mm before halfway and taper more gradually from there. I haven't ruled out the possibility of putting an s-grind on this blade, but I'll try to avoid it if possible.

Everything is extra thick right now mostly to make room for correcting misalignments on the grinder, so we'll see what the weight is like after profiling and squaring up.
Really cool to see the process here. Thanks for sharing.
 
It’s really cool to see the progression and learn from it! But there is only one aspect that has not been mentioned. What mines do the jnats in the first photo come from? 🤓
The Co-op, circa 1970-1990, isle unknown.
 
I haven't had much time to work on the integral, though I did manage to start profiling it yesterday. A little more flattening needs to be done on the spine, and the tang needs to be bent into like with the blade. From here I'll establish centerlines through the edge and spine, and use those to serve as reference lines for making the bolster faces parallel to the blade faces. Currently the blade weighs 800g even. The POB is currently about 2" in front of the bolster. I suspect the blade will lose approximately 350g from the bolster area and 250g from the blade bly the time I'm finished grinding. Ideally I want this blade to be <300g when complete, but only time will tell. Meanwhile I'm starting to drum up ideas for handle material

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About a week or two ago I finally pulled off a mizu (water quenched) honyaki. I have to work on my layout some, but it's definitely different aesthetically than a fast oil. And yes, many, many, many blanks were harmed during the learning curve. This is W2 tool steel and 180mm long.
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Just for fun I etched a 52100 gyuto just to see what the banding looks like from a stock removal blade. It become more interesting towards the tip where the most grinding has been done and is far more uniform in appearance toward the heel. When I get the chance I'll compare it to the banding in a forged blade and see what the differences is.

1.jpg
 
I finally got a chance to do more high alloy san-mai experimentation. This is a 250mm made from "iron" clad Z-Wear/CPM-CruWear. I'm very happy with how this came out. It still has a rough belt finish at this point, but it will be getting hand finished.

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Matt is a nice guy, super handsome, intelligent and an amazing man. Enough, now send me the damn blade! 🤪
I'm not saying that I will polish this awesome blade. Oh no, I'm not saying that 😇
 
How does one bring out more banding apart from polishing and etching? Is there something you do differently in the forging/HT process?
Both how the blade is forged and how it's cycle afterwards impact the appearance and strength of the banding. How much is still something I'm trying to get a sense of. On top of that the banding can be largely eliminated if the steel is heated beyond a certain point. I suspect that's why it's not a common feature of san-mai blades.


Matt is a nice guy, super handsome, intelligent and an amazing man.
Somebody get this guy some lip balm😆
 

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