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Lasers-can they be too thin?

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Delbert Ealy

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The answer is yes, they can be as I found out with the knife I intended as a passaround knife and one of the others I recently made. These knives were ground even more thin than the one chazmtb had up for sale recently. I have been using the O-1 and L-6 damascus mix for more that 12 years now and I have become very adept at heat treating it, and even though the kitchen knives are harder than the knives I usually make, they are not as prone to chipping as many of the knives you are accustomed to using. Mine did not chip, but flexed along the edge and sprang back. I know that the fault that most commonly occurs when a new to kitchen knives knifemaker tries to make a kitchen knife the spine and or edge is too thick. I really want to pull hair every time I see a thread about thinning the bevels on a knife. So I have been grinding them thin, and thinner and thinner, and I went too far.
Dave sent the knives back to me, so thats why there are none of my knives currently for sale with him.
These knives are no lost cause however. I do full flat grinds, so that means I can take off a bit of that very thin edge to the point where it has a bit more support. So in a week or so you will see a few knives of mine that will have a slimmer profile(not as tall as usual). Please be assured that functionally there is not a thing wrong with these knives, it only showed up in the sharpening, and I am going to correct them, and once corrected sharpening will no longer be an issue. In addition, I will be doing some small handle modifications that have been suggested by several members.
In closing I will say that althoug I am a very experienced knifemaker, and my learning curve has been quick, it does not mean that I am incapable of the occasional error.
I respect honesty and after discussing this issue with Dave I decided to be open an honest about this issue.
Thanks to all those who have my knives, I haope they give you a lifetime of service.
Del
 

mc2442

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I think it was Salty who said (incredibly paraphrased) that if you can not say your true experiences, both good and bad, about the knives we use, then why have a forum at all.

It was about a thread that was treading the line about experience with something, and letting the maker correct the experience if it was out of line with the normal product.
 

Salty dog

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If you want to find the holy grail don't think flat. And thin is only as good as it functions.
 

Dave Martell

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In case anyone is wondering, Del gave me 3 knives to list for sale as well as sent out a passaround knife at the ECG. The passaround showed the first user an edge that wouldn't cut and was sent to me to check out. I was puzzled by how the edge flexed on the stones (not something you'd see from a thin Japanese knife - they probably would've snapped this thin). I checked the others and found the same so Del insisted that they be returned. Just to be clear here, Del did nothing wrong besides make the knives too thin - something that we've never heard of before, he simply pushed the boundaries until he found the line.

Del I commend you for being so positive in taking responsibility, taking action to make corrections, and then being so forthright to come on the forums like this and admit what you discovered. It's great on so many levels, it shows that you've got an open mind, you're honest, and humble - all traits that I admire in someone.

I have no doubt at all that this little stumble will only serve to make you an even better knifemaker and I can also say that we can all learn something from this.....I know I did.
 

JohnnyChance

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Well at least you know how thin is too thin now! Better than sticking your head in the sand and ignoring any issue. And I am glad you came forward an explained everything. Thanks Del and Dave.
 

tk59

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+1 on the flatness issue. With polished faces, food sticks like crazy once it's cut. With etched surfaces you get tons of drag from friction as opposed to suction. Thin is great until you don't have room to convex the face of the blade. Then performance drops pretty badly and I love thin knives, in general.
 

peterm

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That's a pretty honest assessment on your part Del. It's nice to see you're open to feedback and are working to continue making the perfect knife!
Peter
 

WildBoar

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It was an interesting thing -- the edge would easily bite into a finger nail, yet strugged penetrating into some food items (garlic and onion skins especially, when cutting off stem ends or halving in order to peel). Once the edge made it into the item it would slide through just like one would expect with such a thin knife. After having some cutting issues, I tried the three-finger test for chits and giggles (yeah, I know, not a real test), and the edge failed. And after that I slowly pulled the edge across the face of a finger nail, with the blade at about a 45 degree angle to the nail, and it bit right in. I then tried the hair shaving test, and had no love. So I suspect the initial cutting I tried may have rolled the edge a bit (although I could not detect it the way I test for a burr while sharpening).

It sounds like Del has a good understanding of the issue, and I'm really looking forward to trying out one of the 'fixed' blades :cool2:
 

goodchef1

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Super Dave, always looking out for the customer. I love "high standards" :biggrin:

All customs should go through you first!
 

Dave Martell

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Super Dave, always looking out for the customer. I love "high standards" :biggrin:

All customs should go through you first!

Thanks but it's easy for me to be like that when I know that the makers I deal with insist on it. :)
 

l r harner

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we are tring to build a custom maker base thats ok with making sure dave gives the thumbs up that way if you see it on daves site you know its good to go even sight un seen
 

EdipisReks

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it seems to me that finding out a knife can be too thin means that you are where you should be, regarding the knives that aren't quite too thin. :)
 

Eamon Burke

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You know, I often feel like the way you should salt a dish you make a lot is to keep putting salt into it until you can taste the salt, toss that one, and stop before it gets there. You want as much salt as you can use to wake up the flavors, but you never want to taste the salt!

I think it's the same with thinness, and it's great that you managed to do something I've never heard of! Now you can confidently say when a knife is ground "as thin as possible".
 

rockbox

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I guess I don't totally understand the issue. How can you not sharpen it if its too thin. Safety razors are as thin as thin can be and you can sharpen them. Are these blades thinner than that?
 

Delbert Ealy

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I guess I don't totally understand the issue. How can you not sharpen it if its too thin. Safety razors are as thin as thin can be and you can sharpen them. Are these blades thinner than that?
Actually they are thinner than that, by about two-thirds.
The issue is that sharpening with stones requires some pressure and the edge flexes, which makes it difficult to maintain a consistant angle.
I sharpened them with a belt and stropped them and that requires much less pressure, so in the excitement of preparing for the show I did not notice. My bad.
Del
 

Mike Davis

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This show's Delbert to be a stand up guy. There are some folks that would just let the criticism roll around and hope it is forgotten. To step up to the plate and take charge shows me that we are dealing with true professionals.
 

Mattias504

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I'm curious to see the "corrected" versions of these knives. God knows I love me a narrow gyuto.
 

Salty dog

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I don't have issues getting mine sharp. I'm a sectional guy and my fingers generally stay over the stone. One of my issues with the thinness is when cutting at a fast pace. I apply lateral pressure to the blade, so when the blade clears the product it naturally will run into my knuckle which is placed over the next cut. If the blade flexes too much it springs hard against my knuckle and affects the method. (And your chance of getting cut increases.) It's also harder to control. I like to know exactly where the knife is going and with a flexible knife it adds another factor to consider.
 

rockbox

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Actually they are thinner than that, by about two-thirds.
The issue is that sharpening with stones requires some pressure and the edge flexes, which makes it difficult to maintain a consistant angle.
I sharpened them with a belt and stropped them and that requires much less pressure, so in the excitement of preparing for the show I did not notice. My bad.
Del
Holy Moly!!! As Salty says, I could still probably sharpen it, but the flex when cutting would kill me. The suji I made is about .6 mm near the tip and it flexes a little too much for my liking. My knife and sharpening skills are mediocre.
 

Delbert Ealy

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I reprofiled these and also worked on the handles a bit, narrowed them down.

I also did some test cutting with everthing I could potatoes, onions, peppers, tomatoes, celery, sweet potatoes, bacon and cubing a round steak for stew. Oh and a cantaloupe, no twisting in the food and it still feels like a laser.

ambbuckeyehandle.jpg


narrowgyutoambcalbuckeye.jpg
 

99Limited

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I think you nailed it. That handle is really thigh.
 

l r harner

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dell they look even faster then before and if they were longer they woudl be some kind of hybrid slicer chef knife. how tall are they at the heel ?
 

Delbert Ealy

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dell they look even faster then before and if they were longer they woudl be some kind of hybrid slicer chef knife. how tall are they at the heel ?
The first one is just a hair over 2 inches at the heel and the second one is right on 2 inches.
 

rockbox

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Most people find that the perfect height for a chef knife.
 

so_sleepy

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The height is just right at around 2 inches. Where is the balance point now that you removed some metal?
 

Delbert Ealy

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I thought I would post a pic of the handle comparison as well as the original blade and the reprofiled one(the lower one for both pics).

2knives.jpg


2handles.jpg
 

Delbert Ealy

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The height is just right at around 2 inches. Where is the balance point now that you removed some metal?
Part of the reason for reworking the handles was to adjust the balance point back to the original point, which was right ahead of the bolster. Part of the reason is that they were a bit fat at the bolster.
 
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