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Old Sheffield Kitchen knives

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WillC

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It seems hard to find much information on any of the old sheffield profiles. What were the most notable makes at the time in terms of quality of steel, grind and profile. Does anyone own any old sheffield knives which are still part of your kit? What are their characteristics. I imagine them to be fairly mighty, flat grind pretty beefy behind the edge and relatively soft. So what was the best of them, the cream of the crop at the time? I feel silly as an englishman asking you lot for info on british knives. But hey ho:razz:
 

WillC

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Think I probably posted this in the wrong section? silly me.:dazed:
 

stevenStefano

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Is Old Sheffield a brand or do you just mean old knives? We use a big old cleaver in work that is Gregory Fenton Sheffield for cutting bones if that helps
 

WillC

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Cheers, any name brands handy or pics and I can have a google and see what I can find. :)
 

ecchef

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Will,
I'll try to post a pic of an old Geo. Wostenholm chef kinfe I have.
 

stevenStefano

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I'll take a few pics of the cleaver tomorrow. It is massive and is really really old, carbon steel
 

The hekler

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I don't know about knives but Geo wostenholm made some great straight razors. Sheffield was long known for the quality of their steel back in the day, I know next to nothing about different brands but Sheffield steel was considered the best long before German steel production ramped up, In fact thiers issard from another hotbed of steel production "thiers, France" importated Sheffield steel to make their razors. As you can tell my knowledge comes from a straight razor point of view but I do believe especially in sheffield many of the razor makers of the day were also involved in knife production.
 

ajhuff

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Back in the day being around 1800. The Germans pushed past the English by the end of the century thanks to the Siemens process. Sheffield really describes a region much like Soligen or Essen.

-AJ
 

sachem allison

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you would be surprised at how thin and agile some of those early sheffields really are not soft as you think, Rogers and Son's, Gregory Bros., Pyramid, Latham & Owen, Wilson, Askham and Dickinson to name a few. There was a reason why Sheffield knife makers had the reputation they did.

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sachem allison

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here are a few more
1. pyramid
2.Latham & owen
3. Latham & Owen
4. Askham
5 Rodgers & Sons
6. Wilson

askham paring knife.jpg


latham&owen chef knife.jpg


latham&owen chef knife2.jpg


pyramid paring knife.jpg


rogers paring knife.jpg


wilson slicer.jpg
 

Deckhand

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I really like the profiles on the Latham & Owen. Just looked at more of them on the web. Way ahead of their time.
 

WillC

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Son, brilliant, thanks. I'd like to make a chef knife of this style to try out but in my steels and grind. I'll keep my eye open on ebay also for some of those names. On the grinds i'm guessing they are pretty much flat ground?
Did any of your blades say "cast steel" on them? Out of interest.
 

sachem allison

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Son, brilliant, thanks. I'd like to make a chef knife of this style to try out but in my steels and grind. I'll keep my eye open on ebay also for some of those names. On the grinds i'm guessing they are pretty much flat ground?
Did any of your blades say "cast steel" on them? Out of interest.
fairly flat ground with distal tapers and tapered tangs, very well balance in the hand. there is a fellow on ebay that a few of us have dealt with, he has wonderful stuff, but is quite expensive and some of his claims are suspect, but he is a salesman. Ralph1396 He has a lot of beautiful, near perfect vintage knives. I wish I had his collection and that says a lot coming from me and my former collection.
I used to have 2 or 3 cast steel ones and quite a few damascus steel (not like the damascus of today) wade & butcher and a few others, some crucible steel.
 

sachem allison

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i see i was beat to the punch. Ralph is who I got the pictures from by the way. not the slicer that one is mine.
 

WillC

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They are very nice. I think I will give something a go in the same style. Mmmm damascus integral. I'll keep my eye out on the bay, most of them seem to have ended up in the states.
I've just scored a little paring knife which is old sheffield stock never handled. Has been handled by Stu Mitchell, I'll find a pic, should be with me by tomorrow. Its not old old though I don't think. And we have no idea of the maker. Could have had plain wood, but liked the jazzy blue. Looks full flat ground but should work fine for paring duties.

 

Eamon Burke

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These are so damn british looking. I can't believe it, and don't quite understand what it is. But it makes me want a Lancashire Hot Pot and some Pasties.
 

stevenStefano

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I know this isn't really what you're looking for Will but here's a few awful phone pics of the cleaver we have in work. These are the best of a bad bunch if you can believe that, my phone sucks. My 270 Kono is there for size comparison




 

sachem allison

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That cleaver came about after the merger of Gregory Bros. with fenton in 1968 I believe. The slicer I posted was about 80 to 90 years earlier and hand forged instead of machine forged. good to see a comparison even though they are completely different knives
 

ecchef

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They are very nice. I think I will give something a go in the same style. Mmmm damascus integral. I'll keep my eye out on the bay, most of them seem to have ended up in the states.
I've just scored a little paring knife which is old sheffield stock never handled. Has been handled by Stu Mitchell, I'll find a pic, should be with me by tomorrow. Its not old old though I don't think. And we have no idea of the maker. Could have had plain wood, but liked the jazzy blue. Looks full flat ground but should work fine for paring duties.

Very Nice!
 

WillC

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I got this today, a little treat to cheer myself up. It is a top quality knife, everything lines up, the plunges are even. Stuart did an excellent job of the handle and finish. Not as much distal taper as I would like, but I've become used to extremes. There was about 0.5mm behind the edge, so I did a quick fix of thinning it and cut a 5-7 degree bevel on each side with a diamond plate. Polished this up. It acually held this edge which surprised me. I thought the factory stainless would be on the soft side, but its darn good stuff. I put a tiny acute microbevel on this, stropped it and it takes the tops off hairs and now much less resistance to cutting. Its a nice little knife! Makes me wonder what the steel is, something like sandvic 12c I suspect.
 

slowtyper

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Thanks to recent threads on this forum and Son talking about them, I've grown an interest in these older knives. Never actually handled or seen anything like them before.

I have a scimitar from Son on the way and just ordered these off ebay.



Will sharpen up and use the chef knife. The butcher's cleaver...I have no use for this that I can think of, but it was cheap and might come in handy some day. (zombies)
 

dav

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No Sheffield knives but lots of old Sheffield tools (planes/blades, chisels, saws etc..) Quality of the steel that came out of Sheffield worsened after WWII so best to look for knives made pre war. Invariably the makers used Swedish Ore (some of the best ore in the world). I have many bladed tools dating from mid victorian to around 1940 or so, some hit or miss but generally very fine steel, which takes a lovely edge. I'm guessing the steel used for knives would have been similar.
 
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