Dick's Workshop
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A Damascus Chef Knife

For most of us, the knife we use more than any other is the kitchen knife. Therefore a proper chef knife is something I absolutely must have in my repertoire. I’ve already made a few trial blades and prototypes, and learn something new each time I make one and put it to use. Here is one such recent blade.

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The knife is just over 290mm long overall with a 180mm cutting edge. The blade is about 35mm tall at the heel and just under 3mm thick at the spine. In inches that’s about 7″ long by 1 3/8″ wide and about 110 thousandths thick. The cutting edge features a fairly consistent curvature, enabling both slicing and rocker cuts on the cutting board (onions, garlic and herbs won’t stand a chance against this knife). The overall blade geometry also allows for efficient cutting with some degree of blade flex, but still enough firmness and support to enable deeper cuts through tougher food items like a large roast or a Thanksgiving turkey.

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I forged the pattern-welded blade out of a combination of 1.2842 and 75Ni8 steels. The billet has a thicker core of 1.2842 which is clad in about 40 layers on either side. I gave it a light etch and then cold-blued it to help protect it from additional surface oxidation in the kitchen. The patina will surely develop through use over time, but I’ll be watching to see how well the bluing holds up.

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The handle is made out of black G10, a woven fiberglass and epoxy material that does not absorb moisture or hold bacteria like some woods can. I made the handle using a mortise-tang construction method, bedded in epoxy and held together by three stainless pins.

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This knife will be put to work in my kitchen where I will study its performance characteristics and use what I learn to help refine subsequent design iterations. It’s already the finest piece of cutlery in my kitchen, but I always strive to make the next one even better.

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Instagram and other social media

The workshop can be a pretty lonesome place sometimes. I don’t have any officemates or coworkers to banter with throughout the day, and though I do occasionally talk to my hammers and swear at my anvil the conversations tend to be pretty one-sided. I do, however, have internet access, and really enjoy interacting with friends, peers, and customers via social media. I also just opened an Instagram account, where I will try to post at least one photo every day from the shop. If you’re interested in getting a few extra glimpses into the process of making a high performance custom knife, this can be a great way to do it.

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My handle on instagram is @wulfdmaker – come visit my page here. Seriously, my hammers already think I’m crazy.

 

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To help the DesRosiers

Adam and Haley DesRosiers, of Petersburg, Alaska, just lost their workshop to a devastating fire. Adam and Haley are both accomplished bladesmiths and wonderful, giving people that have helped so many others along the way, including myself. Like many Alaskans, Adam and Haley are proudly independent and self reliant people. They built their workshop from scratch, even harvesting their own lumber for the structure. The loss of this building and the many tools and materials inside is a huge setback for them.

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Being such independent people, they would never ask for our help to rebuild, but many of us still wish to lend a helping hand to get these two good people get back to doing what they love – and what they live on.

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For my part, I wish to donate 100% of the proceeds from the sale of this knife towards the rebuilding of their shop.

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Here’s a quick youtube video showing the knife in greater detail:

I will sell it for the highest bid received by 6pm, EST, on Monday, January 4. Bids must be emailed to me at derrickwulf at gmail dot com, or posted in the comments on facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/167279416965947/

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I will ship the knife (at my expense) to the highest bidder upon confirmation of payment received by Adam and Haley.

***Knife is sold*** Thanks, Roger!

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Damascus utility knife for Kirstin

I finished this knife last month but waited until it was in Kirstin’s hands before posting it here. (Click on the photo for a fullsize version.)

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The blade is pattern-welded steel that I forged in my shop in America out of 1084 and 15n20 carbon steels. I don’t recall the exact layer count but I think it’s in the neighborhood of 150, give or take. The overall design was meant to be compact, easy to carry and use, but stout and robust enough to handle all manner of daily cutting tasks.

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The blade is a little shy of 4 inches with a modest belly and dropped point for efficient slicing and carving. The centered tip is also well suited to finer point-work. Thickness at the spine is maybe around 5/32 or 3/16 to accommodate an acute but strong cutting edge.

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The handle is a beautiful piece of pomele sapele, a tropical African hardwood that can produce gorgeous ribbon-like grain figure. The wood is somewhat similar to mahogany in terms of density, hardness, and stability, making it a very good handle material. It finishes well and feels smooth and warm to the touch. I finished this piece with oil and wax over a 1200 grit polish, and Kirstin reports back that it feels great in her hand. Good to hear!

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Kirstin, I really hope that you enjoy owning and using this knife that I made for you. May it always be there for you when you need it, as you have always been there for me! Happy birthday, happy new year, and all the best from me to you.

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Much love from your little brother,
Derrick

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