Santoku!

of the many Japanese kitchen knives, the santoku has been one of the first to became popular in the West and its versatility has amassed a legion of fans.

This knife has a 15cm (aprox 6″) long 52100 steel blade and moradillo wood handle – by the way, its the first time I use this nice Bolivian wood.

It coes with a kydex sheath and is ready to ship for US$ 180.00, plus US$ 20.00 for worldwide shipping.

First come, first serve!

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Making a knife – part 3

With our blade ready to heat treat, it now goes to the oven, an operation I usually do with a batch of four or five blades at a time. Certainlym, this is the most crucial process of the whole knifemaking process as a blade that is not heat treated is soft , unable to hold an edge and thus completelly useless.

The heat treatment consists, generally speaking, of heating the blade to a given temperature – that varies from steel to steel -and then quickly cooling it (hardening). Then he blade is again heated to a much lower temperature (tempering). In the first step of the process, we make the blade very hard and in the next, lower this hardness to the desired degree, wich is measured in points in the Rockwell scale (HRC).

As we are using 52100 steel, we will heat the blade to 825C (Celsius scale) and then quench it in vegetable oil. Then, once my oven cools enough, they go back inside it and undergo two two-hour cycles at 195C. Just to be sure, I polish the edges of the blades so I can follow the tempering process by color. At the end, this polished area should have a straw -light gold color.

There are other recipes for this steel but this one works very well for me so I stick to it. Maybe in teh future I try using a cryo quench as this is also indicated for this steel.

Sorry for the horrible pictures but taking pics with a cell phone while holding a red hot piece of steel on the other isn´t exactly easy. Henrique Peron, where are you now???

The oven used is a standard Fornilcio made by Emilcio Cardoso in Campinas.

52100 steel can also be heat treated by eye using a forge, torch or other source of heat to reach hardening temperature and a kitchen oven for the tempering, beside a good eye to judge the temperatures, of course.

The heat treatment is strictly a technical process and no albine black sheep pee, dance around the anvil or sacrifice of virgins will affect its results although many people seem to believe in this bullshit. I confess I used to believe for some time but now I see that all those virgins were sacrified in vain…

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Making a knife – part 2

After the blade has been cut from the bar, we refine its profile on the belt grindder. It also received a rough polish, got straightened and had all its edges and corners rounded as you don´t need more than its tip to poke things, right?

The next step is the heat treatment. Notice the little hole on the end of the tang to hang the blade on the oven.

The block of wood bellow the blade will be its handle. It is moradillo ou “Bolivian rosewood” and althought I never worked with this wood before, it looks promising.

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Good News for my Foreign Friends!

As you can see, I am updating this blog with more coherent information about my work and have already finished my Kitchen Knives catalog as well as the Availabile Knives page.

Stay tuned as I finish the rest of the blog and thanks for your interest in my work!

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Making a knife – part 1

Well, lets get started!

Here you can see a 52100 steel bar that is roughly 2″ wide and 3/32″ thick. We are going to make a 10″ long gyuto blade from it and the blade profile is already drawn on the bar.

Above it you can see the blade freed from the bar. There are many different ways to do this – metal saw, hand saw, angle grinder, laser, waterjet, etc – and this will not affect the final result. I have chose to drill holes around the blade perimeter and then saw or break the remaining steel web, wich is not very eficient but I end up using this method all the time since I don´t have a metal saw on my shop.

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Making a knife step by step

I am thinking about picturing how one of my knives is crafted, step by step. What do you think? Ibetter mention that this does not involve quenching blades in a virgin girl´s blood, anvils turned to the north or praying to the ancient god of steel – so sorry but the process is just not that thrilling.

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Not Your Usual Gyuto

I usually only make s30v knives by request since this stainless steel is quite expensive and way harder to work with than 52100, but here is one fit for any kitchen pro, with a 25cm (aprox. 10″)  long blade and black micarta handle.

This knife has a kydex sheath and goes for US$ 395.00, plus US$ 25.00 for shipping and, as usual, first come, first serve!

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