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Carved handles on a knife that is used in the kitchen alot, leaves many places for bacteria and other stuff to get trapped. At worst, cross contamination of food at best a pain to keep clean. For sanitation reasons, I personally would not carve them.

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Last Aug at the Western States Conf at Mt. Hood, OR., I had the pleasure of having ABSMS Bill Burke assess some of my kitchen blades. His suggestions included making them thinner, working on more distal taper, and profiling so the last third of the blade at the heel was flat for a more forceful chop, rather than rounded up. That being said, I recently had a client request that I round up his blade as he liked to rock the blade to chop.

I've been making them flat as suggested by Bill Burke because it's easier to relieve the heel than to re-profile it to flat.

I like your bold low layer count on the damascus, and I concur with those who suggest no carving.

Thanks for posting your work.

John

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Thanks. Only a pleasure. It's always good to get good constructive  crit. I also like a rocking blade profile for kitchen knives. But then again you can never have enough knives in the kitchen so many profiles for different tasks is good.

I stopped with the high layers as sometimes it just gets all muddy and too close together - trying to simplify - more layers is a lot of work and there is a limit to what people will pay for a working knife.

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IMHO, with blades as awesome looking as those (I feel the same on many knives with PWed metals) its better to keep the handle simple. I see so many knives where the makes go so overboard with handle embellishments that it detracts from the beauty of the blade; especially low layer count blades. Oh yeah, and the creepy crawler bacteria trap thingy too ;)

 

Beautiful knives, BTW!

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2Tim215,

Speaking of muddy...I was having trouble getting a clean and shiny look to my 15n20/L6 in the damascus . I sanded to 600, then etched in ferric chloride. I brought it out, rinsed, lightly re-sanded, then back into the etch for several times. The sand lines went deeper with each etch making the blade look muddy.

So I changed it up and now take the blade to a near mirror polish first, then lightly sand with a 1500grit to expose fresh steel before etching. During the etch, I take out the blade, rinse and wash off the oxides with a sponge, then back into the etch. This seems to have helped get closer to the look I had envisioned.

Not to hijack this thread on those beautiful knives, but I'd be interested to know how others etch.

John

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I have found that a blade taken to as high a grit as possible gives a better etch. I etch in battery acid and usually for as long as it takes for me to get a deep etch. This will vary on how hard the steel is. Remember that when you etch the acid eats at the "softer" steel more than  the nickel etc and this is what leaves you with high and low spots. Also, a blade that is really hard and not tempered properly will etch far more slowly than a softer more malleable blade, and this will also vary according to what steels you used in the mix. 

I then use gun blue over the whole blade and very lightly sand with 1200# to highlight the high points and leave the low areas dark - this gives contrast. But on these two I did nothing but etch as I liked the outcome.

 

Also, I used 1080 and 15N20 here and 15N20 is nothing more than 1070 with nickel, so there is very little difference between the two steels. If you use steels with completely differing composition then you get a completely different outcome.

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