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I Forge Iron

11" Gyuto


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I took a forging class with Bill Burke last week to see if any of his forging skill would rub off on me, if even a little!  Great guy.  Great class.   It's forged out of a stick of 5160.  Today I worked on the edge and getting the final shape right. Pretty tough stuff.

If it grinds out well, and I can heat treat it without it cracking, I plan to make a handle out of African Blackwood, and curly koa, with a cuprous nickel spacer.  I plan to tenon the Blackwood into the koa so as to not only depend upon the epoxy.  I'll post pics of the handle wip if anyone is interested, but it will be a couple weeks till I can get to it.

what do you kitchen blade guys think about the shape of the blade? I did grind the profile some to clean it up.


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  • 2 weeks later...

I normalized the blade, straightened it and ground it out today.  I resorted to vertical grinding to even it all out and get rid of the forging marks.  I think I will finish grind it in this manner as well after HT in order to get a slight convex curve from spine to edge on this thin blade.

HT was at 1540 and full quench in Parks AAA. Tempered at 400 for an hour.  I just realized that I did not preheat the oil prior to the quench.  Stupid mistake. Fingers crossed.

here are some pics I took of the process, some one handed.image.thumb.jpg.adec8d7792984f5124c4e7e1


After Quench.  Hopefully no cracks!

Tomorrow I'll finish out the blade and start on the wa

Edited by Jspool
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Weeeeellllllll, I hope no one was too in love with the size and shape of the Gyuto for its now a hybrid Santoku.  After HT the blade took on a curve.  I tried straightening it working a long section of blade, but the 5160 was too springy and wouldn't straighten.  So I tried working a more narrow section at a time, and is still sprung back. Soooo I tried correcting it a liiitle more, and bing. 4" of blade snapped off.


Hardness was at 60. Grain looked great.  Anyways, time to move forward with a revised project.


A 6.5" Santoku.

The Wa will be three pieces. A center of stabilized Koa, with a bolster and cap of African Blackwood, both tenoned into the Koa.

the pictures probably say it better.


When cutting off small pieces on the table saw I like using a pencil eraser to control the small cutoff so it gets a clean cut.  Something I learned making segmented bowls.


Drill ing a 1/2" hole clear through the center section


and mortising it out to 5/8" x 1/2" deep.


Turning the .625 tenons on the Blackwood


Turning a tenon on each end of one longer piece is easier than dealing with two small pieces. I'll cut the bolster and cap from this.

image.thumb.jpg.c8ca4f36d6f5eb550a06b2e9This shows the three sections with the bolster already drilled through the tenon, stopping .25" or more from the opposite end.  This will make fitting out the slot for the tang easier. Blackwood is hard.

this was a touchy operation so I didn't get a pic doing it. Sorry.






Exploded view of the blade and handle pieces



Handle roughed onto the blade.

Next, I will glue up the bolster to the center, but leave the cap tightly friction fit while shaping the handle. I'll need to remove it when epoxying the handle on.

Edited by Jspool
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Finished up the handle today. All glued up and on.  With the hollow cavity that needed to be pretty full of epoxy to adhere to the tang, and the cap that needed to be epoxied on and clamped on, it was a tricky glue up.  The spacer is cuprous nickel.  I might still take the blade down to a finer grade of scotch brite. I was real pleased with my first tang/bolster fit.


I realize that my process is convoluted and perhaps more difficult than it needed to be.  Hopefully I'll figure out how to streamline it, and not take so many steps backwards as I get some more blades under my belt.



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Good Morning,

A Pear-ing knife. Welcome to the Skool of "Hard Nocks". It is not a mistake, just another Lesson!!:D:D

First Blade, keep it in a "Special Place". Look at it every now and then, "This is where I started"!!!!!

Enjoy the RIDE, the Journey is knot straight forward, 'sometimes there is some thinking and Larnin' involved'.


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Thanks Guys. I just have to keep remembering that its the journey that counts!

Shamus, unfortunately I did not have much of a process for making the octagonal handle. I eyeballed it at the belt grinder.   Its simple to cut an octagon at the tablesaw with the blade set at 45 degrees.  I didn't go that route because I wasn't sure whether the cupreous nickel spacer would screw up my carbide blade or not.

If I were you, I would layout an octagon on the end of my block.  Then, set my tool rest at 90 to the belt.  Using a 45 degree side of a combo square to position your square block on one of its corners, bevel off one of the corners to the line you drew on the end of the block.  place the newly ground facet down on the tool rest and sand down the other corners to the layout lines. Take your time, and keep in mind to leave a little extra stock to allow for the material that moving down the grits will take.  Some wa handles are taller than their width, so learning to do this by hand gives you the freedom to make what you desire.

I am working on figuring out how to do a tapered octagon handle.  Pretty basic with hand planes, but then the metal spacers prevent me from going that route. Guess I could do it by hand as well.

Good luck!


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