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This is the first forged cleaver that I've made.

Hardened 1095 blade, Jatoba handle scales, mosaic handle pins. Finished in wax-oil.

Length 9", width 4", thickness 1/4".

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You dont plan to use that for food with that lack of finishing do you? it will never be food safe

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No Steve, I don't. Its intended purpose is for camping, as a small axe for kindling etc.

Any thoughts on the craftsmanship?

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cant see the spine and fit, but it looks cool, I was worried about food poisoning

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I went for the worn in look. I like it! Could have gone 'unfinished' or shiny clean but I think this finish fits the piece.

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Doesn't look worn as much as weathered.  Wear usually doesn't leave pitting, it tends to smooth crisp lines and change straight lines to curves.

I like the look of it very much for the use stated, of course the mosaic pins are a bit upscale....Looks like it was "rescued" , rehandled and put back to use!

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What I was trying to say was....the spine in between the handle was intended to 'look worn' rather than just shiny new with the sanding of the scales. The sides of the cleaver and rest of the spine are straight off the anvil. Bit of confusion with the original post and showing the spine to Steve.

It definitely wasn't rescued, I worked hard to get it finished from scratch as ive never attempted a cleaver.

Thank you  for your input and praise...it means a lot.

 

It was playing on my mind whether to have a shiny, finished spine all the way around or to keep it lookin entirely forged. As it progressed this is what I ended up with.....I guess this is my best description

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MastaStan:  I really like mini cleavers and you did a great job on that one. It looks great!!

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It is the ying and yang. Worn and hardened blade with mosaic pins. It is creative. I like the way the blade looks. Good work!

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Beautiful. 

The finish is sometimes called Brut de Forge or blacksnith finish. The area that has not been ground is pretty near rust proof. The area that has been ground will of course tarnish or rust, but not very fast. 

Food   poisoning from using this blade is not an issue unless you cut up and eat something that was unfit for human consumption in the first place. ( roadkill, really stale unrefrigerated meat, chicken, etc). 

If you Google Brut De Forge knifes you will find they are commercially available. 

I make and use brut de forge knifes all the time. They will even withstand scrubbing with Comet or Ajax scouring powder with little or no degradation of the finish. 

nice work 

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I personally would not want any texture or pockets on a blade I used for food handling. I have seen an artist that is in the eastern US that produces professional kitchen knives from rasps and she leaves the signature of the rasps on the blades. She seems to do very well selling these for high hundreds to low thousands of US dollars. But like Steve mentioned almost immediately, my first thought was that the texture would be a huge concern for bacterial growth. MastaStan: already indicated in this thread that the intended use would not be for food prep and handling. The intended use is for producing kindling. But I wanted to circle back and ask about the rasp design. I didn’t post a link to the examples of these blades, but they can be found easy enough by Googling “rasp kitchen knives”. The rasp knives are targeted for professionals, but wouldn’t there be a concern for the texture leading to a burden for cleaning and hygiene? Does anyone use rasps with the texture left for kitchen knives? 

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I use knives made from rasps in the kitchen all the time. I just clean them with a brush and warm soapy water. The same as other utensils and cutting boards that can harbor bacteria if not cleaned properly. In fact, I feel that it takes much less effort to clean such a knife thoroughly, than a cutting board for instance. Cutting boards have a multitude of fine to large cuts in the surface that can catch and hold food debris and bacteria much more readily than the remaining rasp pattern on the knifes I make. And cutting boards made of wood are somewhat permeable as well. But you don’t hear people freaking out about using a less than pristine cutting board.

Frankly, I dont know how the idea about cutlery with a brut de forge finish, blacksmith finish, rasp texture, peined texture, or anything else considered a “lack of finish” as being not food safe, got so much traction. Just clean it. It doesn’t need to go into an autoclave, just a good scrub is all that is required.

 

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Good feedback Shady. I read the FAQ for the rasp knife website and the cleaning and care were identical to your feedback. Use a brush to clean them. It also stated the remnants for the rasp can be used for grating items like garlic or nutmeg. I am not sure that I am sold on the cleaning aspect, I have three kids that don’t clean smooth plates and bowls well enough and the high carbon knife I put in the kitchen was put away wet after it’s second use. Guess who ended up removing the rust and building up a new patina. ;) I am happy to hear about your experience because I have wanted to dabble in textures for my blades. Knowing that others do this without issues gives me some comfort. But maybe I will only do this for hunting and camping knives at first and see how it goes. Thanks again for taking the time to provide your thoughts. I highly value the input I get from the collective brain power of this forum

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You're welcome David, and thank you.

BTW... I really dig the cleaver. It is beautiful. If you could not tell from my earlier, I am a big fan of the "Brut de Forge" and other types of raw or rustic finish. (I actually never heard that term before, but I like it).

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It looks cool.  very robust

Shady:  I too was surprised to see the idea that the knife has to be unblemished to be safe in the kitchen.  there are plenty of high end chefs knives that have hammer marks and scale remaining.  For those who appreciate that certain rustic aesthetic, Japanese chef's knives call it  Kurouchi which I am told roughly translates to blacksmith finish.  You will find it from slight to quite pronounced in all price ranges from cheap to as much as you want to spend.  Aside from the aesthetic some say it helps with food release by breaking up the vacuum hard wet foods create.  

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In the same way as you would not think twice about 'seasoning' any sort of a cast iron, totally 'rough' bodied cooking container to hold food or, other cast iron food associated implements or indeed a carbon steel pan or wok-you would and should do that to a cleaver made to be similarly rough bodied. Then from there, the same goes for cleaning and maintenance of said items. That done you can safely use it for any and all cooking processes associated with the use of a cleaver without worrying. Which is more than you can say about some food outlets cooking and serving utensil cleaning regimes.

There are several methods and finishes available to achieve desirable results, all of which are 'food safe.'

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Thank you everyone, for your interesting input and kind comments.

Really enjoyed making this piece. I made it for my Dad who has helped me out, no end, with tools, equipment, advice and has made everything possible!

Cheers Dad, you're awesome!

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A common trick to keep food particles out of the nooks and crannies of wooden handled knives was to dip them in hot parifin. Wouldn’t fly with the health inspectors to day. 

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On 3/9/2018 at 1:11 PM, Tommytaptap said:

In the same way as you would not think twice about 'seasoning' any sort of a cast iron, totally 'rough' bodied cooking container to hold food or, other cast iron food associated implements or indeed a carbon steel pan or wok-you would and should do that to a cleaver made to be similarly rough bodied.

My understanding of the seasoning process for cast iron pots is that it includes baking on successive layers of food safe oil or shortening.  I'm not sure that is practical for a wood handled cleaver.  Also, in use the cast iron is heated quite a bit which should kill off any remaining bugs.  Again, this will not be the case for a cleaver.

On the other hand, I don't have any trouble with a well cleaned forge finish for the flats of a kitchen knife.  After wire brushing vigorously to remove any scale remnants and typical avoidance of cracks or cold shunts, basic kitchen cleaning after use with a kitchen brush should take care of any remaining food deposits (as noted by HammerMonkey above).  I'm not any kind of fan of using poorly forged rasp knives (where the surface teeth are either left in place to be used as "graters",  or hammered down for a bold pattern) for kitchen implements as that will leave extremely hard to clean areas, but I'm not a NYC master chef either...

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I will be sure to tell the local Health inspector how wrong he is then. silly me for listening to him about food safety in the work place for making my blades or repairing damaged blades for the restaurants here

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It’s just resent that cast iron found it’s way back into commercial kitchens. The advantage they have over knives is that they are heated to the point no microbes are likely to service. Knives on the other hand depend on impermeable materials and smooth serfaces to insure no place for food particles and bacteria to lodge. Tho things are again changing as science has now shown that scratched up plastic cutting boards are less safe than classic wood boards. 

 

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Steve,

I wasn't necessarily indicating that you were mistaken, (just offering my opinion, which is different from yours - a subtle contrast I agree, but a significant one).  As regards the Health inspector, I'm sure they have to err on the side of caution, and, as with most "general" code enforcement officials have a list of things they need to check off for compliance.  Needless to say, commercial and residential codes are different, as are each individuals interpretation of the specific language of a code.  Also, codes are often simplified past the point of scientific proof, to make things easier for those using them.  Again, per my post, I'm not in favor of crevices in cooling implements, but surface variations (like hammer marks or even the residual imperfections caused by removed scale) don't appear to be a cause for alarm.

That being said, all the kitchen knives I've made to date have had fully ground and polished surfaces.  However, I'm a fan of both Nick Rossi's and Sam Salvati's kitchen knives which at times have "Brut d'Forge" style flats at the top, and I wouldn't turn up my nose at a Bob Kramer Damascus chef knife either (even though the etching left minor surface irregularities).

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I highly doubt the human race would have lasted this long if we had to rely on blemish free, highly polished kitchen implements as the key to our survival. 

I certainly don't leave things sitting about for a suitable viral incubation period before cleaning. Bit of common sense and good food hygiene practice.

Health inspectors much in the same way as safety inspectors can easily go overboard these days purely so they can't held liable in the 0.0001% chance something actually happens. 

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