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I Forge Iron

Kitchen Knife class


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Hey y’all,

Over the weekend, I took a chef knife making class over in Detroit with Niko Nicolaides. He showed us some of his examples and did some demoing then let us go at it. On Saturday, we forged, profiled and heat treated the knives.  Because I have experience already doing this, I knew most of what to do but he still had some useful tips and tricks on how to move the metal to specific places. Sunday was spent grinding and finishing the handle.

This is the Detroit Smith Shop where the class was hosted.






I learned the most in the handle construction. He did the method of drilling a .5” hole into a block and splitting a dowel to hold the tang. I’ve never done that and while I’ve read about, I didn’t really understand before. 

Get a drill either the same size as the widest part of the tang or a little bit smaller. Drill down as far as you need to go and if needed, file little slots to fit the tang all the way in. Take a dowel the same size as your hole and split it in two. From there, sand the flats and size the dowels till the tang fits; you can leave a small gap for glue if you want. This method is SO much easier than drill 2 or 3 small holes and tediously needle file. 

I did that with the lower part of the handle and for the “bolster” piece, I split in half and filed away notches for the tang to fit in. Again bc it’s easier IMO. If you want, you can put hidden pins through the tang to help locate, I just glued them together.

Also, make sure that the shoulder of the tang is seated on the handle! Check and double check to make sure. I didn’t so now there’s an ugly gap in a otherwise pretty good knife.:angry:


Putting it through it’s paces. It’s a little thick but still works like a charm!


I’m really glad I took this class, it allows me get a better idea how a kitchen knife should be made without doing trial and error. Taking a class is definitely one of the best things that someone can do to learn.

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