First foray into knifemaking - Kiritsuke

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  • Morning all,

    Being an "ambitious" (read naive) fellow I felt that my first appemt at making a knife would be a Japanese hybrid chef's knife called a kiritsuke. So after securing myself a billet of damascus off ebay at the very reasonable price of £11.55 I started to cut out a shape.

    Thanks to the online templates from this wonderful site I soon had a rough shape cut out with my angle grinder.

    After about a week of grinding on my 100x915 belt sander I had what looked like the beginning a a decent blade which somewhat resembled the template. I think before I do another my next project will need to be a proper bench grinder as it was seriously slow going, especially with the standard aluminium oxide belts.

    The blade after hardening, I was hoping I'd be able to heat it to ~800c using my propane torch alone however this proved impossible so after stacking some bricks up anf making a cavity with rolled up ceramic blanket I had a makeshift forge to heat, Once the blade was close to salmon pink I quenched in water and tempered in the oven twice at 180 each for an hour.

    Once I had the blade cleaned up and sanded to 600 grit it was time for etching the pattern back into the blade, I had read about putting nail varnish along the blade edge to stop it being eaten away so masked off the blade and painted it on. Whilst after cleaning the blade up the pattern looked fantastic after sharpening it was a bit patchy especially on the rear of the blade where I attempted a concave grind. I think for now I will give damascus a miss until I can practice a bit more and do some more reading around the process.

    Started work on the main body of the handle, stabilised maple burl sandwiching a strip of black palm wood.

    I'd really like some feedback on the processes used as I'd love to improve them.



  • - well done on your knifemaking :thumbup:

    Perhaps you could send your blades to be HT'd to one of the makers on here [for a small price maybe] - you'd be sure it was done to the correct temp and even heat


    ...anyone who rides a bike and loves nature, can never be poor, we will always be happy, no matter what
    Gunther Muller

  • Yeah that’s a really good idea, to be honest I’ve bitten off quite a large chunk to do. I’ve actually booked myself on a beginners blacksmithing course at my local college in January and the intermediate once that finishes in April which covers hardening and heat treatment. But until then I will have a search around for someone to help with that.

  • Well done.

    Why not take Mr Bailey's advice and run a file over a bit of it.

    If the file won't bite into the steel, it's hard enough.

    ahh yes, I remember reading that somewhere. Will try it when I get home.

    As for the metal quality, it's ok, whilst grinding I did find some areas in the steel where some scale must have been included in the weld. but for the most part I managed to grind them out. I think for the moment I'm going to go with some 1080+ which I have being delivered soon.