Chef knife quandary

MikeL

KNIFE MAKER
Thanks ahead of time for any advice.

An engraver who made some rings for some clients now have the same clients asking for an engraved chef knife. He asked me to make the knife. He wants the spine area clayed so when I send the finished knife that part is not hardened. So a hamon is not the goal but a non-hardened area for engraving is what he is asking for. I had settled on 1095 because I have some on hand. Question 1.
I became curious if AEB-L or other steels needing a foil wrap can be clayed. Or some method of keeping the spine area non-hardened.

Any other steel recommendations other than 1095 that I can clay knowing the goal is a non hardened spine area and not necessarily a hamon.

Thank you,
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
You won't get away with deferentially hardening stainless. The alloys simply won't allow for it. Even if you can get SOME difference, it's gona be very slight, and will be harder then your engraver wants.

I'd say do an edge quench on the 1095 or go to 1080/1084. 1095 most likely will give you what you need, but sometime there is "residual" hardening with it...in the areas you don't want. 1080/1084 or even 1075 will give you very defined hard/soft areas when edge quenched, with little to no residual hardening....where you don't want it.

Being an engraver myself, while I do prefer to engrave annealed materials, I have engraved hardened blades with solid carbide gravers. It's a different animal then routine engraving, because of the carbide gravers....they have to be sharpened differently, and more often, and the engraving technique required to achieve the same quality of engraving as annealed materials is more difficult. Each engraver is different.... most will simply refuse to engrave hardened materials, because most clients are not willing to pay the additional cost (when I engrave hardened materials the cost is usually double what I normally charge).
 

MikeL

KNIFE MAKER
Sound advice as usual. Thank you.
I just learned from the engraver he likes a hamon as well. While I thought it would detract from his engraving it looks like it will be good in his eyes so I’m going with 1095. Thanks again.
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
The heat treating will pretty much wreck the engraving....it'll still be there, but engraving is based on "bright" and "dim" cuts....meaning how the light reflects.... scale in the engraving pretty much does all that in.
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
How were the old swords done? I’m thinking of the German hunting swords with the full length hunting scenes if you’re familiar with them. Were they hand engraved or was it an etching process?
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
Most of those were elaborate etchings, with the blades covered in a resist, and the scene(s) carefully carved out of the resist. There were also some engraving techniques used, but those were used less often then etchings, and the "scenes" used when engraved were much smaller.
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
that makes perfect sense. i have one of those swords, a WWII bring back from my grandfather. Unfortunately some kid got a hold of it and took the edge to a grinder somewhere along the line, probably in the 50s or 60s.
 
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