Chef Knife Set WIP

BrandantR

Well-Known Member
[FONT=&quot]Wow, what a roller coaster of a week. I had great things happen, tragic things happen, and a bunch of things in between. You probably have times like that in your lives too. I suppose that is what life is all about; having experiences, learning from them, and becoming a better person because of them.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]The fourth and final knife of my daughter's kitchen set is now complete. Since it was built just like the other three, I didn't bother taking too many photos of the progress, but here are the few that I did take.

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These chunks of steel shown above are the four bolsters for the chef's knife. They have each been blocked out and the back sides have been ground flat on the disk grinder.

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Here's the knife with the front bolsters attached. The pins blended in very nicely.

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The scales have been fitted to the handle, dovetailed, and the black liners have been attached. I really like the looks of this box elder burl and I enjoyed working with it. I'm going to have to use this stuff more often.

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In this photo the rear bolsters have been attached and the scales have been temporarily pinned in place for a final fitting before epoxy is applied. The fit is nice and tight.

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[FONT=&quot]Here's a photo of the completed knife. It's a smaller sized chef's knife, about 10.5 inches total length with a 7 inch blade. That's about the maximum length that I can fit into my heat treat oven, so I am limited by my equipment. I think it turned our really nice. It feels great in the hand, is well balanced, and looks absolutely gorgeous. I have no doubt that my daughter will enjoy using it. I'll take some better photos of the set in the near future and post them up.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]Now, with the four knives complete, I just have to come up with a design for a block or stand to keep them in and at the ready on the kitchen counter. I plan to make some kind of a stand out of wood that will compliment the handles and not detract from their beauty. It will be fun to get back to my woodworking roots. Wish me luck.[/FONT]
 

wdtorque

Well-Known Member
Mighty nice work. And a gift that your daughter will cherish I'd bet. Thanks for sharing. WDL III
 

Self Made Knives

Well-Known Member
Gorgeous Brandant! For block ideas, here's a couple. My cousin made one like this guy holding a shield and everybody gets a kick out of it. May not be for everybody though. I like the designs that allow you to see the blades, like the other pics.
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BrandantR

Well-Known Member
Thanks, folks, for your nice comments. I appreciate the feedback. I hope she enjoys using them as much as I did making them.

Gorgeous Brandant! For block ideas, here's a couple. My cousin made one like this guy holding a shield and everybody gets a kick out of it. May not be for everybody though. I like the designs that allow you to see the blades, like the other pics.
Thanks for the pics, Anthony. I've been searching the internet for inspiration and sketching up some ideas of what I think my daughter will like and what will compliment the knifes themselves. I think I have a pretty good idea of how I will tackle the block. I plan to laminate some contrasting woods and cut the block on multiple planes to make it interesting. It should be a fun project in its own rights.
 

bladegrinder

Well-Known Member
That's a really nice set of knives Brandant, I'm sure your daughter will be proud to display and use them in her kitchen.
seeing a set like that, it really kind of hits you how long some of our knives will be around long after were gone.
 

Wayne Bensinger

Well-Known Member
Ok Brandant, so this is great, I've been watching, just not commenting. Now I feel I must add the comment that you not only are a great knife maker, but your brilliant! Of all of the G10 or other materials I've use for liners to add "pop" to the handle, lve always fumble around frustrating myself trying to line up all of the liners and scales at once with epoxy all over my fingers and everything else. Now here it seems you are epoxying the liner to the scale first and then drilling everything to match. I never thought of this, I really need to pay attention, thanks for a great tip!


Wayne
 

BrandantR

Well-Known Member
Ok Brandant, so this is great, I've been watching, just not commenting. Now I feel I must add the comment that you not only are a great knife maker, but your brilliant! Of all of the G10 or other materials I've use for liners to add "pop" to the handle, lve always fumble around frustrating myself trying to line up all of the liners and scales at once with epoxy all over my fingers and everything else. Now here it seems you are epoxying the liner to the scale first and then drilling everything to match. I never thought of this, I really need to pay attention, thanks for a great tip!


Wayne
I'm glad you got something useful out of this thread. I love following along with other makers' WIP's to see the things that they may do a little different than I. It always gives me ideas of how I might improve my skills or tweak my own builds to save time or improve fit and finish. It thrills me to know that something I may do could be useful to someone else.
 

BrandantR

Well-Known Member
[FONT=&quot]Now that all four of the knives have been completed for my daughter's kitchen knife set, it's time to finish off the project with a little bit of woodworking. Before I caught the knife-making bug, I dabbled in woodworking for a time. Nothing too fancy, mind you, but I did enjoy the process of creating simple pieces out of wood. It was nice to blow the dust off some of my old tools and work with wood again. Below are some photos I took of the process of putting the knife block together for the kitchen set.

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[FONT=&quot]The supply of hardwood is very limited here in my hometown. Unless I go through the process of ordering wood from online sources, not being able to self select the materials and paying a fortune in shipping costs, I'm stuck with whatever the local lumberyards have in stock. In this case my selection was between oak and plain old poplar. Not much of a choice really, so oak it was. Oak is not my favorite wood choice, but I think it will actually look good next to the box elder handle scales of the knives. All of the available stock was also limited to 1" thick, which in reality is only 3/4" thick. So, being impatient and ready to put this project to rest, I purchased some 1" x 12" stock and commenced the process of gluing up a laminated block. Here's the stack of wood with my paper pattern on top. The rectangles on the pattern show where the blade holes will be located in the center of the block.

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[FONT=&quot]One of the benefits of laminating this block together is that I can cut out the blade holes before I glue up the block. To get started on this, I need to plane down the thickness of the center layer to about 3/16", which will be slightly wider than the knife blades, but not too over sized to where the blades will be sloppy in the hole. The old trusty thickness planer accomplishes this task.

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[FONT=&quot]Here's the board after being planed to thickness.[/FONT]

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[FONT=&quot]Next, I cut each of the five boards to shape on the table saw. I could do this once everything is assembled if I had better equipment, but my table saw won't cut through the full thickness of the assembled piece. So, each layer gets cut to shape separately before glue up.

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[FONT=&quot]With some trusty Elmer's rubber cement, the kind that you used back in grade school, I fix the pattern to the thin center layer.

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[FONT=&quot]With the pattern fixed to the wood, it's off to the band saw to cut out the blade recesses. Here's the piece after the blade holes have been cut out.

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[FONT=&quot]With a little finessing and a lot of clamps, the five layers get glued up with some water resistant wood glue and allowed to dry.

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[FONT=&quot]Here's the block after the glue is dry and the clamps have been removed. The edges are a little uneven, but we'll take care of that in the next step.

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[FONT=&quot]Using my jointer, I shave off the edges of the box until the surfaces are smooth and square to the sides of the block.

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[FONT=&quot]Here's the test fit with the knives in the block. Amazingly enough, they actually fit! Looks pretty good too.
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BrandantR

Well-Known Member
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[FONT=&quot]To pretty things up a bit, I decided to chamfer the sharp edges around the block. This is done with a chamfering bit at my router table.

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[FONT=&quot]Here's the block after the detail work is complete. It's ready for some finish sanding.

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[FONT=&quot]Here's my trusty pad sander that was used to smooth things up. I've logged many hours on this old thing and it just keeps on running. Not bad for a cheap tool.

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Here's the final piece after a hand-rubbed oil varnish has been applied. Once the finish is dry, I'll apply a coat of wax and give it a buff to bring up the shine. This project is so close to the end that I can almost taste it. Once everything is finished, I'll brake out the good camera and take some better pics of this project and post them up for your viewing pleasure.
I brought the set into the house for my daughter to inspect. I caught her in the kitchen slicing up some strawberries and, try as I may, I couldn't get her to try out her new knives. So, I pulled out the paring knife from the block and started helping her cut up the berries. Someone had to take them out for a test drive! Sharp, smooth, and comfortable. They passed my own inspection with flying colors. Now, I'm pretty sure that my sweet wife is going to want her own set. Hopefully I can squeeze in a few folders before that happens, as I'm hankering in the worst way to start on a new folding knife. I had a great time with this project and produced what will hopefully be a family heirloom. Thanks for following along with me on this project and sharing in my knife-making adventures.​
 
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