Monday, November 24, 2014


Another chef's knife coming up. Christmas closing in and I need to get these out of the way.

I am starting with a piece of 3/32" 154CM and using the KN9 pattern, but it will be a deeper blade. The original KN9 was intended for 1-1/2" stock and I want to make this blade closer to 1-3/4" deep.

As always I lay the pattern out on the steel. If there are any surface inclusions in the steel I try to keep these at the tang end of the knife or in areas where I know for sure they will be ground away.

After tracing, the bulk of the removal is done with a hacksaw and my trusty carpenter's vise. A fresh bi-metal 18 TPI (teeth per inch) hacksaw blade will tear through this steel quickly.
Cut close to the line and leave some room to grind back to the line.

Here I am grinding to shape with an old 60 grit blaze. It's okay to use an old belt for this type of work, but you want to use a fresher belt for the primary grind.
Here the overall knife is taking shape.

For surface grinding I still like my old 4x36 machine. Hold the blank with a magnet and clean the faces.  After this I blue the edge so I can scribe the center line.
Her we are back on the 2x72" with a fresh Blaze 60 for making the primary bevel. I like to hold the steel at an angle, say 30° to start and then feather it back with successive passes. As a pattern I work with right hand (strong side) first and do the left hand pass and alternate.
Once the feathering starts I raise the blade off the tool rest and continue making passes.
Here we can see the grind starting to take shape. All in all I may make 100 passes to get the shape looking good and symmetrical. Always stopping to check after each pass or two.
As 60 grit leaves some pretty large scratches, I switch belts here to a 120 grit and work the area again. This will get us ready for some detail sanding by hand.


Unknown said...

Hello. I've decided on a chef knife as my 1st one. I've got all the stuff otw and should be getting underway soon. I've looked around and love that you've shared all of this. I'd like to produce this template, but I can't seem to find it on the list. Can you forward it by chance?

D. Comeau said...

Hi Rickey,

I used this pattern, but fitted to some 2" stock.



Unknown said...

I've made 4 knives so far, and am working on number 5. 3 of them have been kn9. Thanks for sharing the template and your advice.

D. Comeau said...

You're welcome! Thanks for your comments.