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  • Writer's pictureBrandant Robinson

A New Kitchen Knife Set

My son is getting married in a couple of months to a beautiful young woman. I thought it would be nice to give them a set of kitchen knives as a wedding gift. So, over the next few weeks, I hope you will follow along with me as I build this set of knives. It will be similar to the last set that I made for my wife, with a few design modifications. Here are a few photos of the beginnings of the set.

I decided to use my favorite steel, CPM154, to see how it performs as a kitchen knife. I have no doubt that it will do just fine. I chose to make all four blades from 3/32" stock. The thin stock should make these knives into nice slicers and because they are so thin, I won't have to taper the tangs. I am going with 416 stainless for the bolsters and some nice, figured bubinga wood for the scales. Above are all the major parts after they have been roughed out.

The four blades have all been profiled and cleaned up of mill scale. They are from top to bottom: chef's knife, boning knife, utility knife, and paring knife. This should make a nice little set to tackle the everyday kitchen chores. All the pin holes will be drilled while the steel is still in its annealed state.

The blades have all been wrapped in stainless foil wrap and are ready to be heat treated.

This weekend was pretty much dedicated to the heat treat process for the blades. But, I did manage to grind the backs of the bolsters flat on the disk grinder and to cut out some pin stock for securing the bolsters and scales to the blade tang. The large pins on the left are mosaic pins. Each knife will get one located in the center of the handle. It should be a nice detail.

Most of the work was done off-camera since it's not very exciting watching the blades sitting in an oven. But just to summarize, the blades were heated up to and soaked at 1950 degrees and then quenched between aluminum plates. They then went into a deep cold treatment of dry ice which takes them down to about -100 degrees F to convert any retained austinite to martinsite. Then, they were tempered twice to draw out some of the hardness and to turn them into tough, working blades. Lots more to see in the near future. I hope you will follow along with me on this build and enjoy the journey as much as I do.

- Brandant Robinson

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