It seems that there is some confusion regarding the two knives I did for Mike Neal (Pictured above – Photo by Mike Neal) – I did not forge make the ‘Forge Welded’ blades.
The Filleting Knife (At the top in the image of both knives) is a piece of American Forge Welded steel bought unworked, and it is somewhere around 512 layers. I shaped the slug and put an edge on it, an amazing edge, which should hold up well. I used some Desert Ironwood for the handle.
Mike sent the brisket/sashimi blade to me (Lower in the image of both knives and the solo image) with some incredible pieces of wood in exchange for making him a knife. He wanted to know whether it was “Real Forge Welded” steel and if I could do something with it. I tested it with Ferric Acid and ‘Super Blue’. It IS “real”, but I have no idea where it came from so I don’t know the quality of the steel. I re-beveled the edge and honed it to the best edge I could get (I use Japanese ‘Water Stones’ and ceramic rods). It took a half decent edge, but time will tell if it is made with good steel and will hold that edge. I also refinished the surfaces, then made the handle out of some of the curly Koa Mike sent me. You can’t see it in the picture, but it has a pattern similar to ‘Tiger Stripe Maple’ or ‘Quilted Maple’ which I’ve never seen in Koa before. My wife tells me Curly Koa is quite rare and very much in demand… when you can find it!
I had made 2 of the fillet knives already in ‘440C Stainless’ that Mike saw and decided that was what he wanted. Well, I really wanted to give him a ‘Nice” knife (so he’d send me more of his scraps) and wanted to do it in Forge Welded steel. But I could/can not afford to screw up on a piece of this stuff because it’s so expensive! You buy it by the inch, not foot like “regular” steel. The two stainless ones I previously made were a nightmare for me to do and I won’t be making any more of them (It wasn’t as bad as trying to get 4 bevels on one blade! I went through a lot of good steel making the Defender 01 and quite honestly, it’s selling for less than the cost of all that steel I wasted!
NOTE: Do not let your knives get dull. It is MUCH easier to touch up a sharp blade than it is to put an edge back on the blade that you can’t cut yourself with.