I have not followed up on my plane making series as I promised, sorry. This is an addition, but not very much wood related either. I hope no one feels it is too off subject. Another jock (zebrano) posted a knife handle and sheath he made as a project, it prompted me to blog this knife.
EDIT: THERE IS PLANE IRON INFO ADDED AFTER THE KNIFE
I made this for my brother. He is left handed and there is actually a right-left handed sushi knife. He lives on a boat (50’ Hatteras motor yacht) in Tampa Bay.
I started with a piece of wood and tool steel.
I “roughed out” the blank while the iron was relatively soft, it was already tool steel…hardened tool steel is a whole new ball game. Then I heat treated (to 1800 degrees in my forge) quenched it in 22 degree water/salt/ice. I tempered it (reheated it to soften it just a bit) slowly and let it slow cool. Now I have a piece of steel that is hard enough to keep an edge, but not so hard it is brittle.
The steel is mounted in the rough handle with epoxy. Then I move to the wet stones. You cannot use power tools on steel at this point, it will mess up the hardness if you overheat it. I free hand ground this on these stones to get the proper geometry. Tough going, over 2 hours on the stones.
After I get the “shape” right it is time to polish/sharpen. I move to natural water stones. My man made stones (aluminum oxide, silicone oxide) only go to 600-800 grit…I need to go to 8,000. I am about 3000 (?) in this picture. It is already “razor sharp”, note the band aid, one split second loss of concentration and to the bone it went. And I am a long way from as sharp as he wants it.
I am far enough along to finish the handle (HEY woodworking). 2 tone dye on quilted rock maple. You can see my glove, I will not handle this knife from now on without them. It is already that sharp and my hand oils/sweat may rust the blade. It has to be coated with veggy oil from now on in the salt air of the Gulf where it will be going, it’s high carbon steel.
Now I have to strop it with 2 different strops and the final touch newspaper on float glass. When you are using paper to abrade hardened steel you are on the microscopic level. That is what it takes to make things as sharp as that video I posted of me swing a hair at a blade and it cutting clean. He said he wanted a hair splitting sushi knife. Total time 10 hours (?)