Knife Swap 2020: Hand Forged Chef Knife

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Project by bobasaurus posted 11-27-2020 06:49 PM 585 views 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

For the 2020 knife swap, I made this Japanese gyuto style chef knife for my new friend mistermoe. I hand forged it from a bar of 1080 high carbon steel, and did the full heat treatment procedure of normalizing to reduce grain structure, heating to critical in the forge (comparing to a thermocouple’s color to get the right temperature), quenching in preheated canola oil, and tempering to a little over 400 F. The cutting edge is sharpened to somewhere between 20 and 25 degrees inclusive.

The handle is made from moradillo, with a copper bolster and brass pin. Finished with blonde dewaxed shellac flakes dissolved in 200 proof ethanol. The blade is coated in mineral oil to prevent rust (at least until the first time it’s washed, hah).

In exchange, I received this great collection of items from Keebler1:

He made me a nice tanto knife from a woodcraft kit, with neato UV-reactive cedar/resin scales he found on ebay. He even included a keychain UV light that lets me see it glow. And then, amazingly, he made two more items: a pocket knife kit and a turned pen, both using resin he cast himself. It’s a very impressive set of implements and a nice holiday gift to receive, thanks a lot.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

15 comments so far

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

6637 posts in 1550 days

#1 posted 11-27-2020 07:03 PM

That’s a sharp-looking knife there, Allen. ;-) Great work, as always. And it looks like you got a nice set from Kevin, too.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View GR8HUNTER's profile


8255 posts in 1681 days

#2 posted 11-27-2020 07:06 PM

it was very fun watching your process along the way Allen so glad you could join and was happy to see your fire restrictions being lifted GREAT JOB :<)) P.S. I think mistermoe is hooked now LOL

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View jeffswildwood's profile


4794 posts in 2945 days

#3 posted 11-27-2020 07:19 PM

Allen, you are by far the master. Your knives are outstanding every time and this time is no different. Thanks for joining. But how did the “new guy” get so lucky. :-)))

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View Ivan's profile


16518 posts in 3836 days

#4 posted 11-27-2020 07:50 PM

Realy beautiful!!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Keebler1's profile


1306 posts in 676 days

#5 posted 11-27-2020 08:21 PM

Great looking knife

View clieb91's profile


4154 posts in 4903 days

#6 posted 11-27-2020 09:18 PM

Allen, based ont he post on the swap it looks as if that knife is going to get a lot of use. Nicely done.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View sras's profile


5755 posts in 4097 days

#7 posted 11-27-2020 09:47 PM

Impressive knife!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View duckmilk's profile


4419 posts in 2293 days

#8 posted 11-27-2020 11:19 PM

Superb work on the knife Allen! Apparently mistermoe thinks so also. Now that it is coming winter, I need to get back to the forge. Haven’t made a knife yet but I think it is coming time to learn. Wish my anvils looked as good as yours.

-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

View tyvekboy's profile


2092 posts in 3981 days

#9 posted 11-28-2020 12:00 AM

Nice knife. Iʻm sure it will be well appreciated.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View pottz's profile


13686 posts in 1952 days

#10 posted 11-28-2020 12:32 AM

you sir are a blade smith,and that knife will cut.that damn fine knife making.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View mikeacg's profile


1801 posts in 2026 days

#11 posted 11-28-2020 12:10 PM

Amazing job Allen…

-- Mike, A Yooper with a drawl,

View EarlS's profile


4205 posts in 3316 days

#12 posted 11-28-2020 12:22 PM

I cut my finger just looking at the pictures. That is a sharp looking knife.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View mafe's profile


12844 posts in 4057 days

#13 posted 11-28-2020 10:10 PM

You did an amazing job on that chef knife, respect for the craft and beauty.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View mistermoe's profile


45 posts in 2762 days

#14 posted 11-29-2020 05:07 AM

As the lucky recipient, I can testify to how nice this knife is to handle and use. I love it. Now I have to actually learn to sharpen properly, so that I may be worthy of keeping it. I’m so glad I joined the swap. Thanks again, Allen!

-- But Honey I really *needed* that (saw/plane/chisel...)

View HokieKen's profile (online now)


15939 posts in 2107 days

#15 posted 11-30-2020 07:13 PM

Fantastic work Allen! Love it. One of these days I’m gonna get my name in your hands in one of these swaps ;-)

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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