Full Set of Kitchen Prototypes at Last

You may have noticed in some of the previous photos a kitchen knife with a red handle.  This was one of a couple kitchen knives I made out of some 1/8 inch thick 154-CM.  I liked them well enough but decided that thinner would probably be better.  To that end I ordered in some 3/32 inch S35-VN to finish the planned set with.

The first attempt with heat treating the new steel resulted in the Zompocalypse knives from a previous post.  So I ordered in more steel to try again.  While I was waiting for the new steel I spent quite some time trying to work out a heat treat procedure.  Eventually I settled on plate quenching the profiled blades and grinding in the bevels after they are hardened and tempered.

This steel will attain a working hardness at 2 different temperatures, one around 600 degrees F and again at about 1000 degrees F.  The higher temperature increases the toughness but also , per the mill’s documents, “Tempering in this range may result in a slight decrease in corrosion resistance.”  The leeway for hitting this higher temper is only about 50 degrees F total.  In order to be able to find the right temp for my kiln I spent the time to temper samples at multiple temperatures while recording hardness for the samples.  This took quite some time since the standard protocol is 2 soaks at temp cooling to room temperature between with each soak lasting 2 hours.

Once I got the heat treat down I cut a new set of blanks hardened and tempered them and set about grinding the bevels in.  I was able to grind the blades quite thin.  In fact the tip of the 8 inch chef knife is only about .015 inches thick behind the edge.  Having been using them for a day or two I can say that I am quite happy with how they perform.  Using the thinner stock I feel has made for a more balanced easier cutting knife in my opinion.

And finally here are some pictures: a group shot, individual shots of the new ones and a group shot of the entire set.  Picture details contain measurements.

[as usual click the thumbnails to enlarge]:

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