French Chef Knife

Joined
Nov 5, 2016
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378
I’m planning towards my first attempt at some kitchen cutlery, and I’d like to take a swing at making myself a classic French chef knife. I don’t have one available as a point of reference (current knife in the block is a fat belly German), and I haven’t had one in my hand since I was in the culinary program back high school. I don’t trust my memory well enough to go by. I forge, so an exact template to cut out is not something I’m looking for, but I do like to have a point of reference to aim towards while forging. I’ve been google image searching like a mad man, but it’s always tough with picture angles and no point of reference. I was hoping someone might have a French chef either of their own making or a classic Sab etc. they’d be willing to take a straight on pic of over some graph paper for general proportions?

I’d like to forge it from 52100 and do a mustard patina (French chef with Frenches patina har har). Eyeballing some .210”x1.5” starting stock that I think should give sufficient material for dimensions once thinned and the bevels drawn. Any tips/advice on tackling the first chef knife and particularly a French pattern would be greatly welcomed. Thanks guys.
 
Even tho you are forging iwould still use a cutout wood or cardboard template
I don't have any pics or graph paper tho sorry
 
heres a classic sab and my interpretation. GL!
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I’ve got my initial design sketched up thanks to Tim’s excellent drawings and measurements. I’m aiming more towards the classic Sab. Lots of nostalgia with those for me. I altered the dimensions just slightly bumping the blade to 9.5” by 1 5/8”. Seems to capture the spirit. What do folks think? I think I’ll dig through the scrap wood pile and see if I can make a wood version to validate the feel. Then will be the real fun of seeing how close I can forge it :) I’m debating whether or not to attempt the finger bolster. I’m thinking I’d need to forge weld on some strips for necessary thickness, and that might be pushing things a bit beyond my skill. I’ve forge welded for damascus, but keeping things neat and even for an integral component seems at a different level.
yeHNQH3.jpg
 
That looks good.there is something classy about the Sab profile
I wouldn't forge the finger guard bolster tho,they are pointless and a nuisance when sharpening
An integral bolster would look great tho
I forge knife with bolsters from round bar and a simple guillotine fuller rather than forge weld
22 -24 mm will give you about 50 mm at the heel
 
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