In the Shop - Lots of Kitchen, Hunting and Fillet Knives with plans for Jade!

Joined
May 21, 2007
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My shop looks like about 4 people are working in it right now. I have 15 knives with scales adhered and ready for sanding and polishing and then I just got slammed with a crazy idea to do 3 kitchen knife sets with a total of 17 knives and 1 sharpening steel.

This is what my main desk looked like when I closed up the shop tonight.....
 

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Joined
May 21, 2007
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The tough part about the kitchen knives is that under their molded on black plastic scales is just rough forged steel. Nothing is machined or even flat.

So I first start with sanding drums to get off the black forging scale - kind of makes my shop smell like a BBQ so that is a bit interesting.

Next I get out SEVERAL new Nicholson files as the knives are HARDENED 440C steel. I hand file the bolsters and tangs as flat as possible. There tend to be a few spots on each that are just too low to ever get totally flat.

I need to use Dremel cut off wheels to get rid of a bump going from the tang to the bolster on at the point each bolster meets the tang too. So getting these straight with just hand tools is a real difficult task. I wore out 2 of the files this afternoon and I an about 1/2 way finished.

If you look carefully you can see the black scale and how rough the forgings are under the factory scales and how I have gotten them cleaned and straightened - ready for the hand fitting of each scale. I should mention to look at the weird angles of the bolsters and remember - I do each end of each scale with just my eye hand coordination....

I get this urge to do these knives about once a year but this is the first time I ever have wanted to do a huge group all at one time.

The good news is that if I do not sell them off my website the Jade West company will buy them for sale in their stores. I don't usually sell until October as that is when they have some Jade held aside for me.
 

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Joined
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Well two days later the preformed scales are done and 5 files have been worn out. I have the knives about ready for doing the fit of the scales. This is the most difficult part of this and I hopefully won't have to cut more Jade due to misfits.....
 

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Joined
Feb 3, 2011
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72
Greetings Mike,

I really enjoy seeing the process of your kitchen knife creations. Thanks for taking the time to show the process on the forum. Gosh, your Kutcho and Polar Jade scales look Like real Gem Grade beauties. I would love to get a Polar kichen knife set, but not sure how to justify it since I already have your 5 piece Dino set. Heck, maybe a Dino and a Polar Jade set would look great next to each other. I wonder if the wife could use more kitchen knives......hmmm!!!!!!

Dennis
 
Joined
May 21, 2007
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Dennis,

All of the Jade is gem grade so good eye for that! These are going to be priced at the top end too as I will be in no rush to move them knowing that Jade West will likely be willing to do a Jade and cash deal for them after they end mining operations for the year. That will be in October and there is a big Jade event I think in April this year that I am invited to attend. I need to go check the dates but the event planners are all on Facebook and I about never go there......
 
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Here are a couple of photos that I took as the scale I was fitting was getting very close to a tight fit. I take a felt marker and color the hand filed face of the bolsters. You can see the center of the bolster and the part of the tang where I had to remove the "bump" that exists in the forgings under the factory scales.
 

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Joined
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These photos show the high points on the bolster filed face as shiny spots and the high points on the Jade scale marked in blue. It is a lot easier to take the high spots off the Jade scale and the marked shiny spots on the bolsters also indicate a fairly flat face. Please remember I do the flat filing of the hardened steel bolsters and the matching angled cut of the stone with just eye/hand coordination. This is very, very difficult and takes 2 to 3 hours for each scale, 4 to 6 hours a knife in just the fitting of the stone.
 

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Here is the final fitting stage. I try to get the face of the knife super tight and I usually get no more gap than about the thickness of a sheet of paper. There is usually a wider gap along the angled area where the stone face tapers to the spine and belly. These are really tough to get the angel right on as there are pretty deep forging rough areas and each end of each scale has a slightly different angle as I do all of the rough forging filing by hand.
 

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I have been working on the knives for nearly two weeks now and finally have the scales on and rough sanded. I have nearly no knives left to list so I am going to put the kitchen knives on hold until I get the group I was working on finished.

Here are a couple of photos from the shop today. Both sets are ready for sanding and polishing of the stone and then the metal work.

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Okay so even I managed to double post so I deleted this repeat and I am now just writing a blah, blah, blah........
 

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I have put a couple of more days into the kitchen knives and they are close to finished. I have decided to add one more knife to one of the Polar Jade sets so I am probably going to wait for it to get here and do it with the group of knives I plan to start tomorrow.
 

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I have finally finished all three sets! Wow that was a project for sure.

Set 1 - $1,100. including shipping and insurance.
 

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Set 2 - $2,400. including shipping and insurance.
 

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The last set is a 10 piece one done with gem (jewelry) grade Jade from the Polar mine in British Columbia. $3,700. for the set with shipping/insurance included,
 

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May 22, 2010
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I saw these knives in hand yesterday at Michael's shop - to call them stunning would be an understatement!
 
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May 21, 2007
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All three sets sold to Jade West for my asking price on 10/17/2013! I have been asked to do more kitchen sets so tomorrow I am back out to the shop and starting to lay out and cut Jade for additional sets.
 
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May 22, 2010
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314
I had the privilege to visit Michael at his shop again yesterday. In addition to seeing all the works he has in progress, I also had the opportunity to spend about 45 minutes watching him complete his final polish steps and complete a knife. I must reiterate what I have often said of Michael; his meticulous attention to detail in each and every step of creating one of these Art-in-Stone masterpieces is nothing less than mind blowing! You would each find a renewed admiration and love of these stunning works in stone if you could witness the time, effort, skill, and talent Michael invests into each one of his works! Michael Hoover is a true artist, craftsman, and friend...

2013-11-06 12.48.04.jpg 2013-11-06 12.48.19.jpg
 
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Here are a few pictures of the two sets I have finished for Jade West. I am working on three more sets now and have cut Jade for yet another three sets!
 

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