February Special Editions 2023

Paring Knives

Over the years, these two little knives have been some of our most commonly requested blades. Rich has finally taken it upon himself to do something about this and has been working hard hammering out a batch of fully forged Turning and Paring knives. These blades are great for off board work, shaping, trimming and peeling vegetables or any other intricate task where a small blade gives much more control and precision.

Many chefs and home cooks tend to treat small baldes as almost disposable, using them until they are blunt then getting a new one. We want these to last a lifetime so Rich has focused on applying a fine grind that will make them easy to resharpen and the care instructions will include a few of his top tips on getting a great edge on a curved blade.

The design for these knives is inspired heavily by Ricardo’s passion for the drop forged spanners that scatter our workshop. The process of drop forging is what is known as the closed die process- where hot steel (not molten) is forged into a mould. This is usually done with a towering drop hammer but, with a bit of careful preforging, Rich has managed to recreate this technique using our largest power hammer to form the handle before carefully hand forging the blades.

Alongside this new forging process, we have also used a new steel. This batch will be our first run of knives using, for want of a better name, Blenheim Black. This is an alloy of steel that we have had made specially for us, it is similar to the legendary Aogami Super but with a few tweaks and with a base of the purest commercially available iron in the world. This has been a very large undertaking for us, commissioning a batch of steel isn’t cheap, and the minimum order is enough to last us the rest of our lives. So we hope you like it and we look forward to sharing more about what motivated us to take this step.

Every set of paring knives comes with a beautiful, hand stitched leather case made by Owen Leather.

CHinese style cleaver

For this year’s batch of Chinese style Cleavers, James has teamed up with our friend, world renowned swordsmith, Owen Bush and together they have hammered out something rather unusual. The pair wanted to use the large surfaces of the blades as a canvas for an intricate pattern welded steel design.

Patten welding is the technique of forge welding together steels of different composition then folding and twisting to manipulate the layers to form a complex pattern. It is a difficult and very labour intensive process, and applying it to blades as large and thin as these didn’t come without its challenges.

The pattern on the blades was designed over an evening of drinking cheap Polish lager while squashing and twisting different coloured plasticine together. Next the pair started the knives by forging bars of steel which, like a stick of rock, had a tree motif running though it. They then took the bars and tightly twisted them before stacking them on top of each other and adding an edge of “random pattern” Damascus steel. It is difficult to convey how many opportunities there were for things to go wrong during this process, but it was a great relief getting through the forging without suffering too many losses.

The handles are made from 5000 year old Bog Oak with heavily etched, wrought iron collars.

These blades are ground thin and are designed to be versatile choppers, perfect for getting though mountains of vegetables. The large flat blades make them ideal for fast downward chopping and they are great for scooping ingredients off the board and into the pan.