Hatfield Montessori Preschool Kitchen knife raffle
All proceeds of this raffle will go to the Hatfield Montessori pre-school, under the auspices of the Hatfield Montessori Parents and Teachers Association. Tickets are available from me, they are R30 and the draw will take place on the 24th of March 2015, pm me for banking details, I need the money by the 22nd of March 2015.
This knife is a short Santoku style blade that is ground as a fairly robust vegetable cleaver. It is optimized for great generalized cutting performance in the kitchen. The knife was completed in December 2014 by André Grobler, and has been tested in all manner of kitchen duties, refinished and sharpened for this raffle.
The handle material is Red Bushwillow, or Combretum apiculatum. The wood was picked up dry and has been laying in the field for an unknown amount of time, it is stable.
The steel is Sandvik 14C28N, it is heat treated to 60 points on the Rockwell C scale. The steel has very fine carbide grains, is tough and therefore sharpens easily to a thin and fine edge, ideal for kitchen use.
The blade is 130mm long and roughly 3mm thick with a convex bevel and a wide fuller to aid food release, reduce weight and maintain edge strength.
The edge is ground to about 14 degrees per side and will readily shave, which is still resilient, but slightly more prone to damage when used improperly – it will however perform significantly better, requiring slightly more care in use. I can take it down to 20 degrees per side for more robust use
The finish is fairly utilitarian as for the purpose of a knife for general kitchen use.
Care and Maintenance
The handle treatment is a homemade blend of beeswax, olive oil and essential oils that will not go rancid, and is safe to eat, please find included a small tub that will last a long time, apply very sparingly if the handle seems dry and leave to soak in. The handle will warp if left in water or the dishwasher.
The steel is considered stainless, but must be cleaned and dried after cutting acidic vegetables or fruit. The steel will be fine in dishwasher use; however it will rattle around and blunt against other utensils.
The current edge will be fine for processing / jointing fish and poultry, but may get damaged when chopping through the thicker bones, especially when the blade is twisted in the cut/chop. It can be reground for more robust uses.
Most often damage (small dents and folds) to edges occur when placed in a drawer or kitchen sink with other kitchen utensils. Minor damage will occur when cutting on ceramics, stone, sand in vegetable skins or stalks, glass, steel. An unfinished soft wooden cutting board (endgrain board being the best) is great, and if looked after the most hygienic solution – care includes sanding the board when deep cuts occur (especially with serrated knives) and regular cleaning with vinegar.
Maintaining the edge is best done with a buffing compound loaded leather strop, mounted on a flat surface, taking care to use and maintain the same angle as the current edge and using firm not hard pressure, after each use. I have used a toothpaste laden belt in the field to good effect on another knife ;-) Remember to wash the edge after using the strop as the paraffin wax based buffing compound is not food-safe. Using this method the shaving edge will be maintained for weeks with daily use. If it does not result in a shaving edge anymore, it needs to be sharpened. I will gladly demonstrate edge maintenance if required and provide free sharpening minus shipping for all the knives I make.
Using a “butcher’s steel” will likely blunt the edge, as the steel is harder than the typical knives these “steels” are made for, most people use a steel incorrectly, and the majority of “butcher’s steel” available today are too rough for fine edges on harder blades.
These videos were taken with the edge at 14 degree per side.