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Cookware 17

Project: Fixing a Vintage Carbon Chef Knife by Hand

cowboyardee | Sep 23, 201107:46 AM

It started off with one of those rare and surprising acts of online thoughtfulness where you are reminded that the internet consists not only of anonymous jerkwads arguing virulently and browsing for porn, but also very nice people who you'd never have met otherwise.

Months after I posted that I'd always liked vintage knives but haven't had a lot of luck finding one for a good price, Delucacheesemonger contacted me and offered to sell me a vintage knife he had spotted for a good price on ebay. He bought it with me in mind and offered it to me for what he paid for it. I accepted, and was soon in the possession of a 12 inch vintage carbon steel chef knife.

It's got a great feel to it. Smoothed over wooden handle. It's a BIG knife. Not too thin behind its edge, but I'll remedy that eventually. Nice medium soft carbon steel that sharpens quickly and takes a very nice edge. No bolster. No rust.

There is one big problem though: like most old knives that have seen a lot of use, it has not been carefully sharpened. It looks as though it has been steeled extensively, but not carefully. The result - the edge retreats noticeably in the middle of the knife. Accordion cuts would be guaranteed if I use a normal cutting motion.

So I decided to fix it. Somewhat foolishly - by hand. My method and results will follow in the next post.

Below are some pictures. You can get an idea of its size. And also of why it needed fixing.

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