Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sharp Week!

Howdy Folks,

Well, I'm proud to announce that not only is this the first week of fall but it's also another week that I think just may be of great interest to Atwood Fans...that's right, it's Sharp Week! Hehe, sorry could not resist the obvious pun... :D

OK, so this is a project that I have been working on for over two years, the EDK or Every Day Kitchen knife...

I started out with a simple idea. I noticed that even though I have a nice variety of knives in a block on the counter, most of the time I find myself reaching for a small utility blade for nearly every chore that I encounter. Whether it's slicing an onion, coring a tomato or opening a plastic package, 9 times out of 10 I don't end up using a big chef's knife. In fact, I have to admit, I've never really been a big fan of those honking 8 or 10 inch chef knives and I'm not good at the rapid cutting skills that you see the TV chefs doing. Maybe I'm just unsophisticated, but unless the task before me is slicing a turkey or something like that a smaller knife usually will suffice. So with that in mind I started thinking about smaller knife shapes.

Now it just so happened that one day I called my steel supplier looking for slightly thinner stock than my usual 5/32" tool steel and they jokingly told me they had some REALLY thin S30v sheets available. I immediately bought some of it. Then I contacted my local friends who run a kitchen knife factory and asked them about producing a small mid tech kitchen knife. The project didn't happen and things dragged on for some time. Finally I got them to make a sample knife for me but it wasn't quite what I was looking for. Nevertheless I took the sample home and I have used it for nearly two years. I have to say, even with a so-so heat treat on the blade I was surprised at how well it performed. I took that knife home and sharpened it once, and I have literally not sharpened it since. It really needs sharpening right now but amazingly it does still cut pretty well and that knife has been used and used and used. S30v is some remarkable steel, especially when ground thin. I have to say, I'm impressed.

So anyhow, this past June I made another trip over to the factory and brought up the kitchen knife project again. This time they said they would finally get going on it. And so they did. The blades were cut and then sent out for a premium heat treat this time including vacuum oven, cryo freezing and double temper. They returned with a high rockwell, I believe it was 59-60. Then the blades were carefully ground so as not to lose the fine temper. The grinds are full flat grinds that extend to the top of the spine. The broad blade shape with generous belly results in a wonderful geometry for slicing. They are very light and quick in the hand. These knives may be ground thin but they are still fairly stiff with only minimal flex so you can use them on hard cheeses or sausages with no fear of bending the tips.

Next, handle materials were selected. For this first round I chose a black recycled paper material very similar to paper Micarta. The rivets are solid nickel-silver and the handles are both epoxied and riveted in place for maximum durability. Because the blades were ground after hardening it was not possible use my normal steel marking stamp on them so we went with an old style logo etch which is larger than my current stamp size. This also differentiates the blades as being a mid tech item rather than from my own shop.

I really wanted these to be done right and I'm so happy to report that the end results are even better than I had hoped for. I can see a few very minor things that I'd like to tweak in the next batches but considering they are a factory produced item, I'm quite satisfied with what I see as truly STELLAR user blades. And yes, a special order has already been put in to Crucible for more thin stock S30v so you can expect a second and much larger run of these in the early winter. ;)

Specs: 4 inch blade, .85 inch wide, .064 spine, .012 cutting edge, 3.75 inch handle. For best cosmetic results: hand wash only, towel dry, do not put into dishwasher.

So since this is a relatively small exploratory run I ask that we keep this a one per customer sale. The mid tech EDK knives with basic black handles will be $110 plus $10 for insured Priority mail shipping. International orders will ship via Express Mail only for $26 and please pay attention to any country restrictions that could exist about knives. I will not be responsible for confiscated blades at customs. I would think that kitchen knives should be OK to import but I really don't know what some countries with restrictive knife laws like Australia or the UK might do so you are on your own.

So there you go...I'm happy to finally be able to tell the story of these little knives. It's been a rather long and frustrating process and at times I really wasn't sure if they would ever happen especially since the recent floods closed down the factory for the past three weeks. But they are a great way to kick off Sharp Week. :D

Folks, first wave is gone....HOWEVER, they are not done with the black handles so the bulk of them are coming late next week. In the meantime, there will be another much larger round of OTHER ones coming early next week so stay tuned. Remember, I did say Sharp WEEK! :D







I hear they are delicious fried up with some onions so this cat better watch himself! :p :D

25 comments:

Exit14a said...

At last! Thanks for not giving up on these Peter, they look like they were worth the wait.

uneekwahn said...

Looks like a great knife Peter. Unfortunately, being in Australia, even though I think this knife WOULD be alright to import, I just can't justify risking it in case a random customs officer decides he's got PMS that day and won't release it to me!

Looking forward to the G2 Keyton!

Cheers,

Jason.

joel said...

Oh very nice! My sister is adept at dulling my knives - let's see how this one holds up (or I may keep it off-limits).

Kenn Jordan Jr. said...

Them right there are sweet.
Can't wait to try one out Peter.

Paul V. said...

BAM!!! Got one! I can't believe these aren't sold out already. Come on guys. How are you gonna make all your money on Ebay???
Awesome job, Peter. I could saying I'm giving it to my mom for Christmas, but I'd just be lying to myself.....

Lou@ said...

Well, seeing as I do most the cooking around the house, I'll chance it getting sent to Australia. Besides, I've never had any issues with customs before.
Nice blade shape.
Thanks for another great item Peter!

Ramo said...

i think im going to have to pass on this one...prob going to regret it when i decide i want one in a few months lol

Isaac said...

I was excited, but when I clicked the link all I got was a sold out message oh well next time.

Indy Fab fan said...

well, this west coast sleepy head missed the wave, but my oh my, what a perfect gift for my mother whose birthday is next weekend. i better keep an eye on this site so not to be disappointed twice.

Fire said...

You are killing me Peter! Talk about bad timing for me, I have always wanted one of your blades. I know the chances of me getting that buy now are slim. :-(

sharkytm said...

As an avid chef, I've been toying with the idea of spending big bucks on a Japanese knife, of which I have several kinds, or waiting for something like this... I've decided to support a local guy, and a local factory. I'm eagerly awaiting my shipment, hopefully I'll be home to use it. If I'm at sea, it'll have to wait a bit.

Unknown said...

Doh! Ive been waiting for something sharp for years. I missed it by a few minutes. Super bummer.

The Maddox Family said...

You are really on fire as of late! I normally like all of your tools but you are blowing me away right now! Thanks Peter!!!

DrugDependant said...

now this is something i want

Belush 2 said...

What a great surprise!!
When you mention sharps were coming...had no idea it would be in this form!!
Thank You for staying with this creative plan, and bringing this sharp edge to the table!!
I hope this EDK family has some growth in the works for future generations;-)

QVolve said...

Those are fantastic Peter!

I usually shy away from your bladed tools, but anything that goes in the kitchen is something I WANT!

Hopefully I'll make it in time for one of these!

omedford said...

As always I'm frustrated to see tools on eBay (snakebite)I guess working in the caves in Carthage Missouri didn't help any. Sweet looking chef knife I must try and get one before a flipper f@*~]r gets one. Cheers to the people who will actually use an Atwood rather than let it sit in a drawer or worse on eBay. I hope I can catch a sale now that I'm back home in Oregon.

sj said...

So in!

etruax said...

Any ideas for a sheath to transport this bad boy?

Peter Atwood said...

They come with a thin plastic slip for the blade. Otherwise, keep it in a knife block or on a magnetic knife strip. Mine is living on my cutting board right now. :)

If you want more of a carry option there are good plastic blade keepers for kitchen knives if you do some googling.

HoopleHead said...

Awesome! Definitely want one. Really great to see this new offerring!

Unknown said...

very cool, any other EDK designs in the works? a 4" Atwood santoku would be awesome!

rbobby1 said...

Not what I am looking for. Nice but I like the one of a kind hand made tools....I will pass...don't like the mass production concept... but keep me intrigued with new offerings Peter....hopefully I will land my piece of art.

madmethods said...

Not that these will need it any time soon, but...any comments on how they should be sharpened? If nothing else, what angle are they sharpened at?

jking11 said...

This was certainly not what I expected my first Atwood to be! But it is a sweet little knife that's getting lot's of use in the kitchen. Well done Peter!

I'll continue my quest for a Ti whistle and a Ti tool!