(7) Holes in, bevels ground, rough polish - ready for heat treat
After that, the blades are sanded into the finished profile(4). Then I drill any holes the blade may need. Next, a line is drawn down the middle of the blade, marking where the edge will be(5). Then the blades are given a gradual taper from the handle to the tip(6). After that, the profiled blade
is slapped up against the belt sander until the blade bevels are ground in or
my finger tips are removed, whichever comes first. This results in picture (7) which looks pretty much like a kitchen knife without a handle.
Most of my blades are flat
ground, some are sabre ground, but I rarely use a hollow grind. The edge of
a hollow ground blade always seemed too delicate to me and they don't always slice very well.
After the blades are shaped they are put into my Paragon oven for heat treating. The exact temperatures and times vary with the type of steel and the particular blade characteristics I'm trying to achieve but, basically, the blade gets really hot and then it gets quenched. After that, it goes in the cryo tank where it soaks at about 200 degrees F below zero to make it tougher. Then it goes back to the oven for tempering to get the desired hardness. These last two steps may be repeated several times, depending on the type of steel, over a period of several days. Finally, each blade gets checked on my hardness tester just to be sure. You can see all this equipment in my Shop Tour.