Create a custom chef’s knife

What you’ll take home: A full sized chef’s knife with a Damascus steel cladded blade and a hidden tang wooden handle.

Course length - 16 hours, spread over 2 weekdays or 4 weekday evenings

Experience requirement - Some DIY experience is beneficial, as this is the most hands-on experience I run.

Equipment needed - Natural legwear (jeans are perfect, no Nylon fabrics etc.) and strong leather shoes. I will be providing all the protective equipment.

Total number of attendees - 2

Cost per person, per knife - £400

This is my exclusive knife making course, and is ideal for those that want to craft something that is truly custom and unique. I limit this course to two people, as we’re working towards a knife that you’ll be able to use every day, be it in the home or professional kitchen. You are welcome to use my blade designs or bring your own.

By the end of the 16 hour experience, you’ll have created a beautifully crafted, razor sharp hidden tang 160-170mm knife that you can be truly proud of. The course isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s hard work, but you’ll appreciate every drop of sweat and you will be immensely proud, when you hold a tool that you personally handcrafted.

You’ll understand the key pieces of the process of making a knife, see each of the processes in action, and get experience creating your blade.

We’ll start each session with a billet, which is 3 pieces of steel chosen for their perfect matched quality.

Forge welding - You’ll be heating up the three sheets of steel to fuse them into one using the power hammer, and manual hammer and anvil. This creates a single piece of steel, with the qualities that balance strength and beauty that can’t be achieved by using a single piece of steel.

The temperatures in this process are very high and we need to make sure that enough heat and force has been applied to eliminate issues at later stages. I’ll talk you through what happens on a micro level. It’s an amazing process to see in action.

At the end of this initial process, we will have finished the forging of your knife’s rough profile and blade thickness, Then we will use the belt grinders to shape the blade to your final design.

Heat-treating stage

Annealing cycle - this softens the blade a little, and makes it more responsive to the hardening treatment we’ll go through. We anneal our blades over night at the end of day one.

Hardening cycle - we’ll heat the blade up to over 820, then quench it into hot oil. This is incredibly fun to do, and usually includes a little fire. The process makes the steel incredibly hard but very brittle.

Tempering - This process reduces the toughness of the steel, but increases its strength to be able to take and hold an edge for as long as you use your knife respectfully.

Grinding the bevels - this is a crucial part of the process, you will be using the belt grinders to shape the bevels of your knives, essentially what makes a piece of steel being able to slice through most things.

Revealing the Damascus Pattern - this is probably my favourite part of the course, and I find it incredibly addictive. You’ll be dipping the knife into a mix of ferric chloride and water to bring out the randomised Damascus pattern. You can never know exactly what this will look like, and is unique to your knife.

Handle making and glueing - this one of the many times we create something custom. I’ll give you a chance to select through various woods I have on hand, such as oak, mahogany, elm and walnut. Once you’ve selected your preferred wood, we’ll explore the most suitable handle shapes that are perfect for your hand . From there, you’ll use the belt grinder and hand files to create a beautiful handle.

When complete, we’ll attach the wood handle to the tang using a high quality epoxy resin and brass or copper pins. We never suggest you use a dishwasher on the stunning piece you’ll be creating. The highly salty environment of the dishwasher will corrode your blade and eat into the wood.

Stropping - We use a piece of soft leather, the kind you might imagine is used at an old fashioned barber shop, to take the blade to a razor sharpness level. You will also be given a piece to take home so you can maintain that amazing sharpness.

After the course, I’ll send you details by email on how you can look after your small knife through sharpening, cleaning and stroping it.

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