The Making Of A Knife

There is a lot that goes into a blade before you ever handle it.  If it is sharp and pretty but has not been forged right it is just a pretty toy. All of my blades are made by me here in my shop from raw materials.  The processes I use have been used to make knives for hundreds of years.  Here is a brief outline of the steps used to make my knives.
1. The blade is ground or forged to shape.*
2. The blade is then flat ground to give it it's form and edge.
3.The blade is then given the final polish before quenching.
4. The blade is heated to decalesence where the molecular grain of the blade is optimal for cutting and durability.
5. The blade is then quenched or differentially hardened** in heated oil.  The cutting part of the blade is now hardened and very brittle covered with scale.
6. The blade is then heat treated for a period of two hours to reduce the brittleness and allow for a long lasting edge.
7. Once the blade is heatreated it is ready for polish and mounting to the blade.  The rest is purely cosmetics-The blade is what makes a knife a knife.
*Damascus or Pattern Welded Steel is the practice in sword and knife making of hammering out the metal, folding it over, and welding the metal piece back onto itself. Pattern welding is so called because a blade forged in this manner often displays bands of slightly different coloration along its entire length and these bands are brought out for cosmetic purposes.
**Differential hardening is a method used in knife making to increase the hardness of the edge without making the whole blade brittle. To achieve this the edge is cooled more rapidly than the spine. The result is a tighter molecular structure  in the cutting edge than in the spine of the blade as illustrated below.