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D_W

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If you have a paring knife, especially if it's smaller and on the thin side - and you just love it to bits. Please post a picture if it's not too much trouble.

I've been making knives lately and while they all differ by a fair amount in any style, the parers are really a wide scope - from knives that look like stubby chef's knives to tiny little things that look like a goldfish boning knife.

I favor designs that could be micarta handles without a bolster.
 
That fellow likes hand relief.

I intend to keep the knives relatively plain (thus no bolster, and especially not the shoulder type to the bottom of the blade - it takes a belt grinder to really lift that heel neatly once the blade has some wear).

I like those designs.
 
This is one of the designs I also favor so far, a counter to the "mrs. Tindall's knife" that I posted here (I've made a second one, too) - that one has more blade height and heel.

https://madeincookware.com/products/paring-knife/olive-wood
And I'll probably make one shorter than this yet.

I received .042" AEB-L steel this week (about as thick as the heel of a hand rip saw) to make smaller parers.

I don't have the means to forge the knife as one piece like the parer in that picture is probably done - drop forged - but the durability of the bolster isn't a big deal if you're in the house and can make another one any time.
 
Knife guys talk about indexing. Pick it up, close your eyes and you still want to know where the point is. Very round / tubular handles tend to bad at this.
At the same time, the handle shouldn't restrict you in how you hold the knife in different grips.

It's a bit of a rabbit hole how much variety can be found in such a simple, commonplace tool. Interesting if the bug bites you.

Your mention of stubby chef's knives made me think of Jens Anso (Denmark). In his early days as a designer he made some famously ugly but functional custom knives that were very sought after.
Nowadays he has several production designs, his own kitchen knives and has designed a range of asian inspired kitchen knives for Shun. You might hate all of them but worth a look.

Whatever you make I'd stick with full flat grind. I have a couple of small custom "bird and trout" knives that are pretty things with dyed burl handle scales and the like but both fail by being too tubular in the grip and have a half height grind that doesn't work well enough for slicing.

Functionally, a parer doesn't need to be very long but it needs a sharp point to pierce skins and needs to slice like a scalpel. At least that's what I find useful ...
 
I've probably seen the indexing term.

I had a discussion with someone on the phone the other night who mentioned to me that his favorite types of handles are a tapered oval shape (but straight) because you know where they are in the hand, with indexing implied here along with knowing where they are in length. And, the knife can still be held in any direction, including upside down if needed.

Roger on the grind - i'm grinding freehand - the thing that sucked me into making a few knives in the first place was to chase off a lot of the fatness left just above the bevel on knives. It's not always a big reduction in cutting effort (e.g. , if cutting sticky food or some cheeses - but those can be cut with a specialty knife or a wire), but in a lot of cases, it is. Freehand, you can grind the knife taper and then come 90 degrees to the original grind on a contact wheel and eliminate all of the belly created all the way to the edge without burning a knife.

I don't have any inclination to do half or quarter or hollow grinds and would associate those with mass production or mostly automated processes. Same with very convex full grinds.
 
Here is my favorite "fruit knife." I had two, but one disappeared a decade ago. It feels comfortable in hand and can hold a fine edge.

Perhaps this style may be of interest to you?
 

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My 3 favourite knives
FBB67876-5BBA-4DC1-8DA1-119F6CF711B0.jpeg

are from right to left in preference. The rightmost knife I made about 40~50 years ago from a classic British table knife, the centre one is a vegetable carving knife with a sheath designed to allow me to carry it with my teaching supplies. The last is also one of the standard vegetable and fruit carving knives though it’s the one I use least.

this is an example of the craft the knives are designed for, though soap is now the preferred medium as then the tourists buy it.
44424618-0658-4202-8208-A3E797DE419D.jpeg

1CDD1908-B6E7-40BF-AE40-4D4416B17E26.jpeg
 
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Here is my favorite "fruit knife." I had two, but one disappeared a decade ago. It feels comfortable in hand and can hold a fine edge.

Perhaps this style may be of interest to you?

I was thinking straight parers, but the beauty of asking a question like this is being introduced to something else to make. I'll save that. Thanks!

I do like wharncliffe, sheepsfoot and hook style knives. The way I make knives doesn't exclude much of anything (grinding that type thin with the inside curve would be no big deal).

Thanks for the picture with the measuring tape, too. Leaves no questions.
 
My 3 favourite knives View attachment 144544
are from right to left in preference. The rightmost knife I made about 40~50 years ago from a classic British table knife, the centre one is a vegetable carving knife with a sheath designed to allow me to carry it with my teaching supplies. The last is also one of the standard vegetable and fruit carving knives though it’s the one I use least.

this is an example of the craft the knives are designed for, though soap is now the preferred medium as then the tourists buy it.
View attachment 144545
View attachment 144546

like those, too.

short related story - the first knives i ever made and the first things I forged were "squash knives" made out of old saw files, just to see what they would be like. Think of it as taking a file, heating the last two inches and squashing the last two inches with a hammer on an anvil, then heat treating.

One of the group I did something wrong with when making and over ground the blade to a tiny thing thing not even the width of the file. I figured I could sharpen it, anyway and throw it out if it was no good, but otherwise, it'd be a good beater. It cuts like a whiz through cardboard because there's little blade to push on the cardboard in the first place. I still have it and haven't strained a shoulder since pulling boxes apart.
 
Could you share where you managed to get hold of thin stock for parers? I’ve looked for a while with little success.

Robert Herder parers are seen as a good target to aim for. Should be a straight handle in line with the blade for in hand work.
Parers made as small knives for use on boards by people who are intimidated by larger knives tend to be more of a shrunk knife design as need things like knuckle clearance.
 
Could you share where you managed to get hold of thin stock for parers? I’ve looked for a while with little success.

Robert Herder parers are seen as a good target to aim for. Should be a straight handle in line with the blade for in hand work.
Parers made as small knives for use on boards by people who are intimidated by larger knives tend to be more of a shrunk knife design as need things like knuckle clearance.

I got .04" AEB-L from alpha knife supply.

I had to look a little, too. There's no shortage of folks sticking to .07 or .1 as their lower thickness boundary.

you hit the nail on the head with the knives made like the banana splitter. I think it's an interesting little knife to play with but I would have an 8" knife out for just about everything I'd do with it. When I grew up as a kid, most of the ladies (sexist, I know - my father's generation was happy to pretend they didn't even know what a kitchen looked like and the whole family was made of men who would run as soon as they cleaned their plates)....most of those ladies would say "I should never be using a knife this dangerous" if you got them near an 8" chef's knife. No such thing was ever in my mother's kitchen at all. The only long knife was a bread knife, which is also obsoleted by a good sharp chef's knife.

for paring work or "little through the object to be cut" I like tiny little thin knives, so after playing with the banana splitter, the "made in" knife shown above would be way on the upper bound.

Lamson makes a knife that I just found googling called "grandma's paring knife". It's made to look like it's been sharpened to death. with little of the upper blade left, and thin. Looks like my grandfather's pen knife blade in his stockman (well, he's deceased now) - he'd sharpened the pen knife blade on the stockman to the point that it was a tiny sliver, and I don't think he ever replaced it.
 
I was thinking straight parers, but the beauty of asking a question like this is being introduced to something else to make. I'll save that. Thanks!

I do like wharncliffe, sheepsfoot and hook style knives. The way I make knives doesn't exclude much of anything (grinding that type thin with the inside curve would be no big deal).

Thanks for the picture with the measuring tape, too. Leaves no questions.
The measurements of the blade of my vegetable carving straight knife are 1 mm to 0.3 mm this is very delicate. The home made one is 1.5 mm to 1 mm.

The vegetable/fruit carvers are an Asian tradition & are not inexpensive

to 1 BDD9B341-0D99-4CC8-829C-E73D188A1471.jpegmm579F7BA8-4A93-4AA8-8587-9DFFB26CEFC6.jpegF9039735-E246-44F6-8EF6-11036C1D74F4.jpeg4E6677FE-8D93-4770-B724-76FB5984C161.jpegBDC344C6-862B-4E2B-BECA-AD569D0F72AD.jpeg60E0C227-5D47-4866-877C-E1418231DA5A.jpeg
 
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Cheers, haven’t checked the US suppliers for a while since started to be able to get stuff in the UK.
With the tumble of the pound prices with shipping and import are harder to justify nowadays
 
Cheers, haven’t checked the US suppliers for a while since started to be able to get stuff in the UK.
With the tumble of the pound prices with shipping and import are harder to justify nowadays
It'd be tough to justify the shipping of a relatively cheap steel, you're right. The U.S. postal system is subsidized to bring things in from some places and not to send them out at a reasonable cost.
 
Cheers, haven’t checked the US suppliers for a while since started to be able to get stuff in the UK.
With the tumble of the pound prices with shipping and import are harder to justify nowadays

by the way, I make all of my chisels with 26c3 - a steel that's a good bit more expensive than silver steel (1.15% carbon chrome vanadium rod) - but I have to do that because silver steel isn't sold in bar in the US. The cost of shipping to here always makes silver steel cost much more than just getting domestic 26c3.

Which is OK, because 26c3 is excellent, but silver steel would be a little bit more forgiving on heat treat thanks to the added V.
 
well, I made two paring blanks tonight - AEB-L - .04" thick stock. It'll be interesting to try to grind them accurately. They have flex and I push them through a fast quench with a very low tail end temperature within less than a minute of coming out of the heat and AEB-L is a little warpy compared to some of the more stable stuff (XHP, A2, etc).

But they're finishing their second temper. They should be like little razors.

It's a bit of a challenge to heat treat stainless in an open forge, but It's not as un-doable as we're led to believe. Both of the blanks after the freezer are file skidding hard, even on the corners.
 
I ground one of these this morning waiting for a computer job to finish yesterday morning. whatever worry I had about heating the steel went away when it was clear how little metal I had to remove. It took about 10 minutes and the file conversion that I was waiting for was still running when I came back.

The result is the made-in type parer - after getting a mid level finish, it's about .035-.036 at the top of the spine and a hundredth thick 1/8th above the cutting edge.

I think for practical work, especially at really high sharpness, it's too thin. I glued handle slabs and pins into it over lunch. Time will tell once I get a chance to handle it if it's good for anything.


20221003_115226.jpg
 

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