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The Newbies Arena Are you new to knife making? Here is all the help you will need.

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Old 12-01-2002, 12:05 PM
samf samf is offline
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Location: washington
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Old 12-01-2002, 01:51 PM
Will Will is offline
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 303
I've never made a cleaver, but from a couple of hawks and choping test with knives, I can tell you that I'd go with a convex grind, or at least a convex edge.

Make the edge as thin as you can, then chop it on some bone to test the edge. If it chips out make it a little thicker till it quits chipping. This is after heat treat and testing with a brass rod to be shure heat treat is on.

Hope this helps
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Old 12-01-2002, 03:34 PM
samf samf is offline
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thanks will
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Old 12-01-2002, 03:46 PM
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Don Cowles Don Cowles is offline
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Most of the cleavers that I have handled have fairly heavy blades with the sides parallel down to the last half or 3/4 inch before the edge, where the grind begins. Since these tools are really CLEAVERS rather thank cutters, a fine edge might be a liability. Whacking through a 1" or 2" diameter bone will make shor work of it.

It is a closer relative to the axe than it is to the knife, so my inclination would be to flat grind (or even file) the edge to a fairly broad angle.


Don Cowles Custom Knives

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Old 12-01-2002, 06:36 PM
cactusforge cactusforge is offline
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Location: Quartzsite Az.
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A Chinese cleaver is a cross between a knife and a American cleaver, it is tapered like a knife with flat grind a fine cutting edge that is used to slice and cut. It is also a lot lighter, the ones that I sharpen are 1/8" stock. Gib

Old 12-01-2002, 07:12 PM
samf samf is offline
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thanks don on gib
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Old 12-03-2002, 12:09 AM
Jason Cutter Jason Cutter is offline
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Thumbs up I'm also making my first cleaver

It's for my most faithful customer who is a pro deer hunter and venison shop owner. I'm using some Sambar antler he's supplying.

I tried a few designs and came up with pretty much what these guys have already said.

I'm using thick carbon steel stock. 5160 is ideal whacking steel ! I can't get it in the right size so I'm going to use a huge piece of O-1 carbon stock. 7mm or just over 1/4inch thick. The blade is 5inches wide and I'll only start the bevelsover the last 1-1/2 or 2 inches. Convex grind ! I'm profiling the bevels pretty much like a hatchet.

Because the piece is going to be higher carbon than I'd like, it seems crucial that the heat treat is right. I've made two - one is tempered at 390-400F (Straw colour), the other at 500F (deep blue). From testing my smaller knives, I know that the 400F temper will handle just about anything, but perhaps the 500F springier temper will be more shock resistant.

Not sure about these ideas but thought I'd share them with you.

Cheers. Good Luck.

Jason Cutter @ Dr Kwong Yeang
Knifemaker, Australia
(Matthew 10.16)
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Old 12-04-2002, 06:44 AM
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Crex Crex is offline
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Location: Acworth, GA and/or Hanging Dog, NC
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I've made afew of these in the past and Don's advice is on the mark. Since the guy is a deer processor, he'll need the tougher edge. Wild game has much harder and more brittle bones which are very tough on an edge. Too fine a taper is begging for problems even if you got the HT just right.
I like both 5160 and 52100 for hacking/chopping blades but the 52100 is a little tougher to HT right for the inexperienced (no offense intended, it may be a walk in the park for you).
The wider, shorter angle in the blade geometry will most likely serve him the best. An unexspected offset or uneven angle on the cutting edge will put the cleaver in a drawer (professionals don't like to be messed with in their chosen trade). Different story if they ask for it.
Just a note - if you make it too purty he won't use it no matter how good it might work. Both of my brothers were professional meat cutters and I had to make them two each - one for show and one for work. Couldn't convince them that the first ones were made to use. Little brother was afraid someone would take a shine to his so he had me mount it on some walnut for a wall hanging in his office when he became market manager.

Just make sure the handle is comfortable for the job. If it's uncomfortable or awkward it won't get used. Chopping is a different action from boneing or slicing.

Carl Rx

Carl Rechsteiner, Bladesmith
Georgia Custom Knifemakers Guild, Charter Member
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Registered Master Artist - GA Council for the Arts
C Rex Custom Knives

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