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BL_S01: Bladesmithing Project: Stainless Steel Knife-Making

  • 14 Oct 2023
  • 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
  • Nova Labs, 3850 Jermantown Road Fairfax, VA 22030 (Blacksmith Shop)
  • 1


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Making a Stainless Steel Kitchen Knife

Believe it or not, most “chefs’ knives” that you can purchase for less than $200 are not hardened, as the manufacturers know that home users generally won’t be able to tell the difference between raw and heat-treated stainless steel.  

But we’re Nova Labs Makers, gosh dang it, and we absolutely will be heat-treating our steel!  In fact, we will be heating our knife blanks though several steps (as high as 1900°F) in our precision heat-treating oven, and then cryo-quenching in liquid nitrogen, taking them down to -100°F.

There are few things more satisfying than creating a tool that you will use on a daily basis, and making a kitchen knife out of high-quality, heat-treated stainless steel is one of those maker-projects where the final product is better than what you can typically buy.  Plus you will learn the steps necessary to make your own set of chef’s knives – you will never lack for holiday gift ideas again!

In this class you will create a fillet knife out of “Nitro-V” stainless steel, grind it into a basic shape, heat-treat the steel using a precision oven, and cryo-quench the blank using liquid nitrogen.  Along the way you will get signed off on the Nova Labs heat-treat oven, and the 2x72” Grinder.  You will also learn a bit about advanced metallurgy, knife-grinding techniques, and handle-making.

Two things to note:
- First, this is NOT a traditional blacksmithing class – we will not be swinging a hammer or even firing up a forge.
- Second, this is a “homework” class where you will be provided with the materials and knowledge to finish the project, but it will require several hours of your own time to complete the process.

As part of the cost for this class the students receive:
•    A stainless steel blank for a 5+ inch fillet knife
•    Kirinite handle material
•    Brass pins to secure the handle
•    A set of six 2x72” belts for the grinder
•    Two RED tool sign-offs

INSTRUCTOR:  Patrick Marstall


SIGN OFFS: This class will serve as a sign-off class for the Vertical Heat Treat Oven and the 2x72” Grinder.

RESTRICTIONS:  Age 16 and over.

•    Must wear cotton or wool clothing – no synthetic materials.
•    Shoes must be made from leather or canvas; plastic-topped sneakers will not be allowed
•    Eye protection (goggles) are provided, but you may bring your own for the best fit.
•    Failure to wear appropriate clothing may result in being turned away from the class without a refund.
•    Breathing protection is required:  The instructor will provide a cloth mask, but it is recommended that the students provide a proper respirator to avoid breathing in metal dust.

 © 2020 Nova Labs, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Nova Labs, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization,
EIN 45-3796580.
Contributions are tax-deductible.