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Thread: My new custom Knife

  1. #1

    My new custom Knife

    I'd never really been into knives until a mate of mine started showing me how to use one properly!!! I've a bit of an idea on the features I like on a knife now so have been on the lookout - I was at the Sussex Fair and met a couple of knife makers from "Emberleaf Workshop" in Chichester.

    There was a Knife I liked the look of but fancied a few changes, so they offered to make me a custom knife out of AB-L Steel for only 120 (which I thought was a good deal).

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Knife 2.jpg 
Views:	197 
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ID:	29716

    I wanted something long and strong enough to stick any deer that hadn't expired, narrow enough for delicate work like a-hole and filleting, and a drop point so I could run the spine along the bones when skinning without damaging the meat.

    It came 3 days later (yep three days after ordering!) along with a side mounting sheath which was also custom made for the knife and included in the 120.

    Spec:
    AB-L Steel
    Drop point, Full Tang, slightly curved
    Ebony Handle
    Last edited by BunnyDoom; 24-06-2013 at 17:04.

  2. #2
    Remember knives are like women you always like the look of one you don,t have. see you t mow and we may get to try it out.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Taff View Post
    Remember knives are like women you always like the look of one you don,t have. see you t mow and we may get to try it out.
    In that case I would argue knives are not like women - I never get offered the chance to try a new one out these days

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by BunnyDoom View Post
    I'd never really been into knives until a mate of mine started showing me how to use one properly!!! I've a bit of an idea on the features I like on a knife now so have been on the lookout - I was at the Sussex Fair and met a couple of knife makers from "Emberleaf Workshop" in Chichester.

    There was a Knife I liked the look of but fancied a few changes, so they offered to make me a custom knife out of AB-L Steel for only 120 (which I thought was a good deal).

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Knife 2.jpg 
Views:	197 
Size:	35.7 KB 
ID:	29716

    I wanted something long and strong enough to stick any deer that hadn't expired, narrow enough for delicate work like a-hole and filleting, and a drop point so I could run the spine along the bones when skinning without damaging the meat.

    It came 3 days later (yep three days after ordering!) along with a side mounting sheath which was also custom made for the knife and included in the 120.

    Spec:
    AB-L Steel
    Drop point, Full Tang, slightly curved
    Ebony Handle

    Corrr! Never seen ebony gloss up like that before! Polished that within an inch of its life i reckon!

    Do you know any more about that steel mate? Never heard of AB-L before and a web search told me nothing.
    Owning a gun or knife and not using it, is akin to not sleeping with your girlfriend to keep her neat and tidy for the next bloke.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by digger9523 View Post
    Corrr! Never seen ebony gloss up like that before! Polished that within an inch of its life i reckon! Do you know any more about that steel mate? Never heard of AB-L before and a web search told me nothing.
    AB-L is the stuff Gillette make their razor blades from but is very hard to get hold of in thick sheets for knife making. It's supposed to hold an edge for ages.

    the ebony is open cell stabilised which makes it resistant to blood etc.

    They seem to know their stuff but will let u know how I get on

    their website is worth a look - Emberleaf Workshops - Knives,Hairdressing scissors,Sharpening Services,Tool Repair,Wood Work,Carving and More.
    Last edited by BunnyDoom; 24-06-2013 at 22:06.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by BunnyDoom View Post
    AB-L is the stuff Gillette make their razor blades from but is very hard to get hold of in thick sheets for knife making. It's supposed to hold an edge for ages.

    the ebony is open cell stabilised which makes it resistant to blood etc.

    They seem to know their stuff but will let u know how I get on

    their website is worth a look - Emberleaf Workshops - Knives,Hairdressing scissors,Sharpening Services,Tool Repair,Wood Work,Carving and More.

    Nice one, thanks for that mate. Never heard of them before. The glossiness makes sense now you say it's stabilised.

    Be handy having them on your doorstep in Chichester. Might be able to trade some stalking with them or offer some venison for their bushcraft courses. Always goes down well with those folk.
    Last edited by digger9523; 24-06-2013 at 22:29.
    Owning a gun or knife and not using it, is akin to not sleeping with your girlfriend to keep her neat and tidy for the next bloke.

  7. #7
    Thanks for the heads up..... I'll have to have a chat with them

  8. #8
    I'd never heard of them either until the fair, seemed like nice guys and thought their prices were very reasonable - hence the write up! I can't convey how good the quality of the knife feels but I'm really pleased with it

    what impressed me most was the fact they took the time to measure the fit to my hand and took notice of what I'd be using it for

  9. #9
    Just realised I had the name of the steel wrong on previous posts - it's AEB-L

    Also got a few more pics of it now:
    http://i1312.photobucket.com/albums/...ps98152186.jpg
    http://i1312.photobucket.com/albums/...ps6a843b8d.jpg
    http://i1312.photobucket.com/albums/...ps77b094f9.jpg

    I've hacked apart two Roe with it now, including cutting up the breast bone, and can still shave with this - I've never had a knife that holds its edge like this one so am really pleased with it!

    Turns out emberleaf are quite well known in the tactical knife world as it's founded by two ex-forces guys who now do survival courses as well as knife making and wood carving.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by digger9523 View Post
    Corrr! Never seen ebony gloss up like that before! Polished that within an inch of its life i reckon!

    Do you know any more about that steel mate? Never heard of AB-L before and a web search told me nothing.
    Hi Digger, found this on the web:

    Few know what AEB-L steel is, and those that do, only have heard that it is similar to 440B or 440A. The only similarities between AEB-L and 440B or 440A is the amount of carbon. The fact that AEB-L has only 12.8% chromium by weight compared to the 16-17% in 440A and 440B makes the steels quite different. AEB-L is more similar to a stainless 52100 than 440A. A copy of AEB-L called 13C26 is made by Sandvik.
    AEB-L was designed for razors, which need corrosion resistance, high hardness, and very acute edges. AEB-L has excellent corrosion resistance, in the same area as 440C or other popular stainless steels used in knives today, even though it only has 12.8% chromium. The lower carbon means much of the chromium is in solution after heat treatment. It gets very hard, up to 64 as quenched. Though AEB-L is not a powder metallurgy steel, it contains very tiny carbides, its average carbide size is six-tenths of one micron, powder metallurgy steels such as CPM-154 have a carbide size of 2-4 microns and larger. This carbide size is comparable to the finest carbon steels. 52100 has about the same carbide size. This shows why it makes such a good razor steel. Carbides are very hard particles that make a steel wear resistant. They also reduce toughness. For this reason they need to be as small as possible to offer good toughness and the ability to take and hold an acute edge while also increasing wear resistance. AEB-L's small carbides give it excellent toughness, great ease of sharpening, ease in grinding and polishing, good wear resistance, and a very keen edge to a knife. 440C has some carbides as large 50 microns. A very keen edge is about one half of one micron, so when cutting, carbide pullout happens with large carbides, the carbides are pulled like a tooth out of the blade, this makes for a toothy and hard to sharpen edge, and of course after the carbides are removed they can no longer help with cutting.AEB-L naturally forms what is called the K2 carbide, the harder of the two chromium carbides, compared to the K1 carbide, which is formed in steels such as 440C. The K2 carbide is about 79 on the Rockwell C scale, compared to 72 for the K1 carbide. Through proper heat treatment, AEB-L has fine, evenly distributed K2 carbides. AEB-L lies almost perfectly on what is called the “Carbon Saturation Line”, which means that all of the carbides formed are precipitated carbides, not primary carbides like are formed in 440C, and there is more carbon and a similar amount chromium in solution as compared to 440C. Primary carbides are very large. So, through a balanced composition, AEB-L has excellent toughness, edge retention, workability, ease of sharpening, and ease of polishing.

    AEB-L vs common American carbon steels
    Roman Landes and John Verhoeven have both done different tests with AEB-L. In CATRA testing Dr. Verhoeven found AEB-L to outcut 52100, 1086, and Wootz damascus. He also found AEB-L to be able to take a smaller edge radius than 52100 in controlled sharpening tests. Roman Landes found AEB-L to have greater edge stability, toughness, and wear resistance than 52100. Edge stability is a property that describes a steel's ability to hold a finely sharpened edge. 52100 is one of the most well respected carbon steels, and is well known for its small carbides, high toughness, and high edge stability, so it's impressive that AEB-L was able to beat it in these categories, while also having greater wear resistance and being a stainless steel. Many users have reported that AEB-L sharpens as easily as any other carbon steel they have used.
    AEB-L vs common Japanese carbon steels
    The White and Blue steels are used by many Japanese bladesmiths. They typically have a high percentage of carbon. They are given this high percentage of carbon so that high hardness can be obtained even with insufficient soak times and temperatures during heat treatment, which can be common when heat treating with equipment that is not computer controlled. The extra carbon also creates extra carbides for greater wear resistance. However, there are two major problems with these steels, especially the very high carbon Blue Super and White #1: low toughness and excess retained austenite. The low toughness comes from the excess carbon, which means that "plate martensite" is formed, which is prone to cracks in the micro-structure, even before the steel is used. These are not visible to the naked eye. The other problem is retained austenite. The more carbon is used in a steel the more retained austenite is formed. This can be reduced through cryogenic processing, but most Japanese bladesmiths don't use cryo. Retained austenite decreases overall hardness, edge stability, wear resistance, and increases wire edge formation. AEB-L also has smaller carbides than either of these steels for greater edge stability and toughness. Many users have reported that AEB-L sharpens as easily as any other carbon steel they have used. For these reasons we prefer AEB-L.

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