Auction #9 for Freethought Blogs Legal Defense Fund

This for the FtB legal defense fund. See [go fund me] for details. Rules are below:

Sold to Hardz for $151. But Hardz donated the full $250 to FTB! Thank you so much!

This is an simple, solid, no messing around knife.

Someone in the comments of one of my other knife postings suggested I try a few grinds in the Japanese cooking knife-style. That’s an interesting challenge because it’s my opinion that the Japanese do cooking knives best – perhaps too well, there are literally dozens of specific blade-shapes adapted to individual purposes, i.e.: an octopus dismantling knife is very different from a tuna-boner, etc. If you start getting into a battle of attrition with a Japanese knife fanatic, it’s a quagmire: “You can’t cut garlic with that! That’s for sea urchins!”

All of that is a roundabout way of saying that my knives in the Japanese tradition do not match the actual Japanese blade patterns because fuck all that. The reason I make my own knives is so that I can make my own knives, although I freely steal the important parts of Japanese blade-shape and steel treatment because their ideas, in general, are the best in the world.

*Right-Handed Only* – this is chisel-ground on one side and it’ll be hard to use cleanly in the left hand. I’ll be posting another auction in a few minutes for a left-handed knife. The other side of the knife (not shown) is coarse-ground with a slight hollow so it won’t stick as much to whatever it’s cutting through.

Instead of a normal bolster, it has a silver wrap-around ferrule that I made by hammering a piece of .99 fine silver around a mandrel and soldering with tin/silver solder. I like how the wrap ferrules look but you might not.

The handle is a single piece of 6,000 year-old bog oak from Ukraine. (Which was obtained on Ebay, with no political pressure involved)

The blade is W-2 tool steel; it’s not fancy damascus, it’s mono-steel but it’s hammer-forged into shape. W-2 is one of the best steels if you want a dramatic hamon, which is what I was experimenting with here, so that’s what I used. The hamon was polished out using polycrystalline diamond dust on a piece of oiled leather; it’s very distinctive and clear (turns out that polycrystalline diamond is just great for fine polishing things!) The hamon (temper-line) is the transition between pearlite steel on the blade’s back and martensitic steel on its edge; this transition is made by differentially quenching the blade with clay insulation on the back so that only the exposed edge hardens. As the blade is polished, the hard martensite reflects light differently from the pearlite, and creates a distinctive line in the steel.

Specs:  Overall length is 14″ (350mm) blade is 8″ (200mm), W-2 tool steel, silver and bog oak. The blade shape is a “yanagiba” overall (leaf-shaped knife, good for making sashimi) but it’s a bit thicker and shorter than a typical Japanese yanagiba, more suitable for chicken or vegetables or beef. (Yanagiba are typically long because sashimi-making requires cutting the entire piece through with a single draw-cut.) Right hand chisel grind.


You can bid in the comments, or bid by emailing me [link]. If you email, I will assume that you wish to remain anonymous and will post a comment in the bidding section that reads: “Anonymous bid in the amount of $___”

Whoever bids the most for the commission wins it for $1 more than the second highest bidder bid. For example, if I bid $75 and Joe bids $5 and I’m the highest bidder, that makes Joe the second highest bidder, and I win the thing for $6. This is a variation of the Ebay bidding algorithm and, while it is less effective at milking money from the bidders, it discourages people from feeling that they need to log in at the last minute and try to bid over someone else. At the time when bidding closes, whichever bid is the highest, whether it’s email or a comment, wins.

The winner is expected to donate the agreed-upon amount to the defense fund and send me suitable proof (a screenshot or whatever) and give me a shipping address, at which point I’ll box it up and send it along!

Since we don’t have an automated bidding system like Ebay, I’d like to discourage “auction sniping.” If you want the thing, bid what you’re willing to pay for it and just see what happens. If you simply must have it, bid $1million for it and if the second highest bidder bids $50, it’s yours for $51.

If you do not win, you owe nothing!


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My comment settings require manual approval for the first comment from a person. If you comment and don’t see it, I’ll get it, fear not. If you email me and do not get an acknowledgement, and you are gmail user, check your spam box. Google’s spam algorithms don’t like me for reasons I have never cared to figure out.


  1. Hardz says

    I am a very happy camper! Donation completed and have emailed details and screeny of donation.

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