Art & Precision
Davis Forged Knives Process
The forging process is an art and the first critical element in quality bladesmithing. Forging serves three basic functions which are key to blade integrity. First, throughout the repetitive heating and forging process, the artisan is continually manipulating the steel to refine the edge grain structure, an important feature relative to edge performance. Secondly, the artisan is shaping the blade outline while tapering the blade spine to edge and tang to tip. Effectively shaping during forging will save time during the grinding phase. And thirdly, serves a more important role in allowing more of the continuous longitudinal grain structure within the steel to reside within the finished blade. Forging prevents the radical termination of grain structure particularly at the blade tip and where the blade transitions to the tang.
Effective heat treating is all about creating appropriate molecular changes within the steel while minimizing internal stress. Our methods are a methodical sequence of successive heat treating processes that coax the steel to be “content” in its final forged shape resulting in a stress-free blade properly prepared to be finished ground. Five distinct heat treating processes are employed all in sets of three throughout the process.
Shaping and Polishing
The forged shape is edge profile ground and roughly contoured before the edge is flame hardened and tempered. Once the edge is hardened, the blade is ready to be final shaped, and tested for edge cutting ability. At this point the blade tip must withstand being forced into metal without deflecting, and the edge must cleanly sheer ½” hemp rope multiple times. After passing this test, the blade is final ground. The blade is etched to reveal grain structure and heat patterns, and may additionally be etched for aesthetic purposes. Finally, the blade is polished and ready to accept its finger guard.
Finger Guard and Handle Detail
A knife that bites you during heavy work will not be used long. All Davis knives have a finger guard to protect from a hand slipping on to a very sharp edge. Our finger guards are press fit in place and silver soldered for permanent seating. Once the finger guard is in place, the knife is stamped with a serial number. The handle is generally comprised of combinations of the base handle material (antler or wood), leather and brass. These materials compliment each other and provide for an interesting and pleasing look. Once all handle materials are in place, the finger guard and handle are sanded to fit the hand and compliment the form of the blade resulting in a comfortable “feel,” and an artistically pleasing knife. The knife is then polished one last time and is ready to ship.