My knives are made of high carbon steel. Carbon steel is superior to stainless steel in a number of ways - it is stronger, easier to sharpen and gets sharper than stainless steel. However, carbon steel has no stain resisting properties of its own. With regular use in preparing food, irregular oxides will form on the surface of your blade. These are not harmful or unsafe and the longer you use the knife, the development of oxides will eventually slow until a rich patina develops. This is normal and to be expected with a carbon steel blade, so try not to panic the first time you cut a lime and watched your shiny new blade turn a splotchy grey! In order to maintain a shiny surface, stainless steel must contain at least 12% cromium. That chromium keeps the blades shiny, but every other aspect of knife performance suffers.
Micarta is a rigid composite material made from laminated paper, fiberglass, cloth, or other material impregnated with a phenolic resin. The layers in the materials create a wood-like grain in a finished handle. Micarta is a very stable and durable material that makes great knife handles. It won’t absorb water, dry out or splinter.
Stabilized wood is wood that has been impregnated with a chemical stabilizing solution, which makes it more durable and less prone to warping or cracking than natural, untreated wood.
CUSTOM WORK AND KNIFE COMMISSIONS
First, consider what type of piece you want (functional, decorative, based on a design, open to ideas), any size or other constraints, and what budget you have in mind. If you only have a vague or general idea of what you might like, that’s OK, we can work together to figure that out later. If you have a specific idea or examples, that’s fine too!
Second, contact me by sending me an email at Lisa@LLMetalworks.com or by giving me a call at 917-482-4299.
Third, we’ll work together to finalize a design, budget and timeline. Unless you already know just what you want, I will send you sketches and alternative design ideas and we will together modify them to meet you vision and needs.
Fourth, I will ask for a deposit of 20-50% of the agreed budget to acquire supplies and materials and secure my time.
Fifth, I’ll get to work and send you photos and updates of the progress of your piece along the way.
Finally, once the piece is finished, I’ll determine final shipping costs and send a final bill along with the finished piece.
That depends on a number of factors, including the following:
• The complexity of the piece – it may take some time and production of several prototypes for me to determine the best way to make a piece, or an item may be made up of several different components that must work harmoniously together.
• The labor-intensity of the piece – some pieces are relatively straightforward and simple while others require several different steps and processes or lots of hand detail work.
• The materials that will go into making the piece – some projects will require me to special order materials specifically for the piece or will require a large amount of expensive inputs.