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Billy Joe Rubideoux Knives and Cooking Tools Made from Salvaged Steels

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Rustic cooking tools and knives have been produced from old steel tool parts as a result of testing a new forge and other knife-making equipment at Hovey’s Knives of China’s shop in Georgia. A rib flipper and forge tool have been made from a piece of lawnmower steel, and a Chef’s knife was cut from a 100-year-old blade from a scythe.

These Billy Joe Rubideoux  products are named after a fictional character from Plaquemine Parish in the Louisiana Delta. Raised in the water-logged swamps below Lafitte, Billy Joe had a hard-scrabble existence where trips to town were infrequent. If he needed a tool, he had to make it  or do without. Working in this tradition, a rib flipper was made for turning meat on a charcoal grill and the rounded piece of left-over steel was used to pound out a forge-cleaning tool.

The rib flipper

Anyone who cooks on a grill must turn their meat. The most commonly use tools to flip ribs, turn chickens and move chops are spatulas, tongs and forks. None of these are very efficient. A piece of steel from the bottom of a riding lawnmower had a curved shape and appeared that if it was straightened and handled would be ideal for that purpose.

The steel was heated on the forge to the point where it could be pounded flat, cut and ground. The result proved to be a somewhat dogleg-shaped object that only needed a handle to be functional. I used a piece of salvaged wormy tea olive as a fitting grip for this tool and designed an asymmetrically – shaped grip that could be held horizontally in the hand. This grip proved ideal for turning ribs and other objects on the grill and outperformed anything I had used.

As the carbon steel in the flipper easily rust, I polished it with a steel wheel and coated it with canola oil to provide a non-toxic protective coating. Square holes in the flipper’s blade provide a handy means for hanging on the sides of my smoker. More custom flippers will be made in the Billy Joe style will be made along with stainless steel adaptations  for commercial use.

The forge cleaner

After the Rib Flipper was completed a piece of steel remained which had a distinctively curved profile, similar in shape of a flattened spoon. I used this piece to clean the ashes out of my forge, which has a steel tire rim as a fire-box. This worked and needed only a longer grip to make it efficient. I wire-brushed it down to bright metal, dressed the edges with grinding wheels and drilled it for a grip. This grip would be firmly attached by four pins made from cut-off nails. The result was an efficient forge-cleaning tool that I protected from further rust by giving the blade a coating of black enimal paint. Thus, both pieces of salvaged lawnmower steel were put to beneficial use to make new-to-the-world tools that performed beneficial functions.

The Chef’s knife

I had been saving the blade from an old scythe from the 1800s that was given to me over 30-year-ago. It had been exposed to rust and was well-pitted, but was nonetheless sound. The steel used in this scythe was among the highest quality steels available in the day  and similar to that used to make straight razors. The shape of the blade was wide enough to provide sufficient steel to make a Chef’s knife. After the basic shape had been drawn on the blade, a torch was used to  profile of the blade. Rough shaping was done using a grinder and final edging was completed on a 72-inch knife-making machine, which is basically a 72-inch variable-speed belt grinder with a 2-inch wide belt. To preserve the blade’s rustic look, the deep brown rust patina on the sides of the blade was left intact.

Once the blade was ground and holes drilled for the scales, the forge was  used to re-temper the blade, as heat from the cutting torch had heated the steel sufficient to soften the steel. The tempering process served to stiffen the blade and harden the edge. A video showing how the knife was made is at: https://youtu.be/maFAogwdrcw.

Wood from the tea olive, a native American tree whose fragrant-smelling blossoms caused it to be planted around  many antebellum plantations,  was selected as the handle material. This wood is harder than pine, ivory colored, commonly spalted and worm-holed when it has been on the forest floor.  The natural holes and contrasting colors proved to be complementary to the over-all look of the knife. Although the finished knife is fully functional and has a sharp edge, it would appear to be hundreds of years old. Closer inspection would reveal that its cutting edge is brightly finished, the grips are coated with a tough polyurethane and the back of the blade exposes bright metal.

Billy Joe's Chef's knife in kitchen

In a video, Billy Joe’s knife was tested against a commercial kitchen knife from the mark-down table of a mass-market retailer.

Billy Joe’s knife was compared to a $7.00 Chef’s knife from a mass-market-outlet’s discount table during cutting tests using bond paper and vegetables as I prepared some soup. Although Billy Joe’s knife had the advantages of having a sharper, deeper and longer blade, the pitted sides of the blade produced much more friction. In most cases the commercial knife was superior as a usable kitchen knife, although the rustic Rubideoux knife felt better, worked better as a chopping blade and kept its edge during the test. In short it proved itself to be a usable Chef’s knife, although not as good as the inexpensive commercial product.

The Billy Joe Rubideoux knife is more art than functional knife,  but it will work for its intended purposes in a home setting. Its design is superior to the commercial knife. The longer, deeper blade and long grip with the stag-like feel imparted by the worm holes give it a distinctive feel while the light-weight wood of the grips provide a desirable weight-forward balance for the knife. Only the roughness and perhaps the slight lip at the top of the blade made the Billy Joe knife function less well than the commercial blade.  The wooden grips, which provide an artistic counterpoint to the blade,   will  also soften  if immersed in water or put in a dishwasher. These grips demand careful handling, which is not likely to happen in a commercial kitchen.

A video, “A $700 Billy Joe Rubideoux Chef’s Knife Vs. a $7.00 Mass-Market Markdown Makes Soup for the Toothless,”  was made when showing this knife being used to chop vegetables for a soup. While the knife felt good in the hand and handled better than the commercial knife as a chopper; overall, the slicker-sided commercial knife proved to be much more efficient. While distinctive as a piece of rustic functional art made and fine for casual use in a home kitchen, its pitted blade caused it to be inefficient. Billy Joe’s knife would be thrown out of a commercial kitchen, although it did serve to demonstrate that a functional Chef’s knife could be made from scrap materials in a home workshop.  This video may be seen at:https://youtu.be/jpsLeNHNY-E.

This experiment was sufficiently successful that the decision was made to custom make knives and tools in the Billy Joe fashion using salvaged steels and handle materials furnished by the anyone who wants a custom-made, functional tool made of something that had significance to him. As long as it is a reasonable carbon steel, a useful knife or tool can probably be made by the  combined processes of cutting, forging, grinding and tempering. The last is significant, because if too much heat is applied to the metal during cutting or grinding the result will be a softer steel and a weaker tool that will not hold an edge or quickly fail if exposed to heat or stress.

Written by hoveysmith

August 24, 2016 at 9:58 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Late Life Business As A Pathway to Heath in Old Age

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Retirement, freedom from the stress of the corporate world, laying back and doing noting is often viewed as the state of bliss that is supposed to come when one retires. As with most such suppositions, this statement is only part true in that you are free of the constant state of accountability to your bosses, coworkers and even life partner for your mutual success. Woe betide you should you fail, and the chances of failure from predicted and unknowable events are too numerous to mention. No wonder that you are relieved to be out from under the crushing millstone of corporate life.

A few weeks or months later, you become bored with your now mostly sedentary life and want to get back to doing something interesting, useful and intellectually challenging without falling back into the morass that you just escaped from. It may well be that starting your own business might be the key to better psychological and mental health, at a lesser costs than conventional doctors, pills and surgeries.

I found myself in this situation. I was downsized out of a corporate job of my own creation as part of the R&D arm of a multinational corporation. I was  their “Information Scientist.”  This job title was one that I created in that I assisted researchers in finding information, organized the company  patent collection, created a searchable database, kept the company library and developed 15 new ideas for possible company products. Being continually awash with information about patents in our and related fields, I was sometimes able to offer insights into solutions to problems that might have been overlooked.

Since the 1970s, I had been selling articles to newspapers and magazines.  I concentrated on the outdoor press, writing primarily about hunting. Ultimately, I focused on the more specialized area of hunting with muzzleloading guns and for the past decade have been the corresponding editor covering black-powder guns and hunting  for the Gun Digest, which bills itself as “The world’s greatest gun book.” Although interesting, this was mostly a money-losing proposition. I expanded into books and published over 15 books and E-books with the same degree of economic success.  I also tried a year-and-a-half of podcast radio with a variety outdoor show, but that was also an economic failure.

Even though I continued my writing after I was laid off,  I found my body showing increasing signs of failure  as I passed through my 60s to my  mid-70s. These ills included  joint pain, losing the ability to walk freely without pain in the legs, coronary  by-pass surgery and apparently failing mental capacity. Except for the coronary difficulties, the remainder of my problems were generally dismissed by my doctors as the impact of normal aging. There was no ready explanation for the joint pain, but restricted circulation  in the in my legs due to claudication caused by  plaque in the blood vessels.

Some of the usual medications were prescribed, but I found that Lipitor caused me more pain than benefit. When I increased the dose, the level of pain in my legs also increased, further restricted mobility.

A New Business As a Solution

In my previous experience I found that the key to good mental and physical health was to be interested in something that involved risks and rewards and incorporated physical activity. A degree of risk taking has been part of my life since I served in the military as an Engineer Officer after college. Although I served during the Viet Nam era, the bulk of my 2.5-years of service time was spent in Alaska. Although a stateside assignment, working in an Sub-Arctic environment where temperatures, weather and accidents could kill a man provided a challenge. One of my fellow Engineer Officers died as a result of a bad weather caused plane crash on St. Laurence Island in mid-winter – a trip that I later made myself under similar circumstances.

I did my MS Geology thesis by spending all summer largely alone mapping an area of the 40-Mile District, near Chicken, Alaska. As an exploration Geologist in Alaska, we worked every day from helicopters where we were out all Summer hundreds of miles away from any cities and often weathered in for days at the time. I worked on glaciers and mountains, had encounters with black, brown and grizzly bears as well as momma moose, who will fearsely protect their young. All of this was exciting, interesting stuff for a young guy in his 20s and 30s. For a number of years I geologized during the Summer months in Alaska and wintered, and wrote, in Tucson, during the Winter.

Mineral and oil exploration are cyclic markets and when metal prices fell during the early 1980s, I found my self out of work, returned home to Georgia to write, produced a number of books which were not particularly successful and was ultimately hired by a multinational kaolin-mining company, English China Clays, where I became their Information Scientist.

Past retirement age, I continued my writing and did some industrial Public Relations work and occasionally made some money, but my writing was mostly an economic drain, rather than a revenue producer. As a result I found myself looking for something that had the potential of making significant money.

Parameters for a Successful Retirement Business

Retail trade in small town America is a dying proposition. Independent stores cannot compete against the larger chains and increasingly easy on-line buying opportunities. While offering the comforts of being in a community of fellow merchants and interacting with the public, I could think of nothing that I could sell locally that would potentially return investment, much less make money from – not even in the area of muzzleloading guns and knives where I was an acknowledged expert.

I needed to develop products that were proven, had world-wide sales potential, were sufficiently new to attract a lot of free publicity, relatively easy to make, would allow my personal input into design and not require my setting up a large factory to make them or have a large staff to sell them. My ideal would be a company consisting of a few people with million-dollar sales potential. One way to reach this goal was to conceive of a concept where I designed and demonstrated a class of objects and licensed production to others on a royalty basis. I developed this concept in print, in one of my books Ideas for New Businesses: How to start your own million or billion dollar business, which is available from Amazon.com and other sources.

IMG_1392 (542x800)

All new businesses, from the largest to the smallest start with an idea.

Hovey’s Knives of China

While in undergraduate school at the University of Georgia, I toyed with the concept of majoring in Archeology, rather than Geology. I was always interested in Archeology and while in High School spent a summer at Mesa Verde National Park working for the concessionaire. On days off I would explore the ruins myself. At the time there were few paying positions in Archeology, and Geology seemed to offer better opportunities for a successful career. The situation for Archeologist has improved somewhat, but these are mostly lower paying salvage exploration jobs requiring extreme mobility and much dull, repetitive work in uncomfortable settings.

A minor thing that attracted my attention was Chinese knife money, which was a coin shaped like a knife with a hole in the handle used as currency  in central China during the Warring States Period, before the rise of Imperial China.  This was put in long-term memory storage among millions of other interesting, but apparently useless, bits of information. Some 40-years later, I saw some of these knives exhibited at the International Blade Show in Atlanta. I could not afford to buy one, but arranged to take detailed photos. After forming a relationship with Bladesmith Murray Carter, which included making knives in his shop, I asked him to produce a copy of one of these knives in forged steel.

Now that I had a working knife, I used it in the field for a variety of tasks and even took it to China where I demonstrated it to a Chef at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Zhengzhou. While there, I had a chance to visit the Henan Provincial Museum, and saw some of the original knife money as well as other bronze cooking implements. I have several YouTube videos about this trip. One showing Carter’s knife is at:   https://youtu.be/TCSJSbJxRMs . By the time I made my second trip to China in 2015, I had made wooden models of a dozen patterns and was considering different ways of producing them.

IMG_0669

Hovey, center, with Chef and Hotel Manager.

These flights to China were man-killers, and 30-hours of sitting in cramped seats provided little comfort for my legs. By the time I was even partly recovered, it was time to do it again and return home. By happenstance, I ran into Paul Hjort, a knifemaker who makes Bowie-style knives, at our local Kaolin Festival. At the time he had comparatively little equipment and worked out of his trailer. We came to an arrangement, and he made prototype knives from my designs, which we exhibited at the Cobb Galleria at the International Blade Show. My knives were so different that many did not understand them or appreciate how they might be used. Nonetheless, they attracted considerable attention. I was hoping to obtain sufficient numbers of orders to finance the construction of a stand-alone knife shop, but these were not forthcoming.Assorted knives on red back. banner

The preceding events required quite a bit of mental and physical effort and even more was to come when I turned a portion of my back porch into a workshop where Paul and I could make our custom signature knives. As my activity state increased, my mental and physical health improved. I find myself regaining my physical abilities and in much less pain than formerly  without taking increased amounts of medications.

Although these knives are made by stock reduction from water-jet cut blanks, rather than forging, the operation of the equipment, the labor involved in making charcoal for my forge and the general upkeep of my house, grounds and hunting land provides sufficient exercise to keep me mobile while giving me something potentially profitable to do. This works reasonably well, because I can interspersed times of physical and lest strenuous mental activities throughout the day.

Conclusions

My approach of taking risks with my late-life savings to found a new company with an uncertain outcome, has provided me with a business that keeps me engaged and provides a reason to continue an active existence. If successful, the business will outlive me and provide income for many others who may be associated with my namesake products. This has provided me with something that I feel is worth doing, worth the risk-taking and is providing me with an improved life experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by hoveysmith

July 14, 2016 at 9:29 am

Posted in Uncategorized

My Knives of China Catalog, July,2016

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Hovey’s Knives of China Signature Series Knives Catalog, July, 2016

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Because of a WordPress blog-construction artifact my registered domain “hoveysknivesofchina.com” is associated with this blog. For this reason I have attached a copy of the current catalog. There are two other blogs that are exclusively concerned with these knives. An informational chatty blog, hoveysknivesofchinablog.co has articles about the development of the knives and how we make them. The website, hoveysknivesofchina.wordpress.com, serves more of the functions of a catalog and order site for my knives and associated products. The connections between these blogs are that I am a hunter who kills and processes his own game animals. I have written about guns and knives for decades and made  knives. When I was introduced to China’s historic knives, I thought how these old patterns, and others, might be constructed of modern materials to introduce some time-proven, yet new, varieties of culinary knives to today’s Chefs and cooks.

Congratulations on considering an order for one of our Signature Knives. Besides having the unique design characteristics of all of our knives, the Signature series is all about producing true custom knives, one by one, designed for the user. Ultimately, you may be able to purchase both licensed and unlicensed copies of my knives produced by any number of makers for much less money. I realize that low-priced products are significant if you are a young cook just starting out. Buy the knock-off knives now if you must, but someday let me work with you and show you the pleasures of owning the real thing.

 Assorted knives on red back. banner

Hovey’s Knives of China Signature Knives are made only for you and for what you need your cooking knife to do. This is the equivalent to going to London and having a shirt custom made for you by a Bond Street tailor.

 Such knives are not inexpensive, and they are not quickly made. You will find that they will perform better than any knife you have ever used, or we will make it so. Our blade steels are the best that we can obtain to sustain your needs. At present all Signature Blades will be made of 440 C stainless. This is a workable standard for modern cutlery use. It will dull, as will all steels, and will need to be periodically sharpened, as any knowledgeable Chef would do.

 On some knives the points are very delicate. These are a pleasure to work with. When carving meat they are like pushing a knife through soft cheese. However, they will not accept any bending stress. If you assistant cook tries to break a meat joint with one, the point will likely snap off the first time that stupid mistake is tried. Nor is this point designed for prying open cans. Any assistant cook who tries to cut open cans with one of these knives may find his skills better employed working in a salvage yard. This is the reason that some of my knives are offered without points. If sent back to us, broken points can be restored a few times. However, the ultimate result may be that the knife becomes a truncated-blade knife which is still a very useful and durable shape. It is also safer in that it is less likely to go through a shoe should it fall from a table.

 First a few blunt facts. The least expensive of these knives start at $200 for the handle-less Point Square series. The most expensive package that we currently offer is a $10,000 three-knife set where you come to Whitehall for three days. We talk knives and cook together, and you decide which of three of our knives you would like us to make. The knives are roughed out and fitted to your hand and tried while you are here. Once that is done, the three knives are completed and mailed to you along with a video of your visit and how the knives were made. You may bring, at your expense, a companion, who might also be a translator if you speak something other than English.

 A feature that we offer with this package is that when you pass on and if two of the knives are returned to us, we will purposefully break the blade of the larger knife and return it to your family, framed with a black flock and corner photo of you that was made while you were here. The other knife will be reconditioned and presented to a young Chef whose cooking style and techniques best match your own. This presentation will be made at the International Blade Show in Atlanta, or some other venue. Not only will these acts celebrate your life, but will also inspire new Chefs to cook dishes of care, quality and spirit using your knife. In return, when the recipient passes on or withdraws from the business, the knife is returned to us for another reconditioning and presentation.

 Knife Orders

 Small Utility Knife “The Caterer’s Friend”

 One of our most popular patterns, The Caterer’s Friend, is offered with a truncated point and choice of either a single ground in right or left-

Small Utility Caterer s Friend

This prototype version is in carbon steel. Production blades will be of 440 C stainless. The jade-wood grip material is in limited supply. Photo on 1-inch grid.  

 -handed versions or with a double-ground blade. The single-ground blade is preferred for precision cutting. It is used not only to cut small vegetables, but also to spread mixes on bread, and even the head of the hilt is sometimes employed to grind lumps of salt, sugar etc. to a uniform powder. This product is frequently presented as a gift to a Caterer by a host in recognition of a “job well done.”

 Base Price $300

 __Single Ground Blade               Handle Material

 __Double Ground Blade               __Jade Green

 __Left Handed                                __Micarta

 __Right Handed                             __Cocobolo

__Cherry*

 *Cherry is a natural wood, is not safe for water immersion and may chip if dropped on a hard surface. One grip replacement/exchange will be made for free. Subsequent replacements are $50. Sharpening is $40 and blade regrinding to remove chips $60.

 

Medium Utility Knife

Medium utility on pegboard 

These prototype versions are in carbon steel with brown Micarta grips, production knives will be in 440C Stainless. Top knife has a double-ground blade and the bottom a single-ground blade. Photo on 1-inch grid.  

 The larger brother to the Small Utility Knife, this knife has a longer blade and larger grips intended for those with medium-sized hands. It is offered with the same options. The single ground blade version is available in right or left-handed versions. This blade grind is preferred for more precision cutting.

 Base Price $350 + $50 if use your grip materials

 __Single Ground Blade               Handle Material

 __Double Ground Blade               __Jade Green

 __Left Handed                               __Micarta

 __Right Handed                             __Cocobolo

                                                                __Cherry*

 *Cherry is a natural wood, is not safe for water immersion and may chip if dropped on a hard surface. One grip replacement/exchange will be made for free. Subsequent replacements are $50. Sharpening is $40 and blade regrinding to remove chips $60.

 Bok Choy Chopper

 Bok Choy Chopper

The Bok Choy Chopper shown here with pencil-point blade and cherry grips. This is a carbon-steel prototype knife, production knives will be of 440C stainless.  

Photo on 1-inch grid.

In regards to both appearance and general usefulness, the Bok Choy Chopper is my personal favorite of these designs. It has sufficient blade length to be a useful chopper, the version with a pencil point works for very fine cutting on a variety of materials while the truncated version makes for a strong knife that may be used in any kitchen. If broken, the pencil point may be reground a limited number of times; but may ultimately become a truncated-point knife.

 Base Price $400 + $50 if use your grip materials

 __Single Ground Blade               Handle Material

 __Double Ground Blade               __Jade Green

 __Left Handed                               __Micarta

 __Right Handed                            __Cocobolo

 __Truncated Point                         __Cherry*

 *Cherry is a natural wood, is not safe for water immersion and may chip if dropped on a hard surface. One grip replacement/exchange will be made for free. Subsequent replacements are $50. Sharpening is $40 and blade regrinding to remove chips or refresh points is $70.

 Pepper and Small Veggy Knife

 Pepper knife on pegboard

This prototype knife is shown made of carbon steel, but production versions will be in 440C stainless. The jade grip material is in short supply and may be discontinued. Photo on 1-inch grid. 

This cleaver-looking knife is not made for forceful chopping, but is a broad-bladed knife with a thin blade intended to work peppers, medium-sized fruit and meats. It may be used as a spatula, scraper, to stir a pot or even as a server without having to reach for three or four different implements. It is offered as a single (recommended) or double-ground blade with a distinctive scooped out front point so the knife can be grasped at the end of the blade for delicate cutting as well as used for its intended chopping purposes. Of all the knives in this series, this blade, when used for the medium-weight cutting for which it was designed, is the most versatile of these designs in either right or left-handed versions with a single-ground blade.

 Base Price $400 + $50 if use your grip materials

 __Single Ground Blade               Handle Material

 __Double Ground Blade               __Jade Green

 __Left Handed                               __Micarta

 __Right Handed                            __Cocobolo

 __Truncated Point                        __Cherry*

 *Cherry is a natural wood, is not safe for water immersion and may chip if dropped on a hard surface. One grip replacement/exchange will be made for free. Subsequent replacements are $50. Sharpening is $40 and blade regrinding to remove chips is $70.

 

The Cabbage and Duck Chopper

 Cabbage and Duck chopper

While this prototype is made of carbon steel, production blades will be made of 440C stainless. Photo on 1-inch grid.

 An impressive knife by any standards, the Cabbage and Duck Chopper is the largest knife offered in the Hovey’s Knives of China Series. This knife is designed, as were the original bronze versions, meant to be used not like the cleaver with a forceful downward swing of the blade by using downward pressure applied to the top of the blade and long handle to cut through cabbages and break through duck carcasses. This Chopper, The Cleaver (not ready yet) and the long handled Rib Flipper are made of heavier gauge steel that is cut less frequently that other knives in this series. There may be delays in delivery while sufficient orders accumulate to cut a piece of steel.

 Base Price $550 + 50 for using your handle material                   

 Grip Options

 __Cherry*                      __Tea Olive*

 __Cocobolo

 __Micarta

 

*Cherry and Tea Olive are natural woods, are not safe for water immersion and may chip if dropped on a hard surface. One grip replacement/exchange will be made for free. Subsequent replacements are $50. Sharpening is $40 and blade regrinding to remove chips is $70.

 The Point Series

The point series on peg board

On left and right are two Point Squares shown with a strong truncated point on the left and a pencil point on the right. These are grasped in the palm of the hand with the index finger resting on the top of the blade. The central knife, The Point, does not have the square cut-out and works well for those with smaller hands, while The Point Square does better for those with medium-sized hands. Not shown is a version of the Point Square for larger hands. Photo on 1-inch grid.

 Points are generally overrated on kitchen knives. Most of the work that cooking knives do is slicing or dicing; not stabbing and jabbing. However, there are times when a point is required for carving thin meats or doughs into decorative shapes or for the sportsman to use for skinning an animal. These are  very small, light-weight knives that not only have uses in the kitchen, but also in backpackers or hunters packs.

 Base Price $200

 __The Point

 __The Point Square Truncated Blade

 __The Point Square Pencil Point Blade

 __The Point Square Truncated Blade Large (not shown)

__The Point Square Pencil Point Blade Large (not shown)

 

The Fish Knife

Fish knife 

 The fish knife is a derivation of the Eskimo Ulu in that it has a central handle, but one end is shaped as a sharp gut hook to open large fish at the vent and the other with a point to cut out internal organs and scrape them from the body cavity. The blade, with a different grasp, is also useful for scaling. The knife shown is a prototype design that has been improved with the new design of gut hook that may be seen below in the Offset Grip Fish and Shushi Knife. Photo on 1-inch grid.

 Base Price $300 + $50 if use your grip materials

 __Right Handed                     Handle Material

 __Left Handed                      __Jade Green

   __Micarta                             __Cocoabolo

   __Cherry*

 *Cherry is a natural wood, is not safe for water immersion and may chip if dropped on a hard surface. One grip replacement/exchange will be made for free. Subsequent replacements are $50. Sharpening is $40 and blade regrinding to remove chips is $70.

Offset Grip Fish and Shushi Knife

 Shushi and Fish knife bent prototype

Although not easily seen in this photo there are two bends in this blade, neither of which are at right angles. This is a prototype knife made of T 410 stainless steel. Photo on 1-inch grid.

 Related in concept to the Fish Knife, the offset grip allows the knife blade to be held vertically while the wrist is in a more natural, and comfortable, inclined position. This design allows the user to look directly down at the cut, as when slicing Shushi or Lox. The Fish and Shushi knives have the same blade, but the bends in the handle are reversed. In the Shushi Knife the point faces towards the user, but in the Fish Knife it faces away. The angle of the grip may be adjusted by gentle bending, and such adjustments will be made at the table during later Blade Show events in Atlanta and elsewhere.

 Starting with flat blanks getting the correct bend of these blades is a complex task, best done with the ultimate user in hand.

 Base Price $400 + $50 if use your grip materials

 __Fish Knife                      Handle Material

 __Sushi (Lox) Knife               __Jade Green

 __Right Handed                    __Cocoabolo

 __Left Handed                       __Micarta               

                                                      __Cherry

                                                      __Your material     

 *Cherry is a natural wood, is not safe for water immersion and may chip if dropped on a hard surface. One grip replacement/exchange will be made for free. Subsequent replacements are $50. Sharpening is $40 and blade regrinding to sharpen gut hook is $70. Blade bending to reset handle angle is free if done in the presence of the knife’s owner. If necessary to be done by mail order specify the exact number of degrees and direction of the bend. The first re-bending is free. Subsequent ones are $50. Grip re-shaping or replacement is $150 depending on the material required. If suitable, a knife using the handle material that you furnish can be made for an additional charge of $50.

 Long Grip Slicer

 Long handled slicer on pegboard

This prototype blade has a re-ground point that is intermediate between the pencil point and the truncated point designs generally offered in Hovey’s Knives. As with all such points the knife may be grasped at the front of the blade to do delicate cutting tasks. Photo on 1-inch grid.  

 Available with either a pencil or truncated point this slicer’s grip is unusually long to allow the hand to be further away from the large joint of meat that he may be slicing. The oval ring on the slicer fits in the palm of the hand and allows for unusually good control for well-supported forward and backwards cuts. This knife is offered with a single ground blade (recommended) or with a double-ground blade. The upswept grip and relatively distant position of the hand with the index finger over the forward part of the grip offers unusual control of this relatively large knife. The point allows a slice of meat to be speared and placed on a serving dish.   

 Base Price $400 + $50 if use your grip materials

 __Single Ground Blade               Handle Material

 __Double Ground Blade               __Jade Green

 __Left Handed                               __Micarta

 __Right Handed                            __Cocobolo

 __Truncated Point                          __Cherry*

 *Cherry is a natural wood, is not safe for water immersion and may chip if dropped on a hard surface. One grip replacement/exchange will be made for free. Subsequent replacements are $50. Sharpening is $40 and blade regrinding to remove chips is $70.

 The Small Butcher

 Small butcher on pegboard

This derivation of the butcher knife is handled in Cocobolo wood and made of carbon steel. Production knives will be in 440C stainless. Photo on 1-inch grid.

 Looking somewhat more like regular butcher knives, this knife has a sweeping curve on its blade and a weight-forward feel while positive control is assured by the oval grip fitting in the palm. It is smaller than a conventional American butcher knife to appeal to home cooks and Chefs who feel more comfortable using the smaller knife in a home setting.  

  Base Price $350 + $50 if use your grip materials

 __Single Ground Blade               Handle Material

 __Double Ground Blade               __Jade Green

 __Left Handed                               __Micarta

 __Right Handed                           __Cocobolo

 __Truncated Point                         __Cherry*

 *Cherry is a natural wood, is not safe for water immersion and may chip if dropped on a hard surface. One grip replacement/exchange will be made for free. Subsequent replacements are $50. Sharpening is $40 and blade regrinding to remove chips is $70.

 Rib Flipper (Billy Joe Roubideaux’s Rib Flipper)

Billy Joe s Rib Flipper prtotype 

 This rib flipper is made of salvaged steel and fitted with a hand-fitting, but non-symmetrical grip. Inspired by those who must make do with what they have, production models of the flipper will be made from 400C stainless steel, have the two square cutouts in the blade and be gripped to fit a horizontal hold by right or left-handed individuals. It will also be offered in two grips. This is the first of a series of open fire and barbeque cooking aids that will be offered by Hovey’s Knives of China. Photo on 1-inch grid.

 This tool looks as if it had been made by Billy Joe Roubideaux who is a fictional pit master who made barbeque of questionable legality in the vanishing world of the Mississippi Delta below Lafayette, Louisiana. Billy Joe would have used what he had to make the tools that he needed. This Rib Flipper was derived from a piece of scrap steel shaped like a dog’s leg and is handled with Tea Olive, an unusual native wood. There is no point or sharp edges on this tool. Its grip is non-uniform and is carved to fit into the palm of the hand when held horizontally. The reach of the blade allows it to flip a small rack of wild-hog ribs that are being blackened over a flaming grill.

 The blade shown is the prototype and will be offered in two lengths. The length shown here is for home cooks and one with an extended metal section is for those who cook on larger grills. The extended version is made of heavier metal and has a longer two-handed grip. The rib flipper is for small racks of ribs, chickens and the like and not for flipping a whole hog. Another, stronger tool will be made for handling entire carcasses. Extended Rib Flippers will be occasionally run when heavier knives like The Cleaver (not ready yet) and Cabbage and Duck Choppers are cut.    

 Base Price $350 + $50 if use your grip materials

           $425 for extended length version

 __Right handed regular length   Handle Material

 __Left Handed regular length      __Tea Olive*

 __Right Handed extended length    __Cherry**

 __Left Handed extended length    

 *Tea olive is an uncommon wood and nicely figured and wormy material may not always be in stock, but a small amount is available for these and other knives at present.

 **Cherry is a natural wood, is not safe for water immersion and may chip if dropped on a hard surface. One grip replacement/exchange will be made for free. Subsequent replacements are $50.

 $10,000 three knife custom package

 Hovey's Knives of China June 2016 on pegboard

 

You may select any three of these patterns, a new pattern or we will design knives for your use. Photo on 1-inch grid.

  $1,000 deposit to reserve dates

  $5,000 after fitting

  $4,000 on approval of photos of finished knives prior to shipment

 One round of alterations to these knives is allowed at no charge. Subsequent repairs due to normal wear will be charged at customary rates, such as $50 plus shipping for regrinding a point.

 You and one other person, if desired, can fly to Atlanta at your expense. I will pick you up at the airport, if desired, and bring you to Whitehall. Room and meals will be provided for three days and your return to Atlanta, if needed. Please bring, or gather, any ingredients that you need to cook your specialty dishes. This cooking together and cooking observations will allow me to make the best recommendations for your knives and for you to try the knives in real-world situations. I live a rustic, rural lifestyle and have one bath in the house. If you wish to stay elsewhere at your expense, there are  conveniently located motels nearby.

 Name 1.________________________________________

 Name 2.________________________________________

 Address________________________________________

 City/State_____________________________________

 Zip Code_______________________________________

 E-mail address_________________________________

 Website________________________________________

 Telephone no.__________________________________

 Cell Phone_____________________________________

 Payment Method Cash__ Money Order__Company Check__

               Pay Pal (add 20% surcharge)___

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hand Trace

 

Outline your hand on this page with a ball-point pin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Order Sheet

 

Hovey’s Knives of China

1325 Jordan Mill Pond Rd.

Sandersville, GA 31082

hovey@hoveysknivesofchina.com

(478) 552-7455

 

Name 1.________________________________________

 

Name 2.________________________________________

 

Address________________________________________

 

City/State_____________________________________

 

Zip Code_______________________________________

 

E-mail address_________________________________

 

Website________________________________________

 

Telephone no.__________________________________

 

Cell Phone_____________________________________

 

Payment Method Cash__ Money Order__Company Check__

               Pay Pal (add 20% surcharge)___

 

A follow-up letter will be sent to confirm the details of the order, including handle materials, blade grind and any special features. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item and Options

Number Product             Price  Options   Total

 Write L by order for left-handed knives

Write S on order for single-ground blades

 __   Custom 3-knife set $10,000            _____

__   Small Utility                      300      50    _____

__   Medium Utility                  350      50    _____

__   Bok Choy Chopper            400      50    ­­­_____

__   Pepper and Small Veggy  400      50    _____

__   Cabbage and Duck             550      50    _____

__   The Point                               200            _____

__   The Point Square pencil    200            _____

__   The Point Square trun.      200            _____

__   Fish Knife                            300      50    _____

__   Offset Fish Knife               400      50    _____

__   Long Grip Slicer                 400      50    _____

__   Small Butcher                      350      50    ­­_____

__   Rib Flipper Regular             350      50    _____

__   Rib Flipper Extended            425      50    _____

  Total                                      ——

 Ga. State Tax 8 percent                    ——

 Packing and shipping 10% of order          ——

 If paid by Pay Pal add 20 percent of order ——

 Total cost of order    ——————

 Payment may be made in cash, by P.O. from recognized company or by money order. Not ready for credit cards at this time.

Written by hoveysmith

July 12, 2016 at 3:05 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

A Trainee Outdoor Writer’s First Assignment

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          He writes an article about my use of this rifle as his first outdoor-writing assignment.

            You can do the same by writing about my adventures with Young Blunderbuss.

 

As an outdoor writer, one task that I take seriously  is to help train younger writers to take the place of us older writers who are facing our mortality.  To this end, for the past three years I have taught a  one-day introductory course, Becoming an Outdoor Communicator, at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield, Georgia. I now have a Kickstarter project that ends on April 30 to enable me to continue to hold this event. Because many young people who might otherwise want to take advantage of this event could not come because of jobs, families and financial stress, I will occasionally work with would-be writers by correspondence.

One such, I will call John. He lives  500-miles away from me, has two young children and holds down a job in law enforcement where he is on-call. He wanted to attend my seminar, but could not. He had written and published two recipe-type articles in different outdoor magazines,  but realized that he needed additional skills to sell articles to this demanding market.

My task was to take him from producing high-school level content to the post-graduate level where he could write compelling stories for today’s editors.

The Assignment

Those of you who know me realize that for several years I have been working with an obscure .75-caliber rifle produced by the  British military  that had a brief period of use in the 1850s in Europe, on the high seas and in British colonies. This was the two-groove Brunswick rifle that was also made by Nepalese workmen in their shops in Nepal for use by Nepalese troops who were allies of the British during the Sepoy Rebellion.

I have 30-odd YouTube videos showing me working with two of these rifles. One was cleaned and used to take a deer at Hard Labor State Park in Georgia on a population reduction hunt, and the other was restocked from a broken “parts gun” whose barrel was better rifled than the barrel of complete rifle that I owned.

John’s assignment was to look at these videos and write a 1,500-word article as if he had sat down with me for an interview.  The title of the piece was to be, “One Man’s Gun: The .75-Caliber Brunswick Rifle,” or something similar. Once the article was completed, I would supply him with the needed photography to submit to potential publishers.

This was a challenging assignment, and I gave him  30 days to complete it.  He let a friend review it before sending me his second attempt at the assignment. His first was written in question-answer interview fashion, which I told him no editor I knew would publish. This type of format is often published in celebrity interviews usually done by a magazine staff writer on deadline. What outdoor magazine editors wanted, I informed him, were things in story form that were told in an interesting manner, revealed something of both the interviewer and interviewee and told his readers about something that they did not know.

The second attempt was to full length, sent well before the deadline and adequately reflected my suggested changes in approach. Its problems were more in the mechanics of putting it together and use of quotes, than his selection of content or how the piece was arranged. I had to deconstruct and rewrite only one paragraph. There were also some cases of agreement of verbs or of verbs and subjects that I had to correct. I also changed the word order in a few sentences.

Although John had used my middle name Hovey, by which I am usually called, in the piece; I changed these 30 entries to the more formal Smith. Using the last name after the first use of the full name is the way second references to names are rendered in news writing.

John’s article was a heroic effort, considering where he started from and the amount of material he had to digest, organize and render into only 1,500 words. Thomas Jefferson once famously wrote, “I am sorry for the long letter. I did not have time to write you a short one.” This assignment would have been much easier to produce as a 3,000-word piece than one half that length.

If you think that you want to be an outdoor writer, I give you the same assignment using my videos about the blunderbuss, which I also built from scratch and used on game in several states.  If I am not bombarded with too many pieces, I will correct them and send them back with comments. In return, I would like a pledge of any amount you can afford to my Kickstarter project by April 30, 2016 at:  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hoveysmith/becoming-an-outdoor-communicator-seminar.

You have 15 days to make your  pledge and 30 to complete the assignments. If you read this long after April 30, and still want to do it or learn if the seminars will be continued, contact me at hoveysmith@bellsouth.net.

 

 

 

 

Written by hoveysmith

April 14, 2016 at 3:28 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Hovey’s Knives of China Pepper and Small Veggy Knife Makes Tacos

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I make tacos using my unusually versatile Hovey’s Knives of China™ Pepper and Small Veggy Knife. A much longer posting about this knife is to be found on my Hovey’s Knives of China™ Blog which exclusively contains content about the history, development and uses of these new knives  based on ancient patterns.

I will exhibit these knives and have blanks cut from T-410 steel available at the International Blade Show held at the Cobb Galleria in Atlanta, Georgia, June 3-5. I am seeking to license partners to produce these knives worldwide, make accessory wooden and fabric items and help me promote these innovative kitchen knives based on proven patterns with up to `1.7 million years of prior use.

If you wish to contact me about making these and others of Hovey’s knives under a 5% royalty arrangement contact me at http://www.hoveysknivesofchina.com. The blades may be forged or I will also sell blanks to licensed makers who will keep 95% of the proceeds, less the cost of the blanks. If they pass my quality tests, I will refer orders to them for fulfillment.

Written by hoveysmith

April 13, 2016 at 9:05 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Hovey’s Pepper and Small Veggy Knife makes Salsa and Guacamole

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An identical post has been made on my new blog “Hovey’s Knives of China Blog” which will carry content exclusively about Hovey’s knives, their manufacture, introduction and use. A website, Hovey’s Knives of China, is under construction and will be the E-order platform for these knives and contain photos and descriptions of each. Orders may be placed electronically and paid via PayPal using your credit card. As soon as pricing information is posted, advanced orders will be accepted with delivery times for custom knives starting at about three months. A Kickstarter campaign will be started later this month. As a “reward” for pledging a 40% discount will be offered on all knives that Hovey’s Knives of China will produce. These may be redeemed at any time for any product the company will ever sell. This is the ONLY time in the life of the company that this discount will be offered. 

Common Mexican dishes like salsa and guacamole are now so Americanized that there are few who do not frequently eat them. Hovey’s Knives of China’s™  Pepper and Small Veggy Knife is a  broad-bladed, single-edge-grind knife with a truncated point that has considerable versatility in processing the peppers, avocado  pears and Roma tomatoes used to make these classic dishes.

The 8-inch long, 2-inch wide blade serves not only to cut the vegetables, but also acts as a spatula to hold the cuttings and as a putty blade to spread or crush the peppers and pickled okra used in the dishes. A special quality or both of these dishes was the use of crushed peppers, which has a different quality to the bite than conventional ground pepper. More expensive vinegars might have been used, but I elected to use ordinary white vinegar and a little from the pepper sauce to season the salsa.

Incorporating a  beyond-use-date  yellow bell pepper, allowed me to show how to clean a less-than-perfect pepper and imparted an unusual sweetness to the salsa. This was somewhat unexpected, but not unpleasant. Had the salsa been too peppery for taste, a can of nibblet corn could have been added. The use of corns in salsas is common in Mexico, but not often seen in the U.S. Should you take a bite of a burning-hot salsa, the usual remedy is to cool the mouth with water and/or beer, but a pad of butter on a cracker often works faster to capture the pepper and remove it from the mouth.

As always, I advocate making the cooking experience as individual and interesting as possible by using new knives, ingredients and techniques to produce a meal of quality that is fun to prepare and eat.

My hound dog food testing committee, Diana, Hera and Cassey, enjoyed these dishes with tail-wagging enthusiasm and wanted more. Unknown to most people, dogs like some peppery spice in their food. Most will eat cooked chili, guacamole and chips and lettuce coated with these foods with glee. However, feed these to your dogs very sparingly, as a dessert-like treats. These hot peppers will cause digestive upset and runny stool if fed to dogs with delicate stomachs and discomfort to others. It is even possible that a heavy dose of salsa, or the like,  might be fatal to tiny dogs. If any is given to dogs, follow or precede with a regular meal of dog food.

If you are either a commercial or custom knife maker and wish to produce these knives for sale, I will license the use of my name and trademark for 5% of your retail price. You may make as many or as few as you like and charge any price that your work demands. If you send me a sample of each pattern, I will review them on blogs, videos and display them at my tables at trade events, such as The Annual International Blade Show at the Cobb Galleria in Atlanta, Georgia.  This year I will be at the Show June 3-5 at table 16 U. If things go as planned, I will have water-jet blanks cut from T-410 steel for sale and bulk orders for these blanks may be placed for drop shipment from the fabricator in Atlanta.

To make prior arrangements you may contact me at hoveysmith@bellsouth.net.

Written by hoveysmith

April 12, 2016 at 2:15 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Hovey’s Knives of China Launches First Five Models

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009

Hovey’s Knives of China™ policy of introducing new cooking knives based on ancient patterns has produced five prototype knives that will be introduced at the International Blade Show at the Cobb Galleria in Atlanta  June 3-5. These knives trace their linage from the Acheulean hand axes of 1.7 million years ago to bronze knives made more than 2,000 years ago during the Waring States Period in China.

The Point Square is a one piece all-steel knife with a pencil-shaped point and a short length of double ground blade. It is a palm knife in that it is held in the palm with the index finger resting on the top of the knife to direct the cutting point. Although the small length of blade can do limited amounts of slicing, the sharp point does the real work of the knife in cutting dough, pressed meat or designs in soft materials.

The largest of the series is the Cabbage and Duck Chopper which has a blade more than a foot long, a raked pencil point, strongly up-swept oval ring grip and deep blade slightly over 2-inches thick. This is designed after choppers originally made as all-metal bronze knives and used to process large vegetables, like cabbage and cut ducks, bones and all, into fragments for soups, stews and savory meat dishes that somewhat resemble barbecue.  Because bronze tends fail when subjected to repeated impact stress, these knives depended on pressure and leverage exerted on top of the long blade to cut through these tough materials, rather than the force of a chop, as exerted by a modern cleaver. This is a big, imposing knife best used by a large individual who is tired of being forced to use ordinary cutlery that was always too small for comfort.

The most versatile of these knives is the Bok Choy which has a profile similar to the larger Cabbage and Duck Chopper, but in a smaller size. It is ideal for processing medium-sized vegetables, such as bok choy, hence the name. This has the same oval-ringed up-swept grip, but made to a size to fit a medium-sized individual. The prototype is produced with a pencil-shaped point, but is also available with a squared-off point for safety reasons. This is an ideal tool for chopping vegetables, but its distinctive strongly down-swept point also gives it much of the versatility of The Point series for cutting dough and similar uses. The point on the Bok Choy is also useful for being able to reach down and spear a vegetable or piece of fruit from a container on the floor and bringing it up to the work surface without having to put down the knife and pick it up again.

Peppers and small vegetables are worked with The Pepper and Veggy Knife which has a straight oval-ring grip and a deeper 2-inch thick blade that is 8-inches long and has a truncated point. It is used to efficiently clean and chop either fresh or dried peppers and small-diameter vegetables, like carrots or even work medium-sized balls of  cheese. This knife is typically shipped with an edge that is ground on only one side, although a double ground edge is also available. The single ground blade allows more precise vertical cuts. A choice of blade grinds is also available on all of the company’s Signature Grade custom knives.

Designed particularly for home cooks and caterers,  the Small Fruit Utility Knife has the distinctive oval-ringed handle, but this handle is straight and attached to a 5-inch up-swept blade with a scooped top truncated point. This knife is designed for smaller individuals who desire a general purpose blade to do a variety of kitchen chores.  It is particularly adapted for caterers who might want to take a small knife without a point to their distant jobs in case they need to do some last-minute preparations or make something on the spot. Even those who might occasionally participate in group cooking events would find that this very distinctive knife would not  be confused with anyone else’s knives. This knife would also be a distinctive and appreciated gift to anyone in the catering profession in appreciation of an outstanding event.

It is my intention that these are Open Source designs that anyone may use. Either commercial or custom knife makers may make and sell these knives as they wish with the use of my name and trademark for a 5% royalty on their retail price. If examples are sent to me I will assist in marketing them by giving them on-line reviews on my blogs, exposures in my videos and exhibit them at events like The International Blade Show in Atlanta.

More than 15 designs are in progress. I will have these four designs at the  Atlanta Blade Show and am making plans to have some pattern blanks made of T-410 steel available for individual purchase at my table. Volume orders will be drop shipped from the fabricator in Atlanta.

I have produced a series of videos showing these knives in use that may  be seen on Pinterest, listed under Hovey’s Knives of China,™ and also on YouTube under the same name. Often, there will be copies of these videos on my hoveysknivesofchinablog.co  along with descriptive materials, histories and explanations. Any Google search of “Hovey’s Knives of China.” will also key into these materials wherever they are on the web.

For additional information on becoming a licensed maker of these knives you may contact me via E-mail at: hovey@hoveysknivesofchina.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by hoveysmith

April 11, 2016 at 12:07 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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