A New Set of Great Old Knives

My neighbor, Matthew, from Big City Bread, brought us set of beautiful old Sabatiers for restoration. They were storied family knives, belonging to his grandmother, father and Matthew himself when he was in culinary school in New York. 

There were a couple of things that needed tending to in order to bring them back into full service:

One was that they needed rehandling. Sabs are riveted but not glued so there is a build up between the scales and the tang that develops over time. Also, rehandling would improve the balance of the two larger knives because the original plastic handles are a bit light and shift the fulcrum point out into the blade a bit.


The other was a reprofiling for the two chefs. They had been steeled so much over the years that the profile needed to be flattened out to make full contact with the cutting board. 


First, came the handles. The scales were fairly easy to remove intact because the rivets are aluminum and can be tapped out using a drill press and a punch. The fitting is a little trickier because the tang has a strong distal taper and the rear of the bolster is angled forward. Matthew chose to use the black-dyed coffee bag laminate and copper pins to pay homage to the originals 


Then came the glue up.

After a bit of grinding and finishing on the handles, as well as a grinding, reprofiling and sharpening the blades, they were again ready for full use. A new, old set of knives. Thank you, Matthew, for trusting us with this project. It was a pleasure.