Knife Making:

New line of CPM-3V violin knives coming soon! See below.
Violin makers need sharp tools. The highest quality blades are required.  For an introduction to blade making, Navaching is  good place to start. David Tseng, a violin maker in Winnepeg, has been making blades out of A2 steel. He leaves them untempered. You can investigate A2 steel at Crucible Steel. The temperature before quenching is 950 C. This is a bright yellow heat. I water quench.  Also, the steel should be wrapped with stainless steel foil to keep out oxygen and other gases. A supplier I have used with success is

Oct. 23, 2009
A2 steel blade, 1/16" x 1/2" x 6 inches was placed in Stainless foil and heated to 970 C for 5 minutes in kiln. It was then air cooled with air blast from a vacuum cleaner. Resultant knife seems very sharp. I would liked to have done 30 minutes of "soaking" at 970C, but it did not work out. I wonder if soaking is necessary.

June 7, 2011
Comment by Steve Davis on the hard O-1 knife I made for him:

"Oh yeah, the knife! Have only run it over a several thousand grit ceramic stone maybe 4 or 5 times since you sent it to me. Couple of light passes. And that after carving a couple of necks. Yesterday evening I was using it to shape a replacement corner. No chipping or tear-out. Nice continuous super thin clean shavings. 
p.s. the corner was baked to match the wood color, so should have been extra crumbly. Nice knife!"

August 26, 2011
My new line of violin knives will be available soon. Introductory price is $20.00!  These knives are of CPM-3V steel. Steve Elliott has tested this steel and found it to be superior to A2 cryo blades in toughness and durability.  His results can be found here. Thanks Streve!  My own tests agree with Steve's.  I tested M2, A2 cryo, O-1, "gold blades," and Swedish steel blades. Here is Steve's chart:

Sept. 21, 2011
The knives are now available. I have only 27 left. Place your order by sending an email to me, please.  


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