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Author Topic: Function and design  (Read 5031 times)
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radicat
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« on: February 09, 2007, 10:20:38 PM »

Post anything here about design features and the functional values or problems associated with them.    

« Last Edit: September 09, 2007, 02:51:27 PM by radicat » Logged
 
radicat
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« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2007, 02:58:24 PM »

The function considerations of a knife are more important than most people believe. An improperly designed knife for a given purpose can be hazardous, or with repeated use, cause injury.

This is a testimonial by a professional chef about his long-term carpal-tunnel injury and how he appreciates a well designed knife to lessen the risk of further injury.

http://www.dragontechedge.com/Reference.html 

The knives he is talking about are made with a 15% drop angle of the handle in relation to the cutting edge.
Scroll down this page to see a profile of the knives. Reminds me of a knife I've seen with a sheep-horn handle.

http://www.accentechedge.com/
« Last Edit: September 09, 2007, 03:08:21 PM by radicat » Logged
Ed Fowler
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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2007, 09:21:56 PM »

Nice find Cal: Thanks for sharing. One aspect of knife design that I find holds great significance, when ever you see a dropped handle on a knife, the maker very probably knew what he was doing.

Some years ago a meat cutter from a packing plant came to Riverton, carpal tunnel had put a stop to his job in a packing plant. He took a job at a plant where I had done a lot of volunteer work but his hand just hurt too much. The owner suggested he come talk to me and see if I could make a knife that would work for him. I did and he went back to work. At first he did not like the knife, he button - holed too many hides, he was too used to a straight handle. Then after a few weeks he got used to it and guess what?
The old pain was soon gone and he stuck with the Riverton plant until he retired. No more problems.

Very few use a knife enough to ever notice, but for those who do, it makes life a little better for them.
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caknives
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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2007, 08:54:48 PM »

I can't claim to "know" anything about the design of a knife except that it feels good or it doesn't. I did however cook in full production kitchens for about 8 years. Most of that was using standard stainless knives much like the painful ones in question for your meat cutter friend. Besides being ergo. ugly they all have very sharp edges. All my chefs knives had a sharp edge where your finger rested against the back of the blade as well as the spine. Before i ever read a knife talk article I had ground those edged round, world of difference. Later on thanks to knife talke wisdom I switched to older carbon steel blades and was much happier. They sharpened easier and needed less attention. In the kitchen everything is cleaned and sanitized constantly ( or at least should be ) and I never had and trouble with rust. Take care of it and it will take care of you.
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radicat
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« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2007, 09:45:25 PM »

I don't want to be guilty of making the claim that the only way a knife should be designed is this or that.
Although, I'm sure I have already done just that somewhere else on this forum when I shouldn't have.

There are usually other factors that come into play. Some modern chef knives have the handle turned upward in relation to the edge. That may be better for a tall person working on a low table. Also, the cutting edge may be curved and the user finds the correct angle of approach for them.

A short person working on a tall table may benefit from a down-turned handle. So, a variety being available is best in a kitchen.  There's a fancy word for all this, but it's really just common sense.

« Last Edit: September 12, 2007, 10:03:38 PM by radicat » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2007, 08:56:19 AM »

It all comes down to  a single issue, what for? and naturally who for?
Folks who want a knife for all uses must compromise and usually end up with a knife that reflects those decisions.

There are very significant differences between a combat knife, fighter and kitchen knife. Any of them will work at most tasks, but the decisions of the maker need to be well understood and manifest in design when making a knife for excellent performance in one venue.
This is where the custom maker can serve the world of knives best.
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Tim Lively
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« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2007, 01:57:26 PM »

My wife managed a bakery/cafe for 3 years and used knives for hours at a time. Just in the sort period of time she got carpel tunnel syndrome in both of her wrists. I tried to come up with a design that would help her but I never figured one out. This thread has inspired me to try again. Here's a link to some interesting designs.

http://www.ergochef.com/products.asp?cat=10
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radicat
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« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2007, 11:38:52 PM »

Good info Tim. Here is another nice article along the same theme.

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=25958
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Arno
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« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2007, 04:38:47 AM »

As the form follows the function, tired of cutting curves on leather with those Starrett cutters, this one was home made form a stick of scrap flat spring with that well known Fowler inspired ergonomy. It works great even on straight cuts.



Thanks for looking.

Salut!

Arno
« Last Edit: November 29, 2007, 05:12:00 AM by Arno » Logged

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Tim Lively
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« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2007, 07:29:46 PM »

Very nice Arno!
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« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2007, 05:21:29 PM »

I believe carpel tunnel syndrome is aggravated when we have to work with our wrist bent over an extended time.

When we can use a tool that we use a lot our body just may last longer if the handle is designed to fit the hand in such manner as to allow the wrist to remain straight. (Hope that makes sense)!

My suggestion, take a knife blade, have her hold it as if she is working the knife doing what she has to do and keep modifying that handle until she can do it with her wrist straight. Then make a permanent handle using the clay form as a guide and give it a try. If it does not work, change it until it works.
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« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2007, 11:42:44 AM »

Bet this one would be a kick for anyone that ever shocks corn. ( That's still one of my Dads things, he believes that is one of the best winter habitats for pheasants. )

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radicat
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« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2007, 01:33:10 PM »

Now that's functional perfection. I sat here looking at the apparatus, imagining how it was used, and I suppose that the beauty of it is that both hands are free. Neat.
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Alan
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« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2007, 01:35:42 PM »

. )


What are we looking at?
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Carey Quinn
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« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2007, 06:59:25 PM »

Alan,

The shape sticking off to the side of the leg is a blade.

I saw a film clip one time of an Amish farmer harvesting corn with one.  He cut the row almost as fast as he could walk it.  I'd hate to think that I had to harvest a crop with one by myself but a group of people could do all right with them.

Carey
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http://members.cox.net/seaquin/index.htm Handmade Knives by Carey Quinn
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