Blenheim Forge

Superb Chef Knives Hand Forged in Peckham

We hand forge kitchen knive

Based in Peckham, a cultural and creative melting pot in south London, Blenheim Forge is the steel workshop of artisans Jon Warshawsky, James Ross-Harris and Richard Warner.

The Forging Process

We take pride in working each piece with hammer and anvil producing knives of character and performance. The forge is fuelled on a blend of coke and charcoal which helps to enrich the carbon content of the steel and through careful heat treatment leaves the metal with a fine grain structure for both strength and ease of resharpening. Each billet of steel is first meticulously hot forged to draw out the shape of the blade. The knife is then cold forged to refine the form and structure then individually heat treated and edge quenched. Our blades our bathed in heat precisely controlled to temper them to a high hardness.

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For our signature line the core of blue paper steel is encased in soft unalloyed iron, this traditional Japanese lamination method, unlike most commercial kitchenware, is designed to be easily reground so that the blade can perform until it's worn down to almost nothing. Japanese Blue Steel no.2 has a hardness range or HRC 60/63 yielding remarkable performance.
Each blade is married to a Wa handle made from locally sourced hardwoods which are weighted for optimal balance and control.

Damascus

A fusion of mesmerising beauty and performance, each blade in our Damascus line is entirely unique as the fusion of steels leaves an effect like oil in water. Again each Damascus billet is forged in house in small batches using a variety of materials. We make both coreless and clad Damascus knives which allows each knife to be tailored for different demands.

Our coreless blades are tough, durable workhorses made with layers of premium carbon steels forge welded together in perfect harmony. This method results in a knife that is resistant to chipping and edge deformation.

Clad damascus knives are the epitome of form and function in cutlery. The exceptional Hitachi carbon steel married with our own pattern welded Nickel and iron damascus yields a knife of breath taking sharpness and edge holding. This method encases the core in layers of nickel to help prevent carbon diffusion during the forging process. These blades are the most labour intensive of all are wares and are reserved for seriously passionate cooks as they require the most care to wield properly.

We have a wide variety of handle and ferrule materials for these custom orders to complete the knife and can help guide you towards something both practical and beautiful.

Photo courtesy of Ludovica Galeazzi 

Care instructions
Carbon steels are a marvel to sharpen and hold a silky edge that will glide through ingredients due to their purity and minimal alloying. They are reactive metals and will patina through use so frequent wiping and dry storage is advisable to keep them rust free. Camellia oil is fantastic at keeping their reactivity to a minimum and a light rub with wire wool will aid in managing the finish and removing unwanted staining or rust. All our knives utilising are tempered hard resulting in ferocious cutting ability and edge holding but as they are ground thin to maximise this it's advisable to avoid bones and brittle ingredients, and to use a wood or plastic cutting board to avoid damaging the edge.

Resharpening
To keep your knife at its peek of performance and maximise its lifespan it's best to resharpen it using Japanese waterstones. Regular maintenance using a 1000 grit stone followed by a 6000 grit polishingstone employing a fine Nagura (slurry stone) is our preferred method as it is not only fast but should remove minimum material leaving a mirror like razors edge. Stones must be kept flat to ensure they work the blades edge evenly so a flattening stone is a worthwhile investment. Honing steels can be used for resharpening but they are far coarser than the stones suggested and don't cleanly remove the fatigued metal on the edge reducing the edge retention and overall sharpness of your knives.

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