Saturday 23 August 2014

Peening the kitchen knife

On Tuesday I went on a scything workshop at which I learnt many things including how to sharpen a scythe. Sharpening is recommended every two to three minutes, but after a whole day of scything, no amount of sharpening will make the blade fit for cutting grass. Every eight hours it is time to ‘peen’ the blade. Not a word I was familiar with but basically it involves bashing the blade with a hammer via a peening rig. It’s a bit like being a blacksmith but without the heat; ‘cold forging’ so to speak. By bashing the blade you squeeze the metal outwards to create the right profile ready for sharpening.

A couple of days later I was cooking a seared carpaccio of beef for some friends for which thinly sliced rare beef is of the essence. All our kitchen knives are pretty blunt and don’t respond to sharpening. So I took the cheapest knife out to the workshop, bashed the hell out of it with a hammer onto the edge of the vice, then sharpened it with a wetstone and hey presto it cut like a razor blade. Could knife sharpening be my next career move?

As for the scything, this is what it looked like; Tai Chi with a blade. So much more pleasant than strimming. 

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