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 Post subject: My day with the Kohetsu blacksmiths
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:50 pm 
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Location: Madison Wisconsin
I thought I would show you guys some of the guys behind our Kohetsu brand of knives. These knives are made by very small shop run by the Tsukahara brothers in Seki. I wanted to start this today since Tsukahara-san and Dr. O from our steel mill are coming to visit us tomorrow for a short visit.

Seki is an interesting place. There are a bunch of small makers, medium sized shops and huge mega factories all in this area that are all doing work with steel. Mostly knives are being manufactured, but all kinds of metal finished objects are made here. Like other areas, there is a lot of co-operation between companies to get stuff made, so the Kohetsu knives are sent around to a heat treat specialist, a handle maker specialist, a blade grinding specialist before being ground out and sharpened. 5 different business touch these knives before they're done. I asked them why not do more of the processes in house and they simply said this method allowed for lower prices and higher quality rather than doing everything in the same shop. Clearly large businesses like Kai are doing almost everything in house, but this method of production seems to be pretty common since I also witnessed the same thing in Sakai and Takefu. During my visit we got do drive around to see each step of the process so I got to view the guys that are making the knives pretty much from start to finish.



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 Post subject: Re: My day with the Kohetsu blacksmiths
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:04 pm 
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Here's me and the Tsukahara family. The 2 brothers and their young son who is in high school and is not working for them yet. Most of those boxes in the back are filled with knives. They use those plastic cartons to ship stuff back and forth to all the other shops they deal with.

Image



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 Post subject: Re: My day with the Kohetsu blacksmiths
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:27 pm 
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Awesome stuff Mark! OK, I have to ask :-). I think your 6' 5" right? Are those guys that tall or are they standing on boxes or something?


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 Post subject: Re: My day with the Kohetsu blacksmiths
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:41 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:15 am
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Location: Raleigh, NC
I do love me some division of labor. Any specific element being done in an intriguing way?


Last edited by Lepus on Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: My day with the Kohetsu blacksmiths
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:04 pm 
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These guys are pretty tall.

I'm 6'3. :) I'll post more ini the coming days.



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 Post subject: Re: My day with the Kohetsu blacksmiths
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:29 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
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It is so cool to see a face to go with my knife.


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 Post subject: Re: My day with the Kohetsu blacksmiths
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:43 am 
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chefknivestogo wrote:These guys are pretty tall.

I'm 6'3. :) I'll post more ini the coming days.

Is with or without the platform shoes? :o :D



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 Post subject: Re: My day with the Kohetsu blacksmiths
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:31 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:57 pm
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chefknivestogo wrote:These knives are made by very small shop run by the Tsukahara brothers in Seki. I wanted to start this today since Tsukahara-san and Dr. O from our steel mill are coming to visit us tomorrow for a short visit.


When you say "these knives" do you mean all the Kohetsu line comes from one place? I had assumed different lines came from different makers, at least the Nashiji and SLD which seemed the odd ones out.


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 Post subject: Re: My day with the Kohetsu blacksmiths
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:19 pm 
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Jeff B wrote:
chefknivestogo wrote:These guys are pretty tall.

I'm 6'3. :) I'll post more ini the coming days.

Is with or without the platform shoes? :o :D


Good one. :P



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 Post subject: Re: My day with the Kohetsu blacksmiths
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:21 pm 
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estayton wrote:
chefknivestogo wrote:These knives are made by very small shop run by the Tsukahara brothers in Seki. I wanted to start this today since Tsukahara-san and Dr. O from our steel mill are coming to visit us tomorrow for a short visit.


When you say "these knives" do you mean all the Kohetsu line comes from one place? I had assumed different lines came from different makers, at least the Nashiji and SLD which seemed the odd ones out.


Excellent question. This business is making the HAP40 and AS lines for me currently. We are using other businesses to make the other lines.

Their damn flight got delayed so we're going to have a late dinner tonight.



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