A while back I was contacted by some professional butchers to make them some cleavers. I make and sell quite a few of these, so there was nothing out of the ordinary with this order. Once they got the cleavers they were very impressed, they said they were able to work more efficiently, and easily. Where previously they would reach for the saw they now could simply keep using the cleaver.
Here is a picture of the cleavers just before I sent them out.
After a long silence, I got this email…
“So, I bring a bit of messed up news. The two cleavers I ordered from you were destroyed when a thief broke into the restaurant and, after his tools didn’t work, used the cleavers to gain entry to the safe. So on one note, our knives are ruined. However, you know that your knives are strong enough to open an industrial safe. At any rate, we’d like to order two more. You can see the csi fingerprint dust on the blades”
I guess the thief used the cleavers to chop at the door for a while, then used them as a pry bar… using a hammer to lodge them between the safe wall and door then using the hammer to hit the handles and wrench it open… he was successful.
My first thought was “Oh crap, the edges failed” Then I made peace with the fact that they weren’t made to open an industrial safe… I like to really test my knives, making sure my heat treat is good by putting them through rough use, even using them to cut mild steel sometimes. But I’ve never taken a fully finished blade and destroyed it, and to be honest I’m very happy with the outcome. These blades could actually be re-ground, and re-handled and still be used. Unfortunately they are property of to police now.
Here are the remade cleavers. They wanted to go with salvaged wood this time, so birds-eye maple, and walnut.