J&R Dodge Juste Judicato - double shear steel carving knife

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kwackster
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Joined: Mon May 15, 2017 8:07 pm

J&R Dodge Juste Judicato - double shear steel carving knife

Post by kwackster »

A recent thrift shop find, and bought for a fart and three marbles (dutch expression, meaning for next to nothing)
From research i learned that J&R Dodge Sheffield didn't manufacture anything themselves, but instead bought high quality cutlery, razors and tools from well established Sheffield makers and resold these under their Juste Judicato (Choose Right) brand, for instance in two stores they owned in Amsterdam.
That is most likely how this carving knife ended up in the Netherlands.
Back in the day in this country J&R Dodge were known for the quality of the double-shear steel carving knives they offered for sale.

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Specifications & measurements:

Overall length: 13.07 inch (33,2 cm)
Blade length: 8.07 inch (20,5 cm)
Blade thickness: 2,29 mm at the start of the swedge tapering to 0,44 mm at 1,0 cm before the point
Thickness behind the edge: 0.25 mm at the start of the swedge tapering to 0,16 mm at 1,0 cm before the point
Steel type: double shear steel
Handle material: black horn
Weight: 128,4 grams
The knife is handle heavy
Last edited by kwackster on Sat Aug 20, 2022 5:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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natcherly
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Re: J&R Dodge Juste Dudicato - double shear steel carving knife

Post by natcherly »

Interesting blade! How do you know it is shear steel?
kwackster
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Re: J&R Dodge Juste Judicato - double shear steel carving knife

Post by kwackster »

If you look closely at the blade surfaces (best to enlarge the picture to it's maximum) you can see that they are riddled with short black lines (actually voids), always running lengthwise along the blade.
That is a sign of the layered structure of this steel type.
Also: the surface of shear steel having a coarser structure can sometimes almost look like a layer cake, while the further refined double shear steel and it's still more refined cousin triple shear steel will have a finer layered structure.

The sequence in manufacturing seems to have been like this, where each metal type was made from the previous one: wrought iron > blister steel > shear steel > double shear steel > triple shear steel.
Carbon was added to wrought iron to produce blister steel, which in turn was made into shear steel.
Shear steel was already quite hard, and could be broken (or sheared) into pieces, which were then restacked, rewelded, and reforged into double shear steel, a more refined version.
Double shear steel itself could also be broken up, restacked, rewelded, and reforged into triple shear steel.

While none of the above were as refined as crucible cast steel, both shear steel and it's more refined versions double shear steel and triple shear steel were sought after for specific types of cutlery because of the toothy edges these steels would take, and which among others would work most excellent on all kinds of meat.
Where shear steel seems to have been known for it's very toothy edges, double shear steel edges were a bit finer toothy, while triple shear steel would have had the finest toothy edge.
Butchers in the old days highly prized these knives (in the Netherlands specifically the double shear steel ones), and specimens in good condition like this one are very difficult to find.
Last edited by kwackster on Mon Aug 22, 2022 12:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
kwackster
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Re: J&R Dodge Juste Judicato - double shear steel carving knife

Post by kwackster »

Engraving depicting the shearing of blistered steel to produce a higher quality steel - Sheffield.
The shearers sat in swinging seats so that they could manoeuvre the bars being beaten under the hammers.
Dated 19th century

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natcherly
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Re: J&R Dodge Juste Judicato - double shear steel carving knife

Post by natcherly »

Thank you for this great info. Now to check some knives inherited from my grand parents......
sammy the blade
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Re: J&R Dodge Juste Judicato - double shear steel carving knife

Post by sammy the blade »

I like your trading style!
2024 candidate for president
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jerryk25
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Re: J&R Dodge Juste Judicato - double shear steel carving knife

Post by jerryk25 »

Interesting reading. . .I like it when I learn something. . . Thanks.
kwackster
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Re: J&R Dodge Juste Judicato - double shear steel carving knife

Post by kwackster »

These 2 pictures taken in 1869 show the J&R Dodge display, which was made especially for an international exhibition in the Dutch Paleis voor Volksvlijt exhibition hall in Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

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Background on the building: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleis_voor_Volksvlijt
kwackster
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Re: J&R Dodge Juste Judicato - double shear steel carving knife

Post by kwackster »

The knife really is a delight to work with and it gets used at least several times a week for cutting various types of meat, as well as softer breads and large apple pies.
It's kept sticky sharp freehand on a DMT red.

Part of the ingredients for an old school beef stew:

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Probably the best apple crumble pie we ever had.
(made by a Chef in return for sharpening two knives for him)

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