"David Boye's new revolutionary 'Dendritic Cobalt' is an incredible new high-performance cutting alloy." -Larry ConnelleyDavid Boye
has long been one of the most respected knife makers in the country. In 1971, he published the "textbook" on knifemaking which is still in print. After learning about his new dendritic cobalt I immediately gave him a call. We are excited to be the first to offer David's custom
folders utilizing dendritic cobalt.
According to David each knife is handmade to be a "using knife" which can be easily sharpened by hand on a good Arkansas stone. Boye Dendritic Cobalt is not steel, but a metallic alloy composed of over 50% cobalt, 27% chrome, and nickel, tungsten, silicon, molybdenum, iron, and carbon. Each blade is individually cast to shape in it's own porcelain model. The carbide crystal dendritic formations provide "micro-serrations" on the edge which aid in cutting (bite) and help maintain the structural geometry of the cutting edge. What Boye calls the "dendritic cutting effect" is similar to the "Damascus cutting effect," where hard and soft boundaries form a serration effect along the edge. In dendritic steel the hard formations are chrome carbides of very high Rockwell. These form a fern-like network throughout the Rc 56-58 steel matrix. Each blade is impervious to salt water corrosion and is non-magnetic.
The process for making a Boye dendritic cobalt knife is closely linked to the jewelry business. The "lost wax" process is a centuries-old technique for making all kinds of intricate gold and siver pieces.
In modern time the molds to form the wax model are made of aluminum block. Boye used the coining method to make his earlier molds by pounding a hard knife blade between two blocks of the metal with a drop hammer, forming a cavity in the shape of a blade. In the casting foundry, hot wax is shot into the aluminum mold, and when it cools it is removed as a wax model of the knife. The wax blades are then "ganged" together to form a "tree," which is then dipped into a series of porcelain slurries. Between each slurry dip, sand is applied to the wet slurry, each sand dip a little coarser than the one before. This makes the mold stronger, thicker, and able to support the heavy molten steel. The mold is then left to dry for up to two or three weeks to guarantee there is no moisture in it. Once dry, it is placed in a high temperature oven to burn the wax out. If there is any moisture in the porcelain at this point, it could crack or blow up. With the wax burned out, the hot mold is ready for the molten steel, which must be poured while the mold is still red hot.
As the poured steel cools, the carbide crystal network forms throughout the blade. The pocelain is broken away, and the individual blades are cut from the tree, trimmed, annealed, and straightedned. It is an exacting process and some castings are rejected. Boye states this method of producing blades "is more expensive, pound-for-pound, but I feel it is well worth it in the long run."
Each knife is a one-handed opener with a secure lockback mechanism and convenient pocket clip.