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The knifemakers’ workshop

Our family business counts more than a dozen knifemakers.

Atelier Couteliers Coutellerie de Laguiole Honoré Durand

The prestige of craftsmanship

Our traditional craftsmanship is a combination of two professions:

  • the knifemaker’s trade (assembly and fashioning of the knife)
  • and the blacksmith’s trade (manufacture of blades, springs, etc.)

It takes up to 109 different steps to fashion a Laguiole with a single blade and 216 steps for a Laguiole with 3 parts (blade, corkscrew and awl). 

Here is the sequence of operations that a knifemaker’s hands perform with the raw materials. It is precisely because of this lengthy process that our traditional craftsmanship can guarantee that every Laguiole is unique object.

 

Couteau Laguiole de poche pliant Honoré Durand

The knifemaker’s trade

We maintain the traditional skills from the very first Laguioles: just one individual knifemaker is responsible for adjusting, fashioning, polishing and sharpening each Laguiole themself.

They constantly check their own work throughout all the different steps. 

The workshop foreman conducts a final check and, if necessary, instructs the knifemaker to correct any faults. 

The final step is for the staff to wipe the Laguiole knife, label them, etc.

Laguiole Honoré Durand de poche pliant avec lame et tire-bouchon

1 - Preparation and fitting of metal parts for the knife:

The knifemaker starts, on his workbench and then on the grinding belt, by preparing the component parts for the Laguiole: spring, blade, liners, etc. 

Then he makes the necessary adjustments to fit the parts and finally he fits the handle material (wood, horn, etc.) with the bolsters.

Mise à niveau et reprise du ressort
1 - Levelling and reworking of spring
Blanchiment de l'intérieur du ressort avec abeille forgée massive
2 - Deburring the spring interior with solid forged bee
Blanchiment de l'avant de l'abeille forgée massive (bande abrasive grain fin)
3 - Deburring the front of the solid forged bee (fine-grain grinding belt)
Blanchiment du talon de la lame
4 - Deburring the heel of the blade
Passage de la lime sur le ressort pour enlever les aspérités d'acier du ressort
5 - Using the file to remove any roughness from the steel in the spring
Ciselage à la lime de l'abeille forgée massive (1)
6 - Chiseling the solid forged bee with a file
Ciselage à la lime de l'abeille forgée massive (2)
7 - Chiseling the solid forged bee with a file
Polissage de l'intérieur du ressort avec abeille forgée massive
8 - Polishing the inside of the spring with solid forged bee

2 - Fitting the handle and assembling the Laguiole in a single step:

The knifemaker assembles the parts for the handle (spring and liners). He screws (or rivets) the handle material on the metal skeleton of the handle. Making the shepherd’s cross on one side of the handle.

Rivetage du ressort entre deux platines en inox
1 - Riveting the spring between two stainless steel liners
Perçage de la plaquette en bois d'olivier. La platine fait office de guide
2 - Drilling the liner in olive wood. The liner serves as a guide
Manche ajusté, percé. Etape suivante monter le ressort
3 - Handle has been fitted, drilled. Next step: assembling the spring
Préparation vissage du manche en pointe de corne sur les platines inox
4 - Preparing to screw the horn tip handle onto the stainless steel liners
Vissage manche en corne sur platines à main levée et manuellement suite
5 - Screwing the horn handle on liners free-hand and then manually
Vissage des plaquettes en corne sur les platines en laiton (couteau de table)
6 - Screwing the horn liners onto the brass plates (table knife)
Perçage des trous pour la croix du berger
7 - Drilling holes for the shepherd’s cross
Mise en place du fil en inox pour former la croix du berger
8 - Positioning the steel wire to form the shepherd’s cross
Sectionner le rivet qui tient le manche en bois avec les platines
9 - Severing the rivet that holds the wooden handle to the liners
Fin du montage du manche. L'étape suivante est de monter la lame sur le manche et d'effectuer les réglages du mécanisme
10 - Handle assembly finished. The next step is to assemble the blade with the handle and to make adjustments to the action



3 - Blade assembly:

The knifemaker assembles the blade with the handle. Then he adjusts the action for opening and closing the blade. Laguiole knives are assembled from the raw materials.

Préparation du talon de la lame
1 - Preparing the heel of the blade
Rivetage de l'axe arrière (ressort)
2 - Riveting the rear pin (spring)
Rivetage de la lame sur le manche (1)
3 - Riveting the blade onto the handle
Rivetage de la lame sur le manche (2)
4 - Riveting the blade onto the handle
Ajustage mécanique lame et manche terminé. Prochaine étape mater le passage.
5 - Mechanical adjustments to blade and handle completed Next step: delustering.



4 - Fashioning the Laguiole handle from the raw materials:

The work involved in fashioning the handle is a sequence of operations on grinding belts with increasingly finer grains (rough grinding, initial finishing, final finishing). The material for the handle and the metal parts are fashioned together.

Début du façonnage du manche sur le backstand (bande abrasive gros grain)
1 - Starting to fashion handle on the backstand (coarse-grain grinding belt)
Début du façonnage du manche sur le backstand (bande abrasive grain moyen)
2 - Starting to fashion handle on the backstand (medium-grain grinding belt)
Début du façonnage du manche sur le backstand (bande abrasive grain moyen)
3 - Starting to fashion handle on the backstand (medium-grain grinding belt)
Mise à niveau du ressort avec la mitre arrière
4 - Levelling spring with rear bolster
Mise à niveau du dessus de la lame avec le ressort
5 - Levelling of the top of blade with the spring
Milieu du façonnage du manche sur le backstand (bande abrasive grain moyen)
6 - Halfway through fashioning the handle on the backstand (medium-grain grinding belt)
Fin du façonnage du manche sur le backstand (bande abrasive grain fin) (1)
7 - Completing fashioning of the handle on the backstand (fine-grain grinding belt) 
Fin du façonnage du manche sur le backstand (bande abrasive grain fin) (2)
8 - Finishing handle fashioning on the backstand (fine-grain grinding belt)
Fin du façonnage du manche sur le backstand (bande abrasive grain fin) (3)
9 - Finishing handle fashioning on the backstand (fine-grain grinding belt)
Fin de façonnage du manche sur couvert de table spécial (étape suivante montage de la lame)
10 - Completed fashioning of handles on special flatware (step following blade assembly)
Laguiole de poche pliants Honoré Durand

5 - Finishing:

The knifemaker goes on to polish the knife, which is carried out in several steps: polishing with cotton cloths impregnated with grinding paste. Sharpening the blade is the last step.

1 - Polishing the spine of the blade (sisal)

polissage dos de la lame (passage au cisal)

2 - Final check

Couteau Laguiole Honoré Durand

Knifemaking course:

Try working as a knifemaker for a day and take home a Laguiole that you’ve made yourself!

Further details


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