The knifemakers’ workshop
Our family business counts more than a dozen knifemakers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
1 - Preparing the heel of the blade
2 - Riveting the rear pin (spring)
3 - Riveting the blade onto the handle
4 - Riveting the blade onto the handle
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.
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)
2 - Final check
Try working as a knifemaker for a day and take home a Laguiole that you’ve made yourself!