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The prestige of craftsmanship

Our traditional craftsmanship is a combination of two professions:

- the knifemaker’s trade (assembly and fashioning of the knife)

- the blacksmith’s trade (manufacture of blades, springs, etc.)

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.

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.

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.

1 - Levelling and reworking of spring

2 - Deburring the spring interior with solid forged bee

3 - Deburring the front of the solid forged bee (fine-grain grinding belt)

4 - Deburring the heel of the blade

5 - Using the file to remove any roughness from the steel in the spring

6 - Chiseling the solid forged bee with a file

7 - Chiseling the solid forged bee with a file

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.

1 - Riveting the spring between two stainless steel liners

2 - Drilling the liner in olive wood. The liner serves as a guide

3 - Handle has been fitted, drilled. Next step: assembling the spring

4 - Preparing to screw the horn tip handle onto the stainless steel liners

5 - Screwing the horn handle on liners free-hand and then manually

6 - Screwing the horn liners onto the brass plates (table knife)

7 - Drilling holes for the shepherd’s cross

8 - Positioning the steel wire to form the shepherd’s cross

9 - Severing the rivet that holds the wooden handle to the liners

10 - Handle assembly finished

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

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.

1 - Starting to fashion handle on the backstand (coarse-grain grinding belt)

2 - Starting to fashion handle on the backstand (medium-grain grinding belt)

3 - Starting to fashion handle on the backstand (medium-grain grinding belt)

4 - Levelling spring with rear bolster

5 - Levelling of the top of blade with the spring

6 - Halfway through fashioning the handle on the backstand (medium-grain grinding belt)

7 - Completing fashioning of the handle on the backstand (fine-grain grinding belt)

8 - Finishing handle fashioning on the backstand (fine-grain grinding belt)

9 - Finishing handle fashioning on the backstand (fine-grain grinding belt)

10 - Completed fashioning of handles on special flatware (step following blade assembly)

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

Knifemaking course :

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

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