A REAL passion for his work and the tools he uses daily has turned into an unusual business for Medowie resident Bryce Morsley.
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Mr Morsley, 25, is a chef at Wests Nelson Bay and one of the main tools of his trade is knives.
As an apprentice, Mr Morsley found many excellent knives available in Australia.
None were exactly what he wanted so he ordered a custom made knife from a maker in England.
It was 12 months before the knife arrived and it did not work as expected, so Mr Morsley decided to make a knife for himself.
Researching the process led to meeting Mert Tansu from Branxton, NSW.
Tanzer a former chef and now a full time knife maker gave Morsley the essential skills to get started and his first knife was made.
Mr Morsley enjoyed the process so much that he began to acquire the specialised equipment needed to continue making knives.
Mr Morsley told News Of The Area, “There are quite a few custom knife makers but not many make specialised chefs knives.”
“I’m making knives that can be customised to suit the purchaser, give superior performance, and are still very affordable.”
His aim is to make knives that are not only functional but beautiful as well.
Morsley sources his steel from the United States and different grades are required depending on each knife’s purpose.
Blade blanks are waterjet cut at Bennetts Green but every other part of the manufacturing process is done on site in Mr Morsley’s Medowie workshop.
Blades are hardened by heating in a purpose built kiln and cooled quickly in engineered oils in a process called quenching.
The blade is allowed to cool to room temperature before being reheated to a much lower temperature and air cooled to temper the blade which gives it the durability for work.
Complementing the blade, Morsley also makes and shapes handles, mostly made from Australian native timber, Gidgee, prized by knife makers for its beauty and hardness.
Morsley said, “There are less than 50 Master knife makers in the world and only three of them make chefs knives.”
“I’m aiming to progress through the steps to become a Journeyman through the American Bladesmith Society.”
By Liz MUDD