This is a little different than what I normally do. For this project, I worked with a small, family run blacksmithing shop in the far Western mountains of China. They have been forging knives for over 350 years, and have never sold the knives outside of China, and infact the knives are not often sold outside of the Western regions. I had a lot of help translating to put together what we would make.
The result are these, the Lua Shan Dao, or Green Mountain knife line. These are all no frills, well made knives with a focus on what matters most, thin grinds, excellent heat treats and balanced design.
All the blades are hand forged before being ground, and heat treated with a kiln and quenched in proper quenching oil. Most of the blades are a 1075/1010 san mai, and many feature a very interesting design thats not very common outside of Western china, a flared spine. The blades hard steel core only extends about an inch into the blade, so the spine and handle are very soft iron, and as the blades are incredibly thinly ground, they would be liable to flex slightly, not something you want for the smooth chopping and slicing action Chinese knives are designed for. So the last roughly 1/4 inch of the spine is flared outward, providing both rigidity as well as a lightly weight that helps the knives have a wonderful motion in chopping.
These knives are designed to be the best value possible, with hard, sharp edges and great geometry. Fit and finish is fine, but rough edges and scratches are present. I think these knives would make a great holiday gift, with a little clean up, a sharpening and perhaps a new handle. These knives can also very easily be converted into a hidden tang knife, as the whole tang is very soft iron that can be cut or ground very quickly.