Every day for a week prior to going to SteelPort Knife Company I checked the weather to see if I was willing to get the Thunderbird out. Finally on Thursday morning I made the decision to drive the Explorer because of the looks of the sky and the forecast I saw. As it turns out we only had a few sprinkles - now I wish I had been brave and drive the T'Bird. Oh-Well, there will be other events to get it out. From the calling committee we were expecting 17 people for lunch and the visit to SteelPort; however, only 10 met at Piccone's and then one later arrival got us up to 11 for the visit to SteelPort. Tom & Betti Mathews drove their Retro-Bird, the rest of us were in our family Trucksters. We were greeted at SteelPort by Ron Khormaei who gave us a history of the 1 1/2 year old company. At one step in their start-up they were making octagonal cast iron skillets (picture below), but soon realized that chefs and cooks were really after a tougher knife that would stay sharp longer. At this point he turned the tour over to Frances Dyer, Marketing and PR Manager. They then began studying the metallurgy of knifes. They were able to have the sharp edge of a knife meet Rockwell Hardness numbers of 65 (very hard), but yet keep the back edge of the knife much "softer" with a hardness value down in the 30's. This allows the knife to hold its edge, but yet not be so brittle that it would break under use. You can see the difference in the color of the edge vs. the back of the knife in the photos below. After initial grinding into its final shape enough metal is taken away that the color gradient disappears. They wanted that "patina" to show. So they discovered that letting the blade soak in coffee (yes coffee) the acid in it would restore the color gradient. They wanted this to show so that customers would know about the difference in hardness from edge to back of the knife. Wanting to be able to spell Ron Khormaei's name correctly here I picked up his business card. There I found three letters behind his name: PhD. I had a chance to ask him about his PhD. He is a degreed Electrical Engineer and is on staff at OSU in Corvallis. Metallurgy and knife making is a bit of an obsessive hobby. In the photos below you will see a wooden case with the steps in knife making displayed. It moves from a round piece of bar stock to a knife shape through drop-forging. We were all in hopes of seeing that process but it is done by their metal supplier in the mid-west. All of the rest of the steps are done in their shop. Thanks to Jim Sweet for arranging this informative event and supplying many of the photos below.