JULIUS SCHOOP, phd
My name is Julius Schoop. I am originally from Germany but have lived in the U.S. for the last 7 years. My undergraduate background is in Chemical Physics and my graduate field of study was Materials Science Engineering. Those pursuits are an expression of the general passion for high-tech materials and engineering that has been a central part of my life for as long as I can remember.
As a child, my passion for knives began when my grandfather introduced me to his extensive knife and gun collection. Over the years, I tried to build many 'knives', but it was not until high school that I became serious about knifemaking. I built my own forge and began forging hunting knives and other kinds of metal art. Even though I enjoyed forging, I realized that the kinds of designs and tolerances I was trying to achieve required stock removal techniques such as milling, drilling and grinding. During college, I began buying equipment and slowly established my own shop. I also began studying the science of metal cutting. I was particularly interested in the impact of metal cutting operations on the machined object.
After completing my B.S. in Chemical Physics, I entered graduate school and began working on a very interesting project on cryogenic machining. By applying liquid nitrogen as the coolant during machining, I found that it is possible to precisely control the properties of the machined surface. Combining my knowledge of materials science with manufacturing engineering has been a great journey and I certainly love what I do! I am very excited about developing new technologies that improve the functional performance of high-tech components by enhancing the quality (surface finish, hardness, residual stresses, microstructure, etc.) of machined surfaces.
As I finished my graduate studies I refined my original designs, incorporating what I had learned about materials science and industrial design. I still spend a lot of time on my designs, constantly improving them using CAD until I reach the optimum combination of strength, aesthetics and function. I think you will find few knives on the market that have had as much thought go into each small component as do Schoop Knives.
The blade-to-handle ratio of my folders is always in the neighborhood of 80% and I use high precision hardened stainless steel pivots, stop-pins and ball bearings to make my knives as reliable and durable as possible. I enjoy working with space-age materials such as novel titanium alloys and carbon fiber and only use the very highest grades that I can source. I also very much enjoy using custom Damascus, particularly Chad Nichols' work.
I love working with steel, and I consider myself somewhat of an expert in the heat treatment and especially the proper machining of martensitic tool steels (blade steels). I focus on reducing tensile residual stresses and design my heat treating procedures for a combination of hardness, toughness and corrosion resistance that is most appropriate for the particular geometry and application of a given knife. I do not believe in a 'one size fits all' mentality for either a certain alloy of steel or particular heat treatment procedure. Each knife is a specialized tool that is optimized according to its intended use and operator skill/preference. I will gladly work with you to figure out what type of steel and heat treatment will suit your individual needs.
Hopefully you have a little bit of an idea about who I am and what I do after reading this brief note. If you find that you still have some questions or comments you would like to share with me, please feel free to contact me.
Thanks you very much for your interest in Schoop Knives. I hope you enjoy my work.