View Full Version : Install-It-Yourself Hanldes - New Possible Product

Marko Tsourkan
10-13-2013, 01:38 PM
I am in the process of renting more space for a leather workshop, so I need to generate some additional income to meet the higher overhead cost. I have been entertaining different ideas, lately. Haven't made any decisions yet, but the new lease will start as of November, and I need to make some moves.

The handles will be D, octagonal and possibly Western (for hidden tang knives).

I would make them for a specific type (gyuto, suji, petty, etc) and lengh. Spacers are included, unless requested otherwise.

Woods will be cocobolo, ebony, lignum vitae, possibly ziricote, wenge, stabilized figured maple (birdseye, tiger, quilted), and some others locally available and what I have on hand. I still have a good amount of horn, so some will be available with horn ferrules.

I won't be making metal tip handle for Install-It-Yourself as those need to be fitted and made to order. You will likely need to do a little bit of filing tang slot, and epoxying the handle, but not more. I will come up with instructions on old handle removal and new handle installation.

Cost will be in the area of $120-140 per handle (depending on wood), domestic shipping included.

Please note, these won't be custom handles, that is I won't be accepting woods for these, but I might take some information on tang height and thickness and form the tang slot accordingly for a cleaner installation. I am pretty picky about wood selection, so I will make sure that woods will meet your expectations.



10-13-2013, 01:43 PM
I quite like the sound of this...

Marko Tsourkan
10-13-2013, 02:05 PM
Just wanted to add that these will be quality handles, shaped and finished to the same standard as my custom. For right or left hand use (D style).


10-13-2013, 02:42 PM
I can imagine this making forgecraft conversions one of the coolest mid budget knives around and easy as hell to boot. Looking forward to it.

Marko Tsourkan
10-13-2013, 04:59 PM
Gave this project a little more thought and decided that I again need to ask you for help. :(
I need some input on what handles to make, so the end product is as close to users' preferences as possible.

I removed name/phone number fields, so the input is anonymous

The information I am after is the height of a machi (neck), thickness at the tang, type and lengh of a knife, handle material preferences, ferrule preferences and handle type preferences (my guess would be D mostly, but western and octagonal might also be of interest). If I know the preferences, I can make as close to as possible without it being a custom. Please fill out the survey below.

Thanks You -

Install-It-Yourself Handles Survey (http://www.tsourkanknives.com/index.php/surveys/install-it-yourself-handles)

Marko Tsourkan
10-13-2013, 08:31 PM
Hi folks,
thanks to those of you who filled out the survey.

There is a small issue with the machi. J knives often notch the machi, but they don't do it symmetrically, hence the height at the top and bottom of the notch is different (often the bottom is is taller). if the tang hole is done symmetrically, the machi will shift downwards.

I added a two new fields to the survey inquiring about that.

Working on an example of Install-It-Yourself handle, will post pics tomorrow.

Install-It-Yourself Handles Survey (http://www.tsourkanknives.com/index.php/surveys/install-it-yourself-handles)

Von blewitt
10-14-2013, 08:41 AM
After finally getting to try out your handles today I would definately be interested in these, it's also an advantage for those who aren't in the US where shipping the knife return adds quite significantly to the cost. Sign me up

daddy yo yo
10-14-2013, 12:07 PM
i would definitely be interested in a D-shaped handle for a gyuto, ebony with greyish/blondish horn and nickel silver spacer and i would like to volunteer for the first try! :D

marko, please don't forget to set aside a piece of horn for my custom gyuto...

Marko Tsourkan
10-14-2013, 12:14 PM
Well, the aim is to make them affordable and require as little work for the end user installing the handle as possible, so I am going to think a little more how to accomplish it.

Different thickness knives will require different approach (I don't drill a huge hole that would accept all tangs and would require a lot of epoxy to fill, rather drill a slot that is slightly larger than the tang). I will try to come up with an approach in a couple of days.

These will be made along my customs so availability will be limited.


daddy yo yo
10-14-2013, 12:47 PM
once you've found a way how to accomplish everything, please let me know. i have a blade here which is waiting for a gorgeous handle... so i am officially signing up here for one of these handles (specs above)! :lol2:

Marko Tsourkan
10-14-2013, 02:51 PM
Cocobolo, nickel silver spacer, horn. For pictures of the handle on the knife, click here (http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/431-Work-in-Progess?p=249264&viewfull=1#post249264)




10-14-2013, 03:51 PM
I'm really liking the shape of this handle, my favourite wa handle right now is an octagon Devin Thomas with perfect taper. Really look forward to trying this shape out. Big +1 on this project for international customers as Huw said.

10-14-2013, 10:12 PM
Would love to get one of your handles for a 300mm suji I have!

Marko Tsourkan
10-15-2013, 07:33 AM
The more I think about it, the more I lean to have them custom-made (from stock materials) but self-install, to account for tang thickness, uneven notching on the machi, machi height, handle size preferences, etc.

Making them one-fits-all doesn't seem to bode well with me.


Von blewitt
10-15-2013, 07:47 AM
That makes sense, nothing would be worse than a beautiful handle with a sloppy fit.

Marko Tsourkan
10-15-2013, 07:58 AM
Yes, that is what I am after. Also, I think D style is a bit more personal - one needs to account for user's preferences.

So, I guess I just made a decision. :)

Once I am ready for these, I will set up a form on my site where orders could be submitted. Will post an announcement here, along with stock woods samples.

I will start with a couple of international customers to test how things work and made adjustment as needed. One thing that self-install folks might want to consider is getting an inexpensive grinder. Comes handy thinning a tang among other things. When a tang is thinner at the machi than elsewhere (pretty common thing on J. knives), you won't get a clean installation - the tang hole has to accommodate the thickest part of the tang. Some just fill it with epoxy, but I personally like no space.

Thanks everybody who chimed in.


daddy yo yo
10-15-2013, 09:50 AM
I am glad to repeat that I would volunteer to be one of those "international customers"!

Marko Tsourkan
11-05-2013, 09:27 AM
This project is going to start in the middle of November. I need to think a little bit more how to run it efficiently, but I will go ahead with it.


Marko Tsourkan
11-25-2013, 10:02 PM
Going to produce several of these in D and octagonal shape. Will do this batch for 240-270mm gyutos.

Choices of wood is cocobolo or maple, tang slot will be shaped to 3mm (I can shape it to any width you want upon request), internal tang slot will accommodate a tang up to 1/4 thick and about 4 3/4" deep.

These will have a buffalo horn ferrule and nickel silver spacer.

I am offering these as economy handles for DIY folks, but if anybody wants to send a knife for installation (and other services, like machi squaring, choil forming and polishing, knife refinishing, etc), please pm for an estimate on the cost.



11-25-2013, 10:17 PM
Definitely In for a maple D shaped for a 240...