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Dave Martell
03-31-2014, 08:19 PM
I'm going to show the process of how I rehandle western knives. The mules are Hiromoto AS knives - a gyuto & a santoku. The gyuto will be getting a hidden tang conversion, the santoku will receive full tang scales.


First we see the knives laid out along with all of the materials required. The wood has been cut down to size, squared up, and the scales (for the santoku) have been cut as well as have their G10 liners glued up.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/P1010004_zps0cd64f0f.jpg


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/P1010006_zps99d3f7b7.jpg
(The wood isn't really called "baconwood" - the owner dubbed it this name as it reminds her of bacon) http://www.kitchenknifefora.com/styles/default/xenforo/clear.png




From here I took the knives to the grinder and thinned the blades. I didn't take pictures of this because they pretty much look the same, just shinier as they're all polished up ready for the etching tank.

The blades are then wrapped in protective tape and then the scales were removed from the handles. Again no pictures, I should have taken some here though. The procedure is to grind the heads of the rivets off and then punch them out - scales fall off.

The holes in the tangs were drilled out to a larger size to accommodate the pins I use. In case you're wondering why I need to drill the holes out, the Japanese use rivets with large heads yet tiny shafts so the factory pin holes are very small. The tangs are hardened and require a carbide drill bit to cut through them.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/P1010009_zps3852018a.jpg






Here you'll see the knives laid out at the point ready to have the wood attached. I have some more fitting to still do to ensure a clean fit up but otherwise the next step will be mounting the wood.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/P1010011_zps8fcc3104.jpg


You'll notice that the gyuto's tang has been ground down to make the hidden tang conversion. The owner requested a hidden tang handle on this knife because she wants to show the maximum amount of "baconwood"as possible.
http://badgerandblade.com/vb/images/smilies/bacon.gif





Here I'm drilling the pin holes for the santoku. I bring the whole assembly (knife included) to the drill press to drill my pin holes. I've found over time that if I do it this way I can make one pass through both scales and get perfect alignment without having to run the risk of over-sizing the holes from drilling the second scale as is more commonly done. *Note - Doing the drilling like this works great for tapered tangs - perfect fit every time.

I finish the holes by using a reamer (shown in the picture) to get the perfect size for a (hopefully) perfect fit.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/P1010001_zps34bc9419.jpg




I then cut out the shape (pattern) for the scales.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/P1010004_zpsf6d5c215.jpg




Here are the santoku scales with pins inserted part way, ready for glue up.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/P1010006_zpseecb4643.jpg



I then moved onto drilling out the tang hole in the "baconwood" block.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/P1010008_zpsc504f552.jpg



Then onto the fun part - burning in the tang! http://badgerandblade.com/vb/images/smilies/yellow_guys/001_cool.gif

The process starts out by heating the tang's tip to orange color (very hot).

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/P1010013_zpsce619d42.jpg




Then I push it on home, sometimes we get flames.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/P1010026_zpsfa92ef35.jpg



Also lots of smoke too. Good thing I have a dust collector set up below sucking the smoke out of the shop.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/P1010039_zps825e800f.jpg




Then finally I drilled the single pin hole that this handle will have.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/P1010041_zps9a2c5c6a.jpg



Now for mounting & gluing.....

cookinstuff
03-31-2014, 11:34 PM
damn Dave, you aren't taking those pics yourself while your doing that are you? Can't wait to see you finish out that hidden tang.

Erilyn75
04-01-2014, 01:06 AM
I got so excited when I saw the title. I was like, "OH! OH! OH!" :bliss:

Then I clicked the link and was like "oh" :viking: lol

I love to see WIPs. It's very fascinating how it goes from an ordinary knife to a beautiful work of art. Can't wait to see the finished product and what that bacon wood looks like!

Matus
04-01-2014, 01:18 AM
Thanks for sharing this Dave. So cool :)

MAS4T0
04-01-2014, 01:27 AM
For the hidden tang conversion, to account for the weight of the lost metal, do you do anything to bring the balance back?

Dave Martell
04-01-2014, 09:25 AM
damn Dave, you aren't taking those pics yourself while your doing that are you? Can't wait to see you finish out that hidden tang.


My wife is taking the action shots.

Dave Martell
04-01-2014, 09:28 AM
I got so excited when I saw the title. I was like, "OH! OH! OH!" :bliss:

Then I clicked the link and was like "oh" :viking: lol




Oh your knife is all done.











































http://www.april-fools.us/images/aprilfools.jpg

Dave Martell
04-01-2014, 09:32 AM
For the hidden tang conversion, to account for the weight of the lost metal, do you do anything to bring the balance back?


Western handled knives are already handle heavy so it's not really a big deal to convert them. Plus the epoxy and use of stabilized wood often adds to handle weight. In this case it works out good since the blade has been thinned which then keeps the balance pretty much the same anyway.

icanhaschzbrgr
04-01-2014, 10:32 AM
Dave, share some secrets: do you always burn tang holes? I still have yet to see handle mounted by you, but from the photos they all had the impression of perfectly sized holes.
I haven't tried burning handles myself, because always afraid that that procedure would break handle if there are any non wood spacers.

Dave Martell
04-01-2014, 10:53 AM
Dave, share some secrets: do you always burn tang holes? I still have yet to see handle mounted by you, but from the photos they all had the impression of perfectly sized holes.
I haven't tried burning handles myself, because always afraid that that procedure would break handle if there are any non wood spacers.


I don't think that I'd try burning a handle that had non-wood spacers, I'm sure something will go wrong there.

No I don't always burn on handles but when I can I do it because it's fast. Instead of filing away for 1/2 an hour you just heat the tang and push. It does, and should, take a few attempts when burning hardwood (vs ho wood) to get the tang in all the way yet it's still a lot faster than filing. It also serves to allow a tighter fit so that you don't so easily blow through into a drilled cavity when shaping.

daddy yo yo
04-01-2014, 12:53 PM
Dave, this is a cool WIP, and I can't wait to see how it goes on. Myself, I have two left hands, so I am admiring people who have the skills and knowledge and share it with others. You have my sincerest respect!

Erilyn75
04-01-2014, 02:22 PM
Oh your knife is all done.

http://www.april-fools.us/images/aprilfools.jpg



You're a twisted twisted man :spankarse::devilburn:

Dave Martell
04-01-2014, 02:37 PM
So for today's work....


I managed to get the wood mounted and epoxied up last night. Here are the knives after glue up, clamps removed.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/P1010003_zpsb7df9098.jpg




Here I cut the gyuto handle profile from the baconwood block.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/P1010004_zps6e562ac9.jpg




The wood is ready for shaping.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/P1010007_zpsa48332bb.jpg




Rough shaping the wood into the form of a handle. This is the pucker part. :bye:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/P1010013_zps9340e735.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/P1010015_zps1b0c43d7.jpg

Both handles are rough shaped using a 36x grit belt followed by an 80x belt which you see in the pictures above. I grind the bolsters at the same time to get a flush fit.


I then go through a series of belts up to 220x.




Now to shape the curl (sometimes referred to as the bird's beak) section of the handle. Since I don't have a nice small wheel attachment for my belt grinder I have to use little drum sander spindles in the drill press.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/P1010020_zps3d9ddef7.jpg



Here is what I'm looking to achieve.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/P1010029_zps36fcf6f0.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/P1010032_zps17515676.jpg





I then use sandpaper strips to (shoeshone) shape the curl (bird's beak) into a comfortable grip. This step is important since the wrap around fingers land here.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/P1010034_zps03aa2d47.jpg


Here is what I'm after.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/P1010037_zps8ea25fe8.jpg





Now back to the grinder for some refinement, I take each handle up through to 400x. The handles are now ready for hand sanding & oiling.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/P1010042_zps5ed503e2.jpg





The handles have been wet sanded with both fine sandpapers and then with very fine steel wool.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/P1010043_zpse4660d7d.jpg





Now it's time to start sealing the wood through oiling. I will start this process today continuing for at least another day, maybe two, until I get just the right level of finish I'm looking for. Once that's complete I can unwrap the blades and it's time to etch. See you then.....

Erilyn75
04-01-2014, 04:26 PM
Wow those handles are beautiful!

Burl Source
04-03-2014, 03:11 PM
Thank you for posting the photos Dave.

Dave Martell
04-03-2014, 03:18 PM
So here they are finished up...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/P1010025_zps21b6f0f7.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/P1010028_zps821503bc.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/P1010036_zpsc8688fe9.jpg

icanhaschzbrgr
04-03-2014, 03:19 PM
Very informative and inspiring photos! :thumbsup:

Dave Martell
04-03-2014, 03:40 PM
Thank you for posting the photos Dave.


Very informative and inspiring photos! :thumbsup:


Thanks guys, it was a fun project. :)

orangehero
04-03-2014, 06:19 PM
Thanks Dave, your time and effort to document the process is greatly appreciated! This is just what I need, going to be doing something similar.

Have you tried doing something to prevent the welds (I think it's welds) in front of the bolster from etching?

Dave Martell
04-03-2014, 08:04 PM
Thanks Dave, your time and effort to document the process is greatly appreciated! This is just what I need, going to be doing something similar.

Have you tried doing something to prevent the welds (I think it's welds) in front of the bolster from etching?


I once tried doing a resist with crayon and another time with tape - both fails. I'm sure it could be figured out but I've given up on it. If you come up with something you'd like to share I'm all ears.

jer
04-03-2014, 08:25 PM
Thanks for taking the time to post this. I wonder if silicone adhesive or hot glue would work to prevent etching at the bolster.

orangehero
04-03-2014, 08:30 PM
I've read nail lacquer can be used, but I've no experience with it.

ThEoRy
04-03-2014, 08:48 PM
I once tried doing a resist with crayon and another time with tape - both fails. I'm sure it could be figured out but I've given up on it. If you come up with something you'd like to share I'm all ears.

I've buffed it out with micromesh pads.

cheflarge
04-04-2014, 05:10 PM
Awesome stuff, Dave. Thanks for sharing. Very cool looking knives (now at least). :-)

BJE1
04-04-2014, 05:42 PM
Thank you for sharing your process and your performance package and re handle make those knives something special.