PDA

View Full Version : Kikuichi TKC Rust Problem



Dave Martell
12-07-2011, 10:34 PM
I re-handled a Kikuichi TKC this week that showed me a problem that I wanted to bring to people's attention so that you can address the issue for yourselves.When I pulled the scales off I was shocked by the amount of rust on the tang, easily 4 times the worst I've seen. What stuck out was that there was more at the bolster than at the ass end.

I went to cleaning the rust out and squared off the inside corners (bolster to tang unions) and then I noticed that the bolster wasn't welded on - it's pinned on and it looked like it had slight gaps.

I decided to take preventive measures and seal the bolster seams with CA glue. What happened next is what brings this post. The CA glue ran down from the top of the bolster (to tang joint/seam) and flowed out down between the bolster and tang - the exact spot where all the rust had built up under the scales. This clearly showed me that these seams were leaking water through from the outside and down under the scales rusting the handle from the inside out.

I eventually poured enough CA glue into the seams (from all directions) to stop the flow and seal it up nice. I would suggest that owner's of these knives do the same thing although I'm sure that the rust (if it's going to happen) already has so I don't know if this will help or not.

Why is this worse on this knife than others? Usually bolsters are welded on and ground smooth - no seams at all. In the west we pin bolsters on just like this knife has however they're always sealed with either solder or epoxy. There are some Japanese knives (like the Hattori KD) that uses pins but they're fit up must be a lot better than what Kikuichi does on this knife.

Funny thing about this is that only a few of the Japanese knives use epoxy under the scales and yes they do rust a bit but nothing like the rust coming out from under the bolster on this knife. Maybe the steel type used in the bolster is having an effect on this? Who knows.

Maybe this one knife is an exception - maybe a bad fit on just this one, I'm not ready to condemn them all for having this problem, but if I had one in my kit I'd take a look at it and maybe even seal it up too, it can't hurt.

El Pescador
12-07-2011, 10:44 PM
hey was this my knife?

Dave Martell
12-07-2011, 10:54 PM
hey was this my knife?


Nope - you've got welded on bolsters. Is yours a Kikuichi or Ichimonji?

El Pescador
12-07-2011, 10:58 PM
Cuts good...thats all I know! Its old though...did the Ichi come before the Kiku? Or is that like asking what came first, the chicken or the egg?

Dave Martell
12-07-2011, 10:59 PM
Ichimonji is the original

El Pescador
12-07-2011, 11:10 PM
Ichimonji it is then!

NO ChoP!
12-08-2011, 12:23 AM
I read that somewhere along the line the bolsters were changed from welded to pinned with the Kikuichi....I wondered about this. Is this a cost saving move?

tk59
12-08-2011, 01:06 AM
I read that somewhere along the line the bolsters were changed from welded to pinned with the Kikuichi....I wondered about this. Is this a cost saving move?This is correct. The newer batches are pinned. I have an older one that is welded and a newer one that is pinned. Supposedly, it is not a cost-saving measure but frankly, I don't buy it. The old bolsters were much nicer, too, regardless of cost.

mr drinky
12-08-2011, 01:31 AM
If this isn't Pescador's, then I have to ask: Is this my knife? Btw, I bought mine in the very first batch, in fact, on the first day it was offered for the first time. So if mine is pinned, the it has been that way from the very beginning or the batch was mixed.

k.

Dave Martell
12-08-2011, 01:31 AM
Oh so Kikuichi TKC's used to use welded and now used pinned on?

Dave Martell
12-08-2011, 01:32 AM
If this isn't Pescador's then I assume this is mine. Is it it? I bought mine in the very first batch btw, in fact on the first day it was offered was when I purchased mine.

k.


It is yours K

mr drinky
12-08-2011, 01:35 AM
Oops, caught me in a edit. I have bad internet where I am. Well, that means the TKCs were never welded consistently or the batch was mixed because I was one of the first ones to by the Kikuichi TKC from CKTG.

tk59
12-08-2011, 01:40 AM
Oh so Kikuichi TKC's used to use welded and now used pinned on?Yes. I don't know how Karring got an old one with pinned bolsters. Maybe the 240's all were "new" and have the pinned ones. My "old" one is a 270 and it is welded. My "new" one is a 240 and it is pinned. sounds like I might be doing my first wa-conversion. :)

Dave Martell
12-08-2011, 01:41 AM
Oops, caught me in a edit. I have bad internet where I am. Well, that means the TKCs were either never welded or the batch was mixed because I was one of the first ones to by the Kikuichi TKC from CKTG.


Interesting


Hey where else can you buy this knife from? I seem to recall it being sold at Blueway or somewhere like that.

mr drinky
12-08-2011, 01:48 AM
I give up on editing from the Caribbean. Too many errors and someone might quote me before I can correct them. Anyhow...

So with that said Dave, thanks for taking care of this problem and fixing her up. How does the knife look?

k.

Dave Martell
12-08-2011, 01:53 AM
So with that said Dave, thanks for taking care of this problem and fixing her up. How does the knife look?


Right now it's kind of ugly with all that painter's tape on the blade and the big blocky rough wood scales on it. I've got it in line with about 7 others to finish up this weekend.

obtuse
12-08-2011, 02:01 AM
I wonder is konosuke HD Westerns and ashi westerns have this same problem.

Dave Martell
12-08-2011, 02:18 AM
I wonder is konosuke HD Westerns and ashi westerns have this same problem.


I've done 4 or 5 Konosuke HD rehandles and never saw this rust problem. Are they pinned as well?

Justin0505
12-08-2011, 02:37 AM
So moral of the story: don't take your Kikuichi TKC swimming/ shark hunting like Karring did?

Seriously though, I have Kikuichi TKC of the same style and Karring is probably more careful with his than I am with mine... the though of what's lucking under the handle worries me now... thanks for the heads up though!

obtuse
12-08-2011, 03:27 AM
I've done 4 or 5 Konosuke HD rehandles and never saw this rust problem. Are they pinned as well?

I'm pretty sure they are, maybe Jon can confirm. I don't think the pinned bolster detracts from the knife. Maybe this TKC had a one in a hundred defect.

JohnnyChance
12-08-2011, 03:39 AM
Yet another reason to always rehandle your knives!

memorael
12-08-2011, 07:48 AM
I've never been a fan of re handling (call me crazy I like the stock look of knives) but this is one very good reason to do so. Thanks Dave! for never stopping to improve knives one way or another.

stevenStefano
12-08-2011, 10:14 AM
Yet another reason to always rehandle your knives!

Yes everyone better send their TKC's to Dave so he can rescue them. I haven't seen them an anywhere else apart from cktg personally

Dave Martell
12-08-2011, 10:59 AM
I did some Googling last night and couldn't find them anywhere else other than CKTG so I guess they're the place. I think I confused these knives with Tojiro in my head when I was thinking that they were available at other places as well. Truth be told I probably would have never started this thread if I realized it was their product alone.

Dave Martell
12-08-2011, 10:59 AM
Yet another reason to always rehandle your knives!


LOL - I like your way of thinking. :D

tk59
12-08-2011, 11:03 AM
...Are they pinned as well?Yes.

mr drinky
12-08-2011, 11:20 AM
I did some Googling last night and couldn't find them anywhere else other than CKTG so I guess they're the place. I think I confused these knives with Tojiro in my head when I was thinking that they were available at other places as well. Truth be told I probably would have never started this thread if I realized it was their product alone.

Yeah, I think this is exclusive to CKTG. If I recall he had to pay something like 10k for the sole rights to sell this knife.

k.

Pensacola Tiger
12-08-2011, 11:20 AM
I did some Googling last night and couldn't find them anywhere else other than CKTG so I guess they're the place. I think I confused these knives with Tojiro in my head when I was thinking that they were available at other places as well. Truth be told I probably would have never started this thread if I realized it was their product alone.

Dave, AFAIK, CKTG handles only the Kikuichi branded TK's. IIRC, there was a group buy of Ichimonji a few years ago, and those were the soldered/welded bolsters.

Dave Martell
12-08-2011, 12:54 PM
Thanks for the info guys.

James
12-08-2011, 03:32 PM
I believe the Ichimonji ones still do have welded/soldered bolsters; I ordered one last year and that seems to be the case.

chazmtb
12-08-2011, 03:44 PM
I wonder if the welded vs. pinned bolsters are measures knife manufactures use to save time/cost. I remember lots of problem with the Hiromoto monosteel white 2 gyutos with having pinned vs. welded. I am not necessarily saying that pinned is bad, some pinned bolsers, when done well and carefully, are beautiful and create a nice asthetics to the knife, such as the FH forum knife and the Nenoxes.

It may be in this case that they went with pinned and did not do it right.

RRLOVER
12-08-2011, 08:47 PM
I have taken apart three ichimonji TKC's and all the tangs were in so-so condition,nothing some 36 grit hand sanding could not remove.I do find it odd that those blades have pinned bolsters.

Seb
12-09-2011, 02:18 AM
My solution for the Hiromoto Solid White #2 was to seal off the bolsters pieces with clear nail varnish using multiple coats.

Seb
12-09-2011, 02:20 AM
The CarboNext is exactly the same knife as the Ichimonji TKC (but with ugly kanji). One and the same OEM, Koki told me.

NO ChoP!
12-09-2011, 01:59 PM
I found a thread where Mark states the 240 gyuto was done in a different factory than the other knives, those being pinned.....

mr drinky
12-09-2011, 02:27 PM
Interesting. I remember when I was waiting for the Kikuichi's to come in at CKTG and almost decided to buy a regular Ichimonji instead because they took so long to come in. The cost was roughly the same and the wait would have been the same too when all was said and done. Oh well, now my knife has a slick new pair of pants on them.

k.

kalaeb
12-09-2011, 03:00 PM
The CarboNext is exactly the same knife as the Ichimonji TKC (but with ugly kanji). One and the same OEM, Koki told me.

That certainly may be the case with the steel and profile, but the last two Carbo Nexts I have re-handled have both been welded bolster.

Justin0505
12-09-2011, 04:19 PM
So after reading this I worriedly inspected my 270 Kikuichi TKC that I got from CKTG at close to the same time that the one that Dave posted about was. Interestingly / thankfully, mine has welded bolsters. This would make sense if they where from different OEM's. When my knife was new, I could barely see the transition from blade to bolster, but now that they blade has developed a patina from pinch grip, the weld and bolster transitions are clearly visible as they have not reacted like the blade (see photos):
2885 https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-DHuKucxnMmc/TuJr3YjVgUI/AAAAAAAAH3E/6xRlF-lsq54/s639/2011-12-09%25252013.47.44.jpg

Seb
12-09-2011, 04:37 PM
That certainly may be the case with the steel and profile, but the last two Carbo Nexts I have re-handled have both been welded bolster.

Ah. The Ichimonji TKC and the CarboNext are one and the same (both have welded bolsters), but the Kikuichi TKC 240mm is different (riveted/pinned). Confusing ain't it?

JBroida
12-09-2011, 04:40 PM
on a slightly off topic note, there is a benefit to pinned bolsters (especially when well done). When welding on a bolster, chances are pretty high that that area becomes weak due to temp changes. Pinned bolsters maintain the strength of the tang area.

TDj
12-09-2011, 04:40 PM
i wonder how koki knows they're the same? because wasn't he saying a while ago that they are similar but not identical?

Justin0505
12-09-2011, 04:52 PM
Ah. The Ichimonji TKC and the CarboNext are one and the same (both have welded bolsters), but the Kikuichi TKC 240mm is different (riveted/pinned). Confusing ain't it?

So the who makes the Kikuichi TKC w/welded bolster then?

Complicated indeed!! This is like the kitchen knife version of the Maury Povich(sp?) show. WHO BE THE TKC'S BABY DADDY!?!??

Seb
12-09-2011, 06:11 PM
The first batch of 240s were sourced from the Ichimonji/CarboNext OEM by Kikuichi. Later, Kikuichi then found another OEM because of QC issues with the first OEM (this was a common complaint with Ichimonji TKCs and has been for years). The second OEM produced them with riveted bolsters.

BTW, I've noted before that many Sakai brands have that riveted bolster design, including Tadatsuna, Konosuke, Yusuke, Ashi Ginga and Ichimonji. But I've been told that the fit and finish varies from brand to brand. With my Sakai Yusuke, it is so tightly fitted that you have to look really closely to work out that it's not a one-piece construction.

Seb
12-09-2011, 06:13 PM
i wonder how koki knows they're the same? because wasn't he saying a while ago that they are similar but not identical?

I was passing on what Koki told me by email: that they were exactly the same. Different kanji is the only point of difference.

Dave Martell
12-09-2011, 06:18 PM
I do think that this isn't a pinned bolster problem across the board. I've re-handled many knives with pinned bolsters and never saw anywhere near this type of rust issue with any others. This was the first Kikuichi TKC that I've rehandled though (at least I believe it is) so the jury is still out on this being a larger problem or an isolated incident with Kikuichi TKC's.