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View Full Version : Revised D-Shape Handle Design



Marko Tsourkan
02-22-2012, 11:34 AM
I made some changes to an earlier design as suggested by tk59, JC, Bao (many thanks to you!).

Length and width of the tapers on both sides will vary from a handle to a handle. I also plan to introduce a similar modification to an octagonal shape handle.

Some of the horn I have (picture at the top) has these amazing brown lines, looking more like wood. That was a very pleasant discovery.


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Opinions and criticism are welcome. :)

M

ejd53
02-22-2012, 11:52 AM
Looks great, can't wait to get mine.

tk59
02-22-2012, 12:29 PM
Very nice and clean-looking, as usual, Marko! How does it feel?

tgraypots
02-22-2012, 12:35 PM
I really like D handles. That one looks great!

Marko Tsourkan
02-22-2012, 12:40 PM
Thanks guys!

It seems to feel pretty comfortable, but I should know more after I hear from the owner. Tapering should work very well with oval handle design.

M

kalaeb
02-22-2012, 12:46 PM
Nothing wrong with the d shaped handles, but your octogon handles are so amazing I have a hard time picturing more of your knives with anything but.

tk59
02-22-2012, 12:49 PM
Nothing wrong with the d shaped handles, but your octogon handles are so amazing I have a hard time picturing your more of your knives with anything but.+1

barramonday
02-22-2012, 12:50 PM
Looks really nice Marko , I've always preferred D handles , your mods to the stock J handles look well thought-out.

I hope to give one a work out in my kitchen one day.

Rowan...

Iceman91
02-22-2012, 12:50 PM
Looks awesome, I actually prefer D-shape to octagonal.

Marko Tsourkan
02-22-2012, 01:09 PM
Nothing wrong with the d shaped handles, but your octogon handles are so amazing I have a hard time picturing more of your knives with anything but.

I don't intend stop making octagonal, just in addition to a classic octagonal shape, I am going to offer some modifications - rounded bottom and top sides, tapered ferrule, etc. Some of these ideas came from customers' requests, some from what's out there.

I like the D-shape on smaller knives, and octagonal on larger knives. A D-handle for one of my 180mm gyuto felt like the best handle to hold in my hand. Speaking of which, Steve, I need dimensions of that handle. :)

M

apicius9
02-22-2012, 02:32 PM
Very nice, Marko. I really like how you developed your own style over time. I happen to like oval handles but always interpreted the D-shaped ones more as a variation of a round one. Your handle here seems like the perfect fusion of the oval and the classical D-shape with the 'ridge' a bit less pronounced and the taper making it look even more elegant. I agree, I would associate it more with smaller knives, but it looks great on this one here - a great gyuto length anyway IMHO. You are raising the bar again, now I have to work harder to keep up ;) I am just having too much fun playing around with materials and colors to develop such a distinctive style, but I admire yours. Oh, and your photography is first rate also, that lighting really puts the materials in the spotlight.

Stefan

Johnny.B.Good
02-22-2012, 03:49 PM
When I first saw Marko branching out from his classic design (octagonal shape, dark wood, nickel silver spacer/s, black horn) I thought it might be a mistake, but not anymore. I love the new D-shape and some of the lighter wood and marble horn combinations so much I no longer know my own preference. All of the shapes and materials are elegant and understated. While the classic design remains Marko's "signature" look for me, it's more about the impeccable fit and finish than anything else. Very impressive.

mhlee
02-22-2012, 04:28 PM
Excellent thoughts and work Marko. You continue to impress with the thoughtfulness of your designs and your work is, as always, awesome.

Marko Tsourkan
02-22-2012, 04:30 PM
Thanks, Stefan and others -

Classic octagonal is here to stay, no question about it, but a little tweak here and there upon request won't hurt it. That's the idea.

Classic D-shape, albeit comfortable, has a too-utilitarian look on most handles we see, so my version is an attempt to spice it up a little bit, as it is a great shape and on smaller knives easily more preferable to octagonal in my opinion.

I hope I am not jumping over my head by announcing that there is yet another wa handle in works - an oval, Coca-Cola bottle shaped handle - drawing on elements from Japanese and Western tradition. Please note, a lot of these designs are out there, this is just my own interpretation of it.

M

SpikeC
02-22-2012, 04:51 PM
I love the shaping that you're doing on the front of these, it really makes sense from both an aesthetic and an ergonomic standpoint.

RRLOVER
02-22-2012, 05:02 PM
That looks fantastic!!! I want one!!! How much taper does the handle have?

kalaeb
02-22-2012, 05:02 PM
I hope I am not jumping over my head by announcing that there is yet another wa handle in works - an oval, Coca-Cola bottle shaped handle - drawing on elements from Japanese and Western tradition. Please note, a lot of these designs are out there, this is just my own interpretation of it.

M

The Coca-Cola shaped handle is surprisingly difficult to do. I have tried unsuccesfully a handful of times, one of these days I will get one I like.

I would love to see what you come up with.

Marko Tsourkan
02-22-2012, 05:09 PM
Mario -
The taper extends to about 1.5" on the right side and 1.25 on the left (right side has the ridge, so the taper is a little longer). I don't have calipers here, but I would say it is about 1/4 (or slightly more) narrower at the tip, than where the tapering starts. This was kind of an experiment, so I didn't take detailed measurements. Just kept grinding till it looked about right.

M

Marko Tsourkan
02-22-2012, 05:10 PM
The Coca-Cola shaped handle is surprisingly difficult to do. I have tried unsuccesfully a handful of times, one of these days I will get one I like.

I would love to see what you come up with.

You need a wheel or platen for that. Doing it by hand is difficult.

M

Cipcich
02-22-2012, 05:14 PM
[QUOTE=

Steve, I need dimensions of that handle. :)

M[/QUOTE]

Oh yeah. I forgot to return that knife . . . I'll measure it this afternoon.

Marko Tsourkan
02-22-2012, 05:16 PM
Oh yeah. I forgot to return that knife . . . I'll measure it this afternoon.

:)
I got to say, that was the most comfortable handle I ever held. I hope to be able to recreate it.

M

chazmtb
02-22-2012, 05:47 PM
Looks great M. Very nice handle for those who use a pinch grip. Very good for those larger gyutos where the d handle makes it a little uncomfortable to use the pinch grip.

Dave Martell
02-22-2012, 07:55 PM
I like this a lot Marko, very nice looking design.

ejd53
02-22-2012, 09:23 PM
I have 2 D-handles coming, can't wait to see them (or better yet, hold them).

Burl Source
02-22-2012, 10:43 PM
Dang Marko!
This has to be the most beautiful D-Shape Handle I have ever seen.

Marko Tsourkan
02-22-2012, 10:54 PM
Dang Marko!
This has to be the most beautiful D-Shape Handle I have ever seen.

Thank you. You guys give me way more credit than I deserve.

Mark, the block that this handle is made of is one of your "imperfect" redwood burl blocks that you sold a short while ago.

M

don
02-22-2012, 11:10 PM
Incredibly slick, Marko. Nicely done.

Cipcich
02-22-2012, 11:24 PM
All kidding aside, Marko sent me the 180 mm W2 knife so I could consider the modified-D handle as an alternative to the octagonal handles he's famous for. He also said that, if I liked, I could keep the knife; an obvious no-brainer.
I've had the knife for quite some time, and use it almost exclusively; ostensibly for testing, but really because I like it.
I think of it not as a "practice knife", but rather as a "pacifier knife". Marko should probably consider sending one to all of his customers so they don't exhibit signs of anxiety (Mr. Drinky?).
After careful consideration, I've concluded that the mod-D is very comfy, but I'm still in the camp of those who see his octagonal handles as a classic design. They are simply beautiful.
So, I sent Marko the measurements, but I'm still hanging onto the knife . . .

Salty dog
02-23-2012, 06:11 AM
The Marko Meji!

Marko Tsourkan
02-23-2012, 10:22 AM
The Marko Meji!

Not quite. I can't say I haven't been influenced by Kramer's Meiji (double negative, I know), but there are some subtle but important differences.
Size - my D is smaller, similar in size to Japanese D, so balance on the blade is forward. Taper - Meiji has a flat taper on one side, my revised D has flat taper on both sides of the ferrule (Fish/Andy influence). Meiji has an angled butt, my D will not (this feature doesn't appeal to me on wa handles). Machi height - Meiji look in part depends on machi height, I use regular machi height, so the triangle at the ferrule is narrower and looks slightly different.

Call the both souped up variations of a D. :)

M

Adagimp
02-23-2012, 02:51 PM
Looks fantastic and the taper seems like it would serve a practical purpose as well.

Marko Tsourkan
02-25-2012, 06:45 PM
I sort of like how low of ambient light alters the look.

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mhenry
02-25-2012, 06:51 PM
Beautiful Marko. I am really diggin the new shape. How are these constructed? They look too tapered at the tang to be mortise/tenon

Marko Tsourkan
02-26-2012, 04:25 AM
Beautiful Marko. I am really diggin the new shape. How are these constructed? They look too tapered at the tang to be mortise/tenon

Thanks Mike
They have blind mortice and tenon joints. Mortice partially extends into tenon, allowing for tapered design.

M

Tristan
02-26-2012, 11:47 AM
Patiently waiting for you to wow your current clients, so that it'll be my turn to handle the finished merchandise! Want want want...

Marko Tsourkan
02-26-2012, 11:47 AM
In day light.

I shortened a taper (proportionally) and blended edges for a more comfortable hold on a petty handle.

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Johnny.B.Good
02-26-2012, 01:26 PM
Beautiful work Marko.

Luke_G
02-26-2012, 01:55 PM
A stunner Marko!

jmforge
02-27-2012, 01:49 AM
Those are nice, Marko. I haven't tried a Coke bottle handle on a full tang blade, btu I have done a number of them with hidden tangs. My advice, Start with with slightly larger handle in mind than what you want to finish with.:big grin: What I have found is that with that type of handle, you can feel if even the tiniest bit needs to be sanded down some more.

Marko Tsourkan
02-29-2012, 01:01 PM
225mm gyuto
180mm gyuto
165mm petty

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DeepCSweede
02-29-2012, 01:09 PM
Marko - Are a lot of people going with the D handle vs the traditional wa?

Marko Tsourkan
02-29-2012, 01:14 PM
No, but I am trying to change it, as I think in some ways,D style is a better handle.

Pensacola Tiger
02-29-2012, 01:41 PM
Marko - Are a lot of people going with the D handle vs the traditional wa?

Funny, I always thought the D-handle was traditional. Go figure.

Marko Tsourkan
02-29-2012, 02:20 PM
D is a variation of an oval handle and an oval is derived from octagonal, so in that sense, all of them are traditional.

Japanese swords handles are oval or octagonal if you want to make a link between those and the present-day kitchen knives handles.

M

DeepCSweede
02-29-2012, 02:29 PM
D is a variation of an oval handle and an oval is derived from octagonal, so in that sense, all of them are traditional.

Japanese swords handles are oval or octagonal if you want to make a link between those and the present-day kitchen knives handles.

M

Yeah - What he said:spin chair:

I was more curious about what percentage of people were going with wa vs. D. Seems like a lot of people favor the wa. I'm still trying to figure out if I like the D before I have the new toy regripped. I've been on the road for two weeks and haven't had any time to play with it yet though.

Deckhand
02-29-2012, 02:36 PM
Yeah - What he said:spin chair:

I was more curious about what percentage of people were going with wa vs. D. Seems like a lot of people favor the wa. I'm still trying to figure out if I like the D before I have the new toy regripped. I've been on the road for two weeks and haven't had any time to play with it yet though.

My current knives are western handled. Recently was sent some wa handles to test drive. My custom will be wa.

Marko Tsourkan
02-29-2012, 02:39 PM
Both octagonal and D style are wa hanldes.

@DeepCSweede -
I think you mean octagonal when you say wa, or that is what I have been interpreting as.

M

tgraypots
02-29-2012, 02:40 PM
I have 2 D's and one octagonal. I prefer the D's.

Lucretia
02-29-2012, 03:08 PM
Those are some sexy knives!

Marko Tsourkan
02-29-2012, 03:18 PM
Those are some sexy knives!


For me look of a knife is just as important as performance, though I am probably in minority.

M

DeepCSweede
02-29-2012, 03:39 PM
Both octagonal and D style are wa hanldes.

@DeepCSweede -
I think you mean octagonal when you say wa, or that is what I have been interpreting as.

M

Yes Marko, you are correct - I was referring to the octagonal shape as wa - my bad on the confusion. See - even when I'm wrong most people know what I am talking about - Sorry for the confusion Rick :spankarse:

Eric

DeepCSweede
02-29-2012, 03:42 PM
My current knives are western handled. Recently was sent some wa handles to test drive. My custom will be wa.

I am leaning toward the Octagonal vs. D, but like I said, I need to spend a little time with it to make that determination.

DeepCSweede
02-29-2012, 03:46 PM
Marko - Both your Octagonal and D handles look fantastic - I wish you were still doing custom handles.

WillC
02-29-2012, 03:55 PM
Really lovely work Marko. :doublethumbsup:

Pensacola Tiger
02-29-2012, 04:37 PM
Yes Marko, you are correct - I was referring to the octagonal shape as wa - my bad on the confusion. See - even when I'm wrong most people know what I am talking about - Sorry for the confusion Rick :spankarse:

Eric

That's OK, I'm confused more often than not.

One advantage of octagonal is that it it neither right- not left-handed.

chazmtb
02-29-2012, 04:46 PM
For me look of a knife is just as important as performance, though I am probably in minority.

M


Yes, that's the key. It can look drop dead gorgeous, but when it comes to function, it has to pass that test too, especially for the ones who have used a lot of different knives and know what they want. I think it is also expectations which correlates to price paid for the knife.

Deckhand
02-29-2012, 04:46 PM
Both octagonal and D style are wa hanldes.

@DeepCSweede -
I think you mean octagonal when you say wa, or that is what I have been interpreting as.

M

Yes, I was referring to octagon as well. Like the nunchucks I had as a teenager. Very comfortable. Sorry for not having more knowledge on this. Really like your work.

chazmtb
02-29-2012, 04:55 PM
Having tried/used M's modified D, I prefer it on a gyuto. However, as for classic sleek lines, the octagonal is where it is at, especially on a yanagiba or traditional single beveled Japanese knife.

kalaeb
02-29-2012, 04:58 PM
I am all in for the coke bottle shaped handle.

chazmtb
02-29-2012, 05:53 PM
I am all in for the coke bottle shaped handle.

Yep, on a western, it is my favorite...

Marko Tsourkan
03-02-2012, 09:43 AM
The Kid
135mm petty in 52100 w/ cocobolo, buffalo horn, and nickel silver spacer handle

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99Limited
03-02-2012, 10:40 AM
Sweet little knife. First time I've seen your logo on your work. Looks like the etching came out really nice.

Deckhand
03-02-2012, 11:59 AM
For me look of a knife is just as important as performance, though I am probably in minority.

M

Doubt it, looks are important. I really like the petty you just posted. I really like octagon on bigger knives, but for some reason think I would prefer D handles on smaller knives like pettys.

Johnny.B.Good
03-02-2012, 01:04 PM
Pretty little knife Marko. Your logo really does look great (design, size, and execution).

Crothcipt
03-03-2012, 01:33 AM
When you first posted this I really didn't understand what the differences were. I started looking at some of my newer acquisitions and realized the knives I have been using are more of the d shape, and am hating the oct. handle. And it turns out that is the whole difference for me. Love your work too.

Burl Source
03-03-2012, 02:02 PM
If you get tired of knives, you could always become a pro photographer.
Very well done photos.

BTW: the knives look great too.

don
03-03-2012, 02:12 PM
Impressive work, Marko! I really like your D-shape handles.

Marko Tsourkan
03-03-2012, 07:05 PM
If you get tired of knives, you could always become a pro photographer.
Very well done photos.

BTW: the knives look great too.

You would laugh if you saw my setup, but thanks for the compliment everybody.

M

SpikeC
03-03-2012, 07:44 PM
It's not the setup, butt what you do with it!

Burl Source
03-03-2012, 10:09 PM
I keep coming back to look at these handles.
The fit and finish looks great.
What really catches my eye are the ridge on one side and the taper at the front.
To me that gives the handles a refined look. I am assuming they give a more comfortable grip as well.

The commercially produced D handles I have seen, have just looked like a misshapen piece of dowel.

ejd53
03-10-2012, 05:36 PM
I have been using mine (180mm Gyuto) for 3 days now. I can say without reservation that the D handle is extremely comfortable and is nothing like a commercially produced D shape. The ridge is subtle and didn't even bother me too much when I tried it in my left hand for fun. :biggrin:. I will be posting a review after I have used it for a little while longer.