View Full Version : Help me with my 1st WIP

04-20-2012, 08:31 AM
My boss wants me to refurb this Henckel slicer. It's old, I don't know how old. I want to keep it as original as possible. I have never seen a knife with the handle "tacked" on like this. The bolster is two seperate pieces of metal too. I need as much help as possible. If this is out of my capabilities, somebody PM me with a quote for some work.
I need to clean the blade up too, as there is some rust. I don't want to lose too much patina though, is this possible?

04-20-2012, 08:43 AM
If there's rust on the blade there's a good chance that the tang is pretty rusty too given the gaps in the handle =/

Eamon Burke
04-20-2012, 01:44 PM
You wanna replace the handle scales? For something not so warped?

04-20-2012, 03:02 PM
That is a pretty cool looking knife. I have never seen a Zwiling with a handle like that. Could be a fun project, all you would really need would be some 3/16 pins from a handle supply place like Jantz, some black scales, which you can get from Burl Source, epoxy and some sandpaper.

That plus some elbow grease and you can get some brownie points from your boss.

If you absolutely do not want to do it yourself:

Taz575, a hobbyist vendor here has been doing some western re-handles as does Dave (we all know what Dave's refurbs look like).

Have fun!

04-20-2012, 04:05 PM
What tools and experience do you have? I'd scotchbrite the blade and given the gaps around the scales I'd carefully remove them and replace them with something nice from Mark. Using liners may help give a neater fit to the tang. Nickel silver pins in the same layout would look good.
Good luck with it

04-20-2012, 04:41 PM
I think you should first ask yourself what you are prepared to change and what should remain. From what I've seen I cannot say whether you should change the handle. Would you notice some play obviously you should, otherwise not. First go for performance, aesthetics may follow. I would like to see a well polished edge together with the original handle, though.

sachem allison
04-21-2012, 12:42 AM
get some cork and emery and get the rust off the blade, you may have some pitting, use a progression of different grits and maybe some dish washing soap. lightly sand the handle and remove any grime and crap, sand the sides of the knife were the tang is visible, keep sanding until you get a nice uniform shiny tang and it is smooth and even with the wood on the handle. soak the handle with some mineral oil, for a couple of days. The wood should swell, wipe the excess off, you should wipe it off every day for a couple of days until it doesn't sweat anymore oil. Put an edge on it and give it to him. This knife was made around the turn of the century and you are not going to find better quality ebony today without paying and arm and a leg. it will take a hair popping edge.

sachem allison
04-21-2012, 12:44 AM
just do it the way I say and he will be happy, trust me.

04-21-2012, 12:48 AM
just do it the way I say and he will be happy, trust me.
Cool, thanks Son. I'll definitely try your method first. I'll keep everyone posted as to how it goes.

sachem allison
04-21-2012, 12:57 AM
so, what you want to do is roll the emery around the cork and use straight dishwashing liquid as a lubricant.Not too much. Sand the length of the blade until you get a nice uniform look, than switch to the next higher grit and repeat, keep doing this until you get the desired finish. If you want you can get some fingerstones and put a final polish on it. Depends on how much you like your boss. That ebony will polish up like glass, you can essentially do the same progression of emery on the wood without the soap. or put it on a buffing wheel if you like. I myself like a hand rubbed satin finish.

04-24-2012, 09:19 PM
I haven't had too much time to work on this lately, but I'm trying Son's method. I have soaked the handle in mineral oil and have been really surprised with how much it has come back to life. I will still probably need to apply some epoxy later on, but I am happy a new handle is not needed.
As for the blade:
Man, I have scrubbed the bejesus out of this thing with with some emory and cork with very minimal results. I tried some emory compound and a buffing wheel and got much better results. Most of the big black areas I first thought were patina(but were rust) have come off. However, there is some substantial pitting in at least 30 spots on the surface. This pitting is so deep, and the blade so thin that I don't think I can make them go away without totally ruining the knife.
I can't wait to finish the cosmetic refurb on this, put a good edge on it -and give it back to my boss. This thing has been in his wife's(also my boss) family for God knows how long(maybe a hundred years if Son is right)-and I am happy they will be able to use it again. Maybe for special occasions- for Thanksgiving or a Seder dinner.
I kinda think some knives may have a soul.............as cheesy as that sounds.

04-30-2012, 10:35 PM
So, I went with Son's method and kept it 100% original. Aside from a couple drops of epoxy on the tang and a buttload of elbow grease, I've added nothing. I wish I could've gotten more of the rust spots and pits out but it's such a thin knife to begin with.
I'm astounded by how much the handle came back to life after days of soaking in mineral oil. And impressed by how good of an edge this thing has taken. I just wish I had a giant hunk of meat to slice with this antique.
Thanks everyone for the input.http://i1271.photobucket.com/albums/jj640/landon_chris/IMG_3913.jpghttp://i1271.photobucket.com/albums/jj640/landon_chris/IMG_3909.jpghttp://i1271.photobucket.com/albums/jj640/landon_chris/IMG_3904.jpghttp://i1271.photobucket.com/albums/jj640/landon_chris/IMG_3903.jpg
I feel like I should throw in a before for referencehttp://i1271.photobucket.com/albums/jj640/landon_chris/IMG_3877.jpg

sachem allison
04-30-2012, 11:56 PM
very nicely done. sometimes less is definitely more. there are some knives that a complete restoration is not necessary. you gave it its usefulness back and it retains its dignity. The key is when someone who doesn't know what it looked like before can pick it up and say what a cool antique knife you have. It doesn't look new and shiny, it looks like there is history there. Now that may sound strange coming from me with all of my restoration projects, but look carefully at the work most of the guys have done and you will still see the history there. Never, said that emery and cork thing would be easy, it takes time and an incredible amount of patience.lol Every day at work if I have a slow time I scrub a pitted blade with emery and cork, I usually just use water, because it's easier to clean up if I get busy.
excellent job,

05-01-2012, 12:05 AM
Great job!

05-01-2012, 12:47 AM
Did you experience any overgrind issue?

05-01-2012, 09:45 PM
nice job. Next thing you know you will be looking at how to re-handle one of them.

Eamon Burke
05-02-2012, 09:49 AM
Nice! I think that handle is cool.

05-03-2012, 12:05 AM
Did you experience any overgrind issue?
I was surprised by how quickly I was able to sharpen this. No overgrind issues-I know some of the pics make it look weird though. I did a 1k to 4k to 8k no problem, less than an hour. However there were (and still are) some serious and I mean serious grind marks all over this piece. It looks like someone tried to sharpen this thing on concrete at some point in time. I do wish I could have done more to cosmetically fix it, but just too thin of a blade-really flexible too. I hated to see it go, but my boss was stoked with what I did. I'm happy it will get used again after over 30+ years of being in storage.

05-03-2012, 12:31 AM
Thank you for your answer! My question raised because of the fatal but too common combination of rust near the edge and a lot of steeling in the past. Happy to hear it wasn't the case here.
Perhaps you should renegotiate your salary in a week or two, before he forgets...