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View Full Version : Getting a Handle on Marko



wsfarrell
09-24-2012, 10:53 PM
I just bought one of Marko Tsourkan's "practice" knives, a 240 gyuto in 52100. It came without a handle, so I installed a pre-made handle from Epicurean Edge. The knife came with a fairly long tang, so I started working on the hole in the handle with needle files to expand it. This was going painfully slowly, so I put the tang on the belt grinder to shorten and taper it some. No dice---that steel is HARD, and my belt grinder is only a 1x42. So I put the knife in a vise and took an inch off the tang with a hacksaw. After some more needle filing, the blade ended up being a perfect super-tight friction fit, no glue required.

Here's a pic of blade and handle (after cutting the tang):

http://vstat.com/photos/marko1.jpg

And here is the finished product:

http://vstat.com/photos/marko2.jpg

Knife and handle together weigh only 157 grams, so it's a laser. Time to go cut something...

JohnnyChance
09-24-2012, 11:10 PM
Nice work!

chinacats
09-24-2012, 11:12 PM
Hoping I don't have to do all that to mine, but it sure looks great!

Johnny.B.Good
09-24-2012, 11:15 PM
You're a braver man than I to take a hacksaw to one of Marko's creations!

Well done. Knife looks fantastic.

knyfeknerd
09-24-2012, 11:21 PM
Nice job. Can't wait to hear how she performs.
If it's as good as I think it'll be, you gotta get a KKF forum member's handle on that baby! There's so many craftsmen to choose from!
Would be cool to see a Marko/Mike(mhenry) or Hattorichop or Stefan or any of the very talented people I'm sure I'm forgetting.

GlassEye
09-24-2012, 11:41 PM
I wish I could have afforded to get one those practice blades, great deal. I must commission one once I am not broke. I am sure you could attach anything to the tang and have an awesome knife.

Eamon Burke
09-25-2012, 10:51 AM
Nice! And since it's friction fit, you can pop it off to polish it, and maybe even swap it out someday!

wsfarrell
09-25-2012, 10:54 AM
Nice! And since it's friction fit, you can pop it off to polish it, and maybe even swap it out someday!

Exactly.

SpikeC
09-25-2012, 03:46 PM
That makes a very nice looking piece!

Dream Burls
09-25-2012, 04:12 PM
Nicely done. I'm sure Marko would approve.

JBroida
09-25-2012, 05:58 PM
thats a really short tang now... be careful

Johnny.B.Good
09-25-2012, 07:44 PM
thats a really short tang now... be careful

Careful? What do you think could happen?

JBroida
09-25-2012, 08:21 PM
the shorter tangs can lead to wobble within the handle (usually up and down in the case of shorter tangs), a less secure fit, greater chance of the handle falling off, and less metal to wear away over the years of use.

Lefty
09-25-2012, 08:32 PM
I'd think about epoxying it to avoid the exact issues Jon mentioned. He's a smart dude, and since that was my instinct as well....
But, it does look great!

wsfarrell
09-25-2012, 09:37 PM
Thanks for the advice. I'm a home cook and I treat my knives gently (no rat-a-tat chopping, no hard squash), so I don't think it will be a problem.

If I do decide to glue it at some point, I'd rather not take the handle off---it's *really* tight. So can anyone suggest a glue that's liquid enough to be applied with something like a large-bore needle?

JBroida
09-26-2012, 02:00 AM
even with glue, there can still be problems... i've seen this happen more than a few times with similar situations. Find a glue with a little flexibility so that it doesnt chip, crack, or shear with pressure.

wsfarrell
09-26-2012, 02:32 AM
even with glue, there can still be problems... i've seen this happen more than a few times with similar situations. Find a glue with a little flexibility so that it doesnt chip, crack, or shear with pressure.

I've done two handles like this recently with Gorilla Glue, and had no issues. It's made for furniture, and handles stress with ease. It's a little thick though to apply with the blade already in the handle. I was hoping for specific recommendations for something thinner.

I'd like to burn it in, but I don't have a good enough heat source. I assume that's the preferred method?