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Marko Tsourkan
12-29-2012, 05:40 PM
I have mentioned recently that I am going to phase out horn due to a difficulty of securing a quality supply. I looked at several substitutes, and the best I liked are blackwood and ebony. However, I do not like to leave the wood end-grain exposed, so to address that, I will cap it with a metal.

It took me a while to work out the process, but below is a D-style handle that you will see on my knives from now on. I incorporated a few changes that were suggested during the private feedback and a current pass-around, so I think for the most part, the process is finalized.

For a metal cap, the choice will be nickel silver, aged bronze, stainless steel and DT mokume. A spacer of the same metal can be added.

I will also offer octagonal handles in the same construction, though I get barely any requests for them.

One drawback is that it takes me a longer time to complete a handle in this construction and I will have to surcharge for the extra labor. It won't be applied to orders that I accepted deposits or payments for, but for all others, I unfortunately have to. DT Mokume, will be extra, but bronze or nickel silver will be included. Stainless steel I am looking for right now, so it is not a choice yet.

Sorry for subpar pics - got home when it was dark already and am gifting this knife tonight, so this is the only opportunity to take pics.


12403

12404

12405

12406

12407

12408

Von blewitt
12-29-2012, 06:03 PM
I like it Marko, my personal preference would be with spacer, I'd have a hard time deciding between DT mokume & Brass

apicius9
12-29-2012, 06:19 PM
Marko, you clearly are a masochist ;) But they do look great.

Stefan

kalaeb
12-29-2012, 07:00 PM
I have to admit I am a little surprised by more people going D over octagon, they both look great, I just thought more prefered the octagon.

Pensacola Tiger
12-29-2012, 07:16 PM
I have to admit I am a little surprised by more people going D over octagon, they both look great, I just thought more prefered the octagon.

I used to prefer octagonal until I tried one of Marko's D-handles.

RRLOVER
12-29-2012, 08:30 PM
Marko, you clearly are a masochist ;) But they do look great.

Stefan

+1......She is beautiful

DevinT
12-29-2012, 10:21 PM
Nice

Hoss

eto
12-29-2012, 11:40 PM
Excellent Marko, the tapered bolster looks like it will feel good in the hand. Very nice work as always.

cookinstuff
12-29-2012, 11:57 PM
It's funny I generally like octagon handles, but when I get my Marko's made, I gotta go with the D. Your d's look really comfortable Marko, I like the cap on the end, I can always tell a Marko handle, clean look.

Andrew H
12-30-2012, 01:25 AM
Beautiful. The handle isn't bad either.

wino
12-30-2012, 08:49 AM
How do you think it would look with a piece of your 52100 ? With patina

Marko Tsourkan
12-30-2012, 09:10 AM
Thanks folks, I appreciate your comments and support.

I am not a masochist, really, just this construction is more of a logical step given the materials available. The unfortunate side effect - it takes more effort to make.

A spacer could be added, though personally, I like the handle without it. DT mokume tip will be lightly etched and over time it will age very nicely. I suppose, I could add brass to the list metals to choose the tip from.

The minor changes I made to the D design were to address the comfort of a handle-grip, as well as a transition between a handle-grip to a pinch-grip.

I decided to replace the handle of a pass-around gyuto to the updated one (knife is with me at the moment), so I can gather more feedback. Planning on dropping it off with Son on January 2.

M

Marko Tsourkan
12-30-2012, 10:16 AM
How do you think it would look with a piece of your 52100 ? With patina

It should look pretty good. I found that pork fat and juices bring the most vibrant patina on 52100. Onions don't even come close.

M

mr drinky
12-30-2012, 12:45 PM
It should look pretty good. I found that pork fat and juices bring the most vibrant patina on 52100. Onions don't even come close.

M


mmmmhhhh, pork fat.

I love my Marko D handle. Nice work Marko.

k.

Chefdog
12-30-2012, 01:03 PM
mmmmhhhh, pork fat.
.

I've got a chunk of mortadella in the fridge. Now if someone could send me a MT suji, I'd be happy to start on that patina for them. Might take quite a long time though.....

Marko Tsourkan
12-30-2012, 01:05 PM
Yes, yours was the forebear to this one. :)

sachem allison
12-31-2012, 12:08 AM
i will have a bottle waiting.

jmforge
12-31-2012, 12:52 AM
Marko, what does a D handle do for you that an octagon or western "Coke bottle" handle does not?

Marko Tsourkan
12-31-2012, 01:00 AM
D gives me the best control out of three, but I pinch grip.

mpukas
12-31-2012, 02:08 AM
I can appreciate why you had to come to this conclusion - it makes sense, and I think it's a elegant way to deal with the situation. I have to say, though, I prefer the horn bolster.

Question - do you have nay taper to your D handles, or are they level from back to front?

Marko Tsourkan
12-31-2012, 09:13 AM
All my handles are tapered back to front on all four sides, plus a taper at the ferrule.

I have used horn up to this point, however, blackwood polishes to just a notch below horn, and if a handle is made of natural woods, the movement of blackwood is comparable to the wood the handle is made of, while horn moves at a different rate.

I will add that this design has grown on me substantially. I have three more handles in works, so hopefully pics of these will do the handle a better justice.

M

Dream Burls
12-31-2012, 11:27 AM
mmmmhhhh, pork fat.

I love my Marko D handle. Nice work Marko.

k.
I agree with mr drinky. Marko's D handle is extremely comfortable and controllable. Aesthetically though, I lean towards the use of a spacer as it provides what I think is a nice contrast between handle and ferrule. The use of an end cap would busy that up a bit, but if the proportion between the spacer and the end cap works I think the use of a spacer still makes aesthetic sense. Either way, Marko's handles are top notch.

daddy yo yo
01-02-2013, 05:23 AM
I agree with mr drinky. Marko's D handle is extremely comfortable and controllable. Aesthetically though, I lean towards the use of a spacer as it provides what I think is a nice contrast between handle and ferrule. The use of an end cap would busy that up a bit
this is so my opinion. me too, i am afraid that this additional end cap is just too much. so, my dream handle from marko would have a spacer, black horn ferrule, but no endcap.

tk59
01-02-2013, 05:39 PM
+1. I like what you've done but something in me still prefers the more classic look.

Salty dog
01-02-2013, 06:10 PM
Stick with the classic look if you want to be like everyone else. Personally I love the look. It makes a statement. " I'm better than the rest".
Plus it really anchors the balance point.

Marko Tsourkan
01-02-2013, 06:55 PM
Stick with the classic look if you want to be like everyone else. Personally I love the look. It makes a statement. " I'm better than the rest".
Plus it really anchors the balance point.

I am glad you liked the new look. I think in terms of elegance, the new look is at least as good as old, the metal on metal makes a cleaner connection (besides improving balance), and adding a spacer is an option.

I won't turn down a request for the classic look, but it would have to be a wood ferrule instead of horn (ebony or blackwood) and I would need to protect the end-grain of the ferrule, to assure the longevity of the handle. I have heard that stabilizing blackwood is possible, so I might be looking into it.

I need to finish a couple more and post better pictures of the handles!

M

jmforge
01-02-2013, 07:55 PM
Marko, If mark doesn't have it, Chuck at Alpha will occasionally have some stabilized blackwood blocks. With that said, it is probably a wood that needs and benefits from stabilizing the least. It may also be the oiliest wood that you can actually stabilize. :lol2:
I am glad you liked the new look. I think in terms of elegance, the new look is at least as good as old, the metal on metal makes a cleaner connection (besides improving balance), and adding a spacer is an option.

I won't turn down a request for the classic look, but it would have to be a wood ferrule instead of horn (ebony or blackwood) and I would need to protect the end-grain of the ferrule, to assure the longevity of the handle. I have heard that stabilizing blackwood is possible, so I might be looking into it.

I need to finish a couple more and post better pictures of the handles!

M

Marko Tsourkan
01-02-2013, 09:41 PM
Anything that could reduce the movement of blackwood or ebony would be of a benefit when you use a metal spacer or a tip. I have heard K&G can do stabilizing, so I am going to send them some shortly.

M

tk59
01-02-2013, 09:56 PM
...need to protect the end-grain of the ferrule...I do find that blackwood tends to be kind of brittle. If the ferrule has to be blackwood, I'd definitely opt for the metal cap.

apicius9
01-02-2013, 09:58 PM
I had some snakewood and blackwood that was stabilized by K&G. Short-term I did not really see much of a difference, maybe that is something that will have benefits over time, not sure.

Stefan

jmforge
01-03-2013, 01:06 AM
Weird. Blackwood behaves like all of the other rosewoods for me. The brittleness of ebony is why i replaced it with blackwood in the first place.

Mike Davis
01-03-2013, 10:50 AM
I use blackwood all the time, and i love it. I prefer it over ebony as it is substantially more stable. I like the new handles Marko.

Marko Tsourkan
01-03-2013, 07:56 PM
Thanks, Mike -

sachem allison
01-03-2013, 09:28 PM
Thanks, Mike -

thought you was coming to see me

Marko Tsourkan
01-03-2013, 11:29 PM
I was, but would come empty-handed. More about it soon.

sachem allison
01-04-2013, 12:20 AM
no worries, I forgot the bottle anyway.lol have a great year Marko.

mpukas
01-04-2013, 05:09 PM
Marko, just curious - what are your thoughts on using a synthetic material for the bolster, such as G10 or micarta, instead of wood to avoid th eissue of the exposed end grain? Cheers! mpp

Marko Tsourkan
01-05-2013, 08:34 AM
I have always used natural materials and would like to keep it this way for as long as I can obtain them. Nothing against synthetics, just personal preference for natural materials.

cclin
01-05-2013, 09:46 AM
Marko, I like your new hand but I also like your classic handle very much!! Do you consider use marble/brown horn, musk-ox horn or ivory ferrule ??

Marko Tsourkan
01-05-2013, 11:20 AM
No elephant ivory, any horn (including musk horn) if can be procured or supplied, other ivories (tusks) unless from endangered species.

M

Crothcipt
01-05-2013, 06:11 PM
Mammoth??? Its extinct.....

JK:lolsign:

Btw love the D handle. Wish others would do them here too.

Marko Tsourkan
01-06-2013, 12:20 AM
At this rate, elephants will be extinct soon too, hence I won't touch it, pre-ban, included.

megapuff5
01-10-2013, 09:10 PM
very interesting

chinacats
01-11-2013, 12:27 AM
At this rate, elephants will be extinct soon too, hence I won't touch it, pre-ban, included.

Good man Marko!

Marko Tsourkan
01-11-2013, 09:50 PM
Good man Marko!

I have been consistent on this for many years, and I intend on keeping it this way. I think I will be better off concentrate on quality of my blades (steel, HT, grind, etc) than on rarity of materials on my handles. Knife is a tool and should be used as one.

Marko Tsourkan
02-02-2013, 09:42 AM
Ran into some issued with this construction that required some changes in the process. Had to stop work and only resumed it (almost a week after) once those were corrected. As a result, a couple of handles are offered as seconds. The cocobolo is actually a first quality, but I think the look with a spacer grew on me substantially, so all my handles will feature that from now on.

13050

13049

PS: Knives in the pictures are practice while handles are seconds (technically only redwood is)

The hekler
02-02-2013, 09:55 AM
How big are the handles? Or can you give us the length of the knives so we can figure out what they might fit. That gyuto that the cocobolo handle is on looks quite large. I would be very interested in the redwood handle if it would make an ideal fit the the 180mm shige Mukimono I just bought.

Dream Burls
02-02-2013, 10:23 AM
Ran into some issued with this construction that required some changes in the process. Had to stop work and only resumed it (almost a week after) once those were corrected. As a result, a couple of handles are offered as seconds. The cocobolo is actually a first quality, but I think the look with a spacer grew on me substantially, so all my handles will feature that from now on.

13050

13049

PS: Knives in the pictures are practice while handles are seconds (technically only redwood is)

Good choice. I think the spacer balances the tip very nicely. If you remember, I was thinking about that combination for my knife at one point. Maybe next time.

Marko Tsourkan
02-02-2013, 10:38 AM
How big are the handles? Or can you give us the length of the knives so we can figure out what they might fit. That gyuto that the cocobolo handle is on looks quite large. I would be very interested in the redwood handle if it would make an ideal fit the the 180mm shige Mukimono I just bought.

These handles are sized to (and mounted on) the knives in the picture. Both are on hold till Tuesday.

Marko Tsourkan
02-02-2013, 11:05 AM
Sorry, forgot to name the knives

Top one 180mm long petty/short suji/utility knife in 52100 (ground super thin at the edge and above). Redwood handle with DT mokume spacer and tip.

Bottom one is 225mm gyuto in 52100 (practice knife with earlier HT and thinner than my current knife. Latest geometry). Cocobolo handle with nickel silver tip.

Pensacola Tiger
02-02-2013, 05:46 PM
Beautiful handles, Marko. I have to say that I like the one without the spacer a bit better, though.

markenki
02-02-2013, 07:27 PM
Beautiful handles, Marko. I have to say that I like the one without the spacer a bit better, though.
+1

ThEoRy
02-02-2013, 08:04 PM
I like it with the spacer.

Cipcich
02-02-2013, 08:21 PM
I'd like to see a photo of a knife with an old school octagonal handle, ironwood and horn, with nickel-silver spacer, for reference . .

Pensacola Tiger
02-02-2013, 08:29 PM
I'd like to see a photo of a knife with an old school octagonal handle, ironwood and horn, with nickel-silver spacer, for reference . .

Cocobolo, not ironwood ...

http://i758.photobucket.com/albums/xx226/Pensacola_Tiger/Carter%20HG%20Funayuki/file_zps8af88fd2.jpg

chinacats
02-02-2013, 10:35 PM
I think I prefer without the spacer myself, though both look nice.

Marko Tsourkan
02-03-2013, 08:22 AM
Horn in yesterday, unfortunately. Horn ferrules failed on a couple of handles I made recently (one cracked while in transit to Canada after months in my dry shop and weeks at my apartment), so I am no longer wiling to take chances.

Since you guys like handles with and without spacer, I will just ask for the preference.

M

Dream Burls
02-03-2013, 08:41 AM
Makes perfect sense. Why do all the work and spend all the time when it might be in vain? Your time is too valuable. As for the spacers, great idea to give the customer what they want. Either way they'll getting a top quality beautiful knife.

daddy yo yo
02-03-2013, 12:46 PM
i have recently placed an order with marko for one of his beauty-gyutos, and i am very much looking forward to it.

reading now that horn will no longer be an option for ferrule material really is a major turn-off. i understand all the quality issues, of course. but why is it so hard to get good horn material? apparently japanese makers can get it... it is possibly only a personal preference, but for me, no other material comes close to a horn ferrule...

besides, i don't want a metal tip on the handle, only a metal spacer between handle and ferrule. but the handle tip is prone to humidity/water, so horn makes sense. can stabilized material (stab. wood) offer similar water resistance?

daddy yo yo
02-03-2013, 01:04 PM
to be more precise: my handle shall be d-shaped, desert ironwood, nickel silver spacer + horn ferrule. now that horn is no longer an option (no way at all???), i need some alternative black ferrule material which, when polished, will shine also. african blackwood maybe? would stabilized african blackwood be any "better" than natural blackwood?

Marko Tsourkan
02-03-2013, 01:14 PM
For custom orders people can choose any combination of available materials, though I am not likely to use horn. I find that blackwood or ebony is in some way a better substitute, as it moves less than horn, so in winter months, you won't have a spacer to protrude as much if you had a horn ferrule.

Blackwood or ebony doesn't stabilize well (to jugge by little weight change before and after stabilizing). Both polish to a pretty nice luster, a notch less than horn.

Dream Burls
02-03-2013, 05:34 PM
to be more precise: my handle shall be d-shaped, desert ironwood, nickel silver spacer + horn ferrule. now that horn is no longer an option (no way at all???), i need some alternative black ferrule material which, when polished, will shine also. african blackwood maybe? would stabilized african blackwood be any "better" than natural blackwood?

Marko made a d-shaped desert ironwood handle with an African blackwood ferrule(ivory spacer) for me a number of months ago. I love the look of the blackwood even more than the horn which was a bit too shiny for me, almost looked synthetic. The blackwood takes a nice shine, but still looks like a natural material. As for stabilization, I don't think it's necessary, but you can always go ahead and do it, but it will cost you a lot to do such a small piece. Trust Marko, he's a real pro and has great instincts and experience.

daddy yo yo
02-04-2013, 02:49 AM
I find that blackwood or ebony is in some way a better substitute, as it moves less than horn, so in winter months, you won't have a spacer to protrude as much if you had a horn ferrule.thanks, marko! living in austria implies that there are big differences between summer and winter temperatures/humidity...


Marko made a d-shaped desert ironwood handle with an African blackwood ferrule(ivory spacer) for me a number of months ago. I love the look of the blackwood even more than the horn which was a bit too shiny for me, almost looked synthetic. The blackwood takes a nice shine, but still looks like a natural material. As for stabilization, I don't think it's necessary, but you can always go ahead and do it, but it will cost you a lot to do such a small piece. Trust Marko, he's a real pro and has great instincts and experience.can you post a pic of your beauty?

mpukas
02-04-2013, 07:00 PM
The handles are looking good Marko!

As for the spacer, I prefer no spacer, but I'd like to see a spacer that's about half or 1/3 the thickness of the one posted most recently. I a fan of thin spacers.

I still have to say, I think you should investigate some synthetic option for customers that don't want any end cap on the ferrule. I understand your desire to use natural products, but WHEN I order a custom from you, I'd prefer a synthetic ferrule with no cap to a natural w/ a cap.

Dream Burls
02-04-2013, 09:32 PM
can you post a pic of your beauty?[/QUOTE]


130911309013092

daddy yo yo
02-05-2013, 03:28 AM
very nice, i like it much, much better than i had imagined!!!

i think i would prefer a longer ferrule though, just for the looks...

Dream Burls
02-05-2013, 12:33 PM
You should see it in person, even better. If you do a custom you can get just about any length ferrule you want. Guess it depends on the size of your hand (mine are small) and your aesthetic preferences. Good luck.

Johnny.B.Good
02-05-2013, 03:31 PM
i think i would prefer a longer ferrule though, just for the looks...

Different strokes I guess, as I like it just the way it is. Great call on the ivory...

Beautiful, beautiful knife.

Dream Burls
02-05-2013, 04:35 PM
Different strokes I guess, as I like it just the way it is. Great call on the ivory...

Beautiful, beautiful knife.

Thanks JBG. I wanted to keep all the materials natural so ivory was the logical choice for me. I love using it too.

Johnny.B.Good
02-05-2013, 04:41 PM
Thanks JBG. I wanted to keep all the materials natural so ivory was the logical choice for me. I love using it too.

I like the contrast it provides.

Dream Burls
02-05-2013, 04:57 PM
+1

Marko Tsourkan
02-07-2013, 04:12 PM
I used a narrower N/S spacer in combination with the N/S tip. Ferrule - blackwood, handle - cocobolo. To gauge the size (it's a gyuto handle) adding a refinished Carter into the picture. This handle for a similar size knife.

13131

13130

13132

JohnnyChance
02-07-2013, 04:31 PM
Classy. I think it looks better than the original horn-spacer-wood d-handles.

Marko Tsourkan
02-07-2013, 04:37 PM
I think so too.

markenki
02-07-2013, 04:57 PM
Very nice! I like the thinner spacer better.

Von blewitt
02-07-2013, 05:01 PM
Awesome Marko! That looks amazing

Dream Burls
02-07-2013, 08:41 PM
Very, very nice Marko. The proportions among the ferrule, spacer and tip work very well. I like it a lot.

brainsausage
02-07-2013, 10:38 PM
That's very nice Marko. Contrasts well- pleasing balance of dark and light. Has a classic, yet modern feel to it. Well done.

cookinstuff
02-07-2013, 10:59 PM
Yes, that's it Marko, your right into your stride with those handles, lookin good.

ThEoRy
02-07-2013, 11:05 PM
I think it looks great though if the ferrule was just a bit longer I would feel it's perfect. Like if the length were long enough for the taper to start right on or just at the top of the silver spacer, that would be ideal.

don
02-08-2013, 02:05 AM
Beautiful work, very elegant.

marc4pt0
02-08-2013, 07:19 AM
absolutely digging on the D handle. very elegant.

Marko Tsourkan
02-08-2013, 08:53 AM
Thanks, folks.

Some people express preferences for both: tip and a spacer, some for tip only, so I will play by ear and for custom knives, of course, this will be a preference.

In the mean time, I am putting finishing touches on the construction, trying to make it more efficient and to reduce failure. This seems to take longer than I anticipated, but in some ways, the same methods is going to apply for a Western handle, so I hope it is time well spent.

Don Nguyen
02-08-2013, 10:44 AM
I agree with Theory's theory. If the ferrule were just a tad bit longer it would look more balanced. It's fantastic though. So clean, simple, and elegant. Do you buff these? The metal on there is shiny as heck.

Marko Tsourkan
02-08-2013, 11:26 AM
I tried a longer ferrule and didn't like it as much as a shorter. D hanldes are a little shorter in length than octagonal, and longer ferrule seems to stand our more on D.

Yes, tips and spacer are polished and buffed.

M

daddy yo yo
02-08-2013, 12:49 PM
this (or a tiny bit longer) would be the preferred ferrule length on my custom:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0vPkYtRWtGs/T5gSqckLteI/AAAAAAAAAcM/aX3V01pafJw/s1600/Marko+designs+full.jpg

ThEoRy
02-08-2013, 02:12 PM
this (or a tiny bit longer) would be the preferred ferrule length on my custom:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0vPkYtRWtGs/T5gSqckLteI/AAAAAAAAAcM/aX3V01pafJw/s1600/Marko+designs+full.jpg

Yup, that's what I'm talkin' about!

Marko Tsourkan
02-08-2013, 05:35 PM
It's a bit different with a metal tip. The length of the ferrule +tip is the same as the length of horn ferrule in the picture above.

mpukas
02-08-2013, 06:47 PM
Yup, that's what I'm talkin' about!

+3

I think with the metal tip + spacer and the shorter ferrule, the overall appearance is a shorter ferrule that looks too short. Adding the tip and spacer should either add to the length of the handle, making it a tad longer overall (which isn't a bad thing) or take the extra length out of the wood handle (which may make it look too short, so it may have to be a longer handle).

? - why does a D handle have to be short than an octagonal handle? There's not much worse in a handle than one that's too short, both aesthetically and functionally.

Marko Tsourkan
02-08-2013, 07:21 PM
Sure thing, I have no problem adding to the ferrule's lengh if you guys like it better.

I don't know why, but oversize octagonal looks better than oversize D.

Marko Tsourkan
03-05-2013, 11:13 AM
I have been thinking about wanting a cake and eating it too and, and here is my answer to the purists. Blackwood makes a pretty good substitute for horn (in some way it's better, as its movement is comparable to cocobolo while horn is not), and has less chance of a failure, so here you have it!
El Clasico!

13778

13779

13780

13781

brainsausage
03-05-2013, 11:19 AM
I dig it.

markenki
03-05-2013, 11:57 AM
Perfect.

don
03-05-2013, 08:29 PM
Perfect.

+1

Dream Burls
03-05-2013, 09:24 PM
Jsut like the one you made for me, except spacer was ivory and handle was ironwood. A classic indeed!

Von blewitt
03-06-2013, 05:59 AM
Looks great Marko!

mpukas
03-09-2013, 05:25 PM
Love it, but maybe the ferrule is a tad short?

Marko Tsourkan
03-09-2013, 05:58 PM
I can make it a little longer, but a long ferrule doesn't look good on a D handle. This one is 1 1/8".

Pensacola Tiger
03-09-2013, 06:05 PM
I like it!

Andrew H
03-09-2013, 06:34 PM
Love it, but maybe the ferrule is a tad short?

It might be the picture. In person this one is aesthetically perfect.

Marko Tsourkan
04-09-2013, 06:47 PM
I have decided to include brass to the materials I am currently offering for a guard, so the full list of choices will include nickel silver, brass, bronze, and DT mokume. Material in the picture is nikel silver.

14453

14454

14455

Marko Tsourkan
04-10-2013, 12:11 PM
1/4" yellow brass (added to a choice for a guard) is on the way.

mpukas
04-10-2013, 04:16 PM
Beautiful, Marko!