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Adjusting the balance point on a western
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Thread: Adjusting the balance point on a western

  1. #1
    Senior Member Lucretia's Avatar
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    Adjusting the balance point on a western

    I got a nifty new little knife (150mm petty with a western handle) a while back, and it might be a good one, but the balance is really off for my taste. It balances about 0.25" (a little over 6mm) behind where the bolster meets wood. I use a pinch grip, so it feels heavy and wallows around when I use it--the handle tries to drop down and swings around like the hips on a $2 prostitute. If I try to grip it further back on the handle, I run out of handle before the balance feels right.

    Trying to figure out what to do about it, and have come up with a few options:

    1) get it rehandled with a lighter wood--the handle is ironwood, so going to something like maple might change the balance. Would make me cranky--the knife was kind of expensive already--but might be the best option.

    2) sell it.

    3) whip out the sandpaper and go to work on it. There are a couple places where the handle could be slimmed down--especially at the end of the handle where it would do the most good.

    Any other suggestions?

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    Now is not the time to bother me. And it's always now. Wiley Miller

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jmadams13's Avatar
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    I understand the reluctance to rehandle, but really might be the best option I you like the blade as much as it seems like you do. I would try sanding first before a rehandle as if it doesn't work, your still gonna fix it. I have a vintage paring that had the same issue, and sanding down the handle a little made a huge difference in the feel, and made it more comftorable for hand work.
    "This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption.. Beer!" -Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, Friar Tuck

  3. #3
    I'd personally start by removing/sanding some of the material off the handle. If that doesn't push up the balance point, maybe a rehandle might be in order. Pretty nice looking handle already, it'd be a shame to have to tear it off.

  4. #4
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    I'd ease the edges on the butt, and if that doesn't work, take the middle fat down a bit as well. If that doesn't work, you could try an olive wood rehandle.

    Is that an R2 Tanaka?
    09/06

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty View Post
    I'd ease the edges on the butt, and if that doesn't work, take the middle fat down a bit as well. If that doesn't work, you could try an olive wood rehandle.

    Is that an R2 Tanaka?
    My vote is a Shig.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Pensacola Tiger View Post
    My vote is a Shig.
    +1

    I don't know whether Shigefusa makes western handled petty knives, but it sure looks like a mini-western Shigefusa.
    Michael
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  7. #7
    Senior Member Lucretia's Avatar
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    Yosihide.
    Now is not the time to bother me. And it's always now. Wiley Miller

  8. #8
    The bolster and full thickness tang are the real killers here on the weight distribution problem. I'd guess that if you rehandled it then it might get a little better but not much (since ironwood is only slightly heavier than most stabilized woods are) whereas if you were to grind the bolster off and taper the tang you can bet on the balance point moving into the blade substantially regardless of what type of scale material is used.

    I probably wouldn't invest so much into the knife myself but if you like the blade shape/style then maybe it's worth considering.

  9. #9
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    I like the handle shape a lot!
    09/06

    Take a look around at: www.sharpandshinyshop.com

    Email me at: tmclean@sharpandshinyshop.com

  10. #10
    Dave is right on this one. A tapered tang will do the most good.

    Hoss

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