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Who says you can't polish a turd
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Thread: Who says you can't polish a turd

  1. #1
    Senior Member Jmadams13's Avatar
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    Who says you can't polish a turd

    As most here know, the Tojiro ITK Shirogami series knives have awful F&F, even more awful KU finish, and grind issues. But many here also know that hiding behind all that is a White #2 blade that's screaming for a little TLC. I have three from this series (don't judge, lol). And have been playing around with them lately. I've done handle mods on two, a 210 gyuto, 240mm Kiritsuke tipped gyuto. Here is the 210 after some fun with sand paper tonight.

    On all three, I removed the KU upon arival, the 210 was first, 240 a few months later, and was given a 120mm petty as a gift at Christmas. Again, don't judge my two purchases, lol, they were bought to mess around with, but actually love the Kiritsuke, once I got the thing sharp to my liking.


    Anyways... The handle mod was done the same on the 210 and the 240. It's not quite done, but is usable till the F&F is dialed in.

    My proccess:

    Knock of handle
    Cut off cheapo plastic furrell
    Smooth Ho wood handle, and for me that means softening up the D, and rounding the butt end a little bit
    Breaking out the torch and burning the crsp out of the wood, till practically black. Sand repeat
    Take some pliable copper flashing, tightly wrap around where furrell was, solder the seam (seam is kept on the "inside" of the handle)
    Sand copper smooth and polish up to 2500 grit, typical grit progression.
    Sand and polish handle up to 2000 grit, apply tung oil, wait repeat a few times
    Burn handle back on

    I like how burning and sanding the wood gives it a stained look, without having to worry about that. After lightly sanding between burns, the burned wood smell goes away. I do this about three times to get it really "burned" in so polishing doesn't lighten it up that much, keeping the dark look, but letting some grain shine threw.

    Handle on the Kiritsuke looks the same, been using it for about two months and its holding up great. Tonight I broke out the paper again to get the marks out after thinning last week, marked the edge with sharpie, and went to town. 230/300/400/600/800/1000/1500/2000/2500. I should have knocked the handle off again, but was lazy. Also put a fresh edge on. Cuts like a dream. Going to react like a mofo, but this was still fun. First time getting a finish this constant with only wet/dry paper.

    Sorry for bad iPhone pics.










    "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

  2. #2
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    Looks awesome to me. How reactive is the copper?

  3. #3

    knyfeknerd's Avatar
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    Looks good Joe. Where do you get the copper stuff? I'm assuming the hardware store, but what dept?
    Before I started making handles, I had a similar idea for my Tojiro nakiri but was never able to make it a reality. Next time do a WIP!
    If "Its" and "Buts" was candy and nuts, we'd all have a Merry Christmas
    -Cleon "Slammin'" Salmon

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jmadams13's Avatar
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    I got the flashing from my parents basement, lol. Was there when we moved in when I was in high school, was there when I moved out in 2005, still there, figured I'd call dibs, lol. I can mail you some Chris when I mail the Old File back (btw, I will, I just love it, and keep "forgetting" to mail it back, lol.)

    I'll do a WIP when I do the petty. Probably going to start next week. I need to get more tung oil, and find the time. I hate not being able to finish a project once I start.
    "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

  5. #5
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    mr drinky's Avatar
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    very nice turd

    k.
    "There's only one thing I hate more than lying…skim milk, which is water that's lying about being milk." -- Ron Swanson

  6. #6

    Zwiefel's Avatar
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    A bit off topic, but mythbusters did a more literal take on this

    Nice work on your part too!
    Remember: You're a unique individual...just like everybody else.

  7. #7
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    salute to you, sir.

  8. #8
    Good job, a hell of an improvement!
    one man gathers what another man spills...

  9. #9
    Senior Member Jmadams13's Avatar
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    Thanks all. It looks even better when it's not a crsppy iPhone picture, When I'm feeling less lazy and tired, I'll get a few real pics of the two together. The copper on the Kiritsuke came out better
    "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

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mrmnms's Avatar
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    Look great. Hard to believe it's the original handle it's so refined.

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