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.
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.