WHat kind of cost are you looking at converting yo- to wa-? I asked Dave Martell and he says it's something like $300-400?
I've heard negative comments on my work many times before. Even when I've done my very best where I'm impressed with myself I still get a poke or a slap from someone. I always accept it, learn from it, and move on.
I try to compliment when I feel I should, there's many times I'm quite impressed with a new maker or hobbyist and I say so. If these knives were done by the original poster then I'd have probably paid a compliment because I'd have been impressed by how well he did for his first couple. If the original poster had said that this was a freebie job where he wasn't charged because the guy wanted to experiment and he was happy to have the knife to do it on then I'd have likely not said anything but thought to myself, "that's cool", since I've done this myself many times over. It appears to have been a paid for job so I spoke up. I'm pretty sure that there's plenty of people seeing the pictures thinking the same thing that I said but not willing to say it out loud.
Why must we only say nice things or nothing at all?
Perhaps the tone of some of the negative comments was harsh, but I nonetheless completely agree with a lot of the criticism here. I'm not going to get into the details of the work itself, but my biggest concern is the philosophy of what was done to these knives.
If someone were to use this same person for a similar western to wa conversion, my biggest concern would be the fact that the knife itself, i.e. the choil, bolster areas, were significantly modified and not well, IMHO. As I've come to understand and appreciate, especially from Jon, handles are replaceable on a knife, and you don't seriously mess with a good knife unless you absolutely need to. (I raise this issue as to good knives, not clunkers.) Here, the philosophy seemed to be, fit the knife to the handle, not vice versa which is the way it should be.
Sure. A lot of problems can be fixed. But, once you mess with a good knife, you can never undo it. If you thin the face of a blade too much, you're never going to get back that thickness. This is one reason why I never understand why certain people always recommend seriously thinning a blade. You want a thin knife? BUY a properly made thin knife unless you really like the work of thinning a knife and want to see how a knife's performance changes as you thin it.
Likewise, if you grind away the choil or bolster incorrectly, you're never going to get that steel back. And, the way I look at it, if you modify the choil, you're not only affecting the balance of the knife, but also the length.
I'm not going to get into how the tang was shaped etc., but based on what I see, I can't imagine that the tang was correctly ground down. If so, you're also looking at future issues if you want to replace these handles.
"Don't you know who he is?"
i don't know what you guys consider a good handle, but i think these look pretty sweet. as for 'rough finish' i specifically asked for it to have some grit/texture as i don't like a smooth/shiny handle.
the kanji is printed on hence coming off during the blending process. i'd prefer it to not have been there to begin with. looks of the knife do not matter much to me. my purpose for conversion/rehandle process was for ergonomics to which was a complete success. before it was heavy and a bit clunky. now it fits my hand perfectly and is surprisingly light weight and very comfortable.
i was thrown off a bit at first by the heel, but i honestly don't use the ass end of the knife that much and hasn't affected my work so it doesnt bother me. the neck/tang looks a bit funny, but i can see why it goes up at an angle since it has to fit into the handle. i suppose it could have been ground upward to make the neck shorter but i think that would have been unnecessary work and make the knife weaker.
vangelis - the MR was never touched, that's the stock handle which i like a lot and was the influence behind asking for a rosewood/pakka ferrule handle for my tanaka.
as for utilizing the established handle guys to do the work, i find myself unable to spend more on the handle than on the actual knife itself so i went in an alternate route. i appreciate all the comments, both pos and neg as that's what a forum's for!
dave - no worries, i take no offense and thank you for your input.
mhenry - i understood the risk involved in the conversion and knew full on the potential risk of such things as lost metal so i'm cool with it. the finished product works for me and have no regrets.
I just saw this thread. I don't mind negative comments, but explaining the issues would be far more helpful, at least to me. A lot of you are far more knowledgeable about knives than I am, and I would appreciate specific comments about issues, as well as ways that you think the work could be improved upon. The later comments get more specific.
I agree that work that is paid for should get more scrutiny than someone doing something experimental to their own knife, and we expect more experienced folks to do a more refined job.
In the end, it seemed that the work was what the customer had asked for, and seemed happy with the results.
Look at this thing....it looks like it was flung out of a car during a high speed accident, then tied to a bumper and drug behind a dump truck for 2 years, and then someone came along and tried to do a repair to fix all that stuff but the person had no experience or tools so they just gave up.
Specifically? How about the finish, the deep scratches, the crappy tang grind and fit up to the handle, the (what the?) forward curved heal!?!?!?!
It's good that the owner of the knife is satisfied with the results though, that's really all that matters I guess.
I can understand your comments about the knife, I have a conversion from someone totally different then anyone discussed in this conversation and it looks much better. But at the same time, just like anything in the knife world.... You get what you pay for. Someone quoted you at saying a conversion would cost $300-$400 from you. I could understand you comparing this to your work (and standards) and criticizing based off of something you would produce if he charged anywhere near that price. But I can almost guarantee it was no where near $400. Just my $.02... Like I said, I think you get what you pay for.
My standards (although not my skill) have always been the same regardless of price charged so it's tough for me to understand the concept of only delivering so much based on what I charge. Quality is #1 - price charged should be an afterthought - if a craftsman works in this way he may be poor but he'll be successful. It's the idea that anything worth doing is worth doing correctly and to the best of your ability or don't even bother. That's just me take on it.
And even though I shouldn't post on this here, my price (that was quoted above for a similar job) was including a Stefan handle that I don't control the pricing on and was only a rough idea given based on Stefan's general pricing, we never spoke about specifics. So the handle could have been running $100-200 of that quote leaving the rest for labor.