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Thread: Adjusting machi gaps

  1. #1
    Senior Member labor of love's Avatar
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    Adjusting machi gaps

    Hopefully this is the right place to start this discussion. I was wondering if machi gaps can be adjusted on certain gyutos? As in, can you simply push the blade further into the handle to close the gap? Suisin inox honyaki, is the knife I have in mind. I used to own one, but the gap was super uncomfortable for me and i always seemed to catch my hand of the gap, even after rounding it. I've been considering repurchasing one soon, just curious if this possible. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Pushing the tang further into the handle to reduce the machi will usually result in a split handle. The solution is to take the handle off, enlarge the hole, and then epoxy the handle in place.

  3. #3
    If the handle is not glued in, the tang can be forced deeper, closing the gap. If it's glued in, you are out of luck.

    Whatever J. makers' explanations (aesthetic, regional, functional, balance, etc.) I personally see an open gap as a skipped production step. Squaring machi, once the blade is ground, is not an easy thing to do.

    Often top and bottom ends of the machi are uneven and need to be squared. You can file or grind depending whether that portion is hardened or not (monosteel typically hardened and kasumi, not).

    Best way to do it is to employ file guide.

    M


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  4. #4
    Senior Member skiajl6297's Avatar
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    Is there any purpose to the gap? I borrowed a knife I would have otherwise loved, but genuinely loathed the feeling of that gap, as described by labor.

  5. #5
    There is no purpose one can logically think of. Wabi Sabi perhaps?


    "If there’s something worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.” - An US saying.

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  6. #6
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    I doubt it's wabi sabi. Unquestionably top notch makers leave a gap and they are generally squared, too. It is clearly done on purpose and carefully, too. That said, I've never like the gap.

  7. #7

  8. #8
    Jon, is it partly to have the ability to tighten the handle over time?

    Hoss

  9. #9
    yes... sometimes handles are removed and replaced (the same handle), and the extra space is very helpful.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Seth's Avatar
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    On single bevels it is to allow for sharpening the back side without running into the handle. You can ask the retailer to pick one with a small machi which I find to be aesthetically okay. The large gaps drive me nuts and look like crap. I requested this once and got a yanagi with no machi which looks almost as weird.
    Everywhere you go, there you are.

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