I intend to preserve the shinogi, and it does have more belly than I intended originally. As I will be using it to break down chickens I'm not sure if the belly will be good or bad. It won't be used against a board, I don't think.I can always grind it down later, I'm considering it part of the learning experience! The handle is maple burl with ebony on the front and african blackwood on the end, I'm thinking that it will look pretty cool when done (I hope!).