So having a few weeks between finishing one job and starting a new one, i have a bit of time to do some of the projects i planned but didn't get round to doing.
It's a CCK 1303, that i picked up to give chinese style cleavers a go, i just wanted to play with the shape and see if i'd use a nicer cleaver before making the plunge.
Typical cheap handle that i wasn't too fond of, I tried sanding it down and giving it a wax but it still looked and felt uncomfortable. So i planned a rehandle and picked out some bits of wood, got as far as grinding off the end of the tang that was clinched over, and sawing the handle mostly off, but then it sat on the work bench gathering dust for the last 3 months or so.
Being a cheap knife i didn't want to put anything too fancy on it, but being a large hunk of steel with a stick tang it needed something relatively dense to balance it out. In the wood box i had a piece of Lignum Vitae off cut that was half and half sap wood, and being lignum was heavy.
I followed my usual handle shortcut -with a hidden 12mm dowel in the core of the handle, sawn down the middle to make a slot for the tang.
The handle was then glued up and shaped. Usually i do most of the shaping with chisels and a block plane but due to the hard timber and it's irregular grain i just put some 60 grit paper in my Carroll drum sander in the drill press and proceeded to make a lot of noise and dust-an advantage to being home in the day as the neighbours above below and either side are at work so no noise complaints, and the missus was at work so no dust complaints.
Starting to take shape
Getting closer, wiped it with some water to take a look at the grain
Gottalove the shine you can get on lignum with 1000g paper
Finished handle on the cleaver
Cleaver feels much better now. The handle is more western style than the octagonals i usually favour, but somehow it felt right on this knife. It's just a friction fit at the moment, not sure if i'm going to refinish the blade as well, though not sure how worthwhile it is putting in much more effort.
I quite like the look of the lignum with the sap wood, think it would have been better with the separation going the other way, but hey, it was an off cut. The balance is still slightly blade heavy but it didn't feel right when it was evenly balanced, so i attacked it with sander a bit more to shift it forwards, and it feels better for it.
That doesn't even look like a CCK anymore, very nice.
That looks nice. It is slightly bigger than stock so makes the cleaver look smaller and is more in scale with the blade. Did you buy the cleaver in the UK?
Cheers for the comments, it's far from perfect but it's a lot more comfortable and was a fun learning experience. The Lignum has made me want to get a piece of Ironwood and try to do a western rehandle, as it's really nice wood to work with(not what i was saying when i was trying to plane it and it insisted on tearing out at any oportunity and blunting every blade in sight, but sanding it brought it to a great finish)
I hunted through every shop in London China Town to no avail, and couldn't justify paying more for shipping than it was worth, but managed to get it delivered to my hotel last time i was in the US.
Originally Posted by stevenStefano
oh wow thats super nice! I vote refinish the blade so It wont even resemble a CCK anymore!
Don't refinish the blade! The steel is uber reactive and the laquer or KU or whatever helps keep things easy.
That is a wicked cool handle. Love the two tone.
That wood has the same coloration as some ringed gidgee that I have. Love the two tone.
Looks nice! 2-tone blade, 2-tone handle
Handle shape really compliments the blade visually... perhaps ergonomically as well?
Nicely done Tom