I've always loved the craft of butchery and old cleavers are way cool, so of course I needed a Beatty. This thing has a cracked handle and the spine is banged up but other than that it seems pretty solid. I love old things, but I really love old things that still work and get used as they were intended. I'd really love to put this thing back to use, even if it's just as a really cool BBQ chopper. I know that most of these old Beattys aren't particularly rare or valuable, but I still don't want to destroy it. So I'm curious, what sort of repairs and restoration are OK and what is sacrilege?
My dad has a friend in town that is a knifemaker (johnharrisknives.com if you're interested, he makes his own damascus- cool stuff but no kitchen knives) I'm thinking of taking it down him to put a new handle on it. Nothing crazy, just a new wood handle that looks like it belongs on it. I also want him to grind a new edge on it. I'm pretty sure this work should be OK as these are basically needed to get it functioning again.
Is it worth it to have the dings in the spine ground out or should that as is?
Finally, and I think this might be taking it too far, is it OK to completely clean the blade on a belt sander (or some other abrasive method)? I kinda like the idea of starting fresh on it so when the patina forms it becomes MY blade. If I don't do that, what is an acceptable way to at least clean the blade up? Can I use electrolysis or a similar method (I've heard of using Coca Cola) like for cleaning cast iron?
Thanks in advance for any advice. As I said before, I'd love to start using this thing again while still respecting it's history.
I just realized I didn't take any pictures of the whole cleaver, I'll add some later.