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Thread: A new cleaver is born WIP

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2012

    A new cleaver is born WIP

    Hi all knife fans!
    I posted a while ago I was looking for a cleaver.
    I found a cheap one on eBay that was I think made in Taiwan from made from VG10 steel, called Zhen knives. VG10 is clad between 440 steel layers. Took this project on like making a knife from a blank!

    This is what it looked like out of the package. I might add the picture is a very good one (from the manufacturers site) and in real life it has rather poor fit and finish. Spine isn't rounded. Where the tang is welded on the grinds are rough. The edge is very curved and the thickness behind the edge is fairly thick.
    So I took off the handle, cut off the tang and welded it back in a new place (a bit down towards the edge). Sanded the tang part down and created a new heel.
    Then started thinning it down. The thinning took hours and hours on my slow weak machine. I think it was a good idea anyways to go slowly about it.

    The knife has a thickness of 1.7mm at the spine. The factory had a sandblasted line but sadly it didn't mark the beginning of the bevel. It was sharpened a bit more steeply. But I changed that and now the bevel is very much higher and blade much more narrow behind the edge. It's about 1mm thick 10mm from the edge and 0.6mm 5mm from the edge.
    The new tang is supposed to fit like the Gesshin Ginga cleaver handle which was my inspiration for this project.
    So I made a handle from birch and buffalo.

    Every now and then I hit the stones to try and see where the bevel is forming and then back to the grinder.

    If it was thinned down enough I marked a new "kasumi" line and sandblasted it. After sandblasting it's very rough so I polished it on a wheel. Polished just to get the rough surface smoother but still leave it matte.
    I engraved a bit of chinese to make it look more like a proper knife. Don't speak chinese but hope it says "Zhen kitchen knife" .
    Tapped on the handle and sharpened it up to 12k!
    Sorry for the poor pics but I tried to show the final result.

    It's now the thinnest knife I have. Concerning hardness, it will scratch a wine bottle so I'd say over 60HRC at least. Can't yet say anything about the edge durability but it's VERY hard to sharpen. I use shapton Glass stones and compared to my white and blue ones it is very sharpening-resistant. But it will get sharp of the effort is made. I am very happy with my new knife and first cleaver! It's great, slides through food and chops well.

  2. #2
    Cheeks1989's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Very cool transformation.

  3. #3
    Senior Member brainsausage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Portland, Maine
    That has to be one of the most work heavy knife mod projects I've seen thus far. Nice job.
    The AI does not love you, nor does it hate you, but you are made out of atoms it might find useful for something else. - Eliezer Yudkowsky

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Bay area

  5. #5
    mkriggen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    I am impressed
    Rule #1- Don't sweat the small s%&t, rule #2- It's ALL small s%&t

  6. #6
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Saint-Petersburg, Russia
    OK, we have seen thinning and rehandling before. But welding tang into a new place?! Engraving new kanji?! Sandblasting?! WAT?!
    That's the craziest project I've seen on KKF. Not sure what amazed me more: the skill or the workshop with sandblasting device

  7. #7
    Senior Member Geo87's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Yeah that was intense.
    I had to re-read the part where you said you cut the tang off and welded it back on. Damn that's crazy. great job looks great

  8. #8
    So I took off the handle, cut off the tang and welded it back in a new place (a bit down towards the edge).

    Did you mig or tig the handle back on?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Duckfat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    The Motor City
    Nice work!
    Who you jivin' with that Cosmik Debris?

  10. #10
    Senior Member easy13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013

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