First attempts at rehandling (Western)

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Oct 10, 2021
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First up a stainless Sukehisa guyto.

The original handle wasn't that bad itself, but I wanted to give the knife a proper cleanup including the tang and put on something of an upgrade as a new handle. Originally I planned to go down the humorous path with screws that would look like the casings of .45ACP but they were lost in transport. I will go for a more "classic" brass pin option. That stuff was hard to come by as well so I bought 4 metres of it when I got the chance :p

Closer look at the old handle

And from the top (ok maybe rehandling isn't that premature after all)

After dismantle

Pieces of ebony (or at least it was sold as ebony) cut to size and drilled
I finally found the courage to get dirty with the epoxy and now the handle is in functional state. The pins were glued in tight so I decided to just peen them ever so slightly as they were to get rid of any small amount of play in the holes. I'll put the knife to use first to get a good feel of possible points in need of more fine tuning. After I'm completely happy it'll get some oil on it. And of course the blade needs some cleaning up!

Couple of pics from half way and current state




Your result on the handle looks great for a first time.

Are you planning to do any refinishing work on the blade? Unfortunately it's typically easier to do major work with the handle off; however, it's just as easy to tape over the handle for, e.g., hand sanding or abrasive pad polishing.
Your result on the handle looks great for a first time.

Are you planning to do any refinishing work on the blade? Unfortunately it's typically easier to do major work with the handle off; however, it's just as easy to tape over the handle for, e.g., hand sanding or abrasive pad polishing.
Thanks for the compliment! Well... Funny thing happened. I was on an overnight scout trip I promised to provide the kitchen tools for and ended up giving the knife away already. I did a quick clean up on the spot as the person receiving it said functionality is what matters. I guess that's the curse of having way more knives than I need for myself :D More handles coming up shortly!
Having gained confidence from the first project, I had the courage to tackle a Masamoto :) This one was in bad shape with one side of the handle gone missing already and I'm not sure if it'll ever see proper use anymore. I cleaned up the tang and filled the corroded parts with epoxy and then sanded flat. At the moment the scales are on and I even succeeded in getting the pins out this time (furniture wax on the shopping list). The handle is partially shaped pending the rough works closer to the blade (a Dremel did the job with the previous one).


My neighbor's clamps do the job but I'll get the screw versions later

Well I'll go one step further and say... excellent work whether it was your first time, or a seasoned pro!

I really like this kind of sympathetic, high fidelity, replication when re-handling old knives. Very nicely done :).
Handle shaped and holes tapered

Pins peened in place and handle sanded a bit finer


Something had happened to the hind hole on one side and it was a bit wider already, but I managed to get the pin in place tight with no visible play around it. To finish off I'll just oil the handle and sharpen the blade and we're done with this one!
Can't really say anything else except that I'm quite happy with the end result.





There's room for minor improvements, but nothing that is really necessary. I did a quick basic sharpening with far less than full effort and it cuts like a dream!
Another Masamoto. This one's most likely gonna end up only as an ornament as there's a hairline fracture right in front of the bolster. It also had the insides of its tang become one with oxygen so I just filled the void with epoxy and sanded flat. Too bad I forgot to take pictures of square one, but I'll have a project video in the makings starting from the flat epoxy. It turned out pretty good and I had one half of the old handle in intact enough shape to drill new holes in the right place through the epoxy. I also recently bought a few trigger clamps that are absolutely fit for the purpose. As you can hopefully see in the pics the clamps formed a kind of a tunnel that's perfect for chucking in some newspaper to catch any possible dripping!



I applied shoe polish made of beeswax to the pins before assembly (and a second time after some hours) to make it easier to get them out the next day and it worked like a charm. Not a single strike from a hammer needed.

The wood is from a plum tree my parents took down last summer. My mom asked me if I could make anything out of them and I said I can give it a shot. And oh man oh man do I have a gut feeling the result's gonna look epic! Already loving the looks of the untreated light wood!

So that's how close to the final shape I got with a belt sander. Some tighter corners in the back and just behind the bolster need to be done with a Dremel and file before hand sanding.
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Looks great Atso! Can’t wait to see what that Plum wood looks like once it gets some love. Keep up the good work!
Can we get a pic of the handle from the top down?
Of course!

The bolster is a bit wonky especially on the right side so getting a perfect fit would have required a lot of fine work. I went for a close enough shape and sealed any gaps that remained.
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This time I took a crack at a partial tang rehandle. The old handle had split quite cleanly lengthwise so I glued that back together and tweaked it a little to make it removable. The tang is roughly half length but full height so it was fairly simple to go for a one piece design with the new handle using just a hand saw and a small file for the slot. The wood is the same plum wood as in the Masamoto above.

The shape is still short of final fine tuning, but feels usable in hand already.


The fit isn't perfect but there's no play when the screws are tightened.

And here's everything taken apart.

Next I'll go for a multi-piece design for the same knife.
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I'm enjoying your work greatly!
Thank you so much! Highly appreciated as all of my experience so far is basically in this thread :D Today I started a bigger project rehandling some vintage-ish knives I've hand picked to restore as a wedding gift for a friend. I need the practice so I don't botch that job! I hope he doesn't read this forum :cool: