First Handle Burn Attempt

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I got this Mazaki KU Nashiji 270 Sujihiki a couple months ago. I prefer darker handles, but could only get it with a magnolia, so bought it with the intention of burning it, and finally got around to it. Pretty happy with the results.


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First I taped off the horn with foil.
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I used a regular butane torch for the burning. Took it kind of slow and tried to be as even as possible. Here it is straight from the torch. The trickiest part was getting the flats to burn, as the corners of the facets like to burn a lot faster than the flats.
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I sanded it lightly with 600 and 800 grit paper to smooth it out and take a little of the char off
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Lastly gave it a mineral oil soak for an hour or so then rubbed some beeswax on it and burnished it with a cloth. In the end the burn could have been a little more even, but I like the look much more now.
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All in all a fun little project that went really quick and pretty stress free.

The knife itself is so great. Beautiful grind and wonderfully forward heavy. The patina reaction in the KU is really beautiful and I’m looking forward to seeing it evolve.
 
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Nicely done, you might have inspired me to give it a try. The details/steps are appreciated.
Quick question, did you line up the foil exactly with the transition?
From my eyes, the burn looks pretty even. I actually think a little bit of difference in the burning makes it more visually interesting and unique. It would be kind of boring if it were totally uniform.
 
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I lined the foil up exactly at the transition with the intention of not leaving the lighter stripe, but I was too afraid to spend much time up there with the torch and it didn’t really burn.

Some of the variation I think might actually be from the sanding. This is pretty clear on the ring around the butt.

I’d say do it. It feels intimidating but really not hard. Taking out the hour handle soak it only took about 20 minutes.
 

tostadas

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To add on to harbeers suggestion, you can also use scotch Brite pads if you want to avoid fine pieces of steel wool embedded in your wood
 

chefwp

Timing is everything when doing a raindance
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They look pretty good to me, certainly preferable in my eyes to the yellow ho wood. I certainly resisted the urge to oil my handle until after I had a chance to burn it.
I was happy with all the results, but the bottom two more so for sure. I agree, not a big fan of the pale magnolia/ho.
 

chefwp

Timing is everything when doing a raindance
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I mean, in the end, they are just handles, and fairly cheap ones at that. I’ll probably upgrade the handle to something more exotic in the future anyway.
That is how I came to try it out. I was inquiring about replacing a handle on the gyuto, and it occurred to me that I might as well try to burn it first. Worst case scenario was I ruin it and just go through with the rehandle plan I was already scheming. The best case was that it turns out well and I save some money, and this was the case.
 

Chips

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Even if it's just a transitional handle before a custom one, it's very nice looking now compared to plain. Great job!
 
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