Discussion in 'JapaneseKnifeSharpening / Dave Martell Knives' started by Dave Martell, Mar 3, 2011.
That looks great! Happy for Tanner too.
I want to find a yo handled knife that I like just so I can get a Dave rehandle job on it!
Thank you all for the kind comments.
I now feel a whole lot better about what to expect from the suji and petty and can't wait to get back to them. Thanks for being so patient with me Tanner.
Can't wait to see those ones, I think that wood will look pretty good
Beautiful work as always Dave
So, it looks like the wood starts out rounded at the bolster but as it tapers out towards the back it transitions into an octagon. That does not look like it's an easy thing to accomplish. Care to elaborate on the reason behind taking this approach and the process to complete it?
Dave will have to comment on the technical/procedural part, but I had thought if this to be similar to the Takamura Hana
Rick, you're correct in all assumptions!
Why? I'm not sure I recall exactly why we went in this direction but I know that there were a few turns along the way that needed to be made. Tanner and I worked together to come up with the end result.
The first thing to do is to grind away the full tang leaving behind only the bolster and partial stick tang. This isn't a tough thing to do really, just takes a coarse grinding belt and some pressure, and there you have it. What is tricky is to not grind into the bolster -that's where things get hairy.
I see some not-so-perfect bolsters often and so I've come up with a way to deal with them - I use a large file guide (the type that has carbide inserts that can be used on a grinder) clamped to the bolsters and simply grind away until flush with the guide. This works well because most all Japanese knife bolsters are pretty flat/square on at least the top and bottom. In this particular case we're dealing with not-your-average bolsters though - they're slanted, uneven, and basically not square in any direction. So, upon tightening down the file guide screws I broke a carbide insert as I was asking the guide to contort to the uneven bolster shape (yeah - very stupid of me) that it wasn't designed to do - snap!
From then on I was forced to free hand the back side of the bolsters to make the newly ground down tang flush as well as even out the whole thing. This is the point where things usually go down hill fast - BUT - not this time, I got lucky.
Then I had to angle the front of the (wood) block to match the angle of the rear of the bolster, it wasn't a 90 deg sort of thing as is normal. I just did a best guess here. The mission was to make the handle sit correctly in plane with the blade, not handle up nor down.
As for making the handle, I chose to make it completely in the octagonal wa shape right to the finest grit and even wet sanded too, all before mounting it. Fortunately I realized beforehand that the key to this whole thing working is to properly size the handle. If you leave it too large you won't be able to blend to the bolster and too small will look stupid. It really has to be just right before mounting, you need to picture the whole thing being finished in your head, all the steps, before glue up or you might just screw up....ha - I made a rhyme.
Once the glue is dry the it's just a matter of grinding the wood down to the bolsters and blending it into the octagonal shape. This part was actually quite enjoyable to me but I bet that a few years back I may have been cursing then.
Few coats of drying oil and there you have have it.
Here's a good picture for showing the transition from octagonal to western bolster shape....
That'll do, I have two of the uchigumos and I can say if it wasn't for the fact I actually like the black pakkawood handle I would be all over this, it looks stunning, the spacers up front are a nice touch of class and keep a fairly simple handle design allowing the blade to keep it's balanced feel, i.e. the blade is still the star, which is important, how did the wa conversion affect the blades balance? Also integral bolsters and wa handles are super sick. Keep up the good work dave and maybe someday I'll send you my blades and a chunk of mammoth :razz:
You can try this one out sometime, maybe the suji too
We need to try and have a Canadian get together at some point.
You know I have the knives and calgary has a few solid members, off topic but my tamahagane honyaki yanagiba ships tmr from the land of hentai and moonspeak, the gyuto ships end of june and I bought a masakage yuki two days ago for my mother lol. I almost regret not buying that hana suji but I never use one and already own two lol. I can't wait to see what the petty and suji come out as, I've waited a long time to see them come to fruition, as this is your time, the week/weeks of tj
I'm all for this, I hope it is sometime soon :doublethumbsup:. If it is organized with enough time and the timing is right I could bring a couple of bottles of Cuban rum and cigars :wink:.
calgary! sounds far!
Someday I'll see pictures of my knives on here. Someday :biggrin:
Here is Tanner's Takamura set with their new wa hybrid handles. The woods used are (from top to bottom) - Norfolk Pine, Hawaiian Mango, & Hawaiian Koa.
See this post & this post for details on what was done.
Thanks for sticking with me through this project Tanner. I hope these put a smile on your face. :wink:
My babies, they're beautiful! Thanks Dave! Can't wait to see the handles in person.
Your "babies" LOL
I'm happy that you like them T.
I didn't know Norfolk pine could look so nice.
+1. I would never have thought to use pine in a handle until now.
That's Stefan's influence right there.
Stefan's Norfolk pine handle is what interested me in using. All 3 handles follow a Hawaiian wood theme
Does Norfolk pine grow in Hawaii?
My understanding is that it's native to Norfolk Island, about 1500km off the East coast of Australia.
Historical side note: The British Empire sent convicts there in the 1800s to harvest the straight tall trunks for ship masts but they weren't strong enough for this use.
I assume that it behaves like a softwood?
If they're not all Hawaiian woods then we're calling them "Pacific" themed.
That would work.
I did some cursory research and it seems like Norfolk Pine and Cook Pine may both be on Hawaii (?), with cook Pine being the more common of the two. Apparently they often get called Norfolk Pine by default. Either way it looks neat, can't wait to see in person
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