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Dave Martell

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This is a vintage Chinese vegetable cleaver that was the property of the customer's grandmother. It came to me with a cracked handle that was to be replaced but the customer also asked about refinishing the blade so I gave that a go as well.

The blade is pretty unique in a couple of ways from what I normally see as it's highly asymmetrically forged, it's also convex ground on the right side edge, and has two different patterns ground into lower sections of each side the blade. If you look closely at the pictures you can see the difference as I didn't change this appearance at all.

The customer designed the new handle, he went with an octagonal wa made from amboyna burl, blond buffalo horn, and added nickel silver/brass, & black G10 spacers.

My hope is that this cleaver can serve him as long as it did his grandmother and can then be passed down to the next generation. :)


PS - I forgot to take before pictures but I was lucky in that the customer had shot some himself and shared them with me.



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Dave Martell

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Today we have a brand new 240mm Yoshihiko Akitomo Kobuse Gyuto that came with a handle that was too small for the blade. The supplied handle was a very nice one it just wasn't wide enough to cover the spine and choil to tang intersections and allowed the user's hand to get rubbed from a sharp corner. The customer had the options of either re-working the blade to accommodate the handle or making a whole new handle, he chose the latter.

The new handle is made from African Blackwood and streaked blond buffalo horn. My youngest daughter picked out the horn for this handle and I think she made a nice selection. I do really like this simple combo, it just works.

The blackwood and blade are really nice looking and something to see in person yet I didn't manage to capture, in the least, their beauty within my pictures, sorry about that.

Anyway, here she is.....


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Dave Martell

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Professional Craftsman
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This new handle is attached to a Shanghai made cleaver which is a stout little guy, thick like a meat cleaver. The customer requested an oval wa made from African Blackwood with a G10 ferrule. I shaped the handle a tad different than what a typical oval is normally seen as because some woods (African Blackwood being one of them) don't show very well on rounded parts so what I did was to flatten the sides to give the wood some subtle bling effect. I also shaped the taper a bit different in that I didn't flair it in all directions, well I did expect for the top which I left flat to the spine. You can notice this by looking at the rear end of the handle on the bottom side, it flairs out there. This gives a nice look when such a straight spine is found on a knife (like this cleaver) and also allows for a proper size fit up in both the front of the handle and for overall grip width. Sometimes it's the little things that make the biggest differences and I think this handle design shows this off well.

The customer requested a sharpening of the blade but asked me to leave all marks/patina alone to preserve it's history, I presume.

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