Honyaki restoration project - Going to document my journey

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KasumiJLA

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I loved the video! As a visual learner, I found it very helpful. I also have a honyaki made from 26c3 steel, so if I do the same etching method on my knife, could I get similar results?
Thank you sir! Why not give it a shot, it's gonna be a fun project! You need several cycle but if you have banding in that steel, it's gonna show up one day or later. The more I bring out the details, the less mirror it becomes. But I really love seeing what the steel hides and even though I love the mirror a lot, I appreciate it even more now.

Some use diluted ferric chloride, only lemon juice, only vinegar etc. I was quite happy that my second solution I've made was working so well.
 

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I have enjoyed your videos before. Well done, excellent presentation. I like how this one shows more of the process and the tidbits of it. Thank you for sharing
 

KasumiJLA

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I have enjoyed your videos before. Well done, excellent presentation. I like how this one shows more of the process and the tidbits of it. Thank you for sharing
That’s sweet from you, thank you!

Yes I struggled to find technique and how it was done on YouTube. At least it can maybe help someone else in the future. 🀞
 

KasumiJLA

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Eighth update : I changed my mind (again) and eye candy shot

Those who know me know that I have a changeable mood! I had published the detail of the steel in my seventh update and then I thought that it would be better to redo the whole thing completely mirror with only the visible hamon. That's exactly what I did.

So I "wasted" maybe two hours putting everything back on the mirror and then etching the hamon again. And then ... I found the finish bland and lifeless. It wasn't ugly, but I missed seeing the banding. You probably know the rest, I obviously started etching again to get back to the stage I was in before changing my mind πŸ˜…

Why I wanted to change the finish? Because this blade will not be able to have a 100% uniform finish. While polishing the blade of this smith, I realized that he surely did not put enough clay near the spine and the result is that there is a difference in the color of the steel. It annoyed me a lot but in the end I said to myself that it gives a unique character to the knife. Unfortunately I can't do anything with the quenching step!


I think I'm maybe ~10 cycles away from being done. I believe I can still bring out more detail but I also see that I am starting to max out.

I redo a new handle

My first handle was completed but I still had to make the hole for the tang. It was a really bad idea to do that in the end! Ebony wood is super hard and I had a hard time doing a clean job. So this time I told myself that I was going to do things differently.

I used a dowel and pierced the whole thing with a good drill bit. Honestly I think it's twice as easy and above all it will be even easier to make adjustments to install the blade. I thought about the visual and how I could improve the finish. Instead of having a "Buffalo horn" ferrule, I chose to go more sober and add small black separators to create even more contrast. I think it will be even prettier this way!

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Having the right tools helps so much to make it more enjoyable.

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As a bonus, this ebony has more details in the grain and it will be even more beautiful!

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Only thing left to do is the tang opening and make it flush with the tang.

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With a little visualization, I think I'm going to like this new design!
 

Blank Blades.

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First update : Choil is done βœ”οΈ

First step done and I'm very happy with the changes I made. I particularly like the new geometry which is much more to my liking. Like @tostadas said the dremel was enough for the job but it took me a really long time compared to other projects I had done including yanagiba. I removed roughly 5mm at the deepest spot and it took me around 2h00 in total, including hand sanding.

View attachment 244704
I tried several variants before making my decision and it is with this profile that I decided to start.

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I love redoing the choil on my projects so much and my dremel is only for that. It's super practical and above all much faster.

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Most of the work is done and then I sanded by hand. The progression is : 180-400-800-1,2k-3k and 7k.

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Like Rihanna said, shine bright like a diamond! I don't know if I'll keep the mirror finish, I'll see at the end if it's appropriate with the final polish. It is slightly rounded without sharp edges.

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Here is a side by side to see the difference. A little more space for the fingers and it looks much more aesthetic to me that way. It's also much more comfortable on the fingers.
Man. That choil was rough before.
 

KasumiJLA

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@jwthaparc Yes, it's the pumice stone model for your finger. You can exfoliate your skin while you cook dinner. It's was an experimental project πŸ€ͺ

I don't understand how you can leave a finish like that. Without redoing the geometry, it takes a maximum of 45 minutes to finish a choil with mirror polish. πŸ’β€β™‚οΈ
 

Blank Blades.

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@jwthaparc Yes, it's the pumice stone model for your finger. You can exfoliate your skin while you cook dinner. It's was an experimental project πŸ€ͺ

I don't understand how you can leave a finish like that. Without redoing the geometry, it takes a maximum of 45 minutes to finish a choil with mirror polish. πŸ’β€β™‚οΈ
I would think at least smooth it a little. Even if its not a high polish.
 

KasumiJLA

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Etching is FINALLY over and I'm super happy with the results! It's been around 40 cycles before arriving at this result. For the last 10 cycles I used citric acid combined with ascorbic acid, I left out the vinegar. There was a difference in coloring with a slightly more bluish tint and a slightly less aggressive mixture.

I can't believe I'm almost done with this project! Only the handle remains to be finalized and I will finally be able to show the final result. All I have to do is sand the handle, varnish it and finally installing the blade.


Video was too long to post here
 

KasumiJLA

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Looks amazing! How durable is an etch like this? If you want to remove patina later will it survive a flitz polish?
Thanks buddy! I don't know, I will have to test it. From what I tried, with a really long etching (barely black), I was able to restore the surface. I think it will be possible to find the details again but it won't be as clean as it is now. I'm curious to see how it will react!
 

KasumiJLA

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Ladies and gentleman, I'm really proud to reveal the final result of my biggest project to date! I'm really happy with what I was able to accomplish with this restoration and I learned a lot in the process. As an apprentice polisher, I dreamed of being able to polish this type of blade and it is now done.

It was exciting, frustrating, demanding but above all rewarding. I now find myself without a project to complete and it makes me dizzy! I hope you will appreciate these few photos which do not do justice to what I can see in real life.


PROJECT SUMMARY:

Blade: Custom 26c3 oil quenched honyaki by Jonas Henrickson
Project duration: Between 45~50 hours
Handle: Ebony and synthetic buffalo horn ring, custom made by me
Number of etching cycles: Around 40
Material used: Dremel (choil), synthetic whetstone (120 to 1k), sandpaper (180 to 3k), diamond paste (1,2k to 14k), Acid etching (acetic, citric and ascorbic), Koyo polishing paste, uchigumori stone powder
Cut wound number: 3

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Project duration: Between 45~50 hours
Number of etching cycles: Around 40
Wow, that looks really great. Congratulations on such a fine result.

What I've quoted above is the reason why I will probably never take on anything like this. I say that to my shame. I would however brag that I am far too wise to keep cut wound statistics.
 

KasumiJLA

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@NickMinton thank you buddy! πŸ™‚

@Martyfish haha I found it interesting to integrate this statistic to show that I suffered from start to finish 🫣

@Rangen if I am asked today to do the same kind of project, I will answer with a big NO. Not at the moment! But tonight will be the moment of truth because I'm going to use it. I'm not going to keep this knife as a trophy, it's going to be useful. Maybe one day you're going to want to jump in and try πŸ™‚

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The sharpening final touch on a okudo Ao renge suita. Can't wait to try it tonigh and see the patina take shape!
 
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Yay congratz! Yeah mine took that long too. I found mirror polishes are more slippery in my pinch grip so I like regular rougher finishes. XD. Yeah cut count, it definitely happens. Agree with the going back to do better and refinishing multiple times. It's the coolest or prettiest way to examine the banding of the steel.
 

KasumiJLA

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Yay congratz! Yeah mine took that long too. I found mirror polishes are more slippery in my pinch grip so I like regular rougher finishes. XD. Yeah cut count, it definitely happens. Agree with the going back to do better and refinishing multiple times. It's the coolest or prettiest way to examine the banding of the steel.
Thank you sir! I'm happy to have been able to practice on this type of blade and to see that I'm in a respectable time πŸ˜‰ The back and forth on the finishes allowed me to learn even more but I'm in love with this banding . The only problem: I will only want to polish honyaki or wrought iron now haha
 

KasumiJLA

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@ethompson thank you buddy! Once again, thanks for helping me when I had questions and for enduring my 150 photos and video of the process.. your inbox will feel empty since I don't have a polishing project for now πŸ€ͺ

@KenjiF thank you! I'm really happy and thanks for the compliment πŸ™‚

@BeinM thanks man! 🀜 πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ πŸ€›
 
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Thank you for that great story and presentation! Awesome work.
I really appreciate the detail and the pics... almost makes me want to try it.

Almost.


Thanks again for sharing that fantastic project!
 
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@e30Birdy and @Ok__mode_6953 thank you guys! πŸ₯°

@ssend it was a pleasure to share my project, was really fun. Well.. give it a try man! Why are you hesitating? πŸ™‚
hmmm... I would need a knife that I could sacrifice... and then the right stones. I got a few stones... got a suggestion for a good starter knife?

Seriously, your youtube videos are terrific.
 

KasumiJLA

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hmmm... I would need a knife that I could sacrifice... and then the right stones. I got a few stones... got a suggestion for a good starter knife?

Seriously, your youtube videos are terrific.
The only negative point for a honyaki is obviously the price. I was super lucky to get my hands on this blade, thanks to a friend in Sweden who found this smith on an auction site. I paid 120USD, delivery included...

Thank you for your kind word πŸ™‚
 

KasumiJLA

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If you don't mind asking some questions, what was the biggest takeaway you learn from this project, and what would be one thing you wished you knew beforehand that would have helped the most?
Thanks for documenting this project it was a fun follow.

That's a good question!

The thing that strikes me the most is how patient and thorough you have to be. From 180 grit to 14k diamond paste, each step is crucial and all are important. I already knew it but this project showed me even more. It is better to space out the hard work (especially with the boring sandpaper) to avoid your brain telling you to try to take shortcuts. There is no shortcut πŸ˜…

What was new for me was etching and I learned a lot. Acetic, ascorbic and citric acid do not all produce the same result. I tried several combinations before finding what worked well, especially towards the end. Even if someone had a good result with a mix of "x" does not mean that it will work well with the type of steel you have. You have to experiment a bit to find the right recipe.

Use a lot of different light sources!!! It's a bit simple, but how many times have I missed a little scratch because I hadn't seen it. It's really frustrating to progress and realize that a scratch appears and you have to go back. The blade must be rotated in all possible directions and inspected very carefully. That saves a lot of frustration and wasted time.
 
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