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Kikuichi TKC Rust Problem

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Dave Martell

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I re-handled a Kikuichi TKC this week that showed me a problem that I wanted to bring to people's attention so that you can address the issue for yourselves.When I pulled the scales off I was shocked by the amount of rust on the tang, easily 4 times the worst I've seen. What stuck out was that there was more at the bolster than at the ass end.

I went to cleaning the rust out and squared off the inside corners (bolster to tang unions) and then I noticed that the bolster wasn't welded on - it's pinned on and it looked like it had slight gaps.

I decided to take preventive measures and seal the bolster seams with CA glue. What happened next is what brings this post. The CA glue ran down from the top of the bolster (to tang joint/seam) and flowed out down between the bolster and tang - the exact spot where all the rust had built up under the scales. This clearly showed me that these seams were leaking water through from the outside and down under the scales rusting the handle from the inside out.

I eventually poured enough CA glue into the seams (from all directions) to stop the flow and seal it up nice. I would suggest that owner's of these knives do the same thing although I'm sure that the rust (if it's going to happen) already has so I don't know if this will help or not.

Why is this worse on this knife than others? Usually bolsters are welded on and ground smooth - no seams at all. In the west we pin bolsters on just like this knife has however they're always sealed with either solder or epoxy. There are some Japanese knives (like the Hattori KD) that uses pins but they're fit up must be a lot better than what Kikuichi does on this knife.

Funny thing about this is that only a few of the Japanese knives use epoxy under the scales and yes they do rust a bit but nothing like the rust coming out from under the bolster on this knife. Maybe the steel type used in the bolster is having an effect on this? Who knows.

Maybe this one knife is an exception - maybe a bad fit on just this one, I'm not ready to condemn them all for having this problem, but if I had one in my kit I'd take a look at it and maybe even seal it up too, it can't hurt.
 

El Pescador

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Cuts good...thats all I know! Its old though...did the Ichi come before the Kiku? Or is that like asking what came first, the chicken or the egg?
 

NO ChoP!

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I read that somewhere along the line the bolsters were changed from welded to pinned with the Kikuichi....I wondered about this. Is this a cost saving move?
 

tk59

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I read that somewhere along the line the bolsters were changed from welded to pinned with the Kikuichi....I wondered about this. Is this a cost saving move?
This is correct. The newer batches are pinned. I have an older one that is welded and a newer one that is pinned. Supposedly, it is not a cost-saving measure but frankly, I don't buy it. The old bolsters were much nicer, too, regardless of cost.
 

mr drinky

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If this isn't Pescador's, then I have to ask: Is this my knife? Btw, I bought mine in the very first batch, in fact, on the first day it was offered for the first time. So if mine is pinned, the it has been that way from the very beginning or the batch was mixed.

k.
 

mr drinky

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Oops, caught me in a edit. I have bad internet where I am. Well, that means the TKCs were never welded consistently or the batch was mixed because I was one of the first ones to by the Kikuichi TKC from CKTG.
 

tk59

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Oh so Kikuichi TKC's used to use welded and now used pinned on?
Yes. I don't know how Karring got an old one with pinned bolsters. Maybe the 240's all were "new" and have the pinned ones. My "old" one is a 270 and it is welded. My "new" one is a 240 and it is pinned. sounds like I might be doing my first wa-conversion. :)
 

Dave Martell

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Oops, caught me in a edit. I have bad internet where I am. Well, that means the TKCs were either never welded or the batch was mixed because I was one of the first ones to by the Kikuichi TKC from CKTG.

Interesting


Hey where else can you buy this knife from? I seem to recall it being sold at Blueway or somewhere like that.
 

mr drinky

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I give up on editing from the Caribbean. Too many errors and someone might quote me before I can correct them. Anyhow...

So with that said Dave, thanks for taking care of this problem and fixing her up. How does the knife look?

k.
 

Dave Martell

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So with that said Dave, thanks for taking care of this problem and fixing her up. How does the knife look?
Right now it's kind of ugly with all that painter's tape on the blade and the big blocky rough wood scales on it. I've got it in line with about 7 others to finish up this weekend.
 

obtuse

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I wonder is konosuke HD Westerns and ashi westerns have this same problem.
 

Justin0505

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So moral of the story: don't take your Kikuichi TKC swimming/ shark hunting like Karring did?

Seriously though, I have Kikuichi TKC of the same style and Karring is probably more careful with his than I am with mine... the though of what's lucking under the handle worries me now... thanks for the heads up though!
 

obtuse

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I've done 4 or 5 Konosuke HD rehandles and never saw this rust problem. Are they pinned as well?
I'm pretty sure they are, maybe Jon can confirm. I don't think the pinned bolster detracts from the knife. Maybe this TKC had a one in a hundred defect.
 

memorael

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I've never been a fan of re handling (call me crazy I like the stock look of knives) but this is one very good reason to do so. Thanks Dave! for never stopping to improve knives one way or another.
 

Dave Martell

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I did some Googling last night and couldn't find them anywhere else other than CKTG so I guess they're the place. I think I confused these knives with Tojiro in my head when I was thinking that they were available at other places as well. Truth be told I probably would have never started this thread if I realized it was their product alone.
 

mr drinky

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I did some Googling last night and couldn't find them anywhere else other than CKTG so I guess they're the place. I think I confused these knives with Tojiro in my head when I was thinking that they were available at other places as well. Truth be told I probably would have never started this thread if I realized it was their product alone.
Yeah, I think this is exclusive to CKTG. If I recall he had to pay something like 10k for the sole rights to sell this knife.

k.
 

Pensacola Tiger

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I did some Googling last night and couldn't find them anywhere else other than CKTG so I guess they're the place. I think I confused these knives with Tojiro in my head when I was thinking that they were available at other places as well. Truth be told I probably would have never started this thread if I realized it was their product alone.
Dave, AFAIK, CKTG handles only the Kikuichi branded TK's. IIRC, there was a group buy of Ichimonji a few years ago, and those were the soldered/welded bolsters.
 

James

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I believe the Ichimonji ones still do have welded/soldered bolsters; I ordered one last year and that seems to be the case.
 
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