Knife repair/correction in UK

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mozg31337

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Hello,

A few months ago I've got myself one of the bucket list knives of mine. The Shigefusa Yanagiba 300mm. It is actually a nos which is about 30-40 years old as I was told. The knife is surprisingly in awesome condition, but needs a little bit of work. The main thing, and it was very surprising to me is the blade is slightly bent in the centre of the spine. Also, it looks like there might be a little rust forming where the blade meets the handle.

I was hoping to find someone experienced in UK to fix those issues. Anyone you might recommend?

Cheers
 
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If you can wait a couple of months - I'll have a look for you.

Though a bend on the spine of a yanagi isn't something that I'd advise trying to sort, apart from through sharpening. Trying to bend it back could get you in all sorts of trouble.

Got any pics...?
 
(If the bend takes it toward the ura, I would leave. If it takes it away from the ura it's gonna be more of a problem I think.)
 
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I have found single bevels, especially yanagis, very prone to bend even with normal use. Washing with warm water etc. might help but at the end of the day, they still bend lol.
Try bending it back very gently and lay something soft under the knife - that's what I do and it has been working fine for me.
 
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If you can wait a couple of months - I'll have a look for you.

Though a bend on the spine of a yanagi isn't something that I'd advise trying to sort, apart from through sharpening. Trying to bend it back could get you in all sorts of trouble.

Got any pics...?
Thanks, I will send the pics later on tonight when I get back home. I was very surprised to see a new knife from Shig to have a bend. Having said this, as NOS which is rather old, the knife could have bent itself as the soft and hard steel have different properties and react differently after tempering. At least this is what I've heard.
 
I have found single bevels, especially yanagis, are very prone to bend even with normal use. Washing with warm water etc. might help but at the end of the day, they still bend lol.
Try bending it back very gently and lay something soft under the knife - that's what I do and it has been working fine for me.
Oh, I don't want to mess around and snap the blade. I have no experience / feel for doing so and I wouldn't be able to tell when to stop and how much pressure to apply.

I have already damaged (snapped) a small piece of hard steel from the tang of one of my practice yanagiba when I was trying to correct a a couple of inches bend in the tang portion of the blade. It was a bit of a dumb move I must admit. Thankfully, the snapped part was only about 3mm and I should be able to file it back and correct the issue. The blade length is about 300mm anyway, so there is room to correct these mistakes. I was lucky that the blade didn't snap in half! From that point I told myself I shouldn't be messing about with hard steel and let the Pros do the work. Especially with the Shig's yanagiba )))
 
If you can wait a couple of months - I'll have a look for you.

Though a bend on the spine of a yanagi isn't something that I'd advise trying to sort, apart from through sharpening. Trying to bend it back could get you in all sorts of trouble.

Got any pics...?
Oh, yeah, I can wait a few months. Not a problem! Are you planning to be back in UK soon?
 
Ni-mai knives bend, it’s just a product of how they are made and no matter how well done the forging and sharpening are done it’s just how it goes.

One very, very important thing to access is whether the knife is bent (one-axis) or warped (two-axis, like a propellor). The former is easy to fix, just go slow and check after every little tweak you make. A vise will make life easier, but a pair of heavy books or cutting boards and a counter can work in a pinch. A warp is a much, much more complicated procedure and something that is easily compounded if not fixed properly. Usually this will require re-hammering to correct well - very, very niche skill. I know Jon at JKI can do it, and I’m sure someone in Europe can as well, but not sure who to recommend.

Best way to test of this that I know off, you can't tell by sight, is to lay the ura down on a flat counter with the handle hanging off the edge. The full spine and edge should be flush with the counter if everything is just right. If you have a bend, the edge and ura should bend away or towards the counter in the same spot at the same general rate, if there is a warp you probably won't be able to get the edge-heel and tip-spine to touch at the same time. This method makes it easier to visualize as distal taper can sometimes trick untrained eyes.
 
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Thanks, @ethompson! As far as I can see the problem is one-axis. However, I am no expert and my untrained eyes can easily miss other problems. I will try to take a few pictures tonight and let you guys see the issue.
I have previously seen a number of videos on YouTube by Jon and very much appreciate his experience and dedication to the Japanese knives and the culture. I am not sure if anyone of a similar calibre exists in UK.
 
Thanks, @ethompson! As far as I can see the problem is one-axis. However, I am no expert and my untrained eyes can easily miss other problems. I will try to take a few pictures tonight and let you guys see the issue.
I have previously seen a number of videos on YouTube by Jon and very much appreciate his experience and dedication to the Japanese knives and the culture. I am not sure if anyone of a similar calibre exists in UK.
Just added to my post with a method that can help evaluate the problem!
 
Hello,

A few months ago I've got myself one of the bucket list knives of mine. The Shigefusa Yanagiba 300mm. It is actually a nos which is about 30-40 years old as I was told. The knife is surprisingly in awesome condition, but needs a little bit of work. The main thing, and it was very surprising to me is the blade is slightly bent in the centre of the spine. Also, it looks like there might be a little rust forming where the blade meets the handle.

I was hoping to find someone experienced in UK to fix those issues. Anyone you might recommend?

Cheers
you can talk to Rodrigo @togidai.uk

https://www.instagram.com/togidai.uk/
 
Here are a few pictures if the knife...
 

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I'd have a go at it yourself (maybe after a bit of practice on a resto project as you say), and I'd do it very gently between two bits of wood in a vice.

What @ethompson said is very important too - the difference between a warp and a bend. Bends can be easy, but a warp would be a complete ball ache to try to sort; you'd either have to heat it up slightly and hammer it, or sharpen it out would will leave you with an uneven uraoshi and/or shinogi.

---

But yep - I'll also be back in mid August, so if you haven't managed to fix, or found someone else, then I'm happy to have a look. I've done this kind of thing a bit before, though an old Shig would make me nervous tbh, so Rodrigo on insta might be a better bet!
 
Hello,

A few months ago I've got myself one of the bucket list knives of mine. The Shigefusa Yanagiba 300mm. It is actually a nos which is about 30-40 years old as I was told. The knife is surprisingly in awesome condition, but needs a little bit of work. The main thing, and it was very surprising to me is the blade is slightly bent in the centre of the spine. Also, it looks like there might be a little rust forming where the blade meets the handle.

I was hoping to find someone experienced in UK to fix those issues. Anyone you might recommend?

Cheers
The blade bent to the right or left?? If it is bent to the right it is easier to fix for kasumi/ awase Yanagi. But if your blade bent to the left then you need to hit the hard steel which sometimes is challenging. Maybe it will bent back to the center or maybe it will break.

Sorry I didn't see the picture. Look like it bent to the right so it can be fix 😁
 
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Thanks, I will send the pics later on tonight when I get back home. I was very surprised to see a new knife from Shig to have a bend. Having said this, as NOS which is rather old, the knife could have bent itself as the soft and hard steel have different properties and react differently after tempering. At least this is what I've heard.

to be honest i think very many 2 layer knives will bend and warp after some time, if they are quite thin at least. there is a built in tension difference in them since one part is hardened and strong, and the other is not hardened and also weak. and these are welded together. and i would guess the metal tries to get to some kind of equilibrium with time.

they know a lot more these days about tempering and such than they did 50 years ago. i would guess a new production knife would be less likely to warp.
also these days people do stress relieving, normalizations (HT operations) and similar before hardening just to prevent warping.

also according to dalman warping and bending with all clad knives is very common. the upside is that its easy to bend them back. where monosteels would be almost impossible.

some people use special pointy hammers to bang them straight. by introducing tensions to compensate.
 
Thanks for the information and descriptions.

I've sent the knife to Rodrigo in UK and he has had a quick look at it and told me that it should be fixable. He would hopefully have time to work on it this week. I will keep you posted and updated on the progress.
 
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