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soigne_west

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What about tojiro shirogami? You could make it a project knife. Flatten the bevels, put a new handle on it, round the spine and choil, turn it into a practice polishing knife, and there dirt cheap.
 

Bensbites

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maybe check out Dao Vua? have one and it's def a bit rough, but it's super under your budget to try out. some reviews say may be hit or miss on the heat treat. i havent tried to sharpen or use mine as it was meant as a holiday white elephant but was replaced last min with a bottle of whiskey when i forgot it at home.

the Zkramer 51200 carbon can be seen within budget on the BST from time to time and from prior posts seem really nice after a weight loss program is applied.
Personally I started my modification journey on the Dao’s. The 240 was thick behind the edge, but quickly became one of my favorite knives.
If you want project from scratch, I have 1/8th inch x 8 inch long Sab style WA blanks in AEB-L heat treated to 62 HRC.
 

Nemo

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To....thinner and ever so slightly convex just barely behind the edge? 🤷‍♂️

There's not much metal to play with unless you get into meat cleaver territory.
Yeah, that was my inital thought. Just to see how well the tweaking works. Never got much past the thought. Probably 15 bucks worth of knife ane 30 bucks of sandpaper if I'm honest.

I still haven't had time to thin my hiromoto honyaki which is supposed to be my next big project. The little that I have done on it- the steel is a bug**r to grind.

So I guess the Kiwi optimisation project will have to wait.
 

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