Ready Made Wa handles?

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Dave Martell

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Now that you know my prices, styles offered, etc what do you guys think about me making ready made wa handles like Stefan did and listing them for sale?

I was thinking of making a couple (for maybe a 240mm & 270mm gyuto?) and see how that goes.

I'd really appreciate some input here if you have a minute.

Thanks,
Dave
 

Dave Martell

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And if anyone is interested ;)....I'm thinking about using ironwood and metal spacers for the first two testers since I have a block of burl and one figured on hand and unclaimed.
 

Dave Martell

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And yes I know that there's like 500 guys offering wa handles on IG and Etsy today. ;) Just wondering if there's also a place for me in the market?
 

Matus

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Ready made handles can definitely work - I would think that some with ‘more classy than fancy’ style could be very well received. Maybe something along the lines of blond horn ferrule and dark body (with or without a spacer). If course with your fantastic finish.

Open question is the construction (dowel - no/normal/hidden) and the ability of the user to mount the handle properly.
 

KCMande

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Will you be offering installation as well or just straight handle sale?
If you are I might be interested in said ironwood handle
 

Dave Martell

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Ready made handles can definitely work - I would think that some with ‘more classy than fancy’ style could be very well received. Maybe something along the lines of blond horn ferrule and dark body (with or without a spacer). If course with your fantastic finish.

Open question is the construction (dowel - no/normal/hidden) and the ability of the user to mount the handle properly.

I have a new method of assembling my wa handles, big breakthrough for me! :)

As you know Matus, from all the help and advice you've given me on this, I had been searching for a solution to holding my wa handles together while using metal spacers. I had been using internal pins to accomplish this but the success rate (that is when the handles didn't came apart during shaping) was never better than about 50% - not good. I finally tried the dowel method (that you suggested) and right away I found it to be great for holding the handle together but as I feared it was limiting for the size/shape handles that I could make simply because of the size of the dowel inside. This isn't such a big deal for my own Martell knives but when I rehandle knives I never know what I'll need to do so I really wanted something that tackled these concerns as well as the metal spacer/shaping problem. So I did some experimenting and found that using smaller diameter dowels still worked great for holding the handle together but this then introduced a problem in that I had to drill extra small holes (top and bottom sides of the main dowel hole) to accommodate for the height of the tang to be inserted. A small extra step for me but something that I could see being a BIG problem for fit up/onsertion if I was to ever sell handles for customers to self install, which was also something I had hoped to one day tackle.

Now for my breakthrough - double barrel dowels! Yup ;)

Basically it's just two small diameter dowels mounted right next to each other. Simple to drill for all components because the holes aren't massive. Drill bits (and dowel material) are less expensive in smaller sizes, also more available everywhere, and in more selections of types/makes. The components of the handle all fit together so nicely with nearly no twist/spin at all and (in the two handles I did so far) I couldn't hog material off hard enough to separate the handles even with the heat being absorbed by the metal spacers! In the last handle I did the tang to handle fit up was so perfect that I neither had to burn in or file out any material - it was done from just assembly!!! :cool:

So back to your question...LOL....

My handles should be easy to install by the customer. I hope them to be very easy but who knows when it's a generic handle being made not to a specific knife. The customer will have to open up (with a small wood rasp) the tang hole in the ferrule and possibly some of the deeper tang hole. I should also mention that some Japanese knives have MONSTER tangs that may need reduction in length which is something that can be done on a bench grinder or through using a cut off disc, etc. So there's no perfectly easy install to be had but I will provide the handles in the best form I can to assist the installer with his/her task.

Thanks for the question Matus!
 

Dave Martell

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Will you be offering installation as well or just straight handle sale?
If you are I might be interested in said ironwood handle
I would for sure offer installation. I charge $55 extra for that.
 
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