Rehandling a Shigefusa

Discussion in 'Epicurean Edge' started by danielomalley, May 15, 2013.

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  1. May 15, 2013 #1

    danielomalley

    danielomalley

    danielomalley

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    I recently had someone contact me to rehandle a Shigefusa gyuto. It was made without handle scales. Shigefusa's western handled gyuto have an incredible grace to them that always inspires me when I'm working a handle. This one was suminagashi. I brought in a bunch of different woods to choose from and the curly koa really seemed to go well with the pattern. Mark brought in a central pin that he liked. I'm a big fan of using a central mosaic pin with side hidden bolt rivets. I've had a number of folks ask to see a some of my process creating handles and thought this would be a fun one to show. For the most part, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.
    Shig01_TheParts.JPG
    Shig02_CuttingTheWood.JPG
    It's always a little nerve racking to slice a new piece of wood. Having the blade glide to the side can be pretty frustrating!
    Shig03_MarkingTheHoles.JPG
    I like to align the holes straight with the spine and have about the same distance from the very back of the beak as from the back edge of the bolster. If I'm working with a material that has more tendency to move over time, I move the front and rear rivets outward.
    Shig04_HollowedHandleWWood.JPG
    I hollow out the tang of the knife a bit. This both gives a better fit, but it also lightens up the handle and brings the weight forward into the blade.
    Shig05_WoodAttached.JPG
    Shig06_Profiled.JPG
    Shig07_RoughlyShaped.JPG
    We've got all the shaping and profiling done here. We're at about 600 grit.
    Shig08_Shaped.JPG
    A little elbow grease moves from 0, 00, 000 and finally to 0000 steel wool. I really like the control that the steel wool gives me without rounding anything I don't want rounded or changing the shape.
    Shig09_SteelWool.JPG
    Shig10_PrettyMuchDone.JPG
    Shig11_Completed.JPG

    -Daniel
     
  2. May 15, 2013 #2

    mhatt

    mhatt

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    awesome as always! Love the Koa!
     
  3. May 15, 2013 #3

    Zwiefel

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    Nice looking handle...interesting process. Haven't heard of anyone hollowing the tang before.

    Is it just me or is the hook/knob at the very back especially large for a western?
     
  4. May 15, 2013 #4

    don

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    Amazing handle, thanks for sharing your process. Very impressive, and I can see why they are held in high regard.
     
  5. May 15, 2013 #5

    danielomalley

    danielomalley

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    You're absolutely right. Great observation ... Shigefusa creates his western knives with a longer beak than is typical ... It is longer, rather than taller, which makes it doesn't affect finger clearance over a cutting board. Japanese 'wa' handles are significantly longer than western handles (perhaps to better counter balance the blade?). Several of the Japanese makers (Shigefusa and Tadafusa, most notably (who are in the same town)) have created their western handles a little longer than typicaly and I like both the visual effect and the feel.
     
  6. May 15, 2013 #6

    danielomalley

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    I can't claim to have invented this technique, though I wish I had. It is a really useful way of affecting balance on a knife without changing other design characteristics. Also, it is a lot easier way of bringing the weight forward than changing the tang's taper. Bob Kramer taught me this technique while I was apprenticing under him. I think it is fairly common, but to be honest, I'm not entirely sure. I believe Bill Burke also uses this technique when creating a lot of his western handles -- though I don't want to speak for him in case I'm wrong.
     
  7. May 15, 2013 #7

    marc4pt0

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    Great looking work!
     
  8. May 15, 2013 #8

    knyfeknerd

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    Nice work, and welcome to KKF as well.
    Happy to have you here and look forward to many more WIP's.
     
  9. May 15, 2013 #9

    apicius9

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    Welcome and thanks for the pics. You rehandled a Blazen in koa for me a while back with a more Kramer-esk shape which is very comfortable to hold and still of my favorites.

    Stefan
     
  10. May 15, 2013 #10

    Dusty

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    A yo-shig is one of my unicorn knives. I love the elongated beak. Super elegant.
     
  11. May 15, 2013 #11

    Dream Burls

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    Welcome to KKF. Looking forward to seeing more of your work and maybe even "helping" you out.:wink:
     
  12. May 15, 2013 #12

    Burl Source

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    Very nice work Daniel.
     
  13. May 15, 2013 #13

    markenki

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    Welcome, Daniel!

    Daniel did an awesome job on this knife. It's a work of art.

    Here are some higher-resolution photos, but the knife really does look much better in person (as you so often hear).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  14. May 15, 2013 #14

    mpukas

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    That is just awesome! Well done, Daniel - and welcome to the Knut House. I really appreciate you being here and sharing your work. Beautiful knife you got there, Mark. mpp
     
  15. May 15, 2013 #15

    stevenStefano

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    Please post a gallery of all your rehandles Daniel, I often look through all the old galleries at Foodie Forums and there's a load of yours there
     
  16. May 16, 2013 #16

    EdipisReks

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  17. May 17, 2013 #17

    KVacc

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  18. May 17, 2013 #18

    NO ChoP!

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    Seeing the elegant lines makes me realize how far off I am in shaping wood, lol.

    Very beautiful.
     
  19. May 17, 2013 #19

    stereo.pete

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    Beautiful work!
     
  20. May 21, 2013 #20
    Well done Daniel. you are correct in telling that I also slightly hollow the tang on full tang knives. I normally also taper the tang. How much taper and how much hollow depends alot on what is needed to get the balance point where I want it on the knife.
     
  21. May 24, 2013 #21

    chuck239

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    Awesome job! Looks great! Mark, how is it in hand?

    -Chuck
     
  22. May 24, 2013 #22

    kalaeb

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    Alright, I have to ask, I have issues when using steel wool with there being no backing and the wood wearing faster than the rivets. How do you prevent uneven wearing of the two materials when using steel wool? ( if you don't mind me asking)
     
  23. May 24, 2013 #23

    GlassEye

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    I also had this question.
     
  24. May 26, 2013 #24

    danielomalley

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    Wood and metal wearing unevenly is a struggle pretty much regardless of your abrasive. As soon as you move into finer grits, unless you're working with super-sharp belts, it is pretty easy to start having the materials wear unevenly. The best solution that I've come up with is to have your belts very sharp. Once you're into the steel wool, if your sanding was done well, you're not removing enough material to make an change in the shape of the wood or metal. If you've got any remaining machining marks that you're trying to remove with the steel wool, you're pretty much out of luck.

    Closest analogy I can come up with is if you are sanding a pine board and you start with 600 grit and paper, working a long time on it, you would think it would eventually produce a beautifully smooth, straight piece of wood. Instead, it magnifies the unevenness caused by the grain in the wood. If you instead start at 80 grit and then move through 120, 220, 320, 400, and the 600, it will be perfectly smooth.

    I think steel wool is the same. Don't move to steel wool if there are still imperfections you're trying to fix. Only move onto the steel wool when the piece is pretty much as you want it ... just not as silky.

    -daniel

     
  25. May 26, 2013 #25

    cheflarge

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    What a bute!
     
  26. May 26, 2013 #26

    Burl Source

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    Very good advice.
     
  27. May 27, 2013 #27

    Mingooch

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    Beautiful handle makes me want a western.
     
  28. Nov 21, 2013 #28

    metromaxi

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  29. Dec 6, 2013 #29

    kannamaster

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    Beautiful work. One more question about the steel wool. For some woods, steel wood "dust" can get pushed into the pores and will show up as discolorations (black dots) later when the steel reacts with the tannins in the wood - at least that has been my experience. A classic example is white oak which is also pretty course grained. Maybe finer grained or many "exotic" woods don't have that problem? Are there other woods that you have found don't work well with steel wool?
     
  30. Dec 7, 2013 #30

    danielomalley

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    @kannamaster, I use steel wool only after I have applied several coats of super-thin cyano. This seals all the pores, making the steel wool not get caught in the grains. This might be why I don't encounter this problem.
    -daniel
     

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