Tanaka Sekiso Wa to Yo handle conversion

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ma_sha1

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Ok, this time it’s for real. I was going to do it on Toyama Dami but chickened out. I should have known better as I can’t find any posts about converting to Yo handle from Wa. A lot harder than I thought. The bolster alone took me quite a few days, enough time I could’ve made 5 handles by now.

The Damascus bolster halves were made from cutting off chunks from this Damascus Axe.

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I put in a metal pin, as hidden pin so it only go in the bolster half way. Just so that it prevents bolster from sliding causing shear force due to impact. I am not sure it’s necessary for kitchen knives but I do chop from time to time.

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Before etching, the Damascus bolster looks like plain steel.

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The rest should be easy, making & finishing wooden handle, I’ve done it enough times.
 
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Garm

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Judging by the top picture, you're two thirds of the way on the road to having a pretty badass halberd!
 

Qapla'

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This is a pretty cool handle upgrade!

What damascus axe is that? (I'll PM you if discussing axes constitutes a thread-hijacking.)
 

ma_sha1

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This is a pretty cool handle upgrade!

What damascus axe is that? (I'll PM you if discussing axes constitutes a thread-hijacking.)
It’s just an eBay Damascus Axe, I bought it For the sole purpose to harvest a piece of steel from the hammer end to make a bolster.

The axe itself sucks as an axe, got badly damaged axing plastic into smaller piece for disposal.
 

ma_sha1

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Continue to progress at a snail pace as new challenges present them selves out of no where.

The Bolster side that’s facing the handle has a slight taper which was translated from the taper of the knife. It’s very slight, but enough to present Itself as a gap to the flat spacer. Instead of completing all three spacers & handle in one session, I now have to do it one at a time.

Here I epoxied the first spacer & clamped it with a gap filler to force a curve to bridge the gap. I can thin down the middle of each spacer so that the curve is reduced with each spacer. This way, I can gradually transition a curved surface to a flat surface with a series of 3 spacers.

I used JB weld, super strong, heat resistant to 500F but need to wait for another 24 hours to set, & see what it looks like to decide on the next course of actions.

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ma_sha1

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Thanks! It’s Karelian birchwood, not stabilized.
 

ma_sha1

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Got up early & squeezed in an hour before work. Today’s progress was much better! I was able to file down the 1st spacer flat, put in all three spacers & the handle. For better color matching of seams, I used JB weld from bolster to spacers: G4-Brass-G4, and JB wood for the handle.

The 1st picture may look the same as yesterday but it’s totally different, as everything is filled in & clamped down shut.

Tomorrow I should be able to finish the handle, however, Trout fishing always takes priority over kitchen knives during the weekend, we’ll see.

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birdsfan

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Hopefully you will have better fishing weather up there than we do. My favorite stream is running fast and muddy after today. Really looking forward to seeing how your project turns out, but I won't root for rain!
 

ma_sha1

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Thanks but the fishing got rained out, several trout escaped from being dinner fare & get to live for another day.

The good news is, I get to work on the handle today, & this is my favorite part, to free-hand Into whatever look i feel like. Today, I am going for the Maumasi pregnant gold-fish look 😂

Taking a break, it’s about 80% done 👌
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ma_sha1

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Dude!!! Thanks a very much!!! 😀
Yes, Tanaka Blue steel dammy, CKTG calls it Sekiso, not sure what’s the difference between the Sekiso & the other Tanaka blue 2 dammy offered by other vendors.

The big brother Toyama dammy just got sold, so I snapped a last min. picture of the two together to say Goodbye 😀
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birdsfan

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Really awesome work! Sorry about the fish....they would have made a fine meal, but they would not have been as satisfying as getting your newly handled blade to a point where you can try it out.
 

birdsfan

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Quite a lovely finished product! The progressive spacers was a real imaginative way to transition to the thicker palm grip. Love the figuring on the birchwood. Are you just treating the wood with mineral oil?
 

ma_sha1

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Thanks!

Yeah, just cutting board butter, made with mineral oil & bees wax. The two sides of the handle are the end-grain side, quite thirsty & it’s super grippy.

This happened by accident as I oriented it based on patterns only, & my last handle, the end grain was on the butt. I sanded it to 1000 grit, usually would be shiny & slippery but in this case, it didn’t. It just remains grippy wet or dry no matter what.
 

ma_sha1

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I love the birchwood, my go to material for handles. I think I’ll try to get end-grain on the side again but I’ll need to purchase bigger log & cut It myself. As I don’t have a choice buying small knife block as it often comes with end grain on the end instead of the side.
 

birdsfan

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I wouldn't have thought to use end grain on the sides, just for strength and stability reasons. But it makes sense that it is much grippier. That is good insight to think about. I have never done a re-handle before, but I am presently contemplating 2 projects, a western Sakai Takayuki 240 gyuto and a Masamoto yanagi-ba. Finding the right wood is challenging. Have ordered several wood blocks on e-bay that looked great in the pictures but just didn't have the look or feel I was seeking. Of course this lockdown adds an extra wrinkle too
 

Danzo

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Nice work! The bolster has a hidden pin, but other than that how is it held together?
 

ma_sha1

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Nice work! The bolster has a hidden pin, but other than that how is it held together?
At first I was going to solder it with silver solder, I already bought a torch with MAP gas for it. After a bunch of reading, I find many blade smith suggesting JB Weld with a pin instead, that’s the way I went with. I spent a lot of time to minimize the gap, I am very happy with the decision & outcome. The joint is heat tolerant to 550 F/300 c, it tolerated the heat from belt sanding afterwards without problem.
 
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