Wa Handle Installation - Stefan Handle on A-Type

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JohnnyChance

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I have a Aritsugu A-Type 270mm Gyuto, which comes with an awful factory handle, and handle I bought from Stefan. So naturally, off comes the factory handle. The factory handle came off no problem, and luckily the Stefan handle is twice the weight of the factory one, as the knife was quite blade heavy to start. The spine is very square and sharp, and the choil is rough, so I am also going to take care of those while I have the handles off. The tang is about 1mm too tall for the new handle, so I will take a little off of there as well. I will have some pictures later this week.

What kind of epoxy do you guys like to use for wa installations?
 

Dave Martell

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I fill them up with System Three T-88. This stuff is gap filling marine grade but has a great open end work time and settles nicely.

For sealing the tang I use Devcon 2-ton. It's waterproof, tough as nails, and easy to work with.

You can use just about any epoxy and come out OK, maybe just select something waterproof (versus resistant) and a longer open end time than you think you need. Nothings worse than epoxy setting up on you when you're not finished filling the hole yet - oh what fun that is! :D

Please post your handle mounted pictures!
 

apicius9

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The tang is about 1mm too tall for the new handle, so I will take a little off of there as well. I will have some pictures later this week.

What kind of epoxy do you guys like to use for wa installations?

I usually just wing the size of the tang slot in the ferrule because I never know what knife the handle will go on. Rather than filing down the knfe tang, you could also just get a small file or rasp and match the tangs slot to the tang - much easier. Please keep in mind that the inner slot behind the ferrule is drilled a little bit oversized - again, to accommodate whatever tang ends up going in there. That means a) you don't have to file very deeply to adjust the handle to the tang, just the ferrule part, and b) you may need a bit more epoxy tan you expect because the inner hole is oversized. For filling handles, a thinner epoxy is better. I think T=88 might be your best bet, Dave has had great success with it. Even better would be West epoxy system or acraglass but they are either hard to find or you have to buy a quart sized container...

Good luck, I'll wait for the pictures :)

Stefan
 

JohnnyChance

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Back from the dead! Finally got the epoxy I needed and put it to work. The original Aritsugu handle was frankly quite bad, and very light. It made the knife very blade heavy. Stefan's handle is double the weight of the original, plus the weight of epoxy. The spine and choil were also pretty sharp, so I rounded and polished those. And since I hid the machi in the handle, I added a Mario-esque curve to the choil for a little extra finger clearance. Overall the knife is waaaaaaay more comfortable. I had more extreme cutouts planned by drawing on the blade with a sharpie, but they looked a bit silly. Between the big curve and wild handle, it looked like a wa-knuckle-sandwich-guy-fieri abomination. So I kept it subdued.











And yes, the handle is pink(ish), with a mother of pearl end cap.
 

Pensacola Tiger

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Nice job! I like the way you put the emoto right up against the handle so there's no machi.

I agree with you about the stock handle on the A-types - they're horrid. I've got a 240 that's just waiting for the right handle.

Rick
 

tk59

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Yup. I usually don't like wierd-colored handles but that definitely works. Very nice.
 

steeley

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really nice looking .what is the end cap.:thumbsup:
 

RRLOVER

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I like it:thumbsup2: Is that dyed box elder burl?
 

JohnnyChance

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Oh, and a big thanks to Dave for all of his tips. Surely would have screwed it up without him.

And I can see why people talk about the edge retention on the A-types. It was not easy to grind and sand the choil and spine!
 

stereo.pete

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How high of a grit did you take the choil and spine up to?
 

heirkb

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I rounded the spine on a knife using the method that Maksim uses on one of his videos. I think it's the Yoshikane polishing video. You just use a stone to round the spine. I couldn't think of a good way to hold the knife if I wanted to use sandpaper.
What do you do for the choil, though? That'd be tough to do on a stone I imagine.
 

JohnnyChance

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Same as the spine, die grinder + abrasive bit. Then a round file, and a bunch of different sand paper wrapped around a sharpie.

I put the blade between two 1/4" thick poplar boards and put it in a vice for sanding the spine and choil.
 

Lefty

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I'm not sure where I was on this, but great job on the rehandle (great work from Stefan too! I really like the handle!).
I think it was a great idea to hide the machi, as it now looks a lot more professional...just like an a-type SHOULD look!
 

JohnnyChance

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Thanks, but overall, looking back, it was a pretty amateur job. Funny this is resurrected though as I have to mount a handle on an Eamon knife for my buddy brainsausage tmrw.
 

dreamwalker

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Beautifully work! Nice handle.

Just curious which epoxy you using to sealing the hole.
Because I just received new 240mm a type guyto from Takeshi-San but with helf unfilled hole,and the epoxy that filled inside the hole seem like very soft and will be falling out easy. So I looking for some hard epoxy to sealing the hole by myself.

Thanks for any advise !
 

andur

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The knives I've got have no epoxy for attaching the tang to the handle. I quite like it this way. The fit is nice and made by heating the tang and banging the handle on. They've stayed on this way for years. If a small gap remains I've filled it with beeswax (just used a toothpick to push solid beeswax into the groove to make it waterproof). I like the simplicity of japanese knives, the idea of using no glue at all. Not possible always but quite nice for securing handles. You can also take the handle off at any time! My two cents!
 

dreamwalker

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The knives I've got have no epoxy for attaching the tang to the handle. I quite like it this way. The fit is nice and made by heating the tang and banging the handle on. They've stayed on this way for years. If a small gap remains I've filled it with beeswax (just used a toothpick to push solid beeswax into the groove to make it waterproof). I like the simplicity of japanese knives, the idea of using no glue at all. Not possible always but quite nice for securing handles. You can also take the handle off at any time! My two cents!

Hi andur,

Thanks for your suggest.
I just end up filled the voids by epoxy stick. Worked well for now.

Thanks
 
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