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Darkhoek

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I have been working on a couple of knives for a while now. The yanagi was a similar blade to the blade in my refurb blog http://*****************.com/2010/11/my-very-first-blog.html and it was in pretty bad shape when I got it. Due to me being on vacation it has been a bit on and off, but here are finally some pictures from the project.

Outlining the sayas


Carving wood that is not straight grain is a real PITA


Clamping the pieces together to test progress on the fit of the saya. No glueing with the knife in the block! :D


Here you can see the finished handles and sayas. Both sayas are made of the same thin lumber curly maple board. I have used a set of spirit based wood dyes to colour match the sayas to the handles. It took a bit of fiddling and testing on blank pieces of wood, but I hope I mananged to match them fairly well. The Koa was the most tricky wood to color match. I also used a more burly piece for the sakimaru with burly handle and a wavy piece for the yanagi with the curly handle.





I really love the musk ox horn on this handle. I think it works great with the wood in the handle.


I have fixed all overgrinding issues on the yanagi, straightening the blade, recovering the shinogi line, lengthened the heel and polished the choil and spine, polished the face and fingerstone polished the blade road, and sharpened the blade on JNATs finishing the edges on a very fine size #24 Atagoyama kiita from Hide. I have given both blades a very light hamaguriba to increase the strength of the edge.

DarKHoeK
 

Lefty

Canada's Sharpest Lefty
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Wow, you're insanely talented! Beautiful job!
 

oivind_dahle

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I was lucky to see both last night. And I cant hide that I love the sakimaru with the musk ox the most.
Musk Ox Ferrule is probably the most impressive ferrule you can have. I know Darkhoek might have some more ferrules for those who order a handle from him first. I have one, but have ordered a second!

The handles are really really great. I love his handles.
Lefty: Go for a musk ox ferruled handle from Darkhoek ;)

Great work Darkhoek!
 

Pensacola Tiger

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Harald,

Great job matching the color of the sayas to the handles. That musk ox horn gives a fantastic effect with the underlying wood.

Rick
 

Darkhoek

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Harald,

Great job matching the color of the sayas to the handles. That musk ox horn gives a fantastic effect with the underlying wood.

Rick
That's one of the things I love the most about the musk. It takes up the colour from the underlying material and "auto match" to it. Great feature for a material.
It is also very nice to work with, doesn't crack or shrink, polishes well and looks spectacular. Only down side...$$$$$$ It's insanely costly.

DarKHOeK
 

kalaeb

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Very well done.

Your blog is a pretty good read too. Keep it up.
 

Darkhoek

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Very well done.

Your blog is a pretty good read too. Keep it up.
Well that has suffered severely lately. I have some posts in the line so stay tuned. Thanks for reading.

DarkHOeK
 

Ratton

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You certainly have a great talent and it shows!!:knife:
 

Marko Tsourkan

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Great work. Love musk ox horn. Would love to try it.

Did you end up dyeing wood to match the handles, or is it un-stabilized (on the handles)?
 

Darkhoek

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Great work. Love musk ox horn. Would love to try it.

Did you end up dyeing wood to match the handles, or is it un-stabilized (on the handles)?
Thanks Marko.
The handles are stabilized and the sayas are both made of light curly maple dyed to match each handle.

Thank you all for your kind comments. Most of my knowledge and inspiration I actually get from seeing what you all present here on the forum. There is a lot of good information and great inspiration to be found around here.

DarKHOeK
 

Burl Source

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This is probably a dumb question.
Would using stabilized wood for the saya cause problems?
scratches, tough to carve, or?
 

Darkhoek

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This is probably a dumb question.
Would using stabilized wood for the saya cause problems?
scratches, tough to carve, or?
Stabilized wood in a saya has pros and cons. On the upside you would have less shrinkage issues making a perfectly fitted saya made in one environment shrink and get to small in a dryer environment.You can also avoid some warping issues but as the saya is made out of two pieces of wood and the knife hopefully is placed in the saya in a dry state, warping will not be much of an issue.

On the con side a saya made from stabilized wood would be air tight and cause rust problems pretty quickly. It might also be so hard it would wear the edge more, but if the fit is right, that shoud not be a problem. It would definately be harder to shape and process with normal wood carving tools and japanese planes.

Besides it is very hard to find stabilising services that would accept 12" pieces of wood for stabilisation.

Bottom line is, as far as I am concerned, the main issue would be the air tight properties of the stabilized wood making the knives rust pretty quickly as any moisture is trapped in the saya.
By using natural oils and waxes on the saya it will be possible to make a near perfect match between a natural saya and a stabilized handle from the same wood block, so if you would consider to cut a couple of 12"x2,5"x3/8" boards and stabilize a 6"x1"x1" block from the board I would be very interested. :)


DarkHOeK
 

Burl Source

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Harald,
Thanks for the info.
I will be in touch soon for a bit of further info so I can get you what you need.

If you ever do need longer stabilized pieces K&G will do up to 24" long.
 

jason

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Can I ask where you get your Musk Ox horn from? Those are incredibly beautiful, by the way. Really stunning pieces!
 

jmforge

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You must be getting very well aged musk ox horn that has been treated with loving care. A lot of it isn't and it has the reputation of moving very badly.
That's one of the things I love the most about the musk. It takes up the colour from the underlying material and "auto match" to it. Great feature for a material.
It is also very nice to work with, doesn't crack or shrink, polishes well and looks spectacular. Only down side...$$$$$$ It's insanely costly.

DarKHOeK
 

apicius9

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Couldn't that be stabilized? Dang, I missed a few opportunities to pick up some musk horn - lack of imagination on my side, I didn't see how great it would look.

Stefan
 

Darkhoek

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Couldn't that be stabilized? Dang, I missed a few opportunities to pick up some musk horn - lack of imagination on my side, I didn't see how great it would look.

Stefan
Well it was a lot of money to throw out a dark window hoping for some good to happen. I took a phone call to the guy in the shop before ordering and got some kind of assurance from him that the horn was well seasoned and stable and ready for use. Still, considering the price paid, it was quite a plunge :) I believe it paid off somehow, even if going back to dull brown or black horns now seems almost unthinkable :(

DarKHOeK
 
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