Had a customer send me a 300mm CarboNext suji and a Fujiwara 240mm Carbon gyuto to converted to bolsterless Wa handles! Suji has a octagon handle with Faux Horn and Kauri wood, gyuto has a D shaped handle in the same materials.
4 knives ready to remove the handles! Tojiro ITK Bread Knife (black Micarta, white spacer, orange Buckeye Burl handle with white liners on the tang), Artifex Boning Knife (Curly Maple handle, Curly Maple Saya), and the Fuji and CarboNext:
Bye Bye Bolsters!
Where the bolsters were will be the neck of the knife, so I had to clean that up and blend it with the blades. I also did a thinning job to the blades and refinished the whole blades, too. Customer wanted to keep the asymmetry that was in the knives.
Once the blades are cleaned up, then I rough out the Wa style tang. I go with a shorter tang usually; Western style knives often have a hardened tang that isn't as soft and flexy as the traditional Japanese tangs.
I had prepped and roughed out the handles while waiting for the knives to arrive. USPS 2 day priority is a joke, took like 4 or 5 days and missed the delivery by 2 days.
Tang slots filed and the fit being cleaned up:
Handles clean up and rounded at the front and back, working on the final fit before epoxying!
Rounded the spines, choils and neck areas while I was in there.
Just gotta sharpen them up and rub in a few more coats of Oil Finish!