First thing, please note that this sequence has knives other than Hiromoto's.
First thing we do is remove the old handles.
I like to drill the old rivets out:
However, most of the time I use an old 36 grit belt and grind the rivets out. It's more reliable. Often times you start drilling the rivets and they start spinning and I've got to resort to the grinder any way.
After the old scales are removed:
After the tangs are cleaned up:
The one on the bottom had a nasty tang. It got cleaned up even more after this picture with some acetone and sandpaper.
Next we have to make the hole's big enough for the bolts and center mosaic pin:
Next we decide on wood. I picked, from left to right, purple dyed redwood burl, black dyed redwood burl, desert ironwood, jarrah burl, and walnut burl for the bottom knife:
Next we cut the scales to shape with a band saw:
Start the test fitting and hole drilling:
Lots of little sanding and truing up done at this point. Double stick tape the scales to the tang and drill holes, making sure the scales are as flat to the tang as possible, tight to the bolster, etc.
Test fit everything one time with the bolts and mosaic pin in place:
Next step is to epoxy everything together.....which I didn't take any pictures of. Only so much time before you get into trouble. Tang and scales are cleaned thoroughly for a good gluing surface. Bolts are put in place and mosaic pin is trued up.
After that, they're left to cure for at least 24 hours.
Then they're cleaned up. The excess bolt material is cut off and the scales are cleaned up with a 36 grit belt:
The desert ironwood is done first so that you're using the sharpest the belt is as ironwood burns so quickly....a real PITA.
Then we progress through the belts until we use a fairly well worn out 400 grit belt and we're left with:
Then it's time to hand sand. I made a hand sanding fixture that has been so amazing to use:
I can turn the handle to any angle I want....so nice.
In this picture, two of the handles are all but done....technically done, but some more polishing to do: