An area executive chef I really respect and have worked with in the past has recently been hired by my current location to sort of... fill in the bumps. It's a big operation. He's a true pleasure to work with, does good work, and is a class act.
We got to talking about knives this afternoon, as professional kitchen rats do, and I glanced through his collection. He's basically on the final dregs of a full on addiction. His collection is now pretty small because he's given away a lot of knives over the years to employees. What knives he has left are in good shape and of good quality save one. That odd man out is a short yanagiba that is, to put it bluntly, unusable. It's got some degree of rusting, it's crooked, the edge looks shot, and the handle looks rusted. He said he'd trusted his cooks too much with it, but he had just never gotten rid of it because of sentimental value. He doesn't even remember what it is, only that he's cut a *lot* of fish with it. On top of the blade, the handle is apparently haunted with odors which appear when it gets wet. Suffice to say he doesn't use it much.
I mentioned I knew a few people who might have some restoration advice. Hi, people. I'm hoping to answer three questions here.
1) Is the knife salvageable, in whole or in part? If it's just a lost cause, it is what it is. Obviously the handle and blade are different. I suspect a rehandle is strictly necessary as it appears to have rusted out a bit and scents tend to cling, but I've been surprised by some repair work in the past.
2) What kind of cost is he looking at? This doesn't have to be an official appraisal or estimate; even a ballpark idea would be nice. He might bite even if the cost approached the value of the knife.
3) Who might be willing to take a stab at it? It may not be one of you, specifically, but my coworker seemed pretty enthusiastic about possibly getting his knife up and running again.
A few quick snapshots to give you an idea of the condition. Normally I post a thumbnail, but not today!
Mods, feel free to move this if you feel it fits better elsewhere. Kind of an oddball post.