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 Post subject: Thoughts after first re-handle
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:32 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:29 pm
Posts: 500
I finally worked in time on and off to finish this project. I took my tanaka ku 165 deba and tried to pimp it out a little. (This doesn't necessarily make me a post whore?) Anyway, I thought I would show how I did it with the results. Hopefully it will help some of you to try it. It's not as hard as you'd think and it's pretty rewarding to do it yourself. Besides if you mess it up, you can reinstall the old handle or ship it to someone listed here as a handle maker to make one for you. I first removed the handle and removed the ku finish with my buffing wheel using greaseless compounds, finished by buffing and hand polishing with flitz. I know that's kind of cheating. I had to finish it this way to preserve the hammer marks and the engraved kanji. The old handle was comfortable but was an oval handle and I wanted a tapered octagon. I took measurements and wanted my finished handle to be very similar in size and taper. Here is a picture of it un assembled and the new handle rough block.
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I used taz's technique with the dowel rod. I didn't take any photos of this stage of making it, but a hole was drilled down into the padauk part of the handle and the dowel rod was epoxied in. Enough was left sticking out the top for the brass spacer and the ebony ferrule to be drilled out and epoxied on as well. The dowel comes up to within about 3/16 of an inch to the end of the ferrule. This photo shows the tang end and you can see the poplar wood dowel inside, looking into the tang hole.
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The tang hole was first drilled out with a pilot hole down through the center of the handle, which is also through the center of the dowel rod. The deba has a large tang, so it took quite a bit if file work to get the squared out mortise finished. The tang mortise is equal to the length of the tang, so this hole goes fairly deep into the handle. If I were to do this one again I would draw out the tang mortise hole and drill holes at each end and then file out the center and square up the ends. I could have saved a lot of time.
Next I used the disk sander to fine tune the tapers on the rectangular block. I then set the table on the disk sander to 45 degrees and sanded down the corners moving from one corner to the next. I did a little at a time on each edge until they were all uniform and the octagon looked and felt proper. I then sanded down all the flats using a progression of sandpaper 200, 320, 400, 600, 1500. The sheets were laid on a piece of glass to keep all the flats straight and crisp.
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Next I applied. 3 coats of tung oil buffing between each coat. I will apply oil and wax and buff it again after a few days. Here is the final product. I wanted it to match the fish scaler I did for practice. I added the brass spacer to make it look a little more professional and to tie in the brass from the scaler.
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There are more qualified people to make a post like this, but seeing that it's a first time rehandle, I hope it inspires someone to try it. It also shows you what you can make a fairly inexpensive knife look like. Anybody reading this that has any time saving tips or the like, please comment. I hope to get better at this.


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts after first re-handle
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:06 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:17 am
Posts: 4211
That's two more handles than I have made, good job!



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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts after first re-handle
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:32 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2013 4:28 am
Posts: 170
Beautiful work! That spacer is a real nice touch. I have neither the time nor the tools to attempt a job like this myself so I'll just sit back and enjoy your excellent results. Thanks for sharing.


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts after first re-handle
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:59 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:24 am
Posts: 329
Looks amazing!


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts after first re-handle
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:09 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:02 am
Posts: 286
Well done, that deba looks beautiful


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts after first re-handle
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:17 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:00 am
Posts: 674
Lookin goooood man.


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts after first re-handle
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:57 am 

Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:26 pm
Posts: 104
Looks good - fun isn't it?


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts after first re-handle
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:01 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:10 pm
Posts: 211
How did you seat the tang into the handle; epoxy, friction, etc.?


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts after first re-handle
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:50 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:29 pm
Posts: 500
I made the tang hole to size. I kept trying the fit. I had placed a small mark on the tang where I wanted it to stop for proper clearance and hand comfort. At this point it was easier to slowly grind off metal with my 1x30 belt sander. Grind slowly, check fit often. I kept a small bucket of cold water there to prevent heating the blade. The fit is very tight. I stopped grinding down when I could push the tang down within about 3/16" from being seated where I wanted it. I then used devcon 2 ton two part epoxy. Put epoxy on tang, pushed it down and tapped bottom of handle to seat it down the last little bit. I wiped off the bit of epoxy that pushed back out.
I tried the burn in method first. When the tang was down within 1/2" I heated up the tang and tapped the bottom of the handle. It tapped lightly and it jumped down slowly. I was careful and watched closely and saw the ebony ferrule start to crack. I stopped immediately. Let it cool off and applied super glue into the small crack and removed the handle. Removing the handle took off the pressure and the crack immediately closed up. I clamped it lightly for a few hours. After I sanded the spot, the crack wasn't visible. I caught it on time and saved the handle. After this, I ground the tang instead. It didn't take very much, it was already pretty close. So that's another thing I learned. The ferrule is pretty delicate. I knew it would be , was careful , was watching for it and put a small crack in it anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts after first re-handle
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:00 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:42 am
Posts: 72
Looking good! A+ on your homework too.


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