Mark sent me an Artifex and a 210mm Hiromoto AS gyuto to rehandle. He also sent a sweet block of Stabilized Maple Burl, which was dyed Brown as well. I got going on them today finally!!! I decided to do a WIP with them to take people through the process of what we do when we re handle a knife, as well as some tips for others out there that want to do this. This is going to be broken up into a few parts because I have 40 pictures!! YIKES!! Grab something to eat or drink, it's gonna be a fun ride!!
Ok, so here is what we are starting with!
Protect the blades!!!!!!! Very important!! Keeps you from getting sliced and also keeps the blades looking new and pretty. The painters tape leaves less residue.
I center punch the rivets to keep the drill bit from walking and then drill the rivets, both sides.
When you drill thru the head of the rivet, you will see it separate from the body:
Now remove the handle scales (most are not epoxied, just rivetted!), and punch out the rivet bodies from the handle holes:
Line up and mark out the handle outlines on the handle material. Trace around each handle with a marker. This gives you a little leeway. Since this is a block, I also have to split the handle block to make 2 scales.
Cut and split:
Once I get them blocked out, I sand them flat on my 6x48 belt sander. One trick here. Use the FLAT side of the scales on the tang, not the side that you split the block. The side that is in the middle where you split the block will often not be straight. So I use the flatter side, which was the outside of the block
Once the scales are flattened and sit nicely on the tang, I drill the handle holes. I use a drop of superglue to glue the scale to the tang, and then clamp it. First I drill thru 1 side of the handle material. Then I put a drop of glue on the bare side of the tang and clamp it and drill through the remainder of the handle. This ensures the pin holes are straight. I am using a 1/8" Mosaic pin and a #30 drill bit, which gives clearance for the 1/8" pins. 1/8" bit and 1/8" pin material do NOT fit!!! If your scales are precut from the factory, I usually stack them both up and clamp the blade on top, then drill through both scales at once.
Once your handles are drilled, I remove them from the tang with a light tap from a mallet. Then I put the pin through the holes and shape the front of the handle and polish it up. You won't be able to get to this after it is glued to the handle, so do it before you epoxy it!
Dry fit everything and flat sand the scales again to remove the super glue. Take some 80 or 100 grit sandpaper, rough up the tang and remove the superglue.
Epoxy Time! I use JB Quik Weld usually.
Make sure to clean up the epoxy seeping out the front of the handle!! Here is a nice clean edge!
Here is the secret to the nice clean edge! Take a piece of paper towel, fold it over once or twice and put some Denatured Alcohol on it. Then wrap it around a razor blade and use the angled part that goes from the edge to the back. Use this edge to clean the front of the handle scales of all epoxy. This way the razor blade won't scratch the blade and the DNA will remove the epoxy quickly. I also peel back some of the protective masking tape to make sure no epoxy got under the tape.
Clamp it and let cure!