So this has been an off again, on again project for sometime. Frankly, I don't really care all that much for the blade. At this point I have been spoiled for choice and playing with different projects has been all I keep this knife around for anymore.... Unfortunately, since I don't get too excited to use it anymore, I have little motivation to do anything else to this knife, so this is how she is likely to stay.
So first, the knife has been thinned. At first I used this to test the legs of my, then new, Nubatama 220 Bamboo Black Brick (BBB). The BBB did a great job but when I was done the sides were all beat up and needed to be touched up. I used a Harbor Freight (HF), 1x30 belt sander with HF belts to both touch up the sides and thin/convex the knife from spine to edge.
The grind marks from the HF belts/grinder were pretty ugly. If I intend to do many more of these, I need to put some serious thought into better kit for grinding blades. The belts were slow but gouged deeply enough that I could not easily clean up the grind marks. On top of that the work area between the guide wheels is too small to get even, consistent contact the height of the blade so I ended up having to work in sections and at angles that did nothing for the aesthetic quality of the finish.
I finally decided to try to clean up the look by hand using emery paper wet. I had wet/dry automotive paper in the wings but never got to it. I got bored and decided I am done working on the knife. So as you see it, there are still coarse grind vertical grind marks from the belt sander, but the overall aesthetic is ~220 grit.
When I went to sharpen the knife I polished the core steel all the way up to the cladding so there is a bit of a "kasumi" finish in places. I took the edge/core steel through a Nubatama Ume 1k, 2k, Suehiro Rika 5k progression. One thing about the thin job, with less area to the bevel the final sharpening wet fast, much faster than I remember it going with this knife. It took a killer edge. I do not remember this knife getting all that sharp but that is more likely a tribute to my improving as a sharpener than anything else.
Now moving back the middle of this story: Sometime after I started the thinning project and before I did the finish "polishing" (a generous description) and sharpening, I noticed the handle scales had gaps opening up that frankly gave me the willies to think about what crap was growing in there. So the scales came off a new handle was in order. I have some scraps of Brazilian Ironwood that were given to me by my neighbor. I decided to try my hand at a coke bottle type handle shape and seal up the joint between the scales and tang so that the knife was a bit more...sanitary.
I drew some inspiration from Taz's work: finally-some-time-off-t2579.html
The scales were sawn using my contractor grade table saw. FWIW, I think I am done resawing with this table saw. If I intend to do many more of these, I need to put some serious thought into better kit for resawing lumber.
The scales were shaped on the blade mostly using the HF belt grinder and a sanding block with 80 grit sandpaper. The bolster was not very regular in shape so there is a seam that I filled with JBweld that can be seen in the final picture.
So here is the final result: