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 Post subject: Two for CKTG!!
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:52 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:13 pm
Posts: 2759
Location: CT
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!
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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.
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I center punch the rivets to keep the drill bit from walking and then drill the rivets, both sides.
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When you drill thru the head of the rivet, you will see it separate from the body:
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Now remove the handle scales (most are not epoxied, just rivetted!), and punch out the rivet bodies from the handle holes:
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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.
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Cut and split:
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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.
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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!
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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.
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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!
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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.
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Clamp it and let cure!
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 Post subject: Re: Two for CKTG!!
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:56 am 
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That is impressive. I would never attempt that. You got skills. Peace bullman



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 Post subject: Re: Two for CKTG!!
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:04 am 
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Location: CT
Once the epoxy has hardened, it's time to start shaping the handle!

Protect the blade! I use the painters masking tape and then a few layers of Duct Tape:
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With the 36 grit belt on my 2x72 belt sander, I rough out the profile, flush up the pins and get the basic shape blocked out.
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I work my way up to the 60 grit belt and then switch over to a 1x30 belt sander and a 80 grit belt, then 120 to further clean up the handle.
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I had a friend make up a small wheel attachment for my 1x30 so I use that to get into the insides of the handle area and clean up everything and get the tang and handle flush with each other.
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Once I get to 120 on the belt sander, I use my Iwasaki Files to clean up the handle and finish shaping it off. I find I get better results and the profile it more even using the files to do the rest of the profiling. These files are expensive, but get the smaller Fine Grit flat and half round and you will be surprised at how quickly and cleanly these work! The EX Fine are good, too. The Medium is too coarse and doesn't work as well for me. These files catch on corners, so just keep that in mind.

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Then I use sandpaper wrapped around some hard cork and start at 120 and go thru 180, 220, 320, and 400 grit sandpaper by hand.
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From there I break out the secret weapon! Micro Mesh Sandpaper!!! Yes, it is expensive and smells kinda odd, but it works like a charm!!! It goes from 1500 grit to 12,000 grit, which is around 6000 normal US grit. The abrasive is cushioned by the backing material, and gives a cleaner scratch pattern. They also make a heavier duty version for polishing aluminum. I start at the 1500 and work all the way up to the 12,000 with the sandpaper backed by the hard cork. This is important so that the pins don't end up sticking up above the handle material, which is softer and sands quicker.

The sun was setting on me, but this shows the shine from the handle at the 12,000 step. There is NO finish on the handles at this point; this is the gloss from the sandpaper. Incredible stuff!!
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Ok, so the Artifex is done, next post will be with the Hiromoto AS!


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 Post subject: Re: Two for CKTG!!
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:15 am 
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I follow pretty much the same steps for the Hiromoto, but it has a Bolster, which is a PITA! I mask off the bolster with masking tape (5 or 6 layers) and bring the handle material down to where I start to remove the masking tape. Remove the tape, re apply more tape (4 layers), and file the handle down until I take off a couple layers of tape again. Again, retape with 3 layers, sand down until I remove 2 layers. Then do 1 layer and sand down with 220 until I start to remove that layer of tape. Then I remove the tape completely and bring the blade to the belt sander with a 220 grit belt. I grind the handle flush at this step. Then I buff the bolster area only on a Sisal Buff with a compound to take out the 220 scratched, but still leave a nice, satin finish on the bolster. Now I hand sand from 220 grit to 400 grit and rebuff the bolster. The bolster gets masked off and I go to the Micro Mesh and polish the whole handle up. I use a scotchbrite belt to clean up the edges of the handle on both knives. A bolstered knife with a metal bolster is a more tedious task since it is much slower going and stop, remask with tape, unmask, go a little more, remask, etc.

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End result; taking your time is worth it!!
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Here are the 2 knives just about done. I gotta clean up the handles here and there tomorrow and get some better pics in better lighting.

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Hiromoto:
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Artifex:
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One thing I forgot to mention in the first post is when you are using pins, cut them longer by 1/8" each side and then bevel the edge slightly. When you cut them, you get a burr around the edge which makes it harder to insert into the handle and may crack thinner or more fragile pieces. For Mosaic Pins, sand the edges down so you can easily see the pattern so you can line up the patterns on the pins so that they match up and are aligned the same!

Thanks for reading guys!!


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 Post subject: Re: Two for CKTG!!
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:42 am 

Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:17 am
Posts: 355
That is awesome! Do you do this kind of work professionally? It looks like you do.


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 Post subject: Re: Two for CKTG!!
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:56 am 
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Location: CT
I have a full time job and also have my own business building custom fishing rods. I did the knifemaking stuff years ago in High School and College, but stopped when I started working 3rd shift. I recently started using the premade kit blades for hunting and fillet style knives last fall to supplement the rod business when the rod orders slowed down. I rehandled a couple of my own Japanese kitchen knives and enjoyed it, so I started to do the kitchen knives as well. It's not all that I do with the business, but I find the knives a bit more fun and quicker than the fishing rods. To finish up a fishing rod, it can take a week or two to do one rod, depending on how many layers of thread and epoxy I need to use. I did both of these knives today; I started at around 2:45 pm and finished around 7:45 pm, with a dinner break in there.


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 Post subject: Re: Two for CKTG!!
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:49 pm 
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Location: Cape Town - South Africa
Wow, thank you - well done there!!

:)



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 Post subject: Re: Two for CKTG!!
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:49 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:27 pm
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Location: Herentals, Belgium
Very nice tutorial and they both look very good.

Thank you for a great contribution to the new forum!



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 Post subject: Re: Two for CKTG!!
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:45 pm 

Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 9:37 pm
Posts: 346
Location: Pensacola, FL, USA
Nice job! Thanks for the WIP pics, too.


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 Post subject: Re: Two for CKTG!!
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:08 pm 
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Thanks for the compliments guys! I tried taking better pics, but it's too sunny. I just get lots of glare. When I get the handles fully finished up, I will try to get some better pics. There is a lot of nice grain in these pieces of wood, but it's hard to get it to show up in the pics!


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