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 Post subject: Takamura Wa Conversion
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 1:52 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
Posts: 2277
Anyone do a wa conversion on a Takamura?

The bolster appears pinned but I cannot tell for sure. What would removing the bolster entail?

If you have tried this, are you happy with the results?


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 Post subject: Re: Takamura Wa Conversion
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:39 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:50 am
Posts: 147
I haven't seen one on this forum- I searched it out of curiosity before I bought my Tamakura. I would like to see it done. Its my first Jknife but I'm thoroughly impressed with it. It's already so light, I can't imagine what it would be like with a lighter handle.



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 Post subject: Re: Takamura Wa Conversion
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 1:19 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:13 pm
Posts: 2955
Location: CT
Someone send me one to convert!

LOL. I have converted Kikuichi TKC, Artifex, Kohetsu HAP40, Carbonext and a few others to a Wa handle. If the bolster is pinned and the pins aren't visible readily, it has been peened, which means the holes were counter sunk slightly and the pin hammer/hit hard enough to disform to fill in the countersink and lock the bolster onto the knife, so in order to drive the pins out, you would need to remove the part that was peened over so the pins would be a straight instead of flared diameter. Then drive the pins out. Drilling would also work, but would be a royal PITA to try to get perfectly straight and aligned/centered on the pins. I usually throw a 36-60 grit belt on the belt sander with the 8" contact wheel and grind it away until I get to be around 1mm above the blade itself, then switch to finer belts as I get closer to the blade.

Some bolsters are hollow and if you remove the handle wood, you can grind off the top skin of the bolster and un pin that way, too. Nenox likes to pin bolsters, but the bolsters are often connected by a thin metal liner to make the tang a bit thicker. Some knives like the Kikuichi TKC was pinned and there was a groove in both sides of the blade where a little lip of the bolster went, so when you removed the bolster, there were 2 drilled holes in the tang, which I used to make the Machi and also a groove in the blade which I left instead of removing because it would have made the neck WAY too thin.

Solid, welded bolsters give more options. One, I left with the bolster partially on the knife, like 1mm proud of the blade and polished it way up to give a thicker neck area for a pinch grip. Other times, I have found that the tang area where the bolster sits is slightly thinner than the blade , so the tang height isn't even to the blade height.


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 Post subject: Re: Takamura Wa Conversion
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 6:37 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:21 pm
Posts: 717
Location: Minneapolis, MN
When mine gets back from pass around I'll let you convert it :)


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 Post subject: Re: Takamura Wa Conversion
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 6:58 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:13 pm
Posts: 2955
Location: CT
Sweet :)


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 Post subject: Re: Takamura Wa Conversion
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:10 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
Posts: 2277
I am trying to decide if I am being an idiot for considering trying this myself.

Are the bolsters ever welded on? I can see the seam on the blade and handle side of the bolster by there is a section that appears seamless.

The other question is the tang is half height, does that present a problem for installing a wa handle?

Here are some pictures, not sure if they help at all.

Image


Image


Image


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 Post subject: Re: Takamura Wa Conversion
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:13 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
Posts: 2277
BTW, if I throw in the towel, and you are available, I will be sending this to you, Tim.


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 Post subject: Re: Takamura Wa Conversion
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:13 pm
Posts: 2955
Location: CT
Hmmm. Looks like they may be welded (usually spot welded) or pinned? Mark may know? I haven't seen one of these Takamura's in person yet, I did a Saya for the Hana, but it was a Wa handle already. With the half tang, I would grind down the upper half to make it a narrower tang to fit into the handle normally, or make the handle taller there to fully cover the tang. Even if the bolsters are pinned or welded, it's often difficult to tell how they did it until the handles are removed and the bolsters removed.


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 Post subject: Re: Takamura Wa Conversion
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:41 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:50 am
Posts: 147
I don't have the expertise in handles that Tim does, but to me it appears to be pinned or spot welded as he said. I see the seam on the top of the bolster (a very faint line of light reflecting), I just think it's a very tight fit and the metal has folded over when they shaped the bolster and handle on a belt sander. I'm curious, Tim how do you normally remove a western handle scales? Belt grinder? Chisels?

The handle on the Takamura is what I would call small diameter compared to most knives I've handled. It's long enough to comfortably fit my large hand and I don't have any problems with cramping on mine yet, but I don't get full contact with all of my palm that a larger grip would give. I also would favor a tad more height, so for me, in this situation I would just leave the top of the tang flush and plan on the top of the Wa handle being above the spine.

This knife really is a sweet knife and I totally think it warrants customizing IMO.

-Chris



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 Post subject: Re: Takamura Wa Conversion
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:54 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:57 pm
Posts: 600
cedarhouse wrote:BTW, if I throw in the towel, and you are available, I will be sending this to you, Tim.


However it happens, I do want to see it when it is done. I keep thinking about getting a Kohetsu HAP40 or Akifusa and having it converted to wa, but as I'm not sure I'm ready to tackle the job myself the added costs puts me off. Props to you if you go at this on your own.


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