Shun Classic Rehandle

Shun Classic Rehandle

Shun knives are quite popular in commercial kitchens. They’re very durable and usually treated as such. This early model Shun Classic 10 inch chef knife has seen hard use and better days. The blade is pretty badly curved and has seen frequent sharpening. The resin impregnated wood part of the handle is also twisted out of it’s seat. Let’s see what kind of shape we can bring this knife back to.

I had a different idea initially but due to the design of the “tang” the┬áplan is to re-handle this knife using the existing D shape bolster and end cap as a guide. This knife has been retired for a while now and the owner doesn’t like how high the tip has been ground over it’s life. So in addition to thinning this knife behind the edge I will also re-profile the blade.

I marked out my stock for the handle and started drilling the holes to fit the “full composite-tang.” A method of tang construction I’ve never seen before. I imagine this is how all of Shun’s knives are constructed. I roughed out the D shape of the handle before assembling with epoxy.

Using a metal file I flushed up the wood and steel of the handle. Opposed to using a sandpaper block which just grinds the metal dust into the wood. Once I was happy with how the handle felt in the hand I moved on to finishing. I’ve been trying out Boiled Linseed Oil finish on my handles and with lots of coats it seems to hold up very well. It is not a film finish so you still get the feel of the wood in your hand. Unlike mineral oil, it is a drying oil so it does cure and this particular stuff is food contact safe.

I sharpen all my knives on a progression of Naniwa Professional Stones. Followed by stropping with 0.5 micron honing compound. That’s taking it to approximately 30,000 grit. Totally unnecessary since it won’t hold it very long but does it ever sing.

Poplar Saya for Shun Kiritsuke

Poplar Saya for Shun Kiritsuke

This Poplar saya is for a Shun Kiritsuke 8 inch. I was playing around with thicknesses on this saya to dial in exactly how thick will give good protection but not look too bulky. This is an example of the Poplar sayas I will be offering for sale.

Cedar and Poplar Saya

Cedar and Poplar Saya

Saya is the Japanese term for a scabbard or sheath specifically for a sword or knife. While researching the design and construction of these I discovered the main complaint about them was losing the retaining pin that keeps the knife locked inside. So I came up with a way of tethering the pin to the saya. Not a new idea but it functions well and suits the style of construction.

The method of construction is lamination. For this particular saya there is three layers. Poplar on the outsides and cedar on the inside. The retaining pin is made of Arbutus. All using traditional hand tool methods. The only time a machine came into play was for drilling the holes. The finish is Boiled Linseed Oil.

Rehandle a 150mm Petty

Rehandle a 150mm Petty

This is the Tojiro 150 mm petty that I purchased along with the 210 mm gyuto. I decided to go with a slightly different handle configuration using the same woods. The saya is constructed of Poplar and painted with black milk paint.

Milk paint is made using milk protein, lime and earth or mineral pigments. It is environmentally friendly and non-toxic. It has been used for hundreds of years on furniture and in the past families typically had their own recipe they would pass down through the generations. It is water based so it doesn’t just form a layer on top of the surface that can chip off. It gets into the pores of the wood more like a stain than modern paints.

Handle Dimensions:
Overall Length: 110 mm
Width: 15 mm
Height: 22 mm
Ferrule: 10 mm

Rehandle a Japanese Chef Knife

Rehandle a Japanese Chef Knife

Working in a kitchen, I get to play with knives quite often. I also tend to buy more knives than I will ever need… This Tojiro 21cm Gyuto (Japanese Chef Knife) and 15cm Petty were my latest purchase from the friendly bunch over at Bernal Cutlery down in San Francisco. Originally I planned to treat the blades, oil the handles and put them work. That was the case for a short time… until I was inspired to try making a Saya. Saya is wooden sheath with retaining pin.

In typical fashion for me I decided hey why not make a Saya and rehandle it! I have been wanting to try rehandling a Japanese knife for a while and decided to go for it. I use the 15cm Petty more often at work so I decided to start with the Gyuto. In the next week or two I will give the Petty knife the same treatment.

The woods used are White Oak and Ebony. The Ebony is the keys from a decommissioned piano so I’m not sure what species it is. Everything is finished with boiled linseed oil.

Handle Dimensions:
Length: 135 mm
Width: 18 mm
Height: 26 mm
Ferrule: 36 mm
Ebony: 4.5 mm