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Ed Caffrey's Workshop Talk to Ed Caffrey ... The Montana Bladesmith! Tips, tricks and more from an ABS Mastersmith.

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Old 12-30-2012, 03:24 PM
Jeremy Jeremy is offline
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Kitchen Knife Help (Finished Pics Added)

I posted this on the ABS site, but figured I'd check with you folks too and see if you had some good advice for me on this knife.

It's my mother-in-law's "favorite" knife. It's a little odd with the groves all along the blade, but the worst part is the handle scales. The rivets have loosened up and the wood is REALLY loose. I'm planning on just taking the steel to my scotch brite wheel and the buffer-not looking to get it all shiny or anything, just clean up some rust, etc.

My biggest question is what would you do for the wood? I don't have much of anything that's stabilized, but have Cocobolo, African Blackwood, Koa, Bird's Eye Maple, Lacewood, and a handful of other woods. Taking away the "looks", any advice on what wood to use for this? I've never done a kitchen knife before, so was hoping for a little help. Oh, and if it makes a difference, I'm planning on using Acraglas for epoxy and I happen to have 2 Corby bolts. I don't have the special drill bit for them, but was hoping I could manage to get it counter sunk properly on the drill press.

Thanks for any help.


Last edited by Jeremy; 02-03-2013 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 12-30-2012, 07:02 PM
kdcknives kdcknives is offline
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I would use the Cocobolo or African Blackwood due to their natural oils. I would use your acraglas and put the corby's in the front and back holes (skip the middle one since you only have two). After shaping I would finish the wood with a couple of coats of danish oil and then several coats of tung oil.
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:02 PM
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TexasJack TexasJack is offline
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I agree with kdcknives. I've fixed up a few old "favorite" knives before, and that's the best process.

God bless Texas! Now let's secede!!
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:53 PM
cdent cdent is offline
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Maybe?, I'd consider a light hand finish in the direction of the grooves and try to leave an even patina on the bumps and grooves. I'd wonder if any machine finishing would just hit the high spots and make it look like it's too late to change your mind.

Those scales seem to be intact, can't tell. What about measuring and getting three of the right size bolts to get the current ones back on. Light refinishing would let her keep the old friend she's probably had for a while. Anything you change on that knife looks like it needs to ride through the dishwasher now and then.

Thanks for showing it, only guessing here, Craig
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:10 PM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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Not being able to see the knife better I would assume that it has cutlers rivets holding the scales on. They're held on with a friction fit with a male post going into a female post from the other side. If you want to remove them drill out the center but you will need to be careful. If you save the scales then you could reuse them and just get new rivets to hold them on. Applying a little Acraglas or another good waterproof epoxy would help.

Keep the knife out of the dishwasher, they're hard on knives. Wash, dry, and put it away.


If you're not making mistakes then you're not trying hard enough
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Old 12-31-2012, 05:38 PM
Jeremy Jeremy is offline
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Thanks for all the great advice, I sure appreciate it. I'll post some after pics once I get it all cleaned up.

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Old 01-05-2013, 08:51 AM
Jeremy Jeremy is offline
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Here's some progress so far.

This is the inside of the old scales which appear to have been rotting away nicely. There was a significant amount of rust on the tang and it's been corroded a ways into the steel. This is after it was cleaned up.

I also took the blade to the scotch brite wheel which cleaned things up nicely. I think I'll give it an overall light buffing and call it good-it's just going to go back to a nice patina anyway.

I split a nice block of "Figured Asian Satinwood" I had sitting around-it just seemed like it would go really nicely with this knife when looking through all the wood I had... I sanded down one side on each piece and used my acraglas to epoxy on some black fiber liners yesterday. I traced the handle onto each scale and left them proud before gluing up. I'm trying to figure out how far down I want to sand things before attaching the scales. I know I'll finish the front edges of each scale, but the sides I'm not too sure... This being my first full tang handle, I'm realizing just how different things are than with a hidden tang knife.

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Old 01-06-2013, 07:23 PM
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piggy piggy is offline
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What a great knife! I am w/ the rest, do the bare min. to restore it. Other then the owner did u find any history on the knife?

If so could you please post.

Is she interested in selling or trading?
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:31 PM
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jes4e jes4e is offline
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I Have A Knife I Made Using African Black Wood, And It Has Held Up Great. Even Running It Through The Dish WAsher Has Not Ruined the Wood.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:28 PM
Jeremy Jeremy is offline
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No specific history on the knife, unfortunately. On one side of it is marked CASE XX and under that is 400-8. Haven't been able to find anything about those markings. As for parting with the knife, I'm not seeing it . This is her "favorite" knife and she's had it for years. I think she's just going to be happy to get it back with scales that aren't falling off and a bit sharper.

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Old 01-07-2013, 10:35 AM
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Gary Mulkey Gary Mulkey is offline
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Since this is a kitchen knife and has shown that it had a problem with moisture getting between the scales and the tang this will tell you a lot as to how to cure the problem. You're on the right track with AcraGlas. I would recommend roughing the tang and new scales for it to have something to grab a hold of. (Remember to keep it warm while it cures.)

Next I would ask if it is acceptable with her to use other materials for the scales. From your comments I would guess that it would be. Since the old scales have suffered from exposure to water I would be very tempted to use a waterproof synthetic for the new scales in order to prevent this from re-occuring. I would also replace the three handle scales with more screws to give it as good of a mechanical bond as you can. [You can get a step reamer from most supply companies that will insure a good hold for them.]

Let us know how it turns out.


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Old 02-03-2013, 11:38 AM
Jeremy Jeremy is offline
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Finally got the knife done. A friend (who's WAY better at sharpening than I am) helped me out and got the knife back to REALLY sharp. The block of wood I used was a relatively cheap one labled "Figured Asian Satinwood". Whatever it is, it sure has some nice figure to it. Definitely some things that could have been done better and I certainly have a new respect for what it takes to make a full tang handle come out well.

Thoughts or critique certainly appreciated.

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Old 02-03-2013, 12:42 PM
deerslayer deerslayer is offline
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Fantastic piece! I always liked a case xx carbon steel! Nice work
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