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Deba from Flea Market: restoration guidance solicited!
B. Norris posted a topic in Show and TellFound this at a Flea Market for cheap and had to do something to rectify the abuse this beauty has been through. Judging from the damage, this knife has suffered from a lack of care for quite some time... First of all, it was used as a cleaver, going off the way the handle is cracked - Deba knives, incidentally, should NEVER be used in this fashion! Secondly, used to cut stuff it was not intended to cut, going off of the numerous chips in the edge, none of which are too large thank goodness. Deba knives are much harder than western cutlery, and therefore can chip out if used for anything except the intended purpose, in this case cutting up fish. Lastly, attacked with a motorized grinding stone in a misguided attempt to "clean" it up. This last one damaged the tip especially. Sending this out for professional repair would likely cost somewhere between $100-$200 and that is just not in the budget. Therefore, I will be doing the work myself. My plan is to re-shape the tip profile, as indicated by the black sharpie. Clean up the concave surfaces on the back and above the bevel with some high grit EDM stones. Re-establish the bevel to follow the new shape of the edge and attempt to crisp up the line where the bevel meets the upper surface of the blade. Remove the handle and fabricate a replacement. One wood used in Japan for handles (aside from Ho) is Ichii, or Japanese Yew, Taxus cuspidata. My thoughts are leaning towards finding some dwarf ornamental yew (many houses in the area have them and it should be possible to get some) and a horn bolster. I will have to find a horn for cheap somewhere that I can cut up to get the right piece from near the tip. My research indicates that this knife was from the 1950's time frame. Sold through a company in Japan called Masano or Masado (I saw the name but, forget the spelling now) but, made by individual smiths. All seem to have the flimsy brass ferrule instead of the traditional horn, most likely to reduce cost. A review, by some fellow in Sweden, on YouTube, indicates he is very enthusiastic about the one he got. A translation of the Japanese text, by those who can, would be most appreciated. I suspect what it says already (an indication of the type of steel used and construction) but, might be surprised. Advice, from those who know, would be appreciated as well. Thanks! ~Bruce~