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justin carnecchia

8.5" Wa-Gyuto

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Hi, here's one I almost finished last weekend (wed &thur). Blade will be taken just a touch thinner, and sanded to a higher grit. I'm not sure if I'll do any hand sanding, but at very least I'll get out the 60g belt scratches. Current handle is temporary, just a piece of poplar I threw on so I could use the knife. Finished handle will probably be micarta because It's waterproof, indestructible, and I have some.

Anyhow, what seems like quite a few years ago I was working as a chef and came across a site selling high end Japanese gyutos. Tadatsuna and Suisin and the like. Desperately wanting one of these knives, yet way short of cash I wound up deciding to try making my own.  A few months later I had made a pretty crude gyuto, but it cut well. And not long after that  I made a Santuko that became my daily use knife. Took a bit of time, but I eventually made some blades that I thought would measure up with the suisin etc... But being dirt poor I wound up selling them all. 

Some of you may know, I've been trying to go full time as a maker, and unfortunately that's once again going on the back burner because I got a new cooking job (bills and what not). But end of story, I decided that if I'm going back to cooking I'm going to finally get my gyuto. So here it is, the first knife I've made for myself in years..

I'll post some better pics in a couple days when it's finished.

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Here it is all finished up. Went with brown canvas micarta for the handle. Blade is 8.5" of w2 ground thin to about as fine as I can get an edge. Didn't bother with hand sand sanding since its just for me and doesn't affect preformance. After a week of using with the temporary handle, I can say it holds an edge well and cuts like a champ. I did thin it down a bit though so now it should be a bit lighter in hand. Can say, poplar is not suitable for kitchen knife handles, the micarta should work much better.

Thanks for looking and for all the encouragement you've all given over the years.

-Justin

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They look great, nice slim and slicey.

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Thanks guys!

Poplar, from what I can tell is too soft a wood, and absorbs liquids too easily. I tried coating it with an oil, but didn't help. I had to constantly be drying off the handle and moving it to safe places where it wasnt wet or greasy. Somthing not easy to find in a commercial kitchen. Even so, it was soaking up moisture to the point where the grain was puffing up. Something that would not be up to health codes.. If it's soaking up water and grease it's also soaking up bacteria.

I suppose it wouldn't be too difficult to stabilize it, but whats the point. It's not terribly attractive and there are many other options. For kitchen knives I'd stick to stabilized hard wood, or synthetics.

On this handle I used micarta, pretty much a first for me. So far I'm very pleased. It looks good (I think), and more importantly feels good in the hand. If I had it, I like the combination of burl wood and horn, but wanted to get this knife done with what I had in the shop.

Thanks again, Justin

Edited by justin carnecchia
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