New Handle Needed - Henkel's Chef's Knife
I have an old, gigantic kitchen knife/chef's knife. I think it is a Henkel's, Wusthoff or some other German brand. The blade is great. I'm keeping it, for sure. The laminated ebony handles are disintegrating from abuse (washing in the dishweasher). It's time to replace them.
I can take the old scales off, easily enough (grind rivet heads).
The old scales are about 1/4" thick. I need 1 1/2" X 5" scales as replacements. What should I get, micarta? I want them to be reasonably waterproof and food-safe.
Where do I get the scales?
What should I use to replace the rivets? Should I just use rivets or are screws easier, overall?
Black paper micarta and nickel silver corby rivets would make it look like new. You can do it with simple hand tools. I know, because I've done it.
ps - I got corby rivets and a step bit ground for them from Jantz Supply.
Thanks for the help. I just ordered what you suggested.
I have a drill press, grinder and other tools needed to have this come out well.
So, I've had the parts for this repair for several weeks and finally got a chance to use them.
The knife came out GREAT!
It was a little tricky to get the scales fitted to the knife handle - it has a bolster forged into the blade, itself. Getting the angle right, fitting the metal to the scales, was a little tricky.
The screws worked out just fine. They look as good as the factory equivalents. The drill (isn't it really a reamer) they sell for the screws made this almost easy.
I have to admit, the hard part was getting the scales to properly mate with the bolster while setting the nine holes drilled. If the holes were not properly aligned, the screws would have pulled the scales away from the bolster or could have been pout of alignment with each other preventing installation or,... That's why this was hard. If I had been making this from scratch, I could match drill the scales and the tang all at once. The tang was already by the factory, so I had to get things aligned with those holes.
After all, I'm not sure how I managed to get it as close as I did. It really does look good.
That's good to hear. It's kind of a fiddly thing to get just right, but it should last forever. I have a Henckels knife here I use in the kitchen and I don't think the handle material is micarta but it looks just like black paper micarta so that's why I suggested it.
You should really post a picture so we can see it.
Although the basic handle shape is dictated by the blade, it is great to be able to tailor the specific shape to what feels good in your hand. You're not stuck with what they do in the factory.
That black paper micarta was easy to work. Sandpaper did everything I wanted and th eremoval process was very controllable. Want the corners rounded of a bit more? Do it. Want the handle thicker or thinner? Do it.
This is not mine but it is similar and shows the complexity involved in fitting the handle. This one looks to have been molded on. As I said, mine came out so well I was surprised.