HUGE Chef's Knife Re-Furb

Discussion in 'Self-made Gear' started by Rockgod1619, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. Rockgod1619

    Rockgod1619 Supporter Supporter

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    So after my stepdad got his Christmas gift, which was a re-handled and re-furbed Old Hickory chef's knife, he brought me a BIG chef-s knife to re-furbed. He got it as a gift from one of his superiors when he was in the Navy and stationed in the Philippines. After I got the rust off the blade, I could see the manufacturer's name. ROCO in Japan. At some point the tip of the knife had been broken off, so I had to grind in a new tip. And on to the pictures!

    I forgot to get a before picture of all the rust on the surface, but if you look at the second picture you can see how rusted the tang is in between the scales. The blade was worse. I didn't want to remove all the patina off this blade, so I stuck with just getting all the surface rust off. You can also see in this first picture how the tip is broken off. You can also get a sense of scale here. The blade itself is 12", with a total length of just over 17".
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    Scales and tang.
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    Now, me stepdad was adamant that he didn't want the knife re-handled, so I told him I would just surface sand to get down to fresh wood, and boy am I glad I did! This stuff is beautiful! After a bit of research, I found that these knives were originally handled with rosewood.
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    New tip ground in. I made sure to dip in cold water between each pass, as to not mess up the heat treat.
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    And here we are! All cleaned, sharpened, and oiled with BLO!! I will probably put a couple more coats on before mom and stepdad come in to town this weekend. Thanks for coming along!
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  2. EyeOfTheHawk

    EyeOfTheHawk Supporter Supporter

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    Wow, as a professional chef myself, I cant imagine what anyone would need a knife that big for in the kitchen. That being said, its awesome and I want one!!!! Great job, the scales especially look really nice.
     
  3. Bitterfists

    Bitterfists Supporter Supporter

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    That turned out great! Nicely done.
     
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  4. Rockgod1619

    Rockgod1619 Supporter Supporter

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    Thanks!! Yeah, seems a bit unwieldy to me, but hey, maybe it's for huge slabs of bacon!! Haha!!
     
  5. Bitterfists

    Bitterfists Supporter Supporter

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    For chopping parsley, what else...
     
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  6. LazyPK

    LazyPK Supporter Supporter

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    I too am a professional chef and I would use this knife for carving meats and cutting 4 onions at once.
     
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  7. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    That turned out very nice, and what a surprise with the handle scales!
     
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  8. beacon

    beacon Simul justus et peccator Supporter Bushclass I

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    That looks great! Personally, I would have removed the scales to address the rust beneath them, but I suppose there is a risk of damaging them, and I understand it's not your knife.
     
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  9. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    [​IMG]
     
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  10. CampCowan

    CampCowan Wabi Sabi Supporter

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    Nice work
     
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  11. Pastor Chris

    Pastor Chris Hardwoodsman Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass II

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    Quite a transformation, and amazing, not to diminish your work or skills, that it didn't really take that much in the big scheme of things. A bold and underscored commentary on our "throw away" society.

    Well done, dad will be proud and pleased I'm sure.
     
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  12. Rockgod1619

    Rockgod1619 Supporter Supporter

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    Thanks guys!! Yeah, I would have liked to address any rust under the scales, but I thought best to leave them be and leave the old rivets intact.

    @MrFixIt , she choppin' broccoli!! She choppin' broccoli!! She chooooooop br-occo-la-ha!
     
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  13. Rockgod1619

    Rockgod1619 Supporter Supporter

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    Thanks @Pastor Chris ! Yeah, it took maybe 1.5hr of actual work to get it back into shape. Love old cutlery!!
     
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  14. Mjolnir

    Mjolnir Scout

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    Nice work and a great knife. Here is a write up on knives by ROCO from the guy from whom I buy most of my cutlery on fleabay: "Now this is a knife to get excited about. Made sometime in the 1950's-60's, this carbon steel beauty is lightning fast and yet substantial enough for the expert dispatch of any challenge your kitchen can present. Stamped, "JAPAN, ROCO," it's found here in a nice larger size (it's 17.5" long w/ 12-1/8" blade) yet handles like a much smaller piece, still beautifully balanced in the hand for executing the most demanding and delicate chopping, dicing, and slicing tasks--very sharp and ready to amaze you with its performance.



    These knives have an interesting history. In the decades immediately following WW2, Japanese companies did anything and everything to get back on their feet, producing consumer goods for export to the USA as much as possible, to bring hard U.S. currency home. Many companies in the cutlery business, faced with starvation, often produced superior quality goods at prices that would've previously been impossible, owing to the weak yen and the great abundance in Japan of highly-skilled labor who were willing to work for survival wages. The result for some was that they had to produce INCREDIBLY fine knives to compete with often shabbier American-made products at the same prices. Many Americans wouldn't buy anything made in Japan, as well, since post-war prejudices against all things Japanese didn't exactly change the minute the war was over. I believe this knife is the product of just such a situation, and was probably imported in small numbers for sale in specialty shops or to restaurant supply companies doing business in Chinatown's and Little Tokyo's in America's larger cities of the west coast.



    As such, there are a few considerations to point out--primary among them that this is NOT a knife for anybody and everybody. You should be someone who is comfortable maintaining a hard steel edge or who is at least willing and able to bring it to a professional who can (and I don't mean your local butcher or locksmith). But what also needs to be pointed out, and what you can't really appreciate until you have it in hand, is exactly how WELL it was crafted. Notice how finely the blade was forged--just perfect--and the resulting cutting geometry is SHARP and SMOOOTH. It chops and dices with such precision that most first-time users of such a knife will truly find a revelation of performance.



    Handles were made from tight, beautifully-grained rosewood of the highest quality, triple-brass-riveted over a full tang--beautifully balanced, and as warm and comfortable in the hand as it is to behold. You will, after one or two uses, soon agree that such a knife is indispensable to any serious chef. If you've used carbon steel knives before, you know the delight of using one. If not, you're in for a most pleasant surprise. You must wipe them down after each use but their beauty (it's much nicer in person than the digital pix make it appear) and superior performance are worth it.

    The fit and finish of its blade and handles is exquisite. Like all fine knives, this chef's knife has a fully hand-forged blade with integral bolster and tang. There is no disputing its quality--it's simply world class--or in the pleasure that a trained hand will experience in its usage."
     
  15. Rockgod1619

    Rockgod1619 Supporter Supporter

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    I read that exact same write-up yesterday! Haha!! But thank you for posting it!
     
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  16. bobs1415

    bobs1415 Supporter Supporter

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    Well done!
     
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  17. Rockgod1619

    Rockgod1619 Supporter Supporter

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