Custom Ikeda/Takahide Project

Chris Meikrantz (cjmeik) lives in Augusta, GA and does Knife Improvements - Specializing in kitchen cutlery, using traditional techniques. [email protected]

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pd7077
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Custom Ikeda/Takahide Project

Post by pd7077 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:10 pm

I got a custom Yoshikazu Ikeda/Takahide W#1 suminagashi gyuto (243x52) back in February. It was a great knife when I received it, but I knew that there were certain things that I wanted to changed in order to make it more suitable for me. I started to thin the knife, but I have so many knives in my queue that I didn’t really have the time to work on it. Chris and I had been in contact in the past so I figured this knife would be the perfect project for us. The original tip had too much of a sheeps foot so I wanted the spine to be taken down a bit to help give it a pointier tip. We agreed on the amount of spine to remove, and then Chris went to work. I also asked him to thin it out a bit as well as raise the shinogi up a bit. Here are “before & after” profile and choil shots.

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I told Chris that I wanted to do the final polishing of the bevels so he graciously took it up to a 400 grit belt so that I wouldn’t have too hard of a time getting rid of the vertical grind marks. Here is how the knife looked before Chris sent it back to me. A nice little surprise to us was the amount of core steel that was exposed.

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I came up with a few plans on how to finish the knife, both of which involved polishing the bevels up to 0.5 microns.

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I first chose to try a fingerstone progression that worked well on my Toyama dammy, but things didn’t end up looking as good as I had hoped. For some reason, I wasn’t able to get a clean & defined lamination line. The cladding also felt like it was reacting (read: oxidizing) differently than other cladding I have worked on.

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So I decided to knock off the kasumi, and I decided to go the etching route. Thankfully the lamination line was still visible through the mirror polish so I used nail polish to protect the core during the etch. I used a 30% FeCl solution for the etch, which I left on for a few minutes before scrubbing clean with 0000 steel wool. I repeated this process twice, and then I removed the nail polish prior to final polishing.

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For me, this was a fun but challenging project, and it would not have turned out as good as it did had it not been for Chris’ immaculate work. I couldn’t recommend him more, and I’m looking forward to our next project together. Thanks Chris!!!
--- Steve

nakneker
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Re: Custom Ikeda/Takahide Project

Post by nakneker » Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:25 pm

Thanks for story and the before and after pics. I don’t know how many hours you invested in the project but I’d say you and Chris hit a homerun. The way Chris changed the profile, where you took it from there, wowzer. It makes me wanna a buy a knife that needs fixin and send it to Chris so I can play. I’m just scared it wouldn’t look anything like that. Nice job!!
Last edited by nakneker on Tue Sep 25, 2018 2:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
“The goal is to die with memories, not dreams.”

Andreu
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Re: Custom Ikeda/Takahide Project

Post by Andreu » Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:14 am

That is an impressive project that you and Chris had taken on. Kudos to both of you for a job well done. The profile and thinning of the knife looks like it going to be a better cutter than the original finished product. Good job, Chris! You then took it to another level with your polishing. Wow! Congrats and enjoy the knife, bro!

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Re: Custom Ikeda/Takahide Project

Post by salemj » Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:40 am

I have to say that I cannot imagine the difference between those two knives—and yes, I mean "two" knives. Those alterations seems to completely change the dynamics of the knife – profile (including belly), grind height, grind angle, blade-road consistency, and obviously weight and balance - beyond even a family resemblance.

The cosmetic work is outstanding—no question about it. But I think I'm much more fascinated by the other changes. It seems like you took what was probably a mediocre knife and turned it in to something competitive in your collection. The changes seem night and day! Awesome.
~Joe

Comments: I'm short, a home cook, prefer lighter, thinner blades, and own mostly Konosukes but have used over a dozen brands.

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pd7077
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Re: Custom Ikeda/Takahide Project

Post by pd7077 » Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:55 am

salemj wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:40 am
I have to say that I cannot imagine the difference between those two knives—and yes, I mean "two" knives. Those alterations seems to completely change the dynamics of the knife – profile (including belly), grind height, grind angle, blade-road consistency, and obviously weight and balance - beyond even a family resemblance.

The cosmetic work is outstanding—no question about it. But I think I'm much more fascinated by the other changes. It seems like you took what was probably a mediocre knife and turned it in to something competitive in your collection. The changes seem night and day! Awesome.
I totally agree Joe. I did end up breadknifing it before doing the final etch & polish. There was just a bit too much back belly, and I wanted a bit more of a flat in the back. Chris got it nice and thin behind the edge so nothing else needed to be done aside from sharpening. I did a few test cuts and the difference was night & day. It wasn’t bad to begin with, but the changes Chris made really brought out the knife’a full potential. I won’t be able to put her through her paces until I get a handle on her, which I hope to get done sometime this week.
--- Steve

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Re: Custom Ikeda/Takahide Project

Post by slobound » Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:25 am

This is amazing work, Steve! I love it and you have a true gift when it comes to bringing out the beauty of a knife through polishing. Chris did a great job on thinning and re-profiling too!
-- Garrick

Bensbites
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Re: Custom Ikeda/Takahide Project

Post by Bensbites » Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:37 pm

pd7077 wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:55 am
salemj wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:40 am
I have to say that I cannot imagine the difference between those two knives—and yes, I mean "two" knives. Those alterations seems to completely change the dynamics of the knife – profile (including belly), grind height, grind angle, blade-road consistency, and obviously weight and balance - beyond even a family resemblance.

The cosmetic work is outstanding—no question about it. But I think I'm much more fascinated by the other changes. It seems like you took what was probably a mediocre knife and turned it in to something competitive in your collection. The changes seem night and day! Awesome.
I totally agree Joe. I did end up breadknifing it before doing the final etch & polish. There was just a bit too much back belly, and I wanted a bit more of a flat in the back. Chris got it nice and thin behind the edge so nothing else needed to be done aside from sharpening. I did a few test cuts and the difference was night & day. It wasn’t bad to begin with, but the changes Chris made really brought out the knife’a full potential. I won’t be able to put her through her paces until I get a handle on her, which I hope to get done sometime this week.
I have stopped looking for the perfect knife, now I look for decent heat treat and plan on chris redoing the grinds.

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Jeff B
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Re: Custom Ikeda/Takahide Project

Post by Jeff B » Tue Sep 25, 2018 1:52 pm

:shock: ....I think everything else has been said.
If God wanted me to be a vegetarian he wouldn't have made animals taste so good.

cjmeik
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Re: Custom Ikeda/Takahide Project

Post by cjmeik » Tue Sep 25, 2018 2:11 pm

It was a real pleasure to work on this project with Steve and I'm grateful for the opportunity to have been a small part of what has ended up being a gloriously sexy piece of steel. Really stunning work, Steve!

One regret I have in working on this knife is that I never weighed it. When it arrived I was floored by its heft. It was probably one of the heaviest "240's" that I have ever handled. Let's just say, it lost a lot of weight. I really wish I could quantify it. Despite losing so much weight, it STILL remained a very weight forward cutter in the end… just more manageably so.

I really enjoy knives that are elegant yet muscular. This knife had muscles to spare but I'd like to think I did my part in making it a far more elegant cutter than it was. Steve, sure as heck, did his part on the aesthetics!

Thanks again, for the opportunity, Steve. Likewise, I'll look forward to our next.

Kalaeb
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Re: Custom Ikeda/Takahide Project

Post by Kalaeb » Tue Sep 25, 2018 5:21 pm

Wow.

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lsboogy
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Re: Custom Ikeda/Takahide Project

Post by lsboogy » Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:41 pm

cjmeik wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 2:11 pm
It was a real pleasure to work on this project with Steve and I'm grateful for the opportunity to have been a small part of what has ended up being a gloriously sexy piece of steel. Really stunning work, Steve!

One regret I have in working on this knife is that I never weighed it. When it arrived I was floored by its heft. It was probably one of the heaviest "240's" that I have ever handled. Let's just say, it lost a lot of weight. I really wish I could quantify it. Despite losing so much weight, it STILL remained a very weight forward cutter in the end… just more manageably so.

I really enjoy knives that are elegant yet muscular. This knife had muscles to spare but I'd like to think I did my part in making it a far more elegant cutter than it was. Steve, sure as heck, did his part on the aesthetics!

Thanks again, for the opportunity, Steve. Likewise, I'll look forward to our next.
Quite a piece of work - one of the most beautiful knives I've seen in a long time.

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Altadan
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Re: Custom Ikeda/Takahide Project

Post by Altadan » Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:14 pm

pd7077 wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:55 am
salemj wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:40 am
I have to say that I cannot imagine the difference between those two knives—and yes, I mean "two" knives. Those alterations seems to completely change the dynamics of the knife – profile (including belly), grind height, grind angle, blade-road consistency, and obviously weight and balance - beyond even a family resemblance.

The cosmetic work is outstanding—no question about it. But I think I'm much more fascinated by the other changes. It seems like you took what was probably a mediocre knife and turned it in to something competitive in your collection. The changes seem night and day! Awesome.
I totally agree Joe. I did end up breadknifing it before doing the final etch & polish. There was just a bit too much back belly, and I wanted a bit more of a flat in the back. Chris got it nice and thin behind the edge so nothing else needed to be done aside from sharpening. I did a few test cuts and the difference was night & day. It wasn’t bad to begin with, but the changes Chris made really brought out the knife’a full potential. I won’t be able to put her through her paces until I get a handle on her, which I hope to get done sometime this week.
Steve, have you ever released a photo of the finished product, with the handle installed?

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mauichef
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Re: Custom Ikeda/Takahide Project

Post by mauichef » Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:21 pm

You guys are amazing! That is stunning work all round. Congratulations.

appleton
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Re: Custom Ikeda/Takahide Project

Post by appleton » Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:36 pm

That is some nice work, kudos!

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ashy2classy
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Re: Custom Ikeda/Takahide Project

Post by ashy2classy » Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:51 am

Ditto to all the comments that have been posted already. This is BONKERS SEXY! I think I speak for everyone...we want to see the finished product!!!

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pd7077
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Re: Custom Ikeda/Takahide Project

Post by pd7077 » Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:39 pm

So...a good friend of mine fell head over heels for this knife, and as much as I didn’t want to let it go...it’s tough for me to say no to a friend. I’ll try to get some photos from him so you guys can see it with the handle. I believe that we ended up using a enju handle that came off of my Hinoura.
--- Steve

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