How to make Japanese handles without power tools

Discussion in 'Kitchen Cutlery & Tools' started by adam w, Jan 10, 2020.

  1. adam w

    adam w

    Dec 7, 2019
    Hello everyone!

    i am fairly new to the forum and new to knife restoration all together. i am working on my first project and have run into some issues i was hoping for some assistance. i live in a studio apartment so the likelihood of getting the proper tools to make handles from scratch is not likely to happen (i.e. drill press and a belt sander). Does anyone have any ideas on what i could buy to best use the space i have or offer techniques to making my own so i don't have to continue buying generic blanks in the future? i currently posses a portable working table, a set of little diamond hand files, some larger metal files, a cordless drill, and a hand saw (i am considering investing in a dremal at some point).

    for reference, this is for a hand forged Usuba with a simple stem that i purchased not too long ago.

    also, what are good places to find/buy different types woods/metals and other handle materials once i start creating them? i have found some sites but not sure if they are the best places to purchase from.

    thank you!
  2. Jeff Jones

    Jeff Jones

    Jan 11, 2020
    I’ve had luck with my local cabinet/furniture maker. Last year I went to his shop, introduced myself and told what I was looking for.
    I also broke the ice by gifting him a grippy.

    I usually stop by his shop once a month or so to chat and pick up whatever he has set aside for me.

    Besides supplying me with an abu dance of exotic woods that are too small for his needs but for mine perfectly, we have become friends as well.
  3. number9

    number9 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 5, 2017
    Do a search for "drill stand." For a little money and not much space, it converts your hand drill to a small drill press. There's even a Youtube video on making one.
    People have been making knives a lot longer than they've been making power tools. It just takes a little longer.
    If your portable work table is a B&D Workmate or similar, you have a good head start. If not, check them out. Great tool.

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