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Re Handled Vintage Knives

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 


Not sure this will intrest most of you as you own higher end knives, but I want to pose a question for your input and opinion.


I am currently building a website for my knifemaking and sharpening business, and have been looking at several Older knives on ebay that are in fine shape but the handles need replaced.


Would a name brand knife, pick one, mostly of the Eouro line that has it's handle replaced with a nice wood or synthetic handle be of intrest to any of you?


I've done this in the past and sold quite a few over the years to kitchens that I sharpen for.

Just wondering if this could be another revenue source for my knife business.


While I Love to cook, Im no Chef, nor do I work in the food service field. So Im curious would a Vintage knife that has been professionally rehandled, refinished and sharpened be of intrest to folks? Do you feel there is a market for this?


Also should the patina be cleaned off the blades and taken back to as close to factory as possible (machine finished), or leave the patina? 


I appreciate any and all input!


God Bless,


post #2 of 11

any knife that has a story to tell, that has been lovingly used and obviously still very usable is a welcome knife indeed. vintage has always been nice as it shows the quality of workmanship of the past while at the same time still serviceable now and in the future.


there aren't enough people who appreciate the past. besides, wouldn't it be cool to use like a 50-100 year old knife in the kitchen? 

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your input Franz.


Another question I would like to pose.


As an example, I have just purchased an Older Sabitier (mid 1930's I belive) It has wooden scales that have cracked and will be replaced. There is a nice patina on the blade, but a few rust spots.


On the handle, would plain Rosewoods scales be in order if you were buying, would you prefer a upgrade to somthing like Ironwood or stabilzed burl? Is the look worth the cost (+ $30 -$40) 


On the blade finish. If you are buying a vintage knife, would you like it cleaned up? (Polished down to bright metal)


Just trying to get a handle on what is important to a professional Chef or line cook.


Any input would be appreciated!


Thanks and God Bless


post #4 of 11

diamond G, i would think it would depend on the resale price of the knife and the budget of who's looking to buy one. but personally, if the handles would last longer and at the same time look better with better materials, i'd say why not? =D


with patina, if the patina is a nice pattern and obviously has a story to tell, i'd say keep it. but if the rust is too much and will ruin the knife eventually then i say be done with it and clean it up. 


my number one problem with vintage knives are the finger guards. i'd grind that thing off without even thinking.


if any of your knives are up for sale and they're at a good price, and if you're willing to ship those things out to the far east (philippines), i'd be happy to take a few of those off your hands.


nothing like a totally unique knife. noone's gonna swipe an old looking knife off my station, that's for sure. lol.

post #5 of 11

I'd also think about buying one, but if you're unsure of what to do in regards to the handles etc, maybe your best bet would be to just post the blades up, and let people request what kind of handle they'd like or if they'd like the patina taking off etc.

If your business gets off the ground, be sure to post the link here because I'd like to see what you have for sale.

post #6 of 11

Patinas on working knives tend not to last forever; sometimes a little corrosion develops, sometimes a patch of patina drops off, sometimes the colors change and the patina just looks unattractive.  If either of the first two happen to you, scrub the patina off the blade immediately --  I like to use BKF followed by baking soda (to neutralize the BKF and slow down future corrosion).  You can then keep the knife clean using baking soda as necessary; "force" a new patina, or allow a "natural" patina to grow. 


A very popular patina forcing solution is diluted vinegar with mustard -- it usually results in a complex, swirly pattern with some good colors.  If you're looking for a simple, even, dark patina try cleaning the blade with BKF down to shiny, bare metal, rinsing and drying -- not chasing the BKF with baking soda.  BKF has oxalic acid in it, and "carbon" steel will start to tarnish within a few minutes after cleaning.


For my own part, I prefer the clean, "well used and well maintained tool" look of baking soda rubbed in with a Scotch-Brite.



Edited by boar_d_laze - 7/22/12 at 7:37pm
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

All good information, Thank you!


This is still a start up as Im just rebuildng my shop (had gravel dumped for the pad yesterday,) Then move my containers, then trusses and roof, then power. THEN I can start setting up shop.

I have been aquireing some nice vintage chefs though, and have been working on my website (not as easy as I thought it would be!)


My goal is to produce my line of custom knives, then possibly a MidTech down the road. The revampong of the vintage knives has always been a "fun" thing for me, and I really enjoy handeling and working with Older Knives as they usually do tell a story :)


Will keep you posted as things develop.


Thaks and God Bless


post #8 of 11

Good luck with your venture,


post #9 of 11

I would think of this more as a service on demand to offer for people with old knives they already own and want to use, but are in hard condition. I suspect the market for selling refurbs to new owners would be even smaller than that.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
post #10 of 11

I get maybe 1 person a month asking about  handle replacement. It would be nice to have a place to send them. I know Jon does replace Japanese handles.


I don't have the space to set that kind of operation up.



post #11 of 11

Diamond G Knive, I think you have a great concept there. I get on a pocket knife forum and in their "kitchen" forum there are folks who contribute this very thing.

All of my kitchen knives are old. Most are carbon. They are in good shape for the most part, and are very sharp. I have been sharpening for over 45 years.

I wish you the best in your efforts. I would like to see pictures of your work.

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