It was early in the season and the Broncos were getting spanked by Atlanta. Well, at least my lady and I had our cheese plate and a glass of wine to console us. Then it happened. The handle of my favorite cheese knife snapped off at the tip. I was carving off a chunk of “Robust” cheese from Whole Foods. Clearly the foot pounds of pressure that I applied exceeded the tensile strength of the cheap Chinese plastic handle.
Disgusted, I was half way to the trash with the whole kitten ka boodle before I stopped in mid stride. Rather than consign the blade (which was still good, and oh by the way did I mention how much I like it?) to a landfill to be dug up a thousand years from now by a bearded archeologist, I resolved to fit it with a new handle.
A 2″ x 2″ piece of pine looked ripe for the project.
So I marked the 4.5″ length on a foot-long piece, laid out the center on the end grain and drilled a 1/8″ to accept the blade’s tang. Then I demarked the handle’s end point with shallow saw cuts so as not to sever it from the 1-foot long stick. I did this so that I could more easily shape the handle end because the lower part of the stick would be anchored in my vise.
Next came the drawknife which cut away the bulk of the material. I outlined the perimeter of the ferrule over the end hole then cut away the wood until I got close to fitting it. At this point I switched to 80 grit sandpaper until the ferrule just barely fit over the end.
The drawknife was followed by a very rough rasp, which was followed by a smoother file whose facets looked something like a float. After that I used 80 grit sandpaper to complete the final shaping and finished off the wood going through progressive grits of 100, 220, 320, 400.
One liberal coat of tung oil finish sealed the wood. Then it was a matter of locking the blade in the vise and tapping the wood handle onto the tang. I should have epoxied the tang in the hole, but it feels firm enough at this point.
Then it was time to cut the cheese. Which I did with gusto on my Robusto.
Ah…to hold the blade in my hand again is like finding the-most-comfortable-sweatshirt-you-ever-owned-but thought-your-mom threw away, behind the couch.
And it still fits! Cheese on brothers and sisters.