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ShencoSmoke
02-07-2015, 04:50 PM
Was at an auction this morning and noticed a "junk box" with 2 Japanese knives. They were in rough shape but are heavy. Either way I ended up with a tile cutter, a box of files, a socket set, 2 oyster shuckers, and a brisket probe. Can anyone tell what I have with these?
107319

ShencoSmoke
02-07-2015, 04:51 PM
107320

ShencoSmoke
02-07-2015, 04:53 PM
107321

IamMadMan
02-07-2015, 05:11 PM
I think Landarc is someone who can assist you in your quest for information....

landarc
02-07-2015, 05:11 PM
You have a Chinese cleaver, by the rough size and thickness of the blade, it is a standard weight cleaver for a wide variety of kitchen tasks.

The other knife appears to be a wa-deba. They are heavy duty knives, with a thick top edge and a smooth taper. That is in very rough shape.

Both need a lot of work, the cleaver appears to maybe be bent? Certainly needs a new handle and some cleaning of the blade, and a whole lot of work on the cutting edge to clean up the warps and dings.

The Deba is originally intended to be a fish knife, in fact, an experienced Japanese chef can do everything from gutting to fileting with one. They are not cleavers, although that is what most Westerners call them. The long distal taper means that the knife will have a long life, however, the one you have here has been badly abused, I can even see where it may have been used with a hammer or similar device. The steel actually looks pretty good. I would give it a lot of work, rework the edge with a coarse stone, you will need to reprofile the entire edge, put on an entirely new cutting edge.

I am not seeing the pits that are tell-tale signs of poor Japanese steel from mid-20th century knives, which gives me reason to believe that the knife could be worth some effort.

ShencoSmoke
02-07-2015, 05:18 PM
Thanks bob! I got the box for 15 bucks, so it looks like I'm not out much if I can't get them working. They seemed to be of good quality steel, that's what peaked my interest. Plus, I need a tile cutter.

landarc
02-07-2015, 05:20 PM
The fact that is it marked simply Japan, in English, suggest it is an export grade knife, as the better Japanese knives were never marked in English. Also, the maker mark appears to be stamped and not chiseled. Still, from the mid-1950's on, these would have been quite good knives. You are showing the back side, I assume, judging by the photos, that this is a single bevel knife? It has a curious stain on the backside, which makes me wonder what it was used for.

And if you couldn't tell, I love this type of knife.
http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u105/landarc/goofstuff/WA-deba02_zpssh2x1nvh.jpg
In that image, you can see how the handle should fit, somewhat away from the blade. Many Americans will drive the handle forward, in the mistaken desire to use the knife like a European knife, with the fingers on the blade. That breaks the handle and ferrule. It is a small matter to buy and replace the handles. This shows a right handed model of a single taper, which is what I suspect you also have

SmokinAussie
02-07-2015, 06:55 PM
Nice score. Definately worth the 15 bucks for the box.

The big cleaver is a Hong Kong brand and they are still in production although that is a very old one and worth way more than $15. I got nothing on the Japanese unit.

Both are certainly worth cleaning up.

Cheers!

Bill

Sausage Warrior
02-07-2015, 08:42 PM
I would think the cleaver would be used for vegtables. The other looks like what would be known as a santoku to me but if landarc is right with it being a deba restored it could fetch a very handsome price. I'm no expert on knives but pretty good at sharpening. I'd be happy with that deal!

Check this listing on a deba style. Astronomical. https://11main.com/kitchenkapers/haiku-itamae-7-deba-knife-i08/p/2765341?ref=DF4rcI_udU6GfakKSQwtHg&kpid=2765341&cid=cse_gg_home-%26-outdoor__%5Bpla%5D-%28ho%29_54280971275&utm_source=gg&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=_&utm_content=11_main&utm_campaign=[pla]-(ho)&ref=DF4rcI_udU6GfakKSQwtHg&kpid=2765341

landarc
02-07-2015, 09:22 PM
That cleaver, in the hands of a Chinese cook (or Buccaneer or Smokin' Aussie) can do more than any Chef's knife. It is one of the most versatile kitchen tools you will ever see. Everything from delicate slicing of vegetables to breaking a chicken down, and even works as a spatula, dough scraper and board scraper.

buccaneer
02-07-2015, 09:53 PM
Please show me a pic of both sides of the Japanese Deba blade edge.
It isn't a santoku, definitely a deba, awesome chicken and fish tool!!

The cleaver is as landmark & SmokinAussie says, the single best kitchen weapon, and it can do almost all kitchen jobs once mastered, and that Honkers one looks heavy duty.

ShencoSmoke
02-07-2015, 10:32 PM
No markings on the back (beveled side)
107332

coredumped
02-07-2015, 11:09 PM
Definitely a deba. Here's a video of one in use: How to fillet Kingfish with Deba knife - YouTube

If you're going to try to clean up the edge on the deba, make sure to avoid grinding the back - they look flat, but they're actually concave. Basically all of the grinding should be done on the beveled side.

The chinese cleaver looks like it may be too thick to be considered a vegetable cleaver. Can you take a picture of the spine thickness? Vegetable cleavers are really thin and can't be used for any bone chopping.

coredumped
02-07-2015, 11:20 PM
My first post and I double-tap. Oops. :oops:

buccaneer
02-07-2015, 11:44 PM
I hope you are right handed!

It's a Deba for right handed people only.
Plenty to do to get it back to form but very achievable.
I doubt you will find a person with the skills to sharpen it into it's original form, it is a specialised technique that isn't done on western blades, so I would forgo trying, and instead find someone familiar with the modern Deba sharpening and just get it back to flat on the left side and a western honing for the right side only.
The 'clam roll' edge is superior for it gives unbelievable strength and longevity for going through fish and chicken bones, not having that just means you will have to be a little more cautious using it for that, and sharpen western style a lot more often!
Happy days!

Let me reinforce this.
Don't go handing this over to someone who is "good at sharpening", give it to someone who sharpens Japanese knives.
Oh, and it is not an expensive steel, not particularly good, so don't spend much on it.

Shagdog
02-07-2015, 11:48 PM
Shenco, if you follow Bucc's advice, I'd reccomend Korin's sharpening service. Experts in Japanese sharpening. Reasonable prices too.

http://korin.com/Services/Sharpening-Repair

KBird
02-08-2015, 07:29 AM
It looks like you may also have some Chicago Cutlery knives in the box. Not expensive, but better than average quality.

ShencoSmoke
02-08-2015, 10:10 AM
Thanks everyone, great advice, this place rocks! And I am right handed:-D

landarc
02-08-2015, 11:45 AM
Korin does an excellent job, and they can rehandle it as well.

ShencoSmoke
02-08-2015, 11:56 AM
So it looks like it would cost $75 to have it reworked, plus shipping. Is it worth doing?

FC BBQ
02-08-2015, 12:46 PM
107320

A lot of good tools in that box but what is that thing on the right side?

dadsr4
02-08-2015, 03:13 PM
So it looks like it would cost $75 to have it reworked, plus shipping. Is it worth doing?
The way I look at this sort of decision is
-how badly do I need/want it?
-How much is a new one?

landarc
02-08-2015, 04:08 PM
It would be hard for me to pay that much for it. Of course, I would sharpen it myself. Of course, I own the proper stones and know how to do it.

However, a new knife of a similar quality and style, will go for between $85 and $150. And Korin will do a great job.

ShencoSmoke
02-08-2015, 04:17 PM
It looks like you may also have some Chicago Cutlery knives in the box. Not expensive, but better than average quality.

They are labeled "kingswood action"

A lot of good tools in that box but what is that thing on the right side?

It is an old Sears Roebuck planner/jointer

SmokinAussie
02-08-2015, 06:54 PM
Nope. Not worth doing at that price.

Try yourself in your spare time. Nothing like a knife like that to learn a new skill. There is still a lot of steel on it, so it doesn't really matter how long it takes you!

Happy grinding!

Cheers!

Bill

buccaneer
02-08-2015, 07:15 PM
So it looks like it would cost $75 to have it reworked, plus shipping. Is it worth doing?

Only you can decide, perhaps consider these points.
My Deba choices are modern steel and quality at the bottom of the range.
The reason why is simple, rust resistant is FAR easier when you use it on fish, and I can sharpen almost all types of Japanese knives but I am not confident in sharpening clam edge blades, so I choose to buy baseline quality deba's so it doesn't matter.
You can buy a brand new Deba for under $100
http://japanesechefsknife.com/HybridWaBochoSeries.html#HybridWaBocho

Sausage Warrior
02-08-2015, 08:36 PM
That knife needs restoring not "my touch at sharpening it." Though I wouldn't wish to attempt either just to be clear. Nonetheless, this isn't some damn zen master technique only accomplished by the stone originally sharpened on after being forged and must return as a salmon to spawn. There is more BS surround Japanese knives than they they could every chop.

Please no offense to anyone's comments. I'm just a bit overwhelmed with the marketing that has taken place regarding Japanese knives.

buccaneer
02-08-2015, 09:07 PM
That knife needs restoring not "my touch at sharpening it." Though I wouldn't wish to attempt either just to be clear. Nonetheless, this isn't some damn zen master technique only accomplished by the stone originally sharpened on after being forged and must return as a salmon to spawn. There is more BS surround Japanese knives than they they could every chop.

Please no offense to anyone's comments. I'm just a bit overwhelmed with the marketing that has taken place regarding Japanese knives.

You're ridiculing, mocking. Hard not to be offended.
I don't know you, but I know landmark is knowledgable.
I read back, I think our advice was well directed and solid.
I'm not here to have a spat over marketing versus the reality of what I said, higher end deba come with a special edge, I've spent time in Seki City and Sakai City but I can't do that.
Nobody I know of in this continent can, but maybe you can.
HTH ShencoSmoke

landarc
02-08-2015, 09:15 PM
My friend Hiroo can Buccas, and I do love using his knives, sadly, the last time he asked me to help cook, I burned the corn, then the grill caught fire...I have not been asked to sous since, so sad.

And thanks for the kudos. I don't take offense, largely because I know that not everyone likes every knife. For me, the Japanese style knives are something I grew up with, they are incredible tools.

I have been thinking about this thread, and my advice, and I would still consider sending it to be restored. That being said, unless ShencoSmoke was looking to buy a Deba to begin with, and is willing to learn to use it, and needs to cut a lot of fish...well, other than having it, I am not so sure it is worth sending it.

I would.

ShencoSmoke
02-08-2015, 09:42 PM
My friend Hiroo can Buccas, and I do love using his knives, sadly, the last time he asked me to help cook, I burned the corn, then the grill caught fire...I have not been asked to sous since, so sad.

And thanks for the kudos. I don't take offense, largely because I know that not everyone likes every knife. For me, the Japanese style knives are something I grew up with, they are incredible tools.

I have been thinking about this thread, and my advice, and I would still consider sending it to be restored. That being said, unless ShencoSmoke was looking to buy a Deba to begin with, and is willing to learn to use it, and needs to cut a lot of fish...well, other than having it, I am not so sure it is worth sending it.

I would.

Thanks everyone. As some of you might have noticed I have have had a renewed interest in the history of the place I live and the people that live here. While I didn't know the man that owned this knife, I do know he lived here locally before he died. Maybe he bought the knife while traveling, maybe it was given to him as a gift. Regardless I do cherish things that have a story connected to them. So at the end of the day it looks like I could have a restored knife for about the same price as a new one of similar quality. The choice is clear for me because one day if my children share the same interests that I have it would be really damn cool to pass on the knife with a story attached.

My grandfather was a pioneer in the poultry business and spent a lot of time in China (and Russia) where he exported poultry. He was one of the first Americans to realize what we were throwing away here (primarily chicken feet) was consumed in mass quantities in China. So once again, if I restored the cleaver it would be a great conversation piece and a reason to tell my childen about their great grandfather.

Bob, to answer the "do I need it" question, i work with trout often, usually one pounders. Is that knife overkill for a smaller fish?

Sorry for the ramble, a buddy gave me a bottle of willets (which I have never had before) and it is really, really good.

landarc
02-08-2015, 09:46 PM
Well, yes, a little. But, it will do a great job on a 1 pound trout. Just learn to use the tip and you will be fine.

I get the angle you see it from, go for it. I like stories. Chicken feet eh? Not a huge fan of those, but, a man could make some money selling them out west.

ShencoSmoke
02-08-2015, 09:54 PM
Here is a fun read from the eighties, Henry Holler is my GF
http://www.apnewsarchive.com/1987/Poultry-Company-Cracks-Hong-Kong-Market-For-Chicken-Feet/id-00fcbb25f25b51e2a06bdfe37c317053

landarc
02-08-2015, 10:14 PM
Go figure, that is pretty cool. My uncle was that kind of thinker, he would notice things and the next thing you knew, he had turned it into a business.

ShencoSmoke
02-08-2015, 10:21 PM
Go figure, that is pretty cool. My uncle was that kind of thinker, he would notice things and the next thing you knew, he had turned it into a business.

Unfortunately I didn't really ever get to have a business discussion with him, but he did tell me some great stories of his travels, he was in some tight spots, especially in Russia. It seems "I'm here to help develop your poultry industry" sometimes was seen as "I'm an American spy disguised as a chicken salesman"

landarc
02-09-2015, 05:47 PM
http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u105/landarc/10958098_10106425524998211_518502819425887254_n_zp synncafeu.jpg

My friend Hiroo's ridiculous knife work, on some kanburi sushi...he does this to stay in practice. His coworkers wander into the office kitchen and find this

dadsr4
02-09-2015, 06:02 PM
http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u105/landarc/10958098_10106425524998211_518502819425887254_n_zp synncafeu.jpg

My friend Hiroo's ridiculous knife work, on some kanburi sushi...he does this to stay in practice. His coworkers wander into the office kitchen and find this

Hopefully soon after.