Choose to be green-don't trash it, refit it

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Project by Brad posted 11-29-2012 10:57 PM 2564 views 2 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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 “Robusto” 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.

-- "People's lives are their own rewards or punishments."

17 comments so far

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 3149 days

#1 posted 11-29-2012 11:27 PM

Nice Work! and nice save!

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio.....

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2723 days

#2 posted 11-29-2012 11:38 PM

Never toss it, even if it is broken!

I have piles of stuff waiting for handles and hangers and stuff like that!

Good show!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View a1Jim's profile


117417 posts in 3813 days

#3 posted 11-29-2012 11:39 PM

Good save well done.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Don W's profile

Don W

19041 posts in 2803 days

#4 posted 11-30-2012 12:01 AM

Nice save!!

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30134 posts in 2574 days

#5 posted 11-30-2012 01:16 AM

Everything is an opportunity for a project

Good work

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View IndianJoe's profile


425 posts in 2486 days

#6 posted 11-30-2012 01:32 AM

nice work

-- Nimkee** Joe

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3338 days

#7 posted 11-30-2012 08:57 AM

Man, you really bear down when you cut the cheese.
Nice repair….................

-- mike...............

View EEngineer's profile


1119 posts in 3849 days

#8 posted 11-30-2012 01:38 PM

kitten ka boodle ????

From World Wide Words:

Caboodle has a complicated history. It’s been spelt down the years in many different ways, and these days is usually listed in dictionaries with an initial “c”. It means a collection of objects, sometimes of people. It commonly turns up in the whole caboodle, meaning “the whole lot”. It’s recorded in the US from the middle of the nineteenth century. It’s probable that the word was originally boodle, with the phrase being the whole kit and boodle, but that the initial sound “k” was added to boodle for euphony.

It seems that the whole kit and caboodle eventually won the linguistic battle for survival in the US because of that repeated “k” sound…

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15800 posts in 2854 days

#9 posted 11-30-2012 03:40 PM

“Then it was time to cut the cheese…”

Love it! Nice save, too!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3351 days

#10 posted 11-30-2012 06:00 PM

thanks for the story :-)
glad you ain´t have to go hungry around anylonger


View CyberDyneSystems's profile


288 posts in 2424 days

#11 posted 11-30-2012 09:44 PM

Thanks for the good read!

-- Without the wood, it's just working

View Brit's profile


7589 posts in 3079 days

#12 posted 11-30-2012 09:44 PM

Mmmmm cheese.

It will taste even better from now on. Well done Brad.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Grandpa's profile


3261 posts in 2911 days

#13 posted 11-30-2012 10:54 PM

I like those save stories. I found a ? 5 in 1 tool? used for cleaning paint rollers amoung other things. It had a broken handle. One day my 12 year old grandson was in the shop with me. We were winding down and I said “come over here so I can coach you a little.” He made an oak handle from the scrap box. Sanded to fit and securely in place with a coat of polyurethane. Lesson learned – recycle.

The caboodle was revived by some clever marketing about 20-25 years ago. My then teenage daughter had a caboodle. Girls carried the entire kit and caboodle when they spent the night and needed to carry their fixins. It was an over night make up type case.

View Brad's profile


1140 posts in 2976 days

#14 posted 12-01-2012 10:53 PM

“kit and caboodle”, got it. Thank you.

Andy, cheese with wine my friend…preferably a nice chianti from our favorite Tuscan winery of Felsina. Gail and I visited it in 2009 during our visit to Italy. It was a dream come true.

Smitty, I thought you’d enjoy the double entendre.

Overall, the handle is not perfectly rounded. So I’ve been researching the building of my own treadle lathe.

-- "People's lives are their own rewards or punishments."

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 3076 days

#15 posted 12-04-2012 12:37 AM

I love it! Well done.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

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