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Restoring old knives and returning them to service

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Restoring old knives and returning them to service

Postby DIY_guy » Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:00 am

I was asked by a friend in Texas, to repair a knife that belonged to his father and grandfather. It is not an expensive knife. It's worth is more in sentiment. He said the leather washers on the handle were dry rotted so he wanted me to make a new grip and since the knife was missing it's sheath, he asked that I make a new one.


this is what I got in the mail. To make the knife usable, he had dipped the handle in Plasti-kote. There was a lot of rust as well.

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The tip had been snapped off a few years ago so he asked that I re-shape it.

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I was able to get the red plastic off but that only revealed the remnants of the duct tape that must have been used before the plastic coating.

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Once I got the leather off the handle, I found the tang was badly rusted. It can still be saved.

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The aluminum pommel has some deep dings and scratches but I can remove them as well. The thing I found odd was that the brass finger guard has a visible notch but that is how it came from the manufacturer.

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I re-shaped the blade and got rid of as much pitting as I could without wrecking the blade.

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My friend asked that I use oasge for the handle. He sent along a few pieces of 50 year old Osage fence post to replace the leather of the grip.

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Once I cut out the scales for the handle and saw the yellow, I just had to add some red. Since it is a hunting knife with a deep history, I cut two, thin bloodwood spacers that will lay closest to the metal of the handle.

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I masked off the metal parts (easier to get the extra epoxy off) and assembled the parts. After 24 hours passes, I will be able to shape the handle and finish the polishing of the metal parts.

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After a bit of shaping, the knife is starting to look like a knife again.

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I got rid of all the scratches as well.

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Time to start the sheath. I will use 8 Oz. Tooling leather because I want to stamp a little fancy schmancy stuff onto the leather

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Then stitched it and trimmed it.

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Then I made a snap strap to hold it in place.

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Lastly, I got the whole thing wet and fit the sheath to the knife. I will let it dry over night before I stain it.

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Well, A little red brown stain and Neatsfoot oil and a rub down with mink oil and the sheath and the project are complete.

I used some diamonds and ceramic and now the blade is like a razor. There is some great steel in that blade.

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I looks a little diff then when I got it. I hope he likes it.

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The joy is in the planing and doing.
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Re: Restoring old knives and returning them to service

Postby DIY_guy » Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:01 am

Its a great old knife from a simpler time. It needed a restoration so I gave it a new lease on life.

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The joy is in the planing and doing.
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Re: Restoring old knives and returning them to service

Postby DIY_guy » Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:13 am

A restoration of an old German Bowie with an 8 Oz. tooled leather sheath.

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The joy is in the planing and doing.
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Re: Restoring old knives and returning them to service

Postby arrowlauncherdj » Wed Jul 29, 2015 7:03 pm

Very cool!
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Re: Restoring old knives and returning them to service

Postby whump » Thu Jul 30, 2015 12:59 pm

Nice job on the restoration.
I had a knife when I was in the Boy Scouts back in the 60,s that was my brothers knife when he was in the scouts from the 40,s ---exactly like the one you restored . Stacking up leather washers over a tang seems to be a mainstay for making knife handles back then and if you think about it; that was a good shock absorbing and non breakable handle material.
I have climbed and clawed from the pits of merciless persecution and suffered the tortures of the damned ,only to be thrust head first into what can be best described as organized confusion.
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