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Thread: Making the old, new again (grandpa's knife)

  1. #1
    Member Rancid Crabtree's Avatar
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    Default Making the old, new again (grandpa's knife)

    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.



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



    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.



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



    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.



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



    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.



    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.



    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.



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









    I got rid of all the scratches as well.



    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



    Then stitched it and trimmed it.



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



    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.



    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.









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


  2. #2
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    Great work on that old blade! I am sure your friend will love it!

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    Member FairbanksFlies's Avatar
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    Rancid Crabtree!! I know that name. Pat McManus was one of my favorites as a kid.

  4. #4

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    What was the make of the knife? I could see it in a few of the pictures but not plain enough to read it.

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    Member Rancid Crabtree's Avatar
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    Its a Western brand knife (Boulder CO) If memory serves it was the L66 model.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    If that old blade could talk,, what tales it could tell. Well done Sir, bringing luster back to a cherished family heirloom. I'm sure your friend will be misty eyed when he is reunited with that blade,, and relives all that it represents.

    Rewarding stuff right there....

    Steve
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    Now it can be passed on to another generation or two- nicely done! It is nice to see heirlooms taken care od and not discarded...

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    That is a great job

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    Well done! What tools did you need for this?

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    Member Rancid Crabtree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ManOrMoose View Post
    Well done! What tools did you need for this?
    Simple tools like sandpaper, belt sander, steel wool and a table saw.

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    I think you should change your screen name to "The Renovator".
    When I suggested this forum to the mods some years ago, these kinds of posts were exactly what I envisioned.
    However...
    you are such a good craftsman that you put me to shame.

  12. #12
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    I think you should change your screen name to "The Renovator".
    When I suggested this forum to the mods some years ago, these kinds of posts were exactly what I envisioned.
    However...
    you are such a good craftsman that you put me to shame.
    +1, I very much enjoy watching your projects come both to life and back to life. I have learned much, thanks for sharing your talent.
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"
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    Yeah, you do amazing stuff. I'll have to give something like that a shot and see how it goes.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    The split tang Western knives had a habit of the tang bending upward like the one you restored. That made the leather washers become lose. The older split tang handle had a flange shape at the guard covering the gap on the handle side. The one you did had a finger grouve filed in front of the guard for safer grip by owner,guessing war vet and that made the gap at the front of the quillion/guard. You did a nice job.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  15. #15

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    What tools and equipment do you use in making the sheath? If you have a chance tell us more about the leather work. Thanks.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cast Iron View Post
    What tools and equipment do you use in making the sheath? If you have a chance tell us more about the leather work. Thanks.
    I am interested too... Are you hand stitching that leather, or are you using the 404?

  17. #17
    Member Rancid Crabtree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cast Iron View Post
    What tools and equipment do you use in making the sheath? If you have a chance tell us more about the leather work. Thanks.
    I will start a seprate thread about working with soft and hard leather.

  18. #18
    Member Longbow6360's Avatar
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    Awesome job Rancid! I love that lemony yellow osage.

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