The Project Knife Arrived

The semi-Bowie blade shape is just what I was looking for to add to my arsenal. Whatever it’s unknown age might be, the shape is the one popularized by the WWII “M3” combat blades issued to the US armed forces, and made by a number of quality knife companies including Camillus, Case, Ka-Bar, and Cattaraugus Cutlery. This one lacks the concave “blood groove” along the upper blade that marks the fighting knives. It is also shorter at 6″ as opposed to the M3 mil-spec standard of 6 3/4″.  As such, mine was probably [hopefully] made in the 50s-60s as a hunting or Boy Scouting knife. I had one very similar back in my own scouting days.

 

 

My EBay seller did not make it clear that the sheath was “non-original”, and had been modified to allow easier slashing of your pants leg.

 

 

In the upper photo I laid my fully sharpened Buck 692 over the new blade. It is obvious that there is not much on the way of an edge left on the new guy. You can see arm hairs from shave-testing the edge on the Buck… NO chance of that on the n00b. Although it is not really as obvious from the long angle of the shot, the new knife has very little if any damage to the point. It hasn’t been over-abused, just neglected and poorly sharpened/ maintained.

The classic aluminum pommel has a the Ka-Bar shape that I find really appealing… less rounded off than some scouting type knifes. It too shows no sign of abusive handling. Thank god it didn’t have the dreadful, disgruntled eagle pommel that got put on too many Boy Scout knives back in the day.

 

FullSizeRender 24The stacked leather on the handle is still tightly compressed with no missing disks, no gapping between the disks, and not dried out. I particularly like the finger grooves. They are a feature that I had not seen in the seller’s photos. The three color, plastic stacks at each end are right purdy as well.

 

I will want to do some overall smoothing with a file and high-grit sandpaper to even out the grip, and then finish it with a soaking coat of urethane.

This is what a brand new “stacked disk” handle looks like.

Here’s hopes that the project knife might make a come back to something similarly good looking.

 

 

In conclusion, the “project” knife is just about what I hoped to get for the money [$22 shipped]. The biggest question is of course that of the steel grade used, and with no quick way to evaluate that beyond re-edging it and then seeing how the blade holds up to use. The good news is that the overall construction seems to be of a quality that would at least imply a decent grade of steel was used in the build. It could be German Solingen. I know they made plenty of blades in this style, but “unbranded” for use by a variety of US companies.

Other than that, there are no glaring problems to be seen. I know what my knowledge, skills and tool kit are capable of… I don’t think there are any real obstacles to ending up with a highly usable, and nicely restored knife at far less cost than buying one new. Plus I get the satisfaction of the process. I’ll keep updating as I work on it.

Of course, I am gonna have to buy a new sheath! [$9 on Amazon].

[Quik Note~~ I was wrong about how bad the blade was. A fast whetting on my kitchen steel and I sliced up onions, carrots, and beef for stew just fine. It’s a bit thick in the blade for real kitchen use, but already good enough for my camp cooking chores]

 

Advertisements

Let Us Now Praise “Forums”

 

If you want to find out the most information, in the least time,  yourself a favor and add the word “forums” to your search… as in “blah-de-blah forums”.

A couple of years ago, I sold a yard tractor that I had owned for 15 years. A quick search using the phrase “Wheelhouse/Toro forum” provided me with lots of eager advice from other people and lead to a sale right there off the forum for far more than I had hop ed.

Last weekend, I purchased a Bowie knife off of eBay. Prior to making my purchase I did a lot of research in knife and blade forums. A little bit of research allowed me to not make mistakes in my purchase, and find myself one that I believe is a real value.

I am going to be moving. This presents me with the tedious chore of disposing of several generations of XXX These internet forums are my source of information to aid me in determining reasonable prices and values.

I am currently selling some old 19th Century muzzle-loader guns, a samurai sword and a collection of Civil War letters-home. In each case, a quick check for the appropriate forums gave me some sound guidance to make the most of my offerings. I learned that the gun was an 18th century “Pennsylvania” style cap-and-ball farm gun that had been converted from a flintlock. It sold to a collector on there who was thrilled to get, it at a price I could live with to just “make it go away!” The letters went to a reseller in Boston after I learned they were certainly of interest to collectors of Civil War ephemera… again at a better and more fair price than I would have taken if offered

Try it for yourself. Even if you just want a new set of headphones, “headphone/stereo forums” will give better advice than just searching for something like “headphone reviews”.

Advice from An Old Farmer

courtesy of my old and dear friend Jerry B who “growed up down country”…

Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.
Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.
Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.
Words that soak into your ears are whispered… not yelled.
Meanness don’t jes’ happen overnight.
Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads.
Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.
You cannot unsay a cruel word.
Every path has a few puddles.
When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
The best sermons are lived, not preached.
Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen anyway.
Don’t judge folks by their relatives.
Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
Live a good, honorable life… Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time.
Don ‘t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t bothering you none.
Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a Rain dance.
If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.
Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin’.
Always drink upstream from the herd.
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.
Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back in.
If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around..
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.
Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.
Most times, it just gets down to common sense.

Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting and outdoor

Restoration Project Knife Inbound

I have been looking for a good project knife to restore as an exercise in what “can’ be done to bring a blade back to life.

I picked up this Boy Scout type semi-bowie for just over $20 on EBay. Nothing glamorous, but it truly needs work. Just a quick look shows that the blade will want a complete new edging, and the handle needs to be reprofiled.

It is also a great chance to really work out the Lansky System sharpener I got last Fall and my other stones, etc, to see just how good my licks are.

Overall, it appears to be good bet for a project… the handle looks to be tight and not too dried out, the steel is not pitted, and even the sheath is in OK condition, although I may pick the stitching and resew it. So… “nothing ventured, nothing gained”.

I’m looking forward to this, as I have wanted a large/long blade for a while now and this one harkens back to knives I had as a kid [and have no idea what became of].

I’ll get some photos when it comes this weekend and let you know how it goes.

Get To Know The Moon

It’s always good to know when and where the Moon will rise and set when you are out camping on a nice night.

Search “Rivolu LLC” from your phone…

Their “Moon Calendar Pro” is free right now [Feb 12th, 2018] and check out their “Tide Alert” app, too, if you camp down near the ocean

[EDIT:]

“bigbenny” from Sydney, DownUnder suggested a really full featured alternative in WillyWeather on iOS in Australia. It is “Not Just Weather”, and includes wind, tides, rainfall, swell, sunrise and sunset, moon phases, and UV all in one app.

Screen Shot 2018-02-13 at 9.23.29 AM