Help ATS with a contribution via PayPal:
learn more

Grandpa’s Survival Shack… Restoring A Rusty Old Knife.

page: 1
19
<<   2 >>

log in

join
+2 more 
posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 09:05 AM
link   
Grandpa’s Survival Shack… Restoring A Rusty Old Knife.


Believe it or not I found this knife buried in the dirt of an old abandoned trailer park… Yes I was using my Dowsing rods too…

When I first found it… it was rusted pretty badly, covered in dried mud and grime. Not being a fan of big knifes like this I was tempted to put it back in the dirt but then I remembered all of you here at ATS… who follow my Survival threads… and realized this was the perfect opportunity to teach you how to clean up and sort of restore an old knife….


First thing first… this knife needed a good scrubbing with a stiff wire brush… there was no point in trying to protect the wooden handle as years of being out in the elements have pretty much trashed it… but I needed to get the dirt out of the gaps and knock down the worse of the rust… if this had been an old pocket knife I would brush out the grove where the blade rests… blowing on it often to get the dirt out of there… especially around the pivot and blade lock, if it has one…

Next came a good coat of oil …WD-40 or other rust removing oil will work… and a pad of 00 steel wool… don’t use and SOS pad… 00 steel wool can be bought from any hardware store… without the soap mixed in…

So once the blade was well coated in oil… you scrub…with the steel wool… put a lot of muscle into it… don’t worry about the blades finish… on a knife like this whatever finish it did have is long past saving… after about 20 minutes of this… spraying more oil and going through about 3 pads of steel wool I was done with the first step… as expected the blades surface has deep pits and no bevel to the blade… but so far so good…


again if this was a folding knife I would soak the pivots and blade lock… working them a lot so the oil has a chance to work in and get the grime and rust out…

Now to do something about the wooden handle… and for that I went back to the hardware store for a can of linseed oil... In tall skinny glass jar (one of my wife’s flower vases) I inserted this knife blade tip up… I wanted the handle to sit at the bottom of the jar… then I just poured in the oil and set the whole thing out in the sun to heat up…

It took a couple of hours… but before long I could see air bubbles forming on the outside of the wood… just what I was hoping for… that oil was slowly seeping into the wood displacing any water and with luck swelling the wood… so once again it would be a tight fit… It also became clear this was going to take longer than one day for the bubbles to stop… it took five… and I could have left it longer…

Granted I could have speeded up this process if I heated knife and oil in a pan on the stove… with very low heat… but I worry about things like flash points… and very angry wives who object to my turning “her” kitchen into a science experiment!... besides I wasn’t in that much of a hurry…

Now I have thought about sanding and refinished the wood handle… but you know what… I kind of like it the way it is… I could break out the jeweler rouge and my Dremmel to make that carbon blade glisten and sparkle like new… but I like this gray patina... and how the wood had turned black…. It will need to be kept oiled or it’ll go right back to being a rusty mess… there still is a gap between the wood and hand guards… to fix that I will use a bit of epoxy… mixed with some sawdust… stained to matched the handles color…. I did use a little brasso to polish up the hardware… not a lot… I’m trying to keep some of that old weathered look… I did use my Dremmel to bevel a new edge… now it just need some time on an oil stone to give it a working edge…


Well there you have it… how I restored a rusty old knife… it may never be a favorite… not one I carry… It’s just too big… too heavy… to be general purpose knife… I doubt I’ll ever use it … unless I find myself in need of a machete… So for now it will live on my workbench… until I come up with some other devious plan for it… but for now it has served its purpose… teaching you how to bring a rusty old knife back to life…




posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 09:39 AM
link   
reply to post by GrandpaDave
 

You can never know when an old knife like that could come in handy. If you damage or lose it, you are not out one of your better knifes.



posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 09:40 AM
link   
reply to post by GrandpaDave
 


Actually, I believe you have found the treasure I looked for up and down for about 10 years!
See when I was a kid, my dad always had "the camp knife".
It was a large bladed behemoth that would get stuck in a stump.
Mild steel, no stainless, because of its purpose.
When we would scout out firewood, we would use a hand size piece and split the rest of the wood with the blade of the knife.
We would use the hand size piece as a hammer on the back of the blade.
Seeing is how it is a thick blade and not stainless, it won’t break!
It doesn't have to be sharp or pretty, it's "the camp knife".
I finally found mine at a local flea market for 3 dollars!
Seems you now have an excellent specimen there!!!
For those who might not understand what I just excitedly babbled, he found a log splitter.



posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 09:51 AM
link   
reply to post by g146541
 


Guess what... it's not made of mild steel...
this one has a very high carbon content...
The edge does have some notches... almost like someone was sword fighting with it???
a little more time on the grinder will make them less noticeable... but lets face it... it's never going to be pretty



posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 10:46 AM
link   

Originally posted by GrandpaDave
reply to post by g146541
 


Guess what... it's not made of mild steel...
this one has a very high carbon content...
The edge does have some notches... almost like someone was sword fighting with it???
a little more time on the grinder will make them less noticeable... but lets face it... it's never going to be pretty


It's most likely 1095 high carbon steel.
That's an old "Western" brand Bowie Knife.
those were very popular about 35 years ago, and were decent knives.
I would personally skip the steel wool, and start with 220grit sandpaper and move up to 1200grit.
Be VERY certain you follow the factory bevel as close as possible.
Using your eye to re-bevel a blade with a dremel works, but can make it useless if the angle is too steep or too light.
I would also give the knife a mild heat treat.



Thanks again for a very cool thread DB.



posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 11:04 AM
link   
reply to post by BadNinja68
 


You didnt see how bad it was when I pulled it out of the ground....
I did try a bit of sandpaper at first... but I needed to more aggressive tactics for this little gem...
Like I said I like the old look of it... but if I did want to bring it back... then yeah I would go to the finer and finer sand papers... finishing up with a polishing compound...

as for my Dremmel tool... I have a knife sharping guide for it... set the knife in the clamp and it gives me a perfect bevel every time...



posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 11:37 AM
link   
I was just going to say dont fall into the trap of trying to wind steel wool around your dremel's sanding drum. If you do you wasted time that could have been used on getting it done.



posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 11:58 AM
link   
I can't explain why but I really like polishing and sharpening knives of all kinds and must have over 100 of them.. It would of tickled the heck out of me to have found a big old Bowie knife like that and had been able to slick it up some... Like you, I'd have just let the age show through and did enough polishing to the blade that it wouldn't out class the handle... I prefer a good high carbon steel blade to any of the stainless steel ones but they are relatively hard to find.. It is possible that the Marine Corps issue KaBar is still high carbon but I'm not going to let either one of mine get any rust on it to find out... Would you believe the KaBar sheath is made in Mexico nowadays?



posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 03:51 PM
link   
The reality is that the knife you found was probably a murder weapon that was used cleaned off then buried never to be found again. Id be a little weary about that.



posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 04:14 PM
link   
How exactly did you find it?



posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 04:43 PM
link   
reply to post by jpaul
 


Dowsing rods.



posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 04:51 PM
link   

Originally posted by thegoods724
The reality is that the knife you found was probably a murder weapon that was used cleaned off then buried never to be found again. Id be a little weary about that.


Just LOL
Made me chuckle.


edit: actually in hindsight, that might be true, why would someone bury a knife?
edit on 9-10-2011 by JonoEnglish because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 05:14 PM
link   
reply to post by JonoEnglish
 


The kid that used it to dig the hole probably.



posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 05:23 PM
link   

Originally posted by Thestargateisreal
reply to post by jpaul
 


Dowsing rods.


What are dowsing rods used for?



posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 05:28 PM
link   

Originally posted by Thestargateisreal
reply to post by JonoEnglish
 


The kid that used it to dig the hole probably.


Yeah but why bury an inanimate object?



posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 05:32 PM
link   
...

edit on 9-10-2011 by neonitus because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 06:14 PM
link   
I would have had this appraised before I would have done that to be honest with you......

Yeah they were popular back in the 50s and 40s , but they were also popular way way before that......

Im not sure what area youre in but it could have been apart of any number of battles.......

Cleaning it off like that would have ruined whatever it was worth........

I think having this skill is good and i thank you for showing it to us........

But I would also caution people that are out and find objects like this to have them looked at before restoring them.......



posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 06:16 PM
link   
reply to post by JonoEnglish
 


They could've been called into dinner and forgot it was still at the bottom. Who knows, kids lose things often.



posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 06:22 PM
link   
reply to post by Thestargateisreal
 


Yeah but GrandpaDave said it was buried. You bury stuff to either hide something or out of some ceremony of some sorts.

It would be interesting if Gramps could try to find out if there was any reports of missing people in tht area.

Dam it!!! Getting carried away


You never know though.



posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 06:40 PM
link   
reply to post by GrandpaDave
 


I love that Bowie knife. It has the perfect shape. Not practical in this day and age of multiple-shot weapons, however, but in its day....

I don't know where Jim Bowie lost his, probably at the Alamo, but I guess it isn't his because I read details of the making of his knife once and it described that the backside had a strip of brass inset in it. The concept was for that soft metal to catch the blade of an opponent's knife and keep it from slipping down toward the handle. The book said that Bowie claimed to have been robbed of his horse and gun while on the trail once. As the thief rode off on Bowie's horse, Jim threw the knife and split the guy's skull.





new topics

top topics



 
19
<<   2 >>

log in

join