Rescued a Knife


January 19, 2008, 03:04 AM
Ever rescued a knife?

For no better reason than it just looked so pathetic sitting there in the knife pound, or the Cutlery Shelter, or the SPCK?

Clearly abused, left out in the cold and wet, looking at you with that longing gaze that begs to go home with you? As if to say, "I'll be good; I don't eat much, and I won't chew your slippers."

"Uh, 'scuse me, can I see that old Schrade Uncle Henry in the case there? Yeah, that one. Thanks."

"Uh, you're asking how much for this? Look at the rust, check the damage to this blade. Whoever had this before didn't know how to sharpen or clean it."

Fifteen bucks is kinda high. Eight? Hmm. Okay.



Took me two hours to clean and re-sharpen. There's still some rust in the springs, but I'll gradually work that out. I took the opportunity to establish a new bevel. It's got a ways to go, but it's usable again.

It could be stainless, but I've never seen rust along the (badly) sharpened edge of a stainless blade.

It's pre-2000 US-production, but beyond that it's just a mutt.

Method to this madness?

I'm gonna be buying another slip-joint knife soon, and I need to practice sharpening a knife that size with blades of that approximate layout. Figure restoring one that "had nothing to lose" would be just the ticket.

Not like I could actually, like, damage the poor thing. Makes you wanna call CPS -- Cutlery Protective Services.

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January 19, 2008, 03:16 AM
Aw, now this is a touching story.


Ya done good.

And, think of it this way:
there's a kid out there somewhere looking for that knife,
that will treat it right, keep it sharp, and make good use of it.

January 19, 2008, 03:30 AM
Q. Do I get blamed for this slip joint also?

I'm not bad - just consistent is all. - me

Pax Jordana
January 20, 2008, 12:38 AM
Bravo, bravo.

I was gonna make a comment about a knife biting less than a dog, but I realized I haven't bought a knife in about eight months.

How sad. Well, it's off to walmart for me!

January 23, 2008, 09:33 PM
I've rescued many a knife, though this one is my all time favorite. A Marble hunting knife my dad bought back in the late '40s or early '50s. He used this knife for just about anything and everything, with the exception of what it was made for; hunting. In its day, this was my dads version of a Swiss Army knife. When I found it many years later in my dads garage, it was in very sad state of affairs. The blade tip had been broken off, it hadn't been sharpened in who knows how long (I don't even know if it could have cut through soft butter at that time), and it was dirty, tarnished, and just plain tired looking. As its final humiliation, my dad was using it to cut twine to tie up bundles of sticks and branches in the yard. Other than that, it sat neglected in a desk drawer out in the garage.

Some quick thinking on my part had me trading one of my Ontario Air force survival knives for the old Marble. Dad was happy, he got a new knife to cut twine with; and after countless hours of sharpening, cleaning, and polishing, I was happy. Don't you just love a happy ending.

January 24, 2008, 01:38 AM
That's a great save.

There's something satisfying in taking an abandoned piece of junk and restoring it to useful service.

I surely admire what you did there.

Navy joe
January 24, 2008, 06:38 AM
Rescued three. Cheap Fiskars fillet knife found lodged in sand dune. It survived it's float in from sea and being up above the high tide line since whenever the last storm was rather well.

Found a Phrobis M-9 in a local surplus store for $50 I think about 10 years ago. Previous owner used it as an E-tool, chisel, etc. and then didn't clean it, plenty of sand still in it from Gulf wars I. Unit markings too, so maybe it wasn't supposed to be for sale.... Cleaned it up, spent two weeks putting an edge on it that would cut something. One of the sharpest knives I own now.

I was given a Schrade Old-timer by my dad when I was 12ish. Youthful indiscretion ruined the sheath and stained the blade with rust. I cleaned it up recently on an orbital sander, re-edged it and use it as my kitchen knife for small hand cutting tasks. Sharp enough for tomatos.

January 24, 2008, 07:50 AM
An older gentleman that I worked with said he picked this knife up at a garage sale for $5 sometime or another. He brought the knife to me to clean up and upon returning it to him, he told me it was mine to keep. He just wanted to see how it looked with a little TLC. When brought to me this knife looked as though someone used a hammer on the back to cut through something. I'll be passing this down. By the way this is marked "Bowie" on side shown and "Western" over "Boulder Colo. USA" on the reverse side.

January 24, 2008, 10:07 AM
I've only rescued one knife. Literally rescued. I was doing a drift dive on the Allegheny river between the Kinzua dam and Warren General Hospital. I found a fishing creel laying on the bottom and stuck it in my bag, along with the dozen golf balls I found along the way.

When we got to shore, I looked in the creel and inside was an old, small Queen hunting/fishing knife. It looked like a smaller version of the Marble above only the total length was about 5 inches and it had a yellow handle.

The leather sheath was intact and usuable, the knife was actually in great shape. That knife served me well for many trout seasons until it suffered it's original fate. My brother "borrowed" it and dropped his tackle box in the lake.

January 24, 2008, 03:53 PM
I do this often, and like my old knives. That Uncle Henry is marked Schrade+, so it is 420HC stainless, as most Uncle Henry knives are. The springs are carbon. The delrin scales, Schrade liked to call "staglon". Nice knife, I'd probably have snagged it, too.

January 28, 2008, 10:11 AM
Went to the local gun show this weekend, perused the usual collection of over-priced firearms, stale beef jerky, and ersatz turquoise jewelry. Lingered a bit over an original Ruger Bearcat for $325, but the grips were replacements and there was something weird about the ejector rod housing, didnít lay parallel to the barrel (??).

One table had some decent old USA knives (others had plenty of China/Pakistan stuff, also over priced.) I admired a big coke bottle Camillus, then noticed a sad little sheath knife. Caught my eye because my dad had a similar K-Bar that he used to skin coyotes he caught on our ranch in eastern Colorado. This knife turned out to be a Western, and apparently spent a long time wet or maybe repeated wet/dry cycles. About 2/3 of the right side of the blade was pitted, and about half of the other side although not as deep. The aluminum butt cap was chalky and corroded, the layered celluloid handles cloudy with a small crack at one pin. The sheath was in similar bad shape, dried and cracked.

A little negotiation and I bought the Camillus, the Western, and a pristine Marbleís match safe. The Western came out to $5.

Took it home, fired up the Dremel. Handle, butt cap, etc. polished up fine. Some time on an oil stone put on a decent edge, turns out the pits donít reach the bevel. It ainít real pretty, but it does have character. Good enough to gut a deer, clean a trout, skin a rabbit, or make shavings to start a fire.

Itís a sweet little knife, just over 6 inches long equally divided between a very pretty layered handle and a slightly upswept blade. Even after soaking the sheath in Obenaufís, it required some stitching and creative reinforcement. Now good enough to hold the knife if I drop it in a day pack or the tool pocket of my Carharttís. Probably my imagination, but it seems grateful..

February 6, 2008, 01:39 AM
Rescued a Puma Bowie made in 1969 from a second hand store for 30 bucks awhile back. It had been left in the sheath till it has some pitting, till you can't read the writing on the blade, the sheath is worn but the stag handle is in excellent condition, worth every penny to me. It's since had the pleasure of gutting deer and elk, that made it happy.
I have a box of mixed this and that, knives I have "rescued" over the years.
Latest good one is a older, 70's I think, Buck 120 with no sheath, that some one had pounded on something with the back of it till it has some chips but the edge is as good as new. Was in a "everything five dollars apiece" box at a yard sale . (

February 6, 2008, 01:48 AM
Well, I haven't "rescued" any knives,
but I have two that I never "got rid of".

Notice the two in the bottom left of this image.

I've kept both for 40 years.

One is a Puma Hunter.

The other has no name on it.
Picked it up in some surplus store.
Antler (or is it bone?) handle.
Can't say what the steel is.
Still, I've kept it for some reason ...

March 14, 2008, 03:33 AM
Adding another folder to the rolls of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Knives.

I just picked up a Buck 301 (USA) full-sized Stockman.

Measures 3 7/8 inches closed, main blade 3 inches. Black Delrin handles. Shield depicting hammer driving knife blade through nail -- that old sixties ad they used to run.

Got the original box, with the original brown "Use And Care Of Your Buck Knife" sheet with their old El Cajon, CA address.

The blades haven't been sharpened correctly in a long time. The bolsters and scales show a lot of pocket wear. The inner surfaces of the springs have noticeable rusting.

The good news is that a) the blades are in good enough shape to be properly resharpened, b) the fit is tight and snap is good, and c) I live eight miles from the Buck Knives factory.

I'm gonna take it down there maybe tomorrow and have it resharpened and serviced at the factory.

I worked on it for an hour today and got a decent edge on it, but under magnification you can see it needs to be redone right before the edge will ever be truly "shaving sharp" again.

BTW, the main clip-point blade is about the same size as the blade on a small sodbuster. Different shape and profile, but about the same size. Compare this, at 3 7/8 closed, with the Schrade in the first post, at 3 5/8 closed. The Schrade is a bit more "elegant" but the Buck is really a handful of knife.

Can't wait to put it through its paces in the kitchen of Cafe de Minimus.

Pictures later.

March 14, 2008, 04:49 AM
I live eight miles from the Buck Knives factory.
Now, I know a bunch of folks, but I only know one person who can make that statement.

Pictures later.And you know we'll hold you to that. This one sounds ... special.

The Tourist
March 14, 2008, 11:41 AM
Thanks for the nice story. I hope others do the same.

When most of my time was spent sharpening at Gander Mountain, I noticed a real trend.

A guy would lose his knife in the snow, but find it again in the spring when things melted.

In most cases, the guy was glad to have the old knife back--he did not simply want to replace it with a new one.

Todd A
March 14, 2008, 04:30 PM
Just today ,Imperial 3 1/4 serpentine jack, carbon steel blades. Gonna clean it a little (a tad of live rust,am leaving the patina) and my Son will have another little present on his 9th birthday next month.

March 20, 2008, 03:14 AM
Got the #301 back today.

Their service guy (Dan, they tell me) polished the bolsters and blades, and cleaned out the crud and lubed it. Unless you look at the scales closely or look into the springs it looks new.

Shiny and sharp. $5.00 total.

This one's a keeper.

Pictures tomorrow.

March 20, 2008, 04:01 AM
Shiny and sharp. $5.00 total.Now that's what I call service.

Betcha can't get that done in NYC for $5.

$50 ... maybe.

Hey, what knife for vasectomy in {insert country here}?

Only kidding. That one needed closing.

Idaho, eh?

Isn't that where the Sawtooth Range ( is?

March 20, 2008, 10:26 AM
It's more Bucks customer service than Idaho, although I am sure things are cheaper here than NY. Before Buck moved up here I sent a few things to them in San Diego and was always treated better than expected.

March 20, 2008, 02:33 PM
Knives I've rescued:

Camilus stockman. Found it stuck in a log under a bridge I was inspecting. Felt horrible taking it out of that log as maybe someone would come looking for it. Well loved with the main blade sharpened to about half its original thickness. Stag scales are wore butter smooth and worn below the pins.

Case Sodbuster Jr. Buddy said he found it under the seat of his first car back in 1963. He had it in his desk drawer at work and finally broke the backspring this past December. Said I could have it if I wanted. Fitted a metal shim and epoxied it into place in the handle and now I have a sweet little fixed blade. The blade was so sharpened down that it looks like an awl now instead of the typical sodbuster shape.

Old Round knife for cutting leather. Got it in a box of tools at an auction. Blade is terribly pitted and the edge is ragged, but I'm working on it. Another 3-4 years of off and on work should have it back good as new.

It is my hobby to take busted folders and restore them to a working life as fixed blades. I've done it to a number of knives for friends.

We have a responsibility in this world to preserve and rescue the old, the broken, and the abused knife. Very few tools have such sentimental value to us humans as our knives. I still cry over every knife I've lost. I just hope someone like us found it, cleaned it up, and put it back to work.

March 20, 2008, 02:53 PM
Found this a week or two ago at the Goodwill. Cleaned off the external rust, sharpened it, and I'm still getting oily rust out of the pivots. I think it was some sort of promotional piece with the "DE" in a diamond with an arrow through it on the scales. Don't know what company that is.

Anyway, it's not a Randall, but it is a nice little knife, and I felt good about restoring it to good using condition.

March 20, 2008, 03:49 PM
What you have there is Imperial's rendition of the Peanut pattern. I don't know if they actually called it a Peanut, but it's just about right for that.

That one is made in Ireland, and you seem to have one of their stainless blades.

I have some Imperial Schrade Barlows made in Ireland, done in carbon steel.

I also have an Imperial Officers Ulster four-blade Boy-Scout-pattern knife from 1961, given to me by my dad on my twelfth birthday. It's been to Europe and England with me, and cut more salami and cheese than anything else I own. Still sharp. Still use it from time to time.

I have a fondness for Imperial knives.

They're inexpensive but well crafted nonetheless.

Nice find.

March 20, 2008, 04:13 PM
I have a couple other Irish Imperial Schrades I got from SMKW when they were selling off what was left after Schrade went broke. Good knives for the money, especially then! Just wish I knew what the "DE" is.

Todd A
March 20, 2008, 05:09 PM
It stands for Diamond Edge, one of the shield markings used by Imperial.

March 20, 2008, 05:16 PM

Todd A
March 20, 2008, 06:00 PM
Your welcome. I like Imperial/Schrades :). My latest four "saves" ,all within 3 days.


"Kingston" (Imperial/Ulster) MIL-K-818D WWII issue pocket knife

Ulster, USA (owned by Imperial Schrade) BSA knife. The Boy scout etching is intact on the blade.

Imperial,Prov USA Kamp-King

Imperial,Prov USA Jack with crown Shield.

March 22, 2008, 01:23 AM
uncle henry... ill be damned.

my grandfather carried a knive identical to that for years before he passed away, it is now one of my cherished belongings...

March 23, 2008, 08:09 PM
Todd A

I love the that Kamp-King; I've still got mine from when I was a little camper. Thanks for reminding me of some great knife memories.

Todd A
March 23, 2008, 09:19 PM
You're welcome.

I started some memories yesterday for me and my son. I caved in and gave him that Imperial jack with the longhorn for an early B-day present,his first non-China knife.We poured through my knife collectors guide and now he wants to "rescue" old slipjoints himself.He also turned every stick he could find into tiny shavings.

He liked looking at the Kamp-King,too.Was amazed that knife companies used to make decent inexpensive knives marketed just for young boys,like his new/old slipjoint.

Didn't show him the Ulster/BSA. Because if his Mom and her Boyfriend don't come through with an Official Cub Scout knife,like he thinks they are. I know one special little Cubbie ;) will be packing a cleaned up 80's vintage Ulster BSA knife to Den meetings. :)

I already know were I can get a replacement for myself.

May 5, 2008, 08:45 PM
Sometimes the sun's all shining on me.

Got lucky this weekend, "rescued" this Gerber at a yard sale for fifty cents.
Hopefully the factory will replace the scale or maybe I'll do some elk horn I have or perhaps just toss it in the hunting day pack as is.
Blade is nice and tight like new, with great snap. ( (

Bob F.
May 7, 2008, 11:07 PM
Yrs ago, had to go fix a trough some jerk had shot a hole in. 30 drgrees +/- 6-8 inches of snow on the ground. Bolt & nut w/ 2 rubber washers fixed the leak. Looked down, there laid a Uncle Henry folder, stag handles, stainless blades. Big blade had tip broken off by a mill file fixed that. Takes a good edge. Unfortunately, not a lock back! Anybody need a shave?


May 8, 2008, 10:20 PM
Another memorable "save": this one was a top of the line Wenger Swiss Army knife that I found in a local department store's Scratch and Dent case. Brand new, with all the trimmings, this knife would have retailed for close to $100; that is of course if someone hadn't dropped it and sprung the entire blade assembly out of whack. It sat in that case till it was marked down to $4.50, and that's when I bought it. I figured that even if Wenger charged me $25 to $30 to fix it, I would still be way ahead on the deal. So I sent it to their U.S. importer's address, along with a note asking if they could give me an estimate for repairs. Imagine my surprise when a couple of weeks later, I receive my knife back, looking factory fresh (but still showing the small scratches on the scales from when it was dropped); and all of this done-free of charge. Thats right, I didn't even get billed for return postage. To me, that's got to be some of the greatest customer service in the world.

May 17, 2008, 10:47 PM
Yard sales, once in a while a guy gets lucky. These were in a box along with worthelss junk all priced at $.25 apiece, my cost was $2.25 for all.
All are Forschner except the white handle which is Henckles, some have never been sharpened. BTW since when are Henckles made in Brazil? (

May 18, 2008, 06:31 AM
I 'rescued' one that I found in the street, all beat up, run over, and a broken tip. Sent it to Spyderco and they sent me a new one under their warranty policy.

July 19, 2009, 12:44 AM
It came to my attention recently that I promised you guys pictures of the Buck 301 after I got it back . . . and then I didn't deliver on that promise.

So, in the spirit of "better late than never," herewith the promised photos.

(Photo quality leaves something to be desired.)

(That's a little better.)

(And better still.)

(Let's get a little closer.)

(Yes, there is still some rust on the springs.)

The Highlander
July 19, 2009, 12:52 AM
A friend of mine found a mucked-up Gerber AR in the dirt. He thought it was junk so I took it. The thing barely opened and closed, but I have since completely dissembled and reassembled it, cleaning out all the nooks and crannies. Touched up the edge a bit too and gave it back to him. He uses it all the time now.

Brian Williams
July 19, 2009, 10:22 PM
I got an Old Hickory 6" butchers knife on friday for $2

July 20, 2009, 06:18 PM
Found a beat-to-hell Spyderco lockblade in the road. It had a broken-off tip, and looks like it had been run over a zillion times. Sent it to Spyderco and they sent me a brand new one!

July 20, 2009, 08:45 PM
I saved 3 Imperial Barlows "Carbon Blades" from a pawn shop for 10 dollars last month.

Isaac's Grandpa
July 20, 2009, 10:46 PM
I don't know what to call this one. It was in a box of tools that I found in the attic cleaning out the farmhouse. Made from a straight razor and what looks like a Mora handle. No markings on the blade that I can see. Sharp as all get out. I'm guessing around a hundred years old.

Aka Zero
July 22, 2009, 02:53 AM
I bought a handful of carbon steel kitchen knives for a few bucks. some have no markings. One is ontario old hickory.

Also got a free US made gerber the other day. Brother did not want it. I took it gladly, And now it shaves.

I like restoration in general.

And that Razor, looks like a straight razor stuck in a different tool handle. Nice find.

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