A "Case" Study -- Cafe de Minimus


January 25, 2008, 02:31 AM
Dinner for one.

I have recently rekindled my interest in older slip-joint pocket knife designs.

I remember picking one up, looking at it, and wondering what had happened to put me in a frame of mind where I came to depend on locking mechanisms in my pocket knives. It's not like a folding knife is going to snap shut of its own accord.

I tried to remember the last time I had a problem with accidental closing of a folder. Uh, well, decades ago. And I was trying to do something with the knife that it was very much not designed to do. Fool.

So I nabbed a few recently and began a renewed discovery of the simpler things.

Tonight I used a Case Sodbuster Jr to prepare dinner. All of it. The blade on the "Junior" is only 2.75 inches long -- shorter any of my kitchen knives -- but it has a very "kitchen-friendly" profile.

Cut up some red/yellow/green bell peppers, couple of tomatoes, a quarter head of lettuce, some Edam cheese, and three inches or so of beef stick.

Quite pleased with it. It's seemingly "too small" for the task, and it did everything easily.

I could have done it all with an even shorter blade, but I would say that every quarter inch that you give up below three inches increases the attention and skill required proportionately.

So, what does it look like?




Dinner was yummy.

(Oh, and for those who are unfamiliar with the term, "sodbuster" is slang for "farmer." It's not typically used in an "edifying" sense, but more of a disparaging tone.)

I will be presenting more of "Cafe de Minimus" (or "camping at home") as I try out other sharp pointy things in the kitchen context.

I apologize if I seem to be having too much fun with this.

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January 25, 2008, 12:14 PM
Arfin' - Looks good. I often prepare lunch and/or dinner with whatever pocket-knife I happen to have on me at the time. Especially when I'm trimming meat, since I keep my pocket knives sharper than my kitchen knives most of the time.

With regards to slip-joints, I grew up with them and have several, but honestly prefer modern-style locks. My current favorite is a Benchmade 745 (Bob Lum design mini-DejaVoo). One of the reasons I like it so much is that the blade is wide enough and the grind is high enough that it slices through food almost like a paring knife. A lot of knives will tend to split things like carrots and potatos and are cumbersome while dicing onions. This knife is great for those tasks.

January 25, 2008, 02:42 PM
I personally do not own any locking knives, I was raised right with slip-joints.


Arf's is has come back full circle...*grin*

January 25, 2008, 03:07 PM
I like it Arf, let's see it cut some steak! :)

Pax Jordana
January 26, 2008, 12:03 AM
Dinner was yummy.

I always wondered.. how do you strike a balance between rust prevention and not having a mouthful of oil (when you cut food with a slipjoint)?

As Arfin obviously thinks he's Emeril on account of some change in mental status (gotta keep drinkin that cranberry juice, bud) maybe he can answer in passing, in his next round of food prep.

January 26, 2008, 12:25 AM
Re: Rust Prevention.

Bluing on a gun is essentially "controlled rust".

Patina on a slip-joint made with Chrome Vanadium or Carbon Steel, is essentially "controlled rust" as well.

This "rust" prevents corrosion if you will.
Just cut apples, potatoes and these slip joints will take on a patina that actually resists corrosion.
Fast method is to just coat or stick the blades in Dr. Pepper , Coke, Pepsi...whatever.

Folks buy a stainless gun and post about it rusted. Stain + Less just means less chance of rust.
Blued guns have been around forever and folks new to guns don't get this either.
Blued guns, like these carbon and CV steels have metallurgical advantages over some stainless steels.

Mineral oil is food safe, like the one in the Drug Store with laxative uses on it.
Ballistol is food safe
All sorts of food safe oils...

Then again one just needs a wee bit of oil , and properly applied and use of slip-joint and whatever oil one uses is not tasted or consumed.

Just 'cause its new don't make it better...

January 26, 2008, 03:01 AM
I always wondered.. how do you strike a balance between rust prevention and not having a mouthful of oil (when you cut food with a slipjoint)?
I discovered the wrong answers to that years ago. Got oily apple slices and other oil-flavored foods before I figured it out.

It took me a while to learn that a) there's no need to oil the whole blade, just keep it clean and dry, and b) if you are putting so much oil on the pivot that it's running down the blade, you're overdoing it.

Somehow I doubt that Lagasse ever did "camping at home" with a pocket knife. - :D

Mind you, it's not just pocket knives that I test in the kitchen. I try out any knife I'm seriously considering for carry. I try it on the obvious slicing/shaving things, then I'll savage whittle a piece of wood if one's handy, and then the knife does kitchen duty.

Some of the (many) knives I considered for general outdoor/hiking/camping/emergency use were disqualified because they sucked in the kitchen, others because they couldn't do reasonable whittling, still others because I couldn't get a slicing/shaving edge on them, or even with an edge cut poorly.

The most notable failure was the Glock field knife. Blech. It actually did more poorly than the bowie that I detested.

Big surprises were the Mora 2000, Normark/Marttiini & Normark/EKA knives, a little 3.5-inch "Edgecraft" (Japan) survival knife (only one I've ever seen is the one I have), Kershaw and Buck folders (which I hadn't expected to like), the CRKT "Edgie" (goofy but effective), and others -- including a $5 lockback (China) that has no brand stamp at all.

When I'm contemplating carrying a knife, I put it through its paces.

The kitchen experiment above, however wasn't so much testing the knife. It was more of a training exercise for me in minimal tools.

There's a whole story back of that, but let's not do that just now. Suffice it to say that I'm enough of a geek that I can benefit from a bit of minimalism.

January 26, 2008, 08:25 AM
I think that the Case "Sodbuster" is a heck of a lot of knife for the money.
Depending on where you buy, one can still be had for around $20.00.
I also like the larger pattern for a daily carry and general " duties".

Pax Jordana
January 26, 2008, 12:14 PM
around $20.00.

spectacular. (http://www.gpknives.com/item/case-sod-buster.html)

Well, now there's one on *my* list..

Next up: making PB&J with an electrician's knife (y'know, for spreading)!

January 26, 2008, 01:29 PM
Next up: making PB&J with an electrician's knife (y'know, for spreading)!
Uh, yeah.

Hawkbill blade . . . spreading . . . right.

Let me know how that works out for ya.


January 26, 2008, 01:38 PM
Use the screwdriver blade to spread the peanut butter and jelly on electrician's knife.
Remove bottle cap using same blade, near tang, and lift up.

Dang whippersnappers! I swear! *wink*

Sodbuster, Trapper, Stockman, even Peanut will do this.

Okay, how do you reach the bottom of a jar with a Case Peanut smart guy?

*sigh* Buy 'em books send them to school...

Get a stick off the ground, branch from a tree and use the Peanut to whittle a "Spreader".
It will be clean from whittling...

Anything else you want to know??? *grin*

Excuse me, do you have Grey Poupon?

"Yeah, and here is the Exquisite Grey Poupon Spreader"

I say, quite fascinating dear Chap! Is this Corinthian Berl?

"Actually Southern Hickory Nut Tree Wood "


January 26, 2008, 02:04 PM
To quote myself:
If you stranded me in some forest or jungle, stripped me of my weapons, but left me a knife, within the hour I'd HAVE a weapon, made using my knife as a tool.
So why would I miss something as obvious as making a TOOL with a knife?

Sometimes I think that intellect is overrated.

I'd rather just be smart.

January 26, 2008, 02:31 PM
My latest Mid-South Shooters catalog (2007) lists the Sodbuster Jr. for $16.75.
Sodbuster Jr. with yellow scales is $17.41.

January 26, 2008, 04:27 PM
Case Sodbuster Jr, yellow handles, with Chrome Vandadium are just - too much knife for the money.

Zeke/PA, that is a great price for this knife.

These knives are such work horses, they take such an edge, are easy to touch up and keep working hard!

These fit a huge variety of hands, and the blade is easy to open with gloves on, and the back-spring is strong!

Jr,. fits in pockets, in the pocket where you always have it. No chance of sheath getting caught and falling out, or being separated from a pack.

Ladies, or gents pocket, be it jeans or casuals, even dress pants. This knife will fool one, as to how it disappears, and it does not weigh much, and design seems to make it weigh less.

Food prep, cut leather, take apart a hay bail, cut rope, cut rubber hose, make fuzz sticks to make a fire using spine on a mag starter. Clean game and fish, make shelter from cut boughs, cut a tarp, cut carpet, score drywall to break...

For $20 one cannot afford to not have at least one, for that price buying 2 ,or 3 for stashing here and there, like in a emergency kit is smart!

Pax Jordana
January 27, 2008, 12:32 PM
Hawkbill blade . . . spreading . . . right.

what we have here is a failure to communicate!

I was thinking electrician's as in blade + flathead screwdriver/wire stripper, a la the imperial tradesman (http://www.knifecenter.com/kc_new/store_detail.html?s=SCHSTM2B). Mine's a copy - I think pops wanted one to be sure he could fix his own cable after the world ended.. grammaw couldn't make it without her soap operas.

Ah well, sm got it, and now we all know it's not worth the effort trying to saw a PB jar in half with a folding knife (lemme tell you a story about why your uncle calls me stumpy..)

January 27, 2008, 01:35 PM
Ah, yours is a spear point.

Most of the ones on the shelf up here have a hawkbill-style main blade. I had looked at a couple, thinking the blade would be a sheepsfoot (like my old rigging knife), but that hooked configuration put me off.

why your uncle calls me stumpy
That right there's a chuckle. I have some scars from near misses while I was still building my "good idea/bad idea" list. *Bleeds On Kitchen Counter* . . . "Okay, that goes on the 'bad idea' list."


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