Camillus Folding Knife? It's old, it's mine


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Spiggy
March 10, 2008, 06:09 AM
Recently, I started doing some US sided WW2 reenacting; it's really fun; I recommend all old rifle enthusiasts to go out and get a feel of their favorite rifle's context. Whether it be skirmish lines, trench diving, or building to building warfare; it really brings out that feeling you cant get from watching movies.

This is My Band of Brothers
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v614/Spiggys_pics/US/442ndbandofbrothers1.jpg

I was on the field during an assigned break eating out of a tuna can with my CRTK M16 when my seargent noticed how "farby(historically incorrect)" I was. Later in the day, he tosses one of these at me and says, "Clean it up, next time you're out here eating, use that." Well, who can turn down a free knife right? Now I'd like to have a fresh knife to work with, being this is an older knife, I'm not sure if it commands a collector's value or if it's worth fixing up for more abuse on the field. it's marked with a simple "Camillus, New York" and on the back is a "27"

:D it's all dull! anyone got pointers on maintaining/restoring this thing?

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v614/Spiggys_pics/US/camillus.jpg

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Dionysusigma
March 10, 2008, 11:00 AM
Fixed your first picture for you. ;):D

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=74436&d=1205157503

I'd leave the knife as-is, save for a professional sharpening. There's a certain class to its beleagueredness. :)

sm
March 10, 2008, 12:19 PM
Camillus Electricians knife! *neat*

One blade should have a brass liner lock, it depends on age.
Blades should be carbon steel.

I would get a Klein electricians knife or one by another company and not tell sarge, and keep that one for "safe footlocker duty". *smirk*

Camillus is gone *sniff* and dad-burn it! Keep the Camuillus for historical reasons and not lose it.

Leave the patina, and just freehand sharpen the main blade with a Norton India stone...that carbon steel will sharpen easy and hold that edge!


So neat what you and your Band of Brothers are doing. Please share more from time to time.

I miss the old C Rations, with a 5 pack of smokes, the matches, gum, coffee...

Spiggy
March 10, 2008, 03:40 PM
Dionysusigma: Cool picture, Mind if I throw it around our forum?

sm, it does indeed have aliner lock, however it looks slightly bent so the blade has a good angle of sway, even with the lock in the way. Inside the grips is all brown and crusty; which is why I asked if I should clean it up.

Do you have a link to the Klein Electrician's Knife? I'm not finding it on google :/.

few more pics
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v614/Spiggys_pics/US/442ndbandofbrotherslunch.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v614/Spiggys_pics/US/442ndbandofbrothers.jpg

safetyjoe
March 10, 2008, 03:50 PM
That's cool that your "Sarge" would give that to you. It's even "cooler" what you guys are doing. I would clean the gunk out and put it up or in a case with pictures of your "Band of Brothers" so you could enjoy it years to come. You surely could find another "authentic" looking one that you could use.

sm
March 10, 2008, 06:42 PM
Spiggy,

The Camillus you have is a better quality knife, for actual use, than you can currently buy now.

To clean, I would use tooth picks, pipe cleaners to get most of the gunk out.
Even Hoppe's No 9 . Then good old fashioned soap , I last used Lemon Joy , and rinse with really hot water. Blow dry.
Now inspect to see what you have, and what you want.
Oil pivots and light coat on blades.

Personally, I would leave the "character" of the knife alone, meaning not cleaning up to where it looks like new, or refurbished.

Now I can share how to make it look even nicer if you want, just ask.

-If you are going to put up and not use, don't sharpen just a light coat of oil, Hoppe's lubricating oil is fine, and will not hurt the wood it seems yours has.

-For reenactment, I would just sharpen freehand as I shared earlier.

--New knife:

Camillus made knives for other companies, as well as that style is a proven style and other companies made/make one similar. Klein just came to mind as one such company.

Quick search found this one:
http://www.kelvin.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=970001&Category_Code=ELTOWS&Product_Count=12

Klein is a old brand name and it is my understanding the new knives are not what the old ones were.
Most likely these new ones have stainless steel blades and maybe Delrin handles intstead of wood.

I would check locally at a electricians supply, more than likely they have one in stock.

It is my understanding the Military did issue this knife, not just the "radio man" or those in electronics of some type. The Navy issued these as well and it was common for soldiers of different branches of US Military and Allies to exchange knives as a token of appreciation and friendship.

Again, what a neat deal you and yours are doing!

sixgunner455
March 11, 2008, 12:48 AM
TL29, isn't it? Military designation for the electrician's knife?

Spiggy
March 11, 2008, 06:22 AM
Back from school and back from the authenticity officer's house.


It's patterned like a TL-29, however this is not an infantry issued knife, let alone military issue.

my authenticity officer postulates this to most likely be a commercial-bound knife. Due to the lack of stampings marking it as a "TL-29 Electrician's Knife", he believes it to be a standard 27-B.

Also, I cleaned and sharpened the main blade and roughly sharpened the secondary driver blade in class (machine and metal shop). Betcha didn't know I could do that in CA :p



If you like reenacting, please support your local club/organization. It's a dying hobby as more and more people forget about the greatest generation and all the work they did to create ours.

"Old soldiers never die; they just fade away" -Douglass Macarthur

Dionysusigma
March 11, 2008, 07:48 AM
Spiggy: Dionysusigma: Cool picture, Mind if I throw it around our forum? No problems here. It's your picture, anyway. ;)

sm
March 11, 2008, 01:57 PM
It's patterned like a TL-29, however this is not an infantry issued knife, let alone military issue.

Hey, just sharing what I was told...

Confederate Air Force , and one of the fellas was in the Navy and flew planes.

I mean good grief them ain't "R-mee" what do they know? They got boat folks flying planes for goodness sakes!
*kidding*

Folks can say what they want, still there is no tighter brotherhood of gals and guys that serve in the Military. Oh they razz and have rivals, still they are a tight bunch when they get together.

"I wagged a damn 8 pound gun all over Europe with bad socks , boots too heavy with mud , ate bad food and had a issue knife" - Army

"I had to actually wash a coffee cup to get a clean one before I sat down to polish silver before the dignitaries showed up.
Do you realize how hard it is to get all that polish out of swirls on fine silver? - Navy

*lol*

Pax Jordana
March 11, 2008, 03:10 PM
roughly sharpened the secondary driver blade in class (machine and metal shop). Betcha didn't know I could do that in CA

Not that you could, but should ya? ;)

Just a note - the second blade is for wire stripping. It should not be (very) sharp.

Still, what a fine piece to just toss to somebody and say, "here, use this"!! lucky skunk.

Oh, if you have zippo fluid, you can try that in place of Hoppe's - it'll dilute old oil that's accumulated junk (I'd think it likely your crud is made of oil/grease and pocket lint). I mean, I'd be concerned that hoppe's is a solvent.

I wonder if hoppe's will eat at patina............steve?:confused:

Spiggy
March 12, 2008, 12:52 AM
did the zippo fluid thing, worked fine for taking the gunk out; certainly cleaner without taking the brass patina off.

Pictures of the event are up!
http://www.442ndrct.com/photos

TimboKhan
March 12, 2008, 07:14 AM
Spiggy, cool post, cool hobby, cool knife. I do have one little point of contention though. You said:

It's a dying hobby as more and more people forget about the greatest generation and all the work they did to create ours.


...and I am not so sure that's true. Excellent movies like Saving Private Ryan and The Greatest Raid, in addition to TV series like Band of Brothers seem to have really given WWII history a major kick, and that interest seems to be maintaining. I mean, I was a history major, and I can discuss WWII in a relatively educated fashion (though I am far from an expert), and my experience has been that there are lots and lots of people interested. I am 36 and just finished school, and I was surprised at how many of the kids were deeply into the history. I really don't think people are forgetting about it at all.

What I do think is happening is that the greatest generation is leaving us faster everyday, which greatly impacts connectivity. Simply put, the less vets there are, the less people can connect with them. The less connection, the more emotional distance from the event. There is ample material from which to learn, but reading a book and listening to someone that was there simply are not the same thing. Think of it this way: By the time my friends little girls graduate from high school in roughly 13 years, there probably won't be but a few hundred WWII vets around (if that). By the time that they have kids, there almost assuredly will be no WWII vets around. Essentially, his grandkids are for certain going to grow up with absolutely no way to establish an emotional connection with the war, and for all intents and purposes, his daughters are doing so now. Academically, I think interest will remain high. Emotionally... not so much, and there really isn't anything that can be done about it.

Anyway, just my two cents. I love WWII history, and like you, I want to see it preserved, shared and cherished.

carguy
March 17, 2008, 01:38 AM
Spiggy, I almost fell off my chair and had to do a double take when I saw your pictures and realized you guys are reacting as part of the 34th Red Bull Division! My dad was part of that division and fought from the tip of the toe to the top of the boot of Italy in WWII. He told me a few stories but not enough and unfortunately has been gone for many years. I remember the names of many places he mentioned...Cassino, Anzio and the Po River Valley come to mind.

I don't know what history you know of the Red Bulls but they were extremely battle hardened division during the war in Europe. I met an old timer at my barbershop last year who was talking about the war with an older barber. I mentioned my dad and the old timer stopped his haircut to get out of his chair and come over to shake my hand and praise my dad for being a part of that great division. He referenced many battles that the 34th took beatings and gave them back 10 fold. The Red Bulls were actually awarded the Crou de Geir (sorry for the spelling) from France for their participation with the French. I have a commemorative medal issued by the commanding general to all members of the 34th for capturing the German 34th Infantry Division (16,000 members strong). The division you've chosen has an unbelievable history in battle (as do many others, this is not meant to diminish any others just explain my surprise and absolute pleasure in seeing you guys) be proud wearing that insignia. How did you choose it??

I just viewed your website and saw the video history of the 34th! WOW! I have a dollad bill that my dad carried with him through the war and he wrote the names of places he had been/fought and until now I just thought he must have misspelled Iran where he wrote Oran. I had no idea he was part of that operation in Tunisia! Thanks for keeping history alive as you do.

In keeping with the origins of this thread...I too have my dad's electricians knife like yours and it does have the liner lock on the screwdriver tipped blade! I wonder if it was from that timeframe and maybe something he may have had during the war?!?

Spiggy
March 17, 2008, 02:27 AM
Me, I was tricked ;)

I started doing strictly Imperial Japanese; however through a series of discussions, I changed my mind and decided to join an US American unit.

the Reenacted 34th Infantry Division was just budding at the time and had a 442nd attachment, which sorely needed asian faces... So I came into play :D. I'm always learning new stuff every day; and I dont mind learning more. If you have any pictures or letters of Dad you'd like to share, please don't hesitant to send us copies.

Robert Hairless
March 19, 2008, 07:27 AM
I just viewed your website and saw the video history of the 34th! WOW! I have a dollad bill that my dad carried with him through the war and he wrote the names of places he had been/fought and until now I just thought he must have misspelled Iran where he wrote Oran. I had no idea he was part of that operation in Tunisia! Thanks for keeping history alive as you do.

That dollar bill on which your dad wrote the names of places he had been is called a "Short Snorter" or "shortsnorter."

There were many different kinds of Short Snorters during WW II but the name applies generally to a bill that was used by a G.I. as a souvenir of where he'd been, who he'd known, and so on.

I know you cherish that one of your dad's. Now do him, yourself, and your descendants a big favor and preserve it in some way that also identifies what it is and who owned so it doesn't become mystery junk with the passage of time and gets spent, lost, or destroyed. Archival framing or even an archival acetate sleeve, with an explanation on good linen bond paper slipped in behind, can keep it alive. You can get them from a good library supply house, or bum a sleeve from the rare books department of a nearby university library. If you don't think anyone in your family would want it, ask the librarian if the library would accept it as a gift or bequest with the condition that they preserve and retain it forever. Some will, some won't.

Every G.I. I knew when I was a kid had one when he returned from the war but none of them have survived because their children didn't know what they were. [Insert appropriate cursing here.]

FuzzyBunny
March 19, 2008, 08:09 AM
Use Archival Grade acid free paper.

If it were me I would keep it and pass it down the family. But thats just me, I'm a packrat.

sheac
April 25, 2008, 03:25 AM
hey guys, i collect knives and sometimes recieve knives that come from weird places and was going through a box and found an old looking pocket knife that i had never even seen before. and so i googled everything on it i could find and found this post on google, and decided to share some images i took of the knife.

i believe this to be the original TL-29 that some of you were talking about but i dunno honestly. it may make more sense though now that i think about it since my grandpa was an electrician in the navy around that time and it could actually be his.

http://www.asniper.net/knife/TL-29-1.jpg
http://www.asniper.net/knife/TL-29-2.jpg
http://www.asniper.net/knife/TL-29-3.jpg

sixgunner455
April 25, 2008, 12:04 PM
There you go, that's what I was talking about. Looks like he used it for a long time, too. Nice to have a piece from your grandfather. I have a couple of my grandparents' kitchen knives, as well as two of grandad's pocket knives. None that he carried in the war, but one is an "All Americans" (82nd Airborne Div) commemorative piece. Just a cheap little lockback, but it means a lot because I know why he bought it.

sheac
April 25, 2008, 05:46 PM
the thing is i never did ask my grandpa if it was his, hes still alive and when i mentioned the knife he did not recognize what i was talking about. will bring it to him this weekend and ask him then probably. its possible that its from my great grandpa but not really sure. has the initials J-T carved in that front side of the knife but i don't know what T might be heh the J is probably James but T doesn't mean anything as far as a name in my family goes.. oh well.. will find out. im glad to finally figure out where this knife came from so to speak, and what it was for.

rcmodel
April 25, 2008, 06:30 PM
Pouch, CS-34
Signal Corps U.S. Army
The belt loop fits on GI web pistol belt.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j219/rcmodel/TL291.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j219/rcmodel/TL292.jpg

Knife is Kutmaster, Utica, NY, USA, stamped TL-29 in handle.
http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j219/rcmodel/TL293.jpg

Linemans pliers are too beat up to read the makers name.

rcmodel

sixgunner455
April 25, 2008, 06:59 PM
That's a sweet set!

Spiggy
April 29, 2008, 05:50 AM
now that's a cool :) makes ya almost want to do radio repair on the field, don't it?

hso
April 29, 2008, 06:55 AM
As far as I know the TL-29 is the earliest example of a folding knife using a locking liner. Just something else to make them interesting.

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