Ruffin Johnson


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steveno
June 27, 2013, 04:06 PM
I have a hunting knife that Ruffin Johnson made for me a long time ago (probably 30 years or so) and I have learned that he has passed away some time ago. Through my lack of attention the scales ( I think they are coco bolo) now have cracks in them. I have never used the knife but they were pretty thin (maybe .156 think or so) to start. I put some super glue on the cracks to keep them from cracking anymore but that obviously looks like crap. The knifemakers guild told me to look for somebody in Nebraska to see if they could replace the scales. I don't have a camera so I can't take a picture of the knife. I think I only paid about $80 or so for the knife so I don't want to put a lot of money in it now. I know that if somebody else puts new scales on it the value isn't going to be anymore than it is now with the cracks. ideas and/or comments?

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Valkman
June 27, 2013, 04:29 PM
That knife is certainly worth more than $80 so I'd let a pro replace the scales. It isn't that hard and shouldn't cost that much depending on how much cocobolo costs.

hso
June 27, 2013, 05:37 PM
Mr. Johnson died late in 2011. His knives are worth hundreds of dollars now and I'd spend the money to have a good maker put a stabilized piece of cocobolo on it.

JShirley
June 27, 2013, 07:09 PM
Yep. And wooden handles, especially any that are unstabilized, should receive a light coat of oil, now and then. If you're a cheapskate like me, you can use the same mineral oil you use to protect your knives on the wood.

Valkman
June 27, 2013, 11:47 PM
I know that if somebody else puts new scales on it the value isn't going to be anymore than it is now with the cracks. ideas and/or comments?

I'd think that with new scales it'd be worth much more than with the cracked useless scales. Now is also the time to think about what you really want on the knife - micarta/G10 doesn't crack or need maintenance like wood does. Without seeing pics I'm guessing you could pick any handle material you want!

Edit to add: This is when I regret selling my knifemaking equipment. I'd replace those scales for cheap because it should be as easy as grind 'em off and glue 'em on, then shape 'em.

steveno
June 28, 2013, 05:31 AM
I guess I will have to look around at the next gunshow. there are usually several knifemakers there , check their work and then see if they want to take on the project. Should I be looking for a guild member or just somebody that looks like they do good work? there are pins in the scales also so I think there is a little more involved than just grinding the old scales off

hso
June 28, 2013, 09:56 AM
Wellllllll, you could do it yourself since you can purchase the pins and cocobolo from knife suppliers (that's assuming that you're comfortable with that sort of work and patient). Understand that many people are sensitive to cocobolo dust and it can be somewhat hazardous to work with. It is a very oily wood and the dust can be very fine and many people use respirators, vacuum systems, long sleeves, and work with it for short periods of time and shower immediately after.

If you have several knifemakers in your area I would recommend looking at their work and seeing if their fit/finish work matches the work Mr. Johnson did. If you see that in a craftsman's work you could simply ask them if they'd replace the existing cocobolo to the same pattern and strike a deal.

Or you can pick an entirely different handle material.

steveno
June 28, 2013, 10:09 AM
well I don't have the equipment to even undertake such a project or probably the patience for matter either. I will look at the next gunshow for some knifemakers see what they have to say. the replacement scales wouldn't necessarily have to be cocobolo

hso
June 28, 2013, 11:24 AM
Pick one that does a great job on the part you need fixed.

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