Found in a old safe


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TomADC
December 21, 2013, 04:54 PM
My brother has had the old safe from our grandfathers store sitting in a shed in his backyard for many years, thought it was empty, well he found the combination to it and opened it, there was a old gas mask bag full of knives that when our dad put them in there were like new, look what time and weather changes has done to them.
Blades are stamped Cattaraugus the model I believe is 225Q.

http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL174/1021972/18168454/408417131.jpg

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ivankerley
December 21, 2013, 05:02 PM
225Q are good knives, WW2 era youll see them called quartermaster knives too, Cattaraugus made them and Case made a version also(more rare and slightly different than the catt), some of those might clean up alright, though the leather handles would probably be an issue, strange that theres so many of the same knife? They made a ton of them so theyre not rare yet and these obviously have condition issues
still a little like finding treasure:)
i love mine, use it around the yard cutting and chopping and whatnot, a real tank and i love the look of the blade
whats the plan with them? try and clean any up? rehandle?
Gene

PS so are all the knives stamped Catt 225Q? if so then some of those sheaths are not the original for the knife...

TomADC
December 21, 2013, 05:10 PM
Gene my dad collected most all knives, I have seven of these my brother has the rest, I think I'll soak them in WD-40 rust remover and see how they clean up I might even dust blast them, the leather handles are in real bad shape, I have no idea how to get the end cap off to replace the leather rings. I have no plans to restore or sell them.
I also have some BSA eating sets the knife, fork, spoon in a small leather case and a full length set in a vinyl case, plus a Nazi eating set?

TomADC
December 21, 2013, 07:15 PM
Found this to help me get the end cap off.

http://www.allaboutpocketknives.com/knife_forum/viewtopic.php?t=32026

Deltaboy
December 21, 2013, 08:33 PM
Great find too bad you did' t fine them sooner.

hso
December 22, 2013, 12:55 AM
I think I'll soak them in WD-40 rust remover and see how they clean up I might even dust blast them,

You shouldn't do that to them. Cattaraugus are collectable and the knives would be of interest to collectors (ebay) if they're not damaged in a mistaken attempt to "restore" them.

Soak the blades in Kroil, or an equivalent penetrating oil, for an hour and scrub them with a terry cloth towel soaked in Kroil. Use saddle soap for the leather and then a quality leather dressing.

WD-40 is best for displacing water (Water Displacing). It isn't good for leather at all. You could use Ballistol on both, but I'd still use a penetrating oil on the blades first.

To a collector the patina of age is far more valuable than any attempt to "restore" a knife.

Gordon
December 22, 2013, 12:35 PM
Listen to HSO!:)

Esoxchaser
December 22, 2013, 12:52 PM
I'd use Horsemans One Step on the leather to clean and protect it BEFORE putting anything on the blades.

Deltaboy
December 22, 2013, 08:02 PM
Good .

TomADC
December 22, 2013, 08:49 PM
The leather rings that make up the handle are 100% shot, crumbling, missing rings etc. There isn't any hope for that. There are a lot better looking ones on the ebag, I'd feel guilty trying to sell these in the shape they are in.
This is the WD-40 I'm thinking of using.
http://wd40specialist.com/products/rust-remover/

rcmodel
December 22, 2013, 09:02 PM
One more time, Again, don't.

They are worth more 'As is - As found' to military knife collectors and/or restorers on eBay then they will be worth if you ruin them with rust stripper, or anything else.

Leave the rust & patina to someone who knows how to deal with it properly without destroying it totally.

Here are a couple of Western L-77 Commando's .
I replaced the leather handle on the bottom one.
I would not have paid top dollar for it with missing handle washers if someone had used rust stripper on it.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j219/rcmodel/Knives/WesternL77Commandos.jpg

rc

Ohen Cepel
December 22, 2013, 09:04 PM
1. Slap brother for leaving them like that for years.

2. Listen to HSO to save them as best possible now.

TomADC
December 22, 2013, 10:01 PM
Actually it wasn't my brother but our Dad that put them in the safe, he was in the early stages Alzheimer's and nobody knew he was stashing this stuff in the safe.

hso
December 22, 2013, 10:19 PM
Your dad did what he thought was best at the time and he didn't do anything that many others his age from his time might not have done. There are plenty of stories like this told.

As to the knives themselves, I'll reiterate, Cattaraugus knives, even in this condition, are valued by collectors.

I'm sure you think using aggressive chemicals to remove the rust and bead/grit blasting the surface will improve the knives, but what you want to do will reduce the value to a collector to zero. It may not make sense to you, but RC and I are providing the best possible advice to you if you want to sell them.

If you want to keep them for your family, you can follow the advice you're most comfortable with.

ivankerley
December 23, 2013, 10:40 AM
whatever you decide id cull one or two for refurbish/restore etc. along with doing that and you already have a story be a nice thing to have in the family.
I still think its one of the cooler threads ive read in a while
Thanks and Good Luck
Gene

ChaoSS
December 24, 2013, 10:51 AM
The leather rings that make up the handle are 100% shot, crumbling, missing rings etc. There isn't any hope for that. There are a lot better looking ones on the ebag, I'd feel guilty trying to sell these in the shape they are in.
This is the WD-40 I'm thinking of using.
http://wd40specialist.com/products/rust-remover/
HSO is right. There is no need to feel guilty about selling something in any given condition, given that you disclose it properly. If you tried to sell those and pretended they were in excellent, perfectly preserved condition, there would be an issue, but many collectors are into stuff that has aged poorly, rather than stuff that has been restored.

ApacheCoTodd
December 30, 2013, 05:30 PM
Those left handed sheaths will be near the value of a trashed knife. They may end up being the real bonus if they can be resurrected.

As far as messing with the handles and blades - I say suspend future damage and remove scale but stay away from power tools/abrasives and don't bother trying to re-handle them as they came from the factory with very particular imperfections on ALL handles in the final preparation of the surface of the washers and to do too good a job would load to cries of phony re-pops.

wheelgunslinger
December 30, 2013, 06:27 PM
I would imagine I don't have to tell you that your guilty feelings about selling them in this condition are unfounded, since your inbox is probably full of pm's from new "friends" trying to help out.

Keep whatever you want for yourself and do whatever you want with them.
As for the rest, don't even lift a finger other than to put them in the mail after you sell them. :)

TimboKhan
December 30, 2013, 09:49 PM
Dude, listen to HSO. HSO is about as expert as expert gets in these matters.

HoosierQ
December 31, 2013, 10:31 AM
Yes indeed. Heck, you might be able to sell the lot, as a lot, to somebody who will pay a tidy sum for that as a whole collection. I am a member of a dedicated knife forum...I suspect we've got some members at both. I can assure you that if this thread were started over there, your compute would crash from all the private messages and offers for one or all of those, just as they are. You aren't going to be able to retire or buy a yacht off of that lot, but just as it is, it is worth a significant number of dollars...rust, cracks, crud and all.

Please do not mess with their condition and let somebody in on those. There is no shame in turning over something from the family to somebody that will really appreciate it.

I parted with a beautiful model 40 lemon squeezer that I literally found in my father's effects as he lay dying. I never heard the story on it...had never seen it before and he couldn't talk. During a time a severe economic hardship I sold it for a good price. It was purchased by a well respected law enforcement officer who had been searching for years for such a back up gun. He was also an afficiando of fine firearms. His eyes lit up when he saw it. He paid a good price, my boy got to finish college, and to this day that man loves that thing and trusts his life to it as he serves the community.

Parting with something with history need not be a bad thing if it goes to someone who cares. Firing up a wire wheel would be the real shame. And shoot, if you want to make one or two of those personal projects...fixe up real nice for yourself...well hey, that's great too.

Happy New Year!

BullfrogKen
December 31, 2013, 10:39 AM
You can do what you want with them, but I'd hate for you to do something to ruin their value, find out later, and come to regret it.

HSO is giving you the straight scoop. They're worth more now, as is, to a collector who will spend the money to have them properly, professionally restored than if you tried to yourself. Even if you think they look hideous.

ArfinGreebly
December 31, 2013, 12:38 PM
If I had found these, I would pick the ones I want to keep, then make a deal with someone who knows how to restore them, "here, if you can restore these three, you can pick any other five in trade to do with as you please."

That said, hso and rcmodel speak wisdom.

Oh, and that Quartermaster pattern? One of my favorites. On my to-have list when I can afford one.

ivankerley
January 2, 2014, 12:16 AM
for what its worth, i scored a 225 Q off ebay a while back for the princely sum of $40 bucks including the original sheath... not flawless but the handle was in good shape, blade had been sharpened etc., i use it to this day around the yard, house etc., i love the knife one of my treasures! and its original...

a few years back i found one at a flea market in a case that had a handle that looked like glass, perfect and a bright blade, polished so brightly you needed sunglasses... he was asking $125 bucks had it listed as mint... no shortage of people thinking this was a unused pristine example... cept anbody that knows even a little about this pattern knows the rough center on the handle was on all of them, not just user inflicted damage, i wouldnt have paid $20 bucks for his, re worked and over priced

these might be collectible as is, actually they probably are but they are only original once. does any one know somebody refurbishing these? and would the cost to refurbish one be prohibitive given the availability of original pieces?

gene

Dave Bulla
January 2, 2014, 06:20 AM
Nice set of knives.

If it were me, I'd do whatever I dang well wanted with them.

I'm no collector and not any self proclaimed expert on them but i am into several different hobbies that have a collectible side.

Personally, I get about sick and tired of hearing collectors go on and on about finishes, condition, patina etc. You know patina right? Ancient word for "wasn't taken care of". I think I'd go ahead and clean up a couple for personal use just to tick them off, but that's just me. The"purists" go on and on about original condition then half the time go ahead and do a restoration themselves (or payfor one) and end up bragging about how good it looks, how's much its worth and what a deal they got or how much they spent. Or even worse, take a perfectly useful Item that was meant to be used and that with care COULD be used for many years with little change in appearance and lock it away in a case never to see the light if day except when they take it out to show it off. I also don't understand why people love items that were used hard by a person 100 years ago but can't stand the idea of modern day use of that same item.

Cast iron, old wooden bows and guns are mainly the items I'm familiar with this happening. With all of those items, I use every single one I own as long as they are not broken. Like I said, I'm no knife expert and it sounds like there a few guys here who are and I mean no disrespect to them. It's just that I've usually found that there are quite often at least two sides to the collector story. There are collectors who want only original mint condition items, (usually these are the guys who like to brag about how much an item cost them), those who want to see age on an item and even some who like stuff that is mostly rust. And lastly those who just want items to use because they work well. Short of like the"living history" thing. That's fine. I just hate it when people get all bent out of shape because someone else doesn't see it the same way. And honestly, I just realized that by typing this post, I'm putting myself in that same category and pushing my opinion. Oh well, rather than delete all that, I'll leave it for Canon fodder.:) My main point is that YOU get to decide what you do with them.

I think from what I read here, you've got some knowledgeable people trying to help you get the most money for your stuff but what about guys who just want to use something? What if a guy likes to tinker? Maybe he wants to customize an item for his own use? Yes the advice to not mess up those knives is valid IF ALL YOU CARE ABOUT IS MAKING MONEY WITH THEM. I think I'd be cleaning them up and giving them to my kids TO USE, maybe save a couple for the grand kids that will come along someday or even just for spares. You can always compromise, do some research to determine market value, then decide if the money matters more than having something that was your dad's. Who knows, if the value is high enough to the collector types, maybe you can keep all the ones you want for your self and laugh all the way to the bank about the rest.

Dave Bulla
January 2, 2014, 06:32 AM
Almost forgot, if you do decide to clean up a couple for personal use, look up a product called "Evapo-Rust". I've been using it for several years to clean reloading dies and its the best, safest and easiest rust remover I've found. I did a product review on it on another forum (marlinowners.com). You should be able to Google it along with either my name or marlinowners and find it. The stuff is not as fast as some but it is totally safe, you don't need gloves or other protection and when done you can pour it down the sink. I pour it through a coffee filter and back into the jug.

tnxdshooter
January 2, 2014, 07:29 AM
Actually it wasn't my brother but our Dad that put them in the safe, he was in the early stages Alzheimer's and nobody knew he was stashing this stuff in the safe.

Well someone should have checked

wheelgunslinger
January 2, 2014, 02:34 PM
If you have a close family member with Alzheimer's, a passel of stupid old knives is very low on your priority list. These things are just chunks of steel, after all.
Let's not beat the guy up over something so ephemeral and transitory.

ivankerley
January 2, 2014, 06:08 PM
If you have a close family member with Alzheimer's, a passel of stupid old knives is very low on your priority list. These things are just chunks of steel, after all.
Let's not beat the guy up over something so ephemeral and transitory.
precisely what i was thinking too
Gene

ChaoSS
January 2, 2014, 06:12 PM
Well someone should have checked
I think checking the safe just in case would be rather low on the priority list. Just sayin....

Deltaboy
January 3, 2014, 11:35 AM
Bottom line for me is they all can be cleaned up and if needed restored.

TimboKhan
January 5, 2014, 04:59 PM
Bottom line for me is they all can be cleaned up and if needed restored.

True. They can be. If it's something you are planning to keep, do what you want with your own stuff. You might get some purists who scream about it, but at the end of the day, its your stuff.

However, despite DaveBullas advice (which, if you don't want to sell them, I basically agree with), if he wants to sell these things the simple fact of the matter is that if he tries to restore them they are going to be rendered worthless unless he is a restoration expert (which, no offense intended, does not seem to be the case here).

It's different when a collector buys an originial piece in dubious condition and pays to have it restored professionally, or, in rare instances, has the capability to properly restore something themselves. Dave, those guys are getting those things restored because they are making an investment in the object, either for monetary gain or for historical relevance.

I am not a collector, but the fact is if you want to sell them you have to cater to your market, and that market is pretty crystal clear on wanting pieces that are unaltered regardless of condition.

9mmforMe
January 17, 2014, 02:03 AM
So, do you mind if I ask what you are going to do or have done with the knives?

BTW, I'm sorry to hear about your Dad.

Deltaboy
January 18, 2014, 05:28 PM
Yep how about an update.

TomADC
January 21, 2014, 05:24 PM
Update I've done nothing with them. Still trying to decide.
BTW my dad died in 2004, this safe has sat around in and out of the weather with everybody thinking it was empty until my brother got curious after he found the combination to it.

4v50 Gary
January 21, 2014, 06:12 PM
I'd use Ballistol instead of WD-40. You can use Ballistol on wood, metal and leather. German made, good stuff.

TomADC
January 21, 2014, 06:43 PM
I have seven of these, so I may take the worst one and play with it.
No hurry though.

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