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My early homemade knives

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by rcmodel, Oct 20, 2012.

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  1. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    In keeping with THR definition of Custom Knife, I will not call these Custom knives.

    Because I didn't make the snaps or rivets, raise the cow from a calf, skin the cow, tan the raw leather, make the nylon thread, the brass bar stock, or the Micarta bearing block.

    I will just call them homemade knives.
    I did make the knives & sheaths completely from scratch from old files and scrap materials 45+ years ago during the Vietnam war era though.

    And I made more then one of each, pretty much all the same designs, which went to Vietnam with some of my closest friends.
    These are the first two I made and carried in service, and still have in my collection.

    My first home built 7 ½” fighter - 1966
    Made from a 12” Nicholson file when I was 22 years old.
    File was annealed, ground to shape on a bench grinder, rubbed out by hand, then oil quenched and differently torch tempered with the edge harder than the spine.

    Handle is Westinghouse Micarta bearing block from work.
    Sheath was scrap Latigo Chaps leather a saddle & tack guy sold me cheap, and I used copper rivets to put it together because I didn't know how to hand sew leather yet.

    A male snap on the knifes butt cap matches a female snap keeper on the sheath.
    It can be securely carried up-side down on a pack strap, or any position on a belt, CCW inside the pants, etc.
    Yet drawn quickly & easily just by popping the snap.

    I thought that design was "special" for the time, as I had never seen anything like it then, and still don't!
    (Modern "One-Way" snaps used by the holster makers would make it even better & more secure.)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    My first Boot Knife - 1968
    5 ½” blade, annealed, ground, & re-tempered from a Nicholson 00 Warding file like the one in the photos.
    Steel guard, leather washer handle, aluminum butt cap.

    Thumb-break Sheath has snap-off belt loop, or interchangable boot pull strap attachments.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]




    rc
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012
  2. Valkman

    Valkman Member

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    You did excellent work RC!
     
  3. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Very cool.

    Neat profile on the single edge. Fit looks good too. Overall a good looking unique piece that was well thought out and executed.

    That's remarkable that the stack leather on the dagger looks so tight after nearly 40 years.

    If those are your firsts then you did very well indeed.

    Lots of knifemakers still using old files for stock to make blades just like you did.

    Good files are just getting much more difficult to find.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
  4. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    Maybe you should have quit your day job! The snap on butt idea is very kewl! The design on both knives is great too.
     
  5. sDot

    sDot Member

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    Cool stuff!
     
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I guess they stay tight when you glue the leather washers up with epoxy on the tang, before squeezing the whole stack up in a vice and driving in the pin.

    Then soak the whole shebang in neatfoots oil after the epoxy cures and the shaping done.

    And then buff in several coats of bees wax on top of that! :D

    I didn't have a clue what I was doing at the time.
    But it sure did work it did!!

    rc
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2012
  7. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Well it sure worked.

    You have a great eye for style and you knew how to grind a good looking blade even with those first two knives. You were a heck of a knifemaker and had a lot of potential.
     
  8. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    Detailed, innovative, craftsmanship.
     
  9. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Neat stuff. Thanks for sharing those with us.

    The snap on the knife is very innovative.

    John
     
  10. CharlieDeltaJuliet

    CharlieDeltaJuliet Member

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    Impeccable quality my friend. Not only are you knowledgable about most things firearms, but you really have a gift for making knives. Want to thank you though, your answers and advice to others has helped a lot on the forum. Thanks for sharing. Thank you RC..
     
  11. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    Those are some mighty fine looking rigs.
     
  12. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    That is some nice looking Knives you have made.
     
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