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Old Hickory Knives

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by 45Frank, Mar 29, 2017.

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  1. 45Frank

    45Frank Member

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    Good day all.
    This is my first post in this section so here we go.
    Helping someone clean out an old basement for a move and they were throwing out about a dozen or so Old Hickory Knives which as a junker of course I ended up with. She said she has had them at least 50 years which I don't care much about but is there a way to age them?
    But the reason I am posting is the wood is all there but old and loose so I will remove the wood and lightly sand it, what do I seal the wood with after a light sanding? I would like to keep the original wood because it also has the old Hickory logo.
    Mirror shine on the metal isn't necessary but a clean look would be nice. I only have a grinder/buffer and a DA sander other then my hands of course.
    What grits do I start and finish with on the metal?

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2017
  2. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Try soaking the wood in tung oil to see if it will come back to original. Failing full return of the scale volume you can then peen the pins just enough to finish the restoration. At that point you can lightly sand.
     
  3. redneck

    redneck Member

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    I replaced a handle on an old hickory once and they are held on with cutlers rivets. You may be able to tighten them slightly with some light hammering but I f you sand too deep you will take the heads off, they're not that thick.
    Personally if a light scrubbing with 220 grit paper and a coat of oil (I like danish oil for knife handles) doesn't clean them up enough for you I would just make new handles. The steel isn't too bad, they make pretty serviceable knives if you don't mind maintaining them.
     
  4. DM~

    DM~ Member

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    I have a set like those, same brand...they were my dad's... I have the "cleaver" and a couple others too.

    I cleaned mine up with a good scrubby kitchen pad in soapy water. Once cleaned up, I rubbed some mineral oil on the wood. Heck, even olive oil will work just fine.

    I use at least one of mine, every day...

    DM
     
  5. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    Soak in tung oil , check tighten as needed, sand and put on some more thug oil.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2017
  6. AJumbo

    AJumbo Member

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    Chicago Cutlery used to sell a rejuvenating oil for their walnut handles, it might be worth a look. I've used butcher block oil on new walnut and it seems to hold up well.
     
  7. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    The one Old Hickory knife I still have looks just like the fourth or fifth one from the top (take your pick...). It's still a very solid working blade that holds a great edge - but needs to be kept away from saltwater where I am most days - so it stays home mostly. Whenever it shows a tiny bit of rust I use wet/dry sandpaper (no coarser than 400 grit) with motor oil to clean it up - and that does a very good job while leaving the patina intact. I like the advice about soaking the handle in oil to restore (but much prefer never allowing a wood handle to deteriorate that much...).

    I consider Old Hickory blades to be solid working knives with modest initial cost and very long lives if cared for properly. Matter of fact the one I have would also make a good close quarters friend if needed - good stiff blade with a very sharp edge... Nothing fancy about them but very well designed for butchering work, large or small.
     
  8. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    lemaymiami

    I most heartily agree! Have had this one for many years. Rounded the edges of the wood scales for a better feel to it and gave it a light coat of varnish to protect it. The blade takes and holds a decent edge and I like to keep it around with the rest of the camping supplies.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Coyote3855

    Coyote3855 Member

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    By "age," do you mean establish the date they were made? Not sure how to do that as Old Hickory knives have looked about the same for years. However, you might try posting the pictures on BladeForums; lots of experts over there. I really like the second one from the bottom. From the looks of the handle scales, some may have been repeatedly washed in a dishwasher. Bad juju. Any good wood oil should help.

    Some knife owners go to great lengths to create a "patina" on their blades. Yours are already there. I would oil the steel and leave it alone. IMHO, you do not want these to look new and shiny. They earned their look, let them keep it.
     
  10. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    Mine are all over 40 years old. Most belonged to my Grandmother .
     
  11. 45Frank

    45Frank Member

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    Looks like the handles are going to be slightly sanded and will use the tung oil since that seems to be the consensus.
    I just picked up some new rivets so will start some work on them today or tomorrow.
    I don't need or want the blades to be new looking either just clean and rust free is all. I will keep updating and thanks for all the advice.
     
  12. DM~

    DM~ Member

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    That's the way I feel about mine too, and mineral oil along with olive oil works just fine on my cutting boards, it will also work just fine on my knives...

    DM
     
  13. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Tung oil. Not cheap, but lasts a long time.

    I'd soak the blades in mineral oil.
     
  14. 45Frank

    45Frank Member

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    Started a little work on one of the knifes yesterday.
    I used some Navel jelly since the rust was purely surface then just hand rubbed with Mothers, don't know if that was a good idea. There is No Pitting at all that's just the metal which is good for me.
    The handles I have the one the way I want it, the other I just hit quickly. Picked up some tung oil so will do that today probably.
    Thanks!
     

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  15. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    Great knifes.
     
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