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Tighten pommel of stick tang knife

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by tiamat, May 8, 2014.

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  1. tiamat

    tiamat Member

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    Besides being redirected to bladeforum (or other site), does anyone have a recommendation on how to tighten the pommel on an old Marbles Woodsman knife that has a stick tang? Looking at the end, it appears that there is a brass insert holding the pommel on which may be threaded onto the tang - is that possible? I can post pictures if needed.

    Grandpa's old knife has been sitting in the closet for far too long, so I recently resurrected it and would like to use it every now and then, but don't want to make it any worse.
     
  2. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Could be threaded on and then pinned, sure. (Pictures would help.) Might be that a carefully fit additional leather or fiber washer just under the pommel might be the right answer. Then reinstall the pommel and pin.
     
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Yes, the Marbles has a threaded tang nut.
    It can be tightened by grinding a notch in a screwdriver blade to fit the slotted brass nut and straddle the tang that sticks out of the middle.


    But before you do that, try this.

    The leather is dried out and has shrunk.

    Soak the handle in warmed Crisco Pure Vegetable oil for a couple of hours and let it absorb all it can.

    It will expand the leather washers and may be all it needs to tighten it up again.
    The leather needs the oil anyway to help preserve it.

    rc
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2014
  4. tiamat

    tiamat Member

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    Vegetable oil, eh? interesting.

    The handle is nice and smooth, almost burnished, but surely over the years it has shrunk as leather will do. There are no gaps between the stacks at the moment, and only a slight movement of the pommel.

    Here's some pics:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Oh! You very well may just need to find or make a "spanner" screwdriver with a gap at the center of the blade and you should be able to tighten the nut.
     
  6. Ron James

    Ron James Member

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    A very nice old Marble, I bet it would be a excellent skinner.
     
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Just oil the handle as I said above, and the washers will very likely swell enough to tighten itself!

    Trust Me!

    Ain't my first rodeo with restoring old leather handle knives.

    Rc
     
  8. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep, needs the oil anyway.

    I'm not a fan of Crisco or anything that may spoil. RC, any problem with using mineral oil?
     
  9. redneck

    redneck Member

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    I'd use fiebings saddle oil. Its meant for leather, and doesn't have as much affect on color as pure neatsfoot oil. Won't be permanently greasy like some other things may do. (I've never tried vegetable oil, may work just as well but I'd worry about it spoiling)
     
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Yes.
    Mineral oil is oil oil from the earth.
    It rots / breaks down leather.

    Pure Vegetable oil isn't.
    Vegetable tanned tooling leather loves it.

    It is 'pure' and there is nothing in it to spoil unless you use old oil out of your deep-fat fryer with impurities in it!

    One of the best saddle makers in the USA tipped me off to it many years ago.
    The renowned Wyoming saddle shops he learned the craft at rebottled Pure Vegetable Cooking Oil out of 55 gal drums and sold it as high-dollar saddle & tack oil for many years.
    I have been using it on leather for about 30 years now.

    And nothing has 'spoiled' yet?

    Maybe someday???
    But, I doubt it!

    There are an awful lot of those 100 year old custom Wyoming made saddles still in use today.

    rc
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2014
  11. Shanghai McCoy

    Shanghai McCoy Member

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    Nice knife. Those old Marbles are classics.
     
  12. tiamat

    tiamat Member

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    Thanks.

    So, just so I'm clear, this is the stuff we're talking about here?
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    Well, actually, vegetable oils are subject to all of the same rancidification factors as any other fatty oils.

    But you probably won't notice since most of us aren't in the habit of licking our sheaths or smelling them very deeply.
     
  14. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Yes, thats the stuff.

    Warm enough of it up in a can or something you can submerge the handle fully in, and let it soak in for a while.

    Warming it makes it thinner so it will penetrate the leather better.

    rc
     
  15. DDeegs

    DDeegs Member

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    I have that same knife however it has a antler pommel, can I still put it in oil to tighten up the handle with out ruining the antler ?

    Dan
     
  16. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    NO!
    I would't do it.

    Only on total leather handles & metal butts.

    You will need to tighten the nut to tighten an antler handle.

    If the leather needs oil just hand apply it but don't soak the horn.

    rc
     
  17. DDeegs

    DDeegs Member

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    Thanks

    Dan
     
  18. R H Clark

    R H Clark Member

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    Mineral oil is good for antler. Just wipe it though, don't soak it.
     
  19. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    Yup, oil.

    To tighten is just ensuring future splitting of the washers someday. They don't want to be the size they are when the handle exhibits looseness and tightening will only ultimately make things worse.

    If I have threads, I consider them to be there only to meet the thickness of richly swollen washers.
     
  20. tiamat

    tiamat Member

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    Welp, mine's been soaking now in a champagne flute for the better part of a week, and the pommel still has the little wiggle to it. I think my next step is ruining a screwdriver so I can tighten the brass nut.
     
  21. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    If you have a screwdriver with removable bits just ruin one of them!

    [​IMG]

    rc
     
  22. tiamat

    tiamat Member

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    Smart thinking. I have a whole security bit set (that also includes bits like the one you show, but none of them were large enough to fit). A minute with the dremel, and I now have a bit that fits. Unfortunately, I still couldn't get it to tighten. Guess I'll just have a slightly loose pommel before I end up breaking something. Thanks for all the suggestions though.
     
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