Jump to content

Sharpening/Polishing/Restoring projects.

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Don't have my forging game quite up yet, but I do have two knife projects I'm working on.


Number 1 is a western style knife I picked up for $20 CDN at a local flea market. It was pretty rusty, and the tip was broken off, but it looked like it had a real bone handle and was well loved. I ground a new tip with stones, sharpened and polished with water stones, and it's looking much smarter! The bone was loose on the brass pins, but once I started water sharpening it must have rehydrated the bone, because it's not loose anymore. There's still some spots to polish out on the blade, but I'm pretty happy with it for the price I paid! Somehow the blade is a bit too shiny for a western style knife, but it's a work in progress, and it's a knife I plan to use. I took this photo with the knife reflecting a window nearby, so you can see how reflective the stones leave it.





Next is a WWII era Canadian folder, sailor's knife, also picked up at the same flea market! Apparently made in Nova Scotia just after the war ended (~1947). This one needs a bit more work. The spring for the sheep foot blade was broken, so it wouldn't hold the blade in, and the small pointed blade was rusted in and wouldn't come out. I took out the brass pins and did a preliminary de-rust. I need to learn how to take the pins out better for next time, I damaged the surface a bit with the way I did it. The plan is to sharpen the implements on stones as above, put a nice polish on the rest and put it all back together. I have to forge/machine a new spring to replace the broken one, but for that I'm just going to buy a spring that's thick enough at the hardware store and forge/machine it. Then to take it out sailing!







My approach to rust removal is gentle surface abrasion with finger stones or sandpaper, and plenty of mineral oil. I don't always take off the black rust, since it's pretty protective, and I go a little at a time. If it's a knife I'm going to use, I don't always finish polishing right away. Every time I come back to sharpen it, I work on the polish a little bit too. That breaks up the work! I find restoring old knives and tools very satisfying, and often they are more durable and work much better than modern equivalents.

Edited by Carlos Lara
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks! Here's two more detail shots of that blade in particular. It's a sort of a wedge, but almost more of a spade/chisel profile. The interesting thing about it is the metal dowel that looks like it was punched into the blade, but to me it looks like it's on the wrong side! It looks like that dowel is an important part of the function of the tool, maybe to hold a loop. When I first got it I did some research trying to figure out what the blade was used for, but I couldn't figure it out. The sheep's foot is for cutting rope, and the point is for undoing knots. 







Link to comment
Share on other sites

The odd blade is actually a can opener.  Stab the top of the can at the rim, use the pin as a fulcrum to slowly rip the top off as you work your way around the edge. The steep chisel grind keeps the blade pushed against the side of the can, leaving a safer and neater cut edge compared to some, like the U.S. GI can opener. Armies almost never put a monotasking weapon-specific tool on an issue pocketknife.  The "combination tool" mentioned in that last link was not on a pocketknife, it was in the cleaning kit kept in the buttstock of the gun (FN C1) or in the tool bag (Bren gun).

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...