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 Post subject: Old knife -- where to go?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:16 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:15 am
Posts: 56
I'm not sure where to go with this question, but I've got a pretty old knife that i'd like to get refurbished.

It's an F. Dick that goes back at least to 1946. It belonged to my grandfather, and I'm not sure whether it came to San Francisco in 1901 with the family or came later. But It's got a lot of rust, a good patina, and has sat in a box for decades..

I'd like to see about getting it re-handled and cleaned up, it's beyond my skill to fix the heel and make it food-safe. I have done some research and am not sure there is anyone in the S.F. Bay Area that handles this sort of thing? So i'm asking, is this knife salvageable and if so, who can I go to, to have a new handle put on it and get it cleaned up?

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This knife belonged to my grandfather, and then to my dad. My dad had a stroke recently enough, and lost control of his left side. He was left-handed.... He is the one who taught me to love cooking, to love sauteeing mushrooms, to love charring meat. It would mean so much to be able to take this old rusty knife he had in a box, and make it whole again as a gift to him. I work with him a lot in the kitchen reminding him he CAN still cook and do all the things he used to do, just differently -- with adaptive cutting boards, nails to hold food to slice one-handed, and stuff like that.

It would be so awesome to give him this old knife, his dad's knife, that may have come over from Germany in 1904 -- we're not sure... But I'd love to give him this knife, cleaned up, made pretty and re-handled as a gift and a reminder that he is still capable and can do everything he used to do.

So... uhm. Where do you go, with an ancient knife like this?

Or is this knife beyond saving?


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 Post subject: Re: Old knife -- where to go?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:19 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:15 am
Posts: 56
http://i250.photobucket.com/albums/gg25 ... 4deda7.jpg

http://s250.photobucket.com/user/Winndo ... 7.jpg.html

I'm particularly curious about the heel in the last pic -- the knife has obviously been used and sharpened down, so it would require changing the geometry of the blade a fair bit?

I put the knife on a 4000 grit stone just to clean it up and test it a little and I have to say, I'm totally in love with it. I love the weight, the feel, the knife is AWESOME! It's just... old and dirty...

Could the heel be shaved and cleaned, the knife thinned a little behind the edge? Is that a patina or corrosion..


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 Post subject: Re: Old knife -- where to go?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:26 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:56 pm
Posts: 303
Soak the handle in mineral oil for a couple of days. See what it looks like after.

For the blade, it looks like some pitting but a lot will buff out with some 200 and up sand paper. You will also be amazed at what comes off with a green brillo pad and lemon juice/barkeeper's friend/baking soda.

That blade can be fixed and you can do a lot of it yourself with simple tools. To have someone do the work will cost a pretty penny but that is because there is a lot of hand work involved. Up to you. Ya know. :)

If I wasn't swamped I would offer to do some of the work.


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 Post subject: Re: Old knife -- where to go?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:47 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:13 pm
Posts: 2850
Location: CT
Try the oil soak on the handle and BarKeepers friend on the blade to remove the patina/rust. The heel can be ground down on a coarse stone; I have even used my belt sanders to completely remove the finger guard or grind it down to bring it up away from the edge.

Or you can send it off for a new handle, have them regrind the blade and stuff like that to make it look almost new again! I am a bit busy now, but I should be getting some extra time off over the summer where I can knock it out for ya. Work is getting into the busy time of the year for me unfortunately.


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 Post subject: Re: Old knife -- where to go?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:41 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 12:52 am
Posts: 407
Try Restoration Edge in Los Gatos (831) 535-9932

http://restorationedgesharpening.com


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 Post subject: Re: Old knife -- where to go?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:14 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:14 am
Posts: 604
Location: San Ramon Ca.
It looks in pretty good shape considering its age. The wood looks in good condition. I wouldn't soak it in mineral oil though. Not to say you couldn't or shouldn't just I wouldn't.

Below is what I do on handle refinishes.

Sand the handle and get whatever corrosion off the exposed steel. Finish sand the handle to your liking. Clean up the rest of the blade. If the wood is in good enough shape I soak them in boiled linseed oil for a half hour or so. Let the excess flow back into whatever container is used. Let stand for an hour or so. Wipe any excess oil off with a lintless towel. Those blue towels on a roll you can get at most hardware stores or Costco are what I use. Using another blue towel to hold the handle use shop air at about 60 PSI to blow any excess oil out of the nooks and crannies onto the rag. Let it dry for 24 hours or longer. I use synthetic steel wool between coats. Repeat the process until I'm happy with the results. Sharpen last. Clean up the blade and bolster first. I use the Howard's cutting board stuff with mineral oil and bees wax as a final. Or just bees wax. I have a good source for really good and pure bees wax. Anyway it takes a good week if the weather is good to get them to my liking.



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 Post subject: Re: Old knife -- where to go?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:19 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:07 am
Posts: 371
Almost sounds like Pete is offering his services :D


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 Post subject: Re: Old knife -- where to go?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:38 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:56 pm
Posts: 303
Tape/wrap the handle up before working on the metal ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Old knife -- where to go?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:45 pm 
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If you really want it rehandled, there are some truly great guys to do just that on this forum. (Not offering services as I'm not taking on any more work right now)

However, I will second or third (or whatever number we're up to) the mineral oil (or linseed or whatever oil) soak and Barkeepers Friend treatment first. If the mineral oil refreshes the handle enough, you can fill the gaps with epoxy. Once that's done, sand the handle to your liking.

The bolster will be the most difficult part with home tools. A coarse grit stone will work......or send it to a sharpener and they should be able to remove it with a belt grinder fairly easily.



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 Post subject: Re: Old knife -- where to go?
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 7:20 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:15 am
Posts: 56
Awesome... Thanks so much guys for your tips.

I've taken a kind of amalgamation of the advice you guys have given and put some work into this thing over the last day and a half. Already, I'm seeing huge improvements and sort of stoked by the progress! Not totally sure why I was so apprehensive to do it myself, but I think there's only so much I have the tools for.

I worked the bolster down on my first old stone initially, a 250 grit Norton -- and I'm kind of glad to have done it by hand, slowly, instead of going quick with power tools, since it's my first time doing something like this. I probably wouldn't do it with a more expensive stone, but eh...

I've pretty much removed all the rust, and there really wasn't much/any pitting. The Barkeeper's Friend worked just like you all said. And the blade sharpened up SUPER fast, once I got rid of a few chips and rust damage and once I put a new rough edge on it, it's already almost as sharp as anything else I have, though I still have some more work to do.

I DO think that the wood is a bit beyond saving though... I'd really like to do what I can to the blade, but I am not sure that soaking it is going to make a ton of progress. It's pretty warped and separated in some places, and softening with rot in one or two small spots next to the tang, so ultimately I don't know how much I can sand it down or clean it up.

I'm going to try soaking the wood and see what will come of it.

My main concern is going 'too far' by myself so that someone else would have a harder time fixing my mistakes..

Again, really appreciate all the talk!


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