All About Pocket Knives
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:28 pm 
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Location: South East Pennsylvania
Recently got this Otter Messer carbon steel knife.
Only used it a few times.
I did put a coat of light oil on all metal parts and was going to let it patina up on it's own.
But I got caught in a rain storm the other day.
I carry the knife in a leather sheath on my belt.
Must have got a little moisture inside the sheath.
I would like to put a protective patina on the metal parts using vinegar. All metal on this knife is carbon steel except for a couple of brass pins.
Any suggestions on how to coat everything , liners and all without getting anything on the smooth bone handles?

JW


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:10 pm 
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What a shame to put a fake patina on that one :o

I would clean off the back side and ren wax it a couple times. It has a nice etch on the front side :o ::tu::

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:29 am 
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I think sextonknifeworks put a nice even patina on a couple GECs;

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=27802

Shoot him a PM.



Not experienced with Ren Wax but these Miracle Cloths will take that rust off too.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:12 pm 
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Not so sure that I would put a patina on this particular knife, BUT you can do a nice job with yellow mustard. Just smear it on the areas you want to treat, let it sit 15-20 minutes and wash it off with warm soapy water. Then oil 'er up and put it your pocket.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:15 pm 
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Oops! almost forgot! How put the mustard will affect the pattern produced. I usually dab it on, but try to have a uniform film on the parts you to treat.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:24 pm 
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I know how and have already gotten the light rust off.
I'm planning on using this knife a lot.
The etch will eventually wear off anyway.
Got the knife brand new on sale at a small knife shop for $29.00
Bought it because it's carbon steel plus it's built very well.
No fancy buffing , just a no frills knife that is built the way they used to build them a long time ago.
I'd really like to let this knife get it's own patina.
If I put this Ren Wax on the steel will it stop the patina from forming?
I've only used wax on knives I don't plan on using or when storing them.

JW


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:36 pm 
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If it were mine, I'd give the blade a good enough buffing to give the blade a uniform finish (no blemishes that stick out like a sore thumb), use light steel wool to clean the inside of the knife, then wipe it down with alcohol to remove all oils from the blade. Now it's ready for that patina. Gun Bluing compound is still my personal fvorite, but anything with a decent acid content will work. Everything mentioned up to this point works well, but the "secret" is getting an even coating to have the blade coming out nice. One guy I know just cuts an apple in half, lays the knife down for a while and soon he has the patina he likes. Buffing won't hurt the bone or any of the steel and gives you back the "blank canvas" to do anything (or nothing) to the knife. Yes, the Ren Wax will keep any bluing from taking hold, so you may want to wax the bolsters after a buffing. Once you have blued (or put a patina on) the spots you want, Ren Wax will help keep it that way better than oil which you can save for the joints. Hope this helps some JW.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:01 am 
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The photo & description of this Otter-Messer bone-handled knife impressed me so much that it set me on a search to see if any of them were available on the internet. The only distributor I could find in the US was Worldknives.com, where it's listed under the Mercator brand. (Disclaimer--I have no connection with Worldknives.)

They're made by the Otter-Messer Cutlery Co in Solingen, Germany, which also makes the world-famous lockback Mercator "Black Cat" Knife that has been carried for over a century by men & boys all over Europe, and was brought back by thousands of returning American soldiers as spoils of war after WWII. There are several videos on Youtube devoted to the Black Cat, its history, manufacture & use.

The Black Cat is one of the simplest knives I've ever seen---just an excellent 3 1/2 inch carbon steel blade with a handle made from a single sheet of metal folded U-shaped, and a simple locking mechanism. Just 1 1/2 ounces, extremely thin, flat & pocketable, but it locks up very solid and looks indestructible. Worldknives also carries a lighter, 3 inch blade Black Cat without the lock, even more pocketable. The bone-handled fish knife is heavier but really beautiful, with a droppoint carbon blade and a smooth white bone handle--very well made.

I picked up all three knives--the big & little Black Cats and the bone-handled fish knife--at a very low price considering their solid German construction. I think these three will be my EDCs for a long time. Needless to say, I'm glad that Knives-are-Quiet brought this knife to my attention.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:47 pm 
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I'm glad someone else see's the old world type quality in these knives.
At a reasonable price you can't beat.
I've been using this knife for a few weeks now from opening mail to even cutting my food at Dinner time.
I clean it after every use and it has started to get it's own natural patina.
If I ever get caught in a rain storm again, I'll just take the knife off my belt and put it in my pocket.

JW


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:58 pm 
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Knives-are-Quiet, your photos are proof that knives with patina can have far more character than shiny, brand new out-of-the-box blades, at least when properly done. I hope mine look half as good in a few months. Excellent job!


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:16 am 
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i am new to collecting. i m a little confused on the patina issue. i see these shiney bladed vintage case knives on ebay that seemingly bring more than the ones that show age. so what is the definative answer.. leave patina or shine it up? i see threads like this one that extoll the existance of patina yet the shinies seem to sell higher on ebay?!


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:19 am 
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a soak in 50/50 mix of water and vinegar will evenly age all tool steel parts and shouldn't effect the handles. It'll be black when you pull it out, but a light washing with baking soda water will wash away that black film and leave an even dark grey patina. Dregreasing first helps some too.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:49 am 
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Saltwaterebel, this is one of the most contentious issues in knife collecting, and probably every collector has his own take on the matter. You're right that on ebay the highest prices go to the shiniest knives, probably because many collectors are on an eternal quest for "mint" examples of their favorite knives, and don't seem to mind if that "mintiness" is more the product of a high-speed polishing wheel than a genuine unused & well-preserved condition.

I'm not really knowledgable about these matters, but I think that before the 1960s the vast majority of knives were purchased for use, not collecting, and that inevitably means that knives made before then will have all the sharpening marks, nicks and tarnish that come from normal handling. All carbon blades will develop a patina just by being touched, so it stands to reason that most old knives with shiny blades have been "touched up," tampered with. Some collectors accept that spurious mintiness and some don't.

Personally, I love the look of old knives that have been used and look it. To me it's like you're holding time itself in your hands---you are part of a continuity of users and handlers of tools made for use, and you can see the effects of that use over time right before your eyes. I've got plenty of knives that I bought new and have put away in their boxes, (I guess as "investments," whatever that means) and that I never touch and very rarely even look at for fear they'll lose that valuable "minty" look. But it's really weird to own a bunch of tools that you never touch--and it's plain to me that I really don't get much pleasure from them.

But there's another class of knives that I specifically bought to use, and I would never think of shining these up. They're all great knives in their own right, otherwise I wouldn't have bought them, but I love to handle them and I like it when they develop the signs of regular use. When I know a knife will be in for really hard use I usually force a patina using vinegar just to protect it from rust. But I really enjoy handling those few knives that I've used for many years and which have naturally picked up all those tell-tale nicks, marks & spots, and the gray cast on the blades that only come with age. These knives I keep clean & well oiled, but I'd never polish them up. I think you can see which side of the issue I come down on, but everyone gets to choose his own way.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:15 pm 
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drzarkov1, I'm with you on the old knives. I like them for what they are. Fifty or sixty years ago I didn't know knives were supposed to be bright and polished. Those are the ones I still look for.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:39 pm 
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Ok,,,, I can't keep quiet any longer!! Since all of you guys seem to fall on the same side of the fence, on this so-called patina subject, I'd like to offer an alternative view. I am one of those guys who likes a mirror finish on my knives. I hate rust, and I don't care what you say, patina is rust!!! If I have a knife with rust spots and can't get them off, the offending knife goes to the basement. I don't want it any where near my jewels. The knives from the 70's & 80's that have been professionaly cleaned and polished are some of my favorites. Those and the brand new Case issues are what I collect. I use spray wax to keep them in pristene condition. I learned years ago that was the best thing to keep my guns from rusting.
I enjoy reading all the entries, but since no one seemed to appreciate the things I do, I thought I would sound off a little. Thanks
The 1985 mini trapper below is a favorite of mine. It has smooth bone handles, a single new grind blade, and no pattern number.


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