Western States folding hunter with stag handles

In 1911, H. N. Platts, was able to draw on his extensive friendships and family connections in the cutlery world to start Western States Cutlery and Manufacturing of Boulder Colorado. At first only a jobbing business, by 1920 construction and machinery purchases were underway to begin manufacture of knives. Through name changes--to Western States Cutlery Co. in 1953, then Western Cutlery Co. in 1956--and moves first across town and later to Longmont Colorado, the company stayed under the leadership of the Platt family until 1984. In that year, the company was sold to Coleman, becoming Coleman-Western. Eventually purchased by Camillus in 1991, Western continued until Camillus expired in 2007.
Malvin
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Western States folding hunter with stag handles

Postby Malvin » Fri Apr 30, 2010 6:53 pm

I have a Western States folding hunter with stag handles that is 5 inches long. Part of one of the handles is missing. I like the knife even though part of one handle is missing. The blades sharpen easy and stay sharp. I am a new member and would like to know more about this knife. Thanks Malvin

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tongueriver
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Re: Western States folding hunter with stag handles

Postby tongueriver » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:22 pm

Welcome, Malvin; hang around and someone will give you better information. There is a book about Western knives which I don't have. Your stamp was found on knives from 1911 to 1951, according to Goins' Encyclopedia of Cutlery Markings. They were based in Boulder, Colorado. I really like those hunters also. Every American company made them, and continue to make them to some degree. Be careful here; you may be headed for an addiction! ::sneaky::

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Re: Western States folding hunter with stag handles

Postby Aimus Moses » Sat May 01, 2010 12:54 am

Western States knives was started and operated by the Platts family. Platts had married one of the Case daughters (of W.R.Case Cutlery). Western States knives were good quality made knives. The company was bought by Coleman at one time and it's quality reflected that purchase. It was later bought by Camillus and the quality improved. The word States in the name was later dropped and the knives were marked as Western. Hope this helps some. BTW, ::welcome:: to AAPK. Glad to have you aboard.

Aimus

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orvet
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Re: Western States folding hunter with stag handles

Postby orvet » Sat May 01, 2010 1:28 am

I really like folding hunters and I am especially fond of the earlier Western States knives.
They had some of the best carbon steel, IMHO, of any company, and I am a BIG fan of carbon steel.

That knife definitely sounds like it is worth repairing.
It is not a big deal to replace the handles if you know how.
If not there several of us who repair knives here on AAPK, myself included.

Please post a picture of your knife.

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orvet
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Re: Western States folding hunter with stag handles

Postby orvet » Mon May 03, 2010 2:27 am

Malvin sent me pics of his Western Folding Hunter so I could post them here.

With a little TLC and some new handles it will have a lifetime of service left in it!



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thawk
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Re: Western States folding hunter with stag handles

Postby thawk » Mon May 03, 2010 4:24 am

It's still a beauty. Glad the pictures came through. Thanks Malvin. If I'm not mistaken, that one is from the 30's or 40's, a 5227 Pattern or maybe a 5206 which was a bit slimmer. I dream of finding one like that some day. Western States had a nice selection of single and double bladed folding hunters from that era, and they not too common to see much less own. Not sure the difference between Stag and Buckhorn. Your knife appears to have the thicker handle, and a sabre ground clip, and it has a lanyard hole. Is there by chance a number on the back of the main blade?

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Malvin
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Re: Western States folding hunter with stag handles

Postby Malvin » Mon May 03, 2010 9:32 am

I can't see a number on the back side of the main blade. I will rub it with some oil and fine steel wool and see if it's there. Thanks for the information and catalog pictures. Malvin

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Froggyedge
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Re: Western States folding hunter with stag handles

Postby Froggyedge » Mon May 03, 2010 9:44 am

Nice!
If only such knives could talk...
Knivlaus mann er livlaus mann.

A knifeless man is a lifeless man - Old Nordic proverb.

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Re: Western States folding hunter with stag handles

Postby KCBrannon » Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:27 pm

I recently inherited a Western States folding knife from my Dad, who passed away in March. I found this discussion via Google. I've attached a pic of the 2-blade knife. It has a mother-of-pearl handle and my Dad etched his name (G.Cole) on the plate. Anything that you can fill me in on regarding the knife would be appreciated!

KC Brannon
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Re: Western States folding hunter with stag handles

Postby knife7knut » Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:51 am

KCBrannon wrote:I recently inherited a Western States folding knife from my Dad, who passed away in March. I found this discussion via Google. I've attached a pic of the 2-blade knife. It has a mother-of-pearl handle.Anything that you can fill me in on regarding the knife would be appreciated!

KC Brannon


Welcome to the forum KC! It is a nice looking knife and the handles(scales)are actually made of celluloid.It appears that the celluloid is starting to degrade a bit judging by what appears to be the brass liners turning a brownish color and some corrosion on the blades.There are several threads on here relating to celluloid deterioration that you might want to read.
The bad thing is once it starts to degrade there is no way that I know of to curtail it.I have had it destroy several knives;one of which showed little evidence of it and the handles corroded the liners so badly they broke in two.
To help slow the process down I have found the following helps somewhat:
DO NOT store them with other knives!Keep them separate.
DO NOT oil them.The oil seems to accelerate the deterioration.
Clean the blades and liners(use a Q-Tip to clean inside)with some Mother's Mag Wheel Polish(or equivalent)and dry thoroughly.If the blades have a thin coating of rust(a sure sign of cel degradation)I use a bit of 600 grit sandpaper to remove it and then polish.Check frequently.
Store in a ventilated and preferably climate controlled(constant humidity control)area and use a couple of desiccant bags(the kind you find in medicine bottles or electronic equipment)to help control moisture.
With care they should stay in fairly good shape.
I recently posted a thread in the General Discussion forum called,"3 for 6" and it shows a similarly handled KaBar I acquired with badly deteriorated scales and what I did to restore it.You probably wouldn't want to do that to yours unless you could inlet the shield to the new scales.
Adventure BEFORE Dementia!

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orvet
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Re: Western States folding hunter with stag handles

Postby orvet » Tue Aug 24, 2010 5:44 am

There are some people on AAPK who do repair and restoration work on old heirloom knives.

Were I you, I would replace the handles with bone, as the cheaper alternative to genuine MOP.
Replacing that large a knife with MOP would probably cost a couple hundred for the MOP alone plus labor to install it. Inletting the shield would be near impossible with MOP as well. I don't even work with MOP as the dust is far too toxic for my taste. I don't think Kaleb (Muskrat Man) will work with it either, something about an allergic reaction he had.

One thing is certain, once the celluloid begins to off-gas (decompose) the condition of the knife will only get worse. I read somewhere that the gas given off is a type of nitric acid vapor and is HIGHLY corrosive.

Here is a link to an article about celluloid by Dennis Ellingsen that is very informative.
http://www.oregonknifeclub.org/celluloid_02.html

I hope you can get the handles replaced.
Knives that belonged to my family members are the most prized in my collection.

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Re: Western States folding hunter with stag handles

Postby ole_muddy » Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:01 pm

That is NOT mother of pearl on that knife; it is cracked ice celluloid, made to resemble MOP. Way, way cheaper material to buy than pearl but finding some that was an exact match to that existing on the knife would be next to impossible from what I know of what's on the market anymore. Rehandling it in stag or bone would probably be the best choice if you just want to keep it but do want an attractive repair done to it.

Eric

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Re: Western States folding hunter with stag handles

Postby Bill99 » Wed May 30, 2012 5:31 am

I have had this knife since 1976, I am not a collector, but I think it is a quality knife, and has never been sharpened, the logo with the skull is clearly visible on the smaller blade. There is one knick out of the buckhorn on one side. Can anyone give me a model, year made, and approx value? Thanks Bill
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Bret888
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Re: Western States folding hunter with stag handles

Postby Bret888 » Wed May 30, 2012 10:59 am

That is a great knife! If it is correct, and I think it is, it is pretty valuable. I rarely see this pattern, and when I do it goes for more than I want to spend. A stag handled one should go for considerably more than the celluloid ones that I have seen.

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Re: Western States folding hunter with stag handles

Postby stockman » Thu May 31, 2012 8:14 pm

This old Wards Master Quality Knife might be of interest to some. I think it is Western made
and old. The blades are mostly gone, it has a home made lanyard hole and was at one time
painted red. Why?? It belonged to my wife's uncle a trapper that lived off the land in his
younger days. He is long gone now. Maybe he painted it so it would be easier to see if
dropped.
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