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!
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.