Hammer Brand Kamp King restoration

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Stringplucker
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Hammer Brand Kamp King restoration

Postby Stringplucker » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:33 pm

I'm in the process of restoring a Hammer Brand Kamp King (1945-1955 tang stamp), using the awl from another of the same vintage. Both came to me in very, very rough shape. One had both springs broken, and the other with a broken awl. Both were covered in rust. One was missing the pile side shell. I removed shells from both (one was hollow and the other was plastic backed. The black (celluloid?) was trashed on both, and easily flaked off the hollow shell knife.

I disassembled both knives. Using a red 3M wheel on a drill press, I was able to remove the rust. There was very little pitting, which surprised me. I checked dimensions on both awls, and they were the same. Out of curiosity, I measured the thickness of all pieces, and found that one of the main blades was 0.020" thicker than the other. Now, both frames being equal, and all parts measuring the same, why would one blade be that much thicker than the other?

I forgot to add that one bottle opener/screwdriver was about 1/8" longer than the other, but had no signs of it ever being ground down, so I'm assuming there was an engineering change from one knife to the next, even though both have the same tang stamp. I'll measure and compare both frames tomorrow. The frame I'm using did have a thin piece between the brass liner and spring. I'm wondering if that piece measures 0.020" to make up for the difference from the main blade to the one end opposite...

BTW...I plan on painting the handle black like it used to be, and replacing the shield from one wit the shield from the other. The knife will not look brand new when done, just very tastefully restored. I'm sure it will affect the current value, but in 20-30 years, I don't think it will matter much. I'm not altering the knife, but it will new rivets holding it all together...not that anyone would ever see the rivets on, due to the shell handles.

I didn't get before photos, but do have a few during photos. I'll post those after I'm done with this restoration.
Jon

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glennbad
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Re: Hammer Brand Kamp King restoration

Postby glennbad » Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:13 pm

Please do share pics when done. That should be an interesting restoration. For some time, I would not even bother trying to do anything with shell handle knives, as the construction was cheap, in my eyes at least. However, the steel, at least on the Imperials, was always good. I have done a few full-on mods of the shells, but always turning them into solid bolster/handle knives.

Stringplucker
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Re: Hammer Brand Kamp King restoration

Postby Stringplucker » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:20 pm

I agree that some of the steel on the older knives is hard to beat on some of them. Colonial and Imperial had some great steel.

I did a solid bolster of a Colonial Barlow a few weeks ago. I finally finished it, but noticed that there were two cracks in the jigged bone when completed. I'm ok with the cracks, since the knife was for me and nobody else, and is carried often. I need to update that post with the completed photos. I'm starting off on these cheaper, less desired knives as a lesson. I wouldn't want to learn on a Case XX or other better knife, out of fear of ruining it. The more I learn with these, the better I will later become.

Now, on to the Kamp King...I've got the main blade and can opener blades in place and pin peened. However, the other two are being more than a pain in the rump to compress and insert the pin. I had the bottle opener in with pin inserted, and had a hell of a time getting the awl in, compressed, and pin through it. I"m done screwing with it for the day, and will try again tomorrow. The springs on these have always been strong, at least on the versions I had when I was a kid.

Other than using a vise, which I have been doing, are there any other tips for getting it all lined up? Should I remove the center pin, get all blades inserted, then put the springs, compress in a vices, and insert the center pin? Come to think of it, that sounds much simpler than how I'm doing it. I think I may have just answered my own question.
Jon

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#goldpan
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Re: Hammer Brand Kamp King restoration

Postby #goldpan » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:23 pm

Yep sounds like you answered it. I used to to do the same thing, makes it harder than it needs to be. Plus you put extra pressure on the scales at the pivot point. Causes cracking at the pin just below actually. I use a couple of small pieces of wood in a vice to compress the springs. Then look through the hole to make sure that everything lines up. If the pin is still tight going in, give the vice a bit of extra "crank" and it should be fine. Good luck, and can't wait to see pictures of your knife!
Randy

Please visit my store at : http://www.allaboutpocketknives.com/goldpan
I also do custom knife re-handling - PM me or Email for more information
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Stringplucker
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Location: NE of the Pitts

Re: Hammer Brand Kamp King restoration

Postby Stringplucker » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:53 pm

Yeah, I figured it out as I was typing the comment yesterday. Sometimes you've just got to talk it out to figure it out, right? LOL Anyway, I got the springs in this morning and sharpened the blade to "shave a gnat's rump bare" as my grandpa used to say...well, his language was a little more colorful that I think we're allowed on this side, but you get the point. LOL

I masked off the scales, shot a layer of primer and two layers of gloss black. I also cleaned up the two Kamp King shield I have with Semichrome and a t-shirt rag. I noticed that one of them was stamped off-registration and one was perfect. I haven't decided which one to use yet, though. I'll be able to assemble everything tomorrow morning.

I spent the rest of my time in my shop starting a new project that I'll eventually post in the Custom section...something I'm making for my step-son. I"m hoping to get it and a few more knives done before my surgery next month...complete shoulder replacement. That's going to take me out of the shop for at least 3 months, if not longer.
Jon

Stringplucker
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Location: NE of the Pitts

Re: Hammer Brand Kamp King restoration

Postby Stringplucker » Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:53 pm

Well, once I figured out the trick to get the springs in, it wasn't that difficult of a job at all. It's not perfect, but the knife wasn't perfect when it left the factory. It is, however, sharp as heck, and more than good enough to be used again. Like I said earlier, the awl was broken, and there was another knife with a good awl, but broken springs. Both were pretty rusty, but cleaned up decently enough. I didn't want to completely clean and polish the blades, partly because of the age and partly because I'm not too keen on seeing old knives polished up and looking like new...this one shows that it has been well used, and it can now be used once again.

I learned a bit about the construction of these shell knives, and that while they may have only been built to last a couple of years, they can be brought back from the dead with a bit of patience and time. Getting the shell scales back in place wasn't too difficult, since I only pried one side off, and slid it down to remove it. I used a screwdriver to push the tabs back in place during assembly. I wish that I could have redone the plastic overlay on the handle, but I'm not equipped with what it would take, so I masked it, primed and then painted with gloss black Rustoleum. I think it came out pretty nice. I'm beginning to amass a collection of old knives that need some attention...some of them I can compete, and others are parts knives only.

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Jon

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#goldpan
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Re: Hammer Brand Kamp King restoration

Postby #goldpan » Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:52 pm

That came out knice! ::tu:: I have some shell handled knives that I plan on upgrading the handles on. I did one a couple years back. Its different from your as it had the brown plastic cover on the shell.
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I popped the shells off and replaced the plastic with Oak. Came out nice. Yours rocks because it looks original! Keep up the good work! ::tu::
Randy

Please visit my store at : http://www.allaboutpocketknives.com/goldpan
I also do custom knife re-handling - PM me or Email for more information
reverhart57@yahoo.com

Stringplucker
Posts: 61
Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:58 am
Location: NE of the Pitts

Re: Hammer Brand Kamp King restoration

Postby Stringplucker » Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:29 pm

Thanks. It's only my second build, or re-build...depending on how you want to look at it.

Your Barlow came out nice. I have a number of these shell handled knives, probably around 40 or 50, that need work. I think my next Barlow build will be like yours, except with gunstock walnut. I have two old and beat up walnut gunstocks in the shop that I'll harvest the scales from. I'm trying to get as many knives done as possible before the middle of next month. Shoulder replacement surgery is going to keep me out o the shop for a few months.

Your picture reminds me that I need to update my Colonial Barlow thread with the finished product pictures...
Jon


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