Opinions on replacing handles on Presto knife

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58chevy348
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Opinions on replacing handles on Presto knife

Postby 58chevy348 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:56 am

Just got this knife in along with several others. I am not specifically a collector of automatic knives, but I often acquire them when buying lots of knives. This particular Schrade Presto knife shows deterioration of the celluloid handles. Would you replace with bone? Do they make replacement handles similar to the originals? The last image shows my "accidental" automatic collection. I'm beginning to take a liking to them! (Most are Schrade knives).
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XX Case XX
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Re: Opinions on replacing handles on Presto knife

Postby XX Case XX » Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:15 am

If those handles are true celluloid and are already showing signs of gassing out, you need to remove them right away. If you don't, it will ruin that knife to no end. Also, keep that knife away from any others. Treat that knife like it has "Bubonic Plague"... ::barf::

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Re: Opinions on replacing handles on Presto knife

Postby knife7knut » Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:11 am

XX Case XX wrote:If those handles are true celluloid and are already showing signs of gassing out, you need to remove them right away. If you don't, it will ruin that knife to no end. Also, keep that knife away from any others. Treat that knife like it has "Bubonic Plague"... ::barf::

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Agreed;I can see the "starbursts" and the cracking on the underside of the handles. Get them off immediately and clean the brass liners with a little baking soda and water.It helps neutralize the effects of the nitric acid. Checnk all the other celluloid ones that you have with it at least once a month. The most obvious sign of celluloid degradation is the brownish discoloration on the nickel silver bolsters and the red rust on the steel blades. Once it has begun it usually cannot be stopped.
I would replace them with a colored Plexiglas or clear Lexan. If you use the clear Lexan get optical grade as it is crystal clear and use some prismatic tape on the underside to make it jump.Do not use clear Plexiglas as it has a yellowish tine to it and some looks almost milky. Here is one I did with Lexan and prismatic tape.
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Re: Opinions on replacing handles on Presto knife

Postby XX Case XX » Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:43 pm

This is what we're talking about. Click on photos to enlarge.

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Re: Opinions on replacing handles on Presto knife

Postby #goldpan » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:16 pm

I've done a couple of switch blades. If have to have handles made the handle on the pile is a easy one to make. The other side has to have channels machined into inside to allow for the press button sear and lock set up and for the safety switch. Which is of course a little more difficult to do, but doable! Need to get those celluloid handles asap like Mike pointed out.
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Re: Opinions on replacing handles on Presto knife

Postby knife7knut » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:31 pm

#goldpan wrote:I've done a couple of switch blades. If have to have handles made the handle on the pile is a easy one to make. The other side has to have channels machined into inside to allow for the press button sear and lock set up and for the safety switch. Which is of course a little more difficult to do, but doable! Need to get those celluloid handles asap like Mike pointed out.

The best method I have found to do the mark side handles on an automatic is to machine the grooves first. I usually start with a block of Lexan rough cut to size on width and fitted lengthwise. A Dremel Moto-Tool or equivalent can be used with a couple different bits.I cut the channel for the button mechanism first and finish the edges with a small pattern file. The slit for the lock mechanism can be cut with an E-Xacto zona saw available at most hobby shops. It is very thin and the blade fairly wide and stable.I then fit the pins and clamp the handles to the knife. Mark the amount of material to be removed and take them off and cut them down with a belt sander and finish with several degrees of sandpaper.Start with 220 wet or dry and finish with 400.
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Re: Opinions on replacing handles on Presto knife

Postby #goldpan » Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:31 pm

Depending on how you want the knife to look when done you can use Antler, bone, horn or exotic wood if you like! Here is one I am working on and one that done a couple of years ago. The finished switch is handled in Manzanita and the Colonial below that is being done in Oak root burl. I use various bits in my rotary cutter. You can also chuck up dremel cutters in a drill press and cut channels that way.
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58chevy348
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Re: Opinions on replacing handles on Presto knife

Postby 58chevy348 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:16 pm

Thanks guys! I'll get those old handles off right away.


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