Asten Felts

The KA-BAR brand originated as a trademark of the Tidioute Cutlery Company. Tidioute was later taken over & renamed the Union Cutlery Company which continued making the brand until Union eventually adopted it as the company name in 1952. Cutco Corporation later acquired the company in 1996.
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WelderBob
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Asten Felts

Postby WelderBob » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:13 am

This one followed me home last weekend, liked it the minute I picked it up. Not a lightweight for sure, but feels good in hand.
From what I've been reading this should be a pre WWII knife...is that right ? Never heard of Asten Felts but they put their name on a good knife.
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Bob

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FRJ
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Re: Asten Felts

Postby FRJ » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:30 am

WOW, Bob, that's a real beauty. Love those matchstrike nailnicks.
So that's where the chinese got the idea. ::woot::
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Re: Asten Felts

Postby knifeaholic » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:45 am

You will see a lot of hefty jack patterns and larger folding hunter patterns that were made for Asten Felts and for other felt companies. Case, Camillus, Kabar, and others. The felt companies made the felt rolls for papermaking machines used in paper mills. The liquid pulp was deposited on the continuous roll or mat of heavy felt while vacuum pumps pulled out the moisture as the paper continued through the process.

I have always assumed that the large knife patterns were popular since they could be used to cut and trim the heavy felt material in setting up the machine.

Maybe someone with actual paper mill experience can weigh in.
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WelderBob
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Re: Asten Felts

Postby WelderBob » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:09 am

Thanks Joe....yeah those sneeky chinese :lol:

Steve, thanks for that information, I had no idea on the felt business just thought it had something to do with fur trapping like the Bill Boatman knives.
Bob

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Re: Asten Felts

Postby hardman » Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:05 am

Pretty good description of "the felt," knifeaholic. But to add a little further description, the felts were actually more like cloth. And then they became synthetic. The "felts" supported the paper web as it moved from the press to the drying rolls. The felts had to be tough given the speed at which paper machines process. A lot of dewatering takes place on the felts.

There was a time when I did a lot of business with the paper companies in Michigan. Back then, you knew when you were getting close to a paper mill by smell alone. Particularly in August. As a rookie I once mentioned the odor to someone, a local person. He said, "Yeah, it smells like money." Most of those mills are long since shut down now. And those few that survived run a lot cleaner and more environmentally friendly business now.

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Re: Asten Felts

Postby Gunsil » Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:26 pm

Like Steve says there are a lot of knives from different companies with Asten Felts shields or marked celluloid scales. None of these knives were meant for work in the felt business, they were promotional items like all the EH Best knives and other promotional or advertising knives. I have not seen a KA-BAR as old as the OP knife (it is pre 1943) with that shield but have seen a lot of later KA-BARs with that shield. Cool old knife for sure. By the way, "matchsriker pull" is a misnomer they are really "dentate" pulls, they were not really suitable for striking matches (try it yourself) and one could spark the old "strike anywhere" matches on their shoe sole or blue jeans or most any other surface. I think the matchstriker business came from the same folks that refer to a Prestolite key square hole in some blades as a skate key.

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Re: Asten Felts

Postby tongueriver » Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:24 pm

Gunsil wrote:Like Steve says there are a lot of knives from different companies with Asten Felts shields or marked celluloid scales. None of these knives were meant for work in the felt business, they were promotional items like all the EH Best knives and other promotional or advertising knives. I have not seen a KA-BAR as old as the OP knife (it is pre 1943) with that shield but have seen a lot of later KA-BARs with that shield. Cool old knife for sure. By the way, "matchsriker pull" is a misnomer they are really "dentate" pulls, they were not really suitable for striking matches (try it yourself) and one could spark the old "strike anywhere" matches on their shoe sole or blue jeans or most any other surface. I think the matchstriker business came from the same folks that refer to a Prestolite key square hole in some blades as a skate key.

Now there is some good info worth remembering (thank you!). If I recall (and that is a stretch), that prestolite blade just MIGHT have fit the adjustable roller skates I had in 1954.
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Re: Asten Felts

Postby buck16 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:54 pm

The only time I've ever seen stag that pretty was on other old Union Cutlery knives. That right there might be one of my Holy Grails!

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Re: Asten Felts

Postby WelderBob » Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:59 pm

Thank's to all for some good information, I never considered the promotional angle and it make's sense.
The felt business must have been good to give a knife of this caliber away.
I like the fact it has nickel silver liners and the clip blade is thicker than most folding hunters.
Bob

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