kootenay joe wrote:Now add to this the switch to Swinden key construction which involved setting up new machinery and 1960 must have been the busiest most challenging year for Schrade-Walden.
I am sure it was very busy and very challenging, but I don't think all the changes were implemented simultaneously. Schrade often used what was referred to as “rolling changes.” The change was implemented gradually as old parts were used up. While most springs and blades from the non-Swinden models would interchange with the Swinden versions, the biggest difference in the parts would be the liners and bolsters. The Open Stock model numbers 832, 833 and 834 were all built on the same frame so the liners and bolsters for these three popular models as well is the later 834Y and the 34OT should all have been interchangeable.
I imagine the 3-5/16” frames for the 832, 833 & 834 were among the first models to be switched to Swinden construction because they such popular patterns.
Also popular were the 4” models 880, 881 and 881Y, which were also built on the same frame. Based on the popularity of those models, I think they were probably among some of the first models converted to the Swinden system. However I have no documentation to back this up. It is at best a logical guesstimation.
Schrade was the only company that ever used the Swinden system; they alone had the machinery that produced Swinden knives. It was unique to Schrade, designed by Dave Swinden and built in-house. They had already built or were building the Swinden production so it probably made more sense from a cost perspective to go ahead and construct the Delrin handle equipment so that it would be integrated into the new production method. It was probably far less expensive to design the entire system as a whole rather than designing the Swinden machinery to use old handle material and then upgrade it later to handle Delrin.
If you are sure enough of yourself to take make such a giant commitment to a design concept you might as well commit to a new handle concept as well, such as Delrin.
I think such a bold move speaks volumes about leadership and confidence of Albert Baer.
Not only is he investing in a new way of making knives and handles but he had just begun to introduce a line of knives which arguably became one of the most successful retail knife lines in history: the Old Timer