Confusing terminology

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OLDE CUTLER
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Confusing terminology

Postby OLDE CUTLER » Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:07 pm

Since I have been on AAPK (coming on two years) I have learned a lot of stuff. However one thing that continues to elude me is the correct terminology as used on the various parts of a knife. I read of many people (including myself) that refer to the "handle material" of a pocket knife as "scales". When someone is rehandling a folder they refer to it as replacing the scales. I have even done this myself. If you look at the terminology as shown in the knife repair and collectors books, this does not appear to be correct.
Ben Kelley's book on knife repair. Note his labeling of bolster lining, side center scale, and handle.
IMG_3070.JPG

Adrian Harris book on knife repair. Note his labeling of full scale, cut scale, and handle.
IMG_3071.JPG

Jim Sargent's book on collecting. Note his labeling of the scales and cover.
IMG_3072.JPG

So it appears that there isn't a real uniform method, as the handle material could be called handle, or cover, or maybe other things as well. And the scale could be called the liner, or bolster lining, or other things. Maybe there are even regional differences in the terminology in different parts of the US.
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Re: Confusing terminology

Postby knife7knut » Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:42 pm

I think a lot of the differences in terminology depend on what part of the country(or world)you happen to live in;and it doesn't just apply to knife parts. Probably the most confusing(to me anyway)is the difference in terms concerning automotive items between the USA and England.I won't go into them but if you are into automobiles you know exactly what I mean.
I also think terms change over the years. When I was growing up the,"things on the side of a knife" I called "handles". Later on I started referring to them as,"scales";primarily because that is what many people in the knife community called them. I now have progressed to the point where I call them either term for no particular reason. The term "handles" seem to be more appropriate as that is the part of your anatomy that holds the knife. I suppose you could even refer to them as,"grips" but that seems to be reserved for firearms.
For a fixed blade,some would refer to them as,"handles" while others would call them "slabs" if they were two piece.That term doesn't work if you have a one piece item;then it would be called a "handle". Confused yet?
All manner of items have different terminology in the knife world. Is it a,"bail" or a "bail loop" or is it a "lanyard loop"? Does a blade have a,swedge" or a,"false edge"? Are they,"bolsters" or "end caps"? I could go on but I think the meaning is clear. I won't worry about what I can or cannot call a particular item on a knife and just continue to enjoy them.

Just my twopence folks;your mileage may vary. :mrgreen:
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Doc B
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Re: Confusing terminology

Postby Doc B » Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:52 pm

Thanks OC. Learn something new...every day...especially in the knife world. My "knife IQ" has just risen from about a 26...to about a 26 1/2, on the 1-100 scale. Thanks to AAPK...my knife IQ, this time, last year...was about a 16. Still got a ways to go :)
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Re: Confusing terminology

Postby Steve Warden » Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:55 pm

Scales? Handles? Grips? Covers? Slabs?

Soda? Cola? Pop? Coke? Tonic?

Sub? Hero? Gyro?

Fountain? Cooler? Bubbler?

Dodge? Chevy? Ford?







(threw that last one in just for fun ::sotb:: )
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FRJ
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Re: Confusing terminology

Postby FRJ » Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:57 pm

Good post.

I read something similar some time ago.
I like to refer to handle material as covers because it seemed appropriate according to what I read and it seemed to make sense.
I also read about internal metal "scales" and "bolster liners" or just "liners". All seem to be appropriate terms.
I think it is important to use the knife mechanics terms of nomenclature in the forum. It would help folks new to knife collecting as well.
Not being a knife mechanic, the tommy pin is new to me. And the "file side" is odd.
Joe

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Re: Confusing terminology

Postby dlr110 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:58 pm

YES IT IS CONFUSING SOMETIMES! Way back when I first started collecting and doing research on many different types of knives my first go to site was Case and the "Case College." I learned that there were many more sources of information, like AAPK for one. My personal opinion is, it's a generational thing and location and over the years as knife makers have come and gone, the increase in knife styles etc, the nomenclature is bound to change on some. Is it important to know all the terms, materials, and differences in the knife styles and purpose, I believe so if you are going to be a serious collector or converse on a fourm such as AAPK.

For me, I don't make knives, refurbish knives or even order knife parts. Have I learned most of the terms, yes, but handle or scale, liner or bolster liner, it's all irrelevant to me what you call them. I just like to find'um, buy'um, and display'um. BTW I'm still learning from good folks like these on AAPK and life is still fun.
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Re: Confusing terminology

Postby knife7knut » Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:58 pm

Just to add one particular term I cannot stand! The term,"slip-joint" or even worse,"slippie"! I guess it is easier than saying,"non-locking folding knife" but it still makes me grit my teeth when I see or hear it. :x JMHO
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Re: Confusing terminology

Postby rea1eye » Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:26 pm

I think the knife terminology is confusing. Sometimes when I Google a part or term I am not
familiar with I get even more confused since a solid definitions does not show up.
Sometimes you just have to figure it out yourself I guess.

Maybe we could get a definition of words section in this forum?

Bob

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Mumbleypeg
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Re: Confusing terminology

Postby Mumbleypeg » Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:01 pm

rea1eye wrote:
Maybe we could get a definition of words section in this forum?

Bob


Now that would make for a lively discussion! We can’t all agree on anything, which is part of what makes AAPK fun! ::sotb::

As for me, I favor “handle covers” myself. But I’ve called them scales, and handles before too. Like others I’ve become somewhat educated by reading knife maker's sites and knife repair manuals. But all of them don’t agree either.

One eye-opener for me however is a term I used to use,”swedge”. (Even as I type this, the spellchecker is telling me it is wrong). I acquired a book about Sheffield Exhibition Knives, in which the text continually made reference to “swages”. I had previously always called them swedges. So I reached for a dictionary and sure enough, there’s no such thing as a “swedge” in the dictionary. On the other hand a “swage” is defined as “a groove, ridge, or other molding on an object”. I did eventually find an on-line dictionary definition for “swedge” - said it’s an alternate spelling for swage, see swage. :lol: So since then I’ve called them swages. My #%$@* spellcheck is happier. ::paranoid::

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Re: Confusing terminology

Postby WillyCamaro » Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:13 pm

I say scales and i'm sticking to it! ::huff::
You bad Steve! And you forgot Toyota. ::tounge::
How's "Slip Joint Pocket Hand Tool" k7k... ::poke::
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Re: Confusing terminology

Postby zzyzzogeton » Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:57 pm

Re: "file side" ---

Until I saw "file side" on that Western parts diagram for the first time many, many years ago, I had NEVER heard the term. "Pile side" was the ONLY term I ever heard, other than "not the Mark side" by folks who didn't know the "pile" terminology. I know my grandfather called them "the mark side" and "the other side". :mrgreen:

Since the book came out in 1978, I have seen a few references to the Western diagram and the Western definition wording, word for word. But that is the only times I see "file side".

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Re: Confusing terminology

Postby kootenay joe » Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:39 am

Most of the names for the parts of knives originated in Britain around 1800, or earlier. Manufacturing knives in USA began around 1830 ? or 1850 ?, whatever the date it came after the establishment in Britain. I think some of the terms were applied incorrectly in USA but that was so long ago that these uses of the words is now seen as correct.
"Scale" originally referred to the liners but at some point long ago it was used for the handle pieces aka 'covers'. So how does one decide now which meaning of 'scale' to choose ?
Levine suggests using the original meanings for knife terms if the original meaning can be proved, i.e. in a written document that dates to early 1800's.
Levine also uses: "swage" as this is the word used in 1800's Britain. Most people however use: "swedge".
kj

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Re: Confusing terminology

Postby Berryb » Mon Aug 26, 2019 5:12 am

when I first started doing this I read (I can't find where) scales on a fixed blade, handles on a folder. I remember because it's the opposite of the way I would do it. I have also seen that nobody seems to follow that rule, or any other for that matter. It doesn't seem to matter what term is used because everyone knows what you're talking about anyway.
Bruce

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Re: Confusing terminology

Postby jerryd6818 » Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:31 am

Just to add to the confusion, another blown up parts chart.
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anatomy of a Knife.jpg
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Re: Confusing terminology

Postby Paladin » Mon Aug 26, 2019 10:47 am

knife7knut wrote:Just to add one particular term I cannot stand! The term,"slip-joint" or even worse,"slippie"! I guess it is easier than saying,"non-locking folding knife" but it still makes me grit my teeth when I see or hear it. :x JMHO

Thank you, sir. I am on board!

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