Camco Camp Knife

This forum is for those who like to repair and restore knives, and for those who would like to learn.
Post Reply
Jerlin
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri May 22, 2020 3:22 pm

Camco Camp Knife

Post by Jerlin » Fri May 22, 2020 11:36 pm

I have had this Camco Camp Knife since I was a boy in the Boy Scouts in the early 1950's. It has been in my tool box forever. I took it out the other day and noticed it had some rust on it and the plastic handle material had cracked and shrunk. Otherwise the knife is in pretty good shape. I have attached some photos of the knife.

I decided to clean the knife up and see about replacing the handles. Since I have no experience working on knives, I started doing some on-line research. That is where I came across AAPK. I joined today and have been doing quite a bit of research in the tutorials and Knife Repair and Restoration Forum. I have found a lot of good information, but now I am at a point where I could use some help.

After cleaning up the knife, I removed the handles by prying them off. Two end pins stuck in the handles and two stuck in the liners (one on either side). Also, I pryed the handles off the center pin, so it remained in the knife. However, the center pin is bent on both ends towards the bale end of the knife.
The original handles have a radius surface on the top side.

I found some radius brown jigged bone handle material on the internet. I believe they will work on my knife. However, I have some questions about replacing the handles.

Is it best to replace the center pin to make sure there is enough length to peen the ends over when the new handle material is installed? The new handle material is the same thickness as the original handles, but I'm not sure the existing pin will be long enough. If the center pin needs to be removed, I assume I can cut off one peened end and punch it out. Is there a reason the center pin is bent? Was it possibly to make the plastic handles fit tighter? If I attach the bone handle material with an adhesive, it seems to me the pin is more for looks and not functional. Of course I can install the center pin with adhesive as well. The same for the end pins. Can I reuse them and install them with adhesive?

One other question. What grit sand paper is best to use on a belt sander to shape the bone handles to the liners once the handles have been installed?

Thank you in advance for any advice anyone can offer.

Jerry Johnson
Attachments
20200522_161329.jpg
20200522_161500.jpg
Center pin is bent on both ends
Center pin is bent on both ends
Another view of bent center pin. Also two end pins remain in liner and two came out when handles removed
Another view of bent center pin. Also two end pins remain in liner and two came out when handles removed

User avatar
Doc B
Bronze Tier
Bronze Tier
Posts: 2540
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:57 pm
Location: San Antonio

Re: Camco Camp Knife

Post by Doc B » Fri May 22, 2020 11:58 pm

Jerry, Hi! and welcome to AAPK!
Ahh...you walk down the slippery slope of knife repair...from which you can have a lot of fun.
First, the center pin is very functional. It anchors your spring. You are correct about the way to remove the pin. The two other pins on each side do somewhat help in holding your scales (handles) on...however, with epoxy, they could probably be left off. I usually replace them...because I like the looks of them. I'm not sure what bent your pin...but in an ideal world, it wouldn't be bent...the peening process is what will hold the knife (and scale to some extent) together. I've only done a couple of 4 bladed knives...so I'm not sure how much tension, the spring is under. It was my impression that it isn't near as much tension as a single blade...on a single spring. Yours has two blades per spring. If it's under much tension...the springs will need to be compressed, to get the holes to all line up, when replacing the new pin. You may be able to do that with a vise. There are various ways to approach spring compression. When the pin comes out...make sure and orient the springs, as to direction and side...for replacement. They look symmetrical and you think there's nothing to putting them back...but trust me...there is enough difference, you need to replace them exactly in the order and direction they are in the knife. I'm sure others will chime in.
Personally, I find it easier to work on by taking it all the way apart...but that could require more tools than you have available.
Here's one I did for my nephew...
viewtopic.php?f=37&t=61436&hilit=camco
A lot of good info here. ::welcome:: ::handshake::
Heretical Refurb / Mods of cheap old folders, since late 2018

Reverand
Bronze Tier
Bronze Tier
Posts: 464
Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2018 6:45 pm
Location: Pisgah, AL
Contact:

Re: Camco Camp Knife

Post by Reverand » Sat May 23, 2020 1:28 am

::welcome::

Welcome to AAPK!! I also recommend taking the knife completely apart. I have tried to replace handles without taking the knife apart, and I had a rough time of it. It can be done by experienced mechanics, but without the tools and experience it is just too hard to do. At least, it was for me.
If you are hesitant to do that on such a sentimental knife, you might want to buy a couple of cheap knives off of eBay and try them first. It is a lot of fun!
Either way, you will probably want to replace all of those pins. When that center pin comes out, the springs will as well. Be sure to mark them so they go back in the same place, and the same orientation. Getting one flipped around backward can ruin your day!
Then again, be willing to think outside the box and do things that others do not, if you want.
I haven't been able to work on knives in a couple of months, but it really can be a lot of fun. I hope that this project is for you, too!
Jesus is life.
Everything else is just a hobby.

~Reverand

User avatar
herbva
Gold Tier
Gold Tier
Posts: 454
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:18 pm
Location: The Old Dominion

Re: Camco Camp Knife

Post by herbva » Sat May 23, 2020 11:07 am

Hi Jerry, and welcome to AAPK! Ditto to all the good advice above. The center pin (also known as the "rocker pin") shouldn't be bent like that. You can remove it quite easily by grinding or cutting one of the heads off and then can tap it out with a punch of a slightly smaller size than the pin. But first, it will be much easier to tap it out if you straighten it out as much as you can with a pliers. Unfortunately, this knife is a bit more complicated, with 4 blades and 2 springs. I also urge you to buy some inexpensive knives to practice on (ebay is a good source), and look at the many good tutorials that have been posted here on AAPK and elsewhere. Just google "pocket knife repair" and you will see lots of videos. I started tinkering with knives 10 or 12 years ago, and I must reiterate the warning - BEWARE, THIS IS ADDICTIVE! If you are mechanically inclined and have a reasonable working knowledge of hand tools and some power tools like a drill press, rotary tool (Dremel or the like), and belt sander, it is a lot of fun and very rewarding. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Good luck and let us know how you are progressing. :D
"Better to do something imperfectly, than to do nothing flawlessly." ~ Robert H. Schuller

Herb

Jerlin
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri May 22, 2020 3:22 pm

Re: Camco Camp Knife

Post by Jerlin » Sat May 23, 2020 1:38 pm

Hi Doc B, Reverand and herbva, Thank you for the warm welcome to AAPK and encouraging words about knife repair. I also appreciate the advice given about replacing the scales (handles) on my knife. I especially like the idea of practicing on a some cheap knives first to get some experience. I'm sure I will have more questions as I get into the project, but in the meantime thanks again for your interest and assistance.

Jerry Johnson

Post Reply

Return to “Knife Repair and Restoration”