How to clean and finish this knife?

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FullScaleNovice
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How to clean and finish this knife?

Post by FullScaleNovice » Fri May 29, 2020 12:13 am

Thanks in advance for any assistance. I know nothing about knives or knife restoration but want to learn.

I found this knife in an old toolbox I was given by my father(he doesn't remember it so it doesn't hold a lot of significance so this is all about learning). As far as I can tell, it is a Hammer Brand from 1938-1941 (photo below). The handle is pearl-like with a couple chips missing. It is dirty and has some rust (photos below).

I want to restore it. Today, I tried to remove the scales and was surprised to find that it doesn't have normal scales but what seems to be celluloid wrapped around metal.

Any advice or correction is appreciated. :)

My questions are as follows:
1 - What is the best way to clean up the blades? If this were a hand tool I'd be hitting it with a wire wheel then steel wool. I'm guessing a blade needs wet sanding and buffing/polishing.
2 - What is the best way to clean up the other exterior metal? (fake bolsters and edges)
3 - What is the best way to clean the slots that the blades reside in? How can I get into the deep slots?
4 - What should I buy to re-wrap the handle and how can I do it? I've found celluloid but am guessing most of what I've found is too thick. If I use celluloid, do I form it with heat?

Thanks for your patience!
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1967redrider
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Re: How to clean and finish this knife?

Post by 1967redrider » Fri May 29, 2020 12:27 am

::welcome:: to AAPK! Since I'm more of a traditionalist, I would just remove the rust and oil the joints, then reassemble it as it was. ::nod::
Pocket, fixed, machete, axe, it's all good!

You're going to look awfully silly with that knife sticking out of your @#$. -Clint Eastwood, High Plains Drifter

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Mumbleypeg
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Re: How to clean and finish this knife?

Post by Mumbleypeg » Fri May 29, 2020 12:32 am

Welcome to AAPK.

The question “how do I clean my knife” is probably the most frequently asked of all questions here. You’ll find the answers about cleaning the blades, the blade wells (what you called slots) and other parts can be found here: viewtopic.php?f=37&t=54157

Replacing or repairing the handles is another entirely different topic. I’m not sure what can be done with the ones on your knife, which are called “shell” handles. You’re correct that they are metal covered by a thin layer of celluloid, which is an inexpensive knife handle technique. Others may have some tips for that.

Ken
Member AKTI, TSRA, NRA.

"There was a time when young people revered their elders. No one knows when this was." - Bill Heavey
https://www.akti.org/

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just bob
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Re: How to clean and finish this knife?

Post by just bob » Fri May 29, 2020 12:34 am

“The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.” (Paulo Coelho)

Men make plans and God laughs

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.

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Doc B
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Re: How to clean and finish this knife?

Post by Doc B » Fri May 29, 2020 12:47 am

Welcome to AAPK!
I've never seen a thin veneer of celluloid replaced, on the original cover. I've see "Shell conversions"...which are very involved repairs. Search "shell conversion", in the SEARCH feature that is located on the top left, in the Quick Links. A new member just did a replacement, without bolsters (the metal ends)...on this post. This would be a much easier approach to handle replacement.
viewtopic.php?f=37&t=66892&hilit=mike+computer+skills
::welcome::
::handshake::
Heretical Refurb / Mods of cheap old folders, since late 2018

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Steve Warden
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Re: How to clean and finish this knife?

Post by Steve Warden » Fri May 29, 2020 12:50 am

I'll just say HI!!
Take care and God bless,

Steve
TSgt USAF, Retired
1980-2000

But any knife is better than no knife! ~ Mumbleypeg (aka Ken)

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Doc B
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Re: How to clean and finish this knife?

Post by Doc B » Fri May 29, 2020 12:52 am

Here is part of the process of removing and discarding the shell overlay...then fabricating a solid nickel-silver bolster...it's much more involved; than, just covering the handle in a solid material as the link I posted above.
viewtopic.php?f=37&t=60515&hilit=shell+conversion.
Heretical Refurb / Mods of cheap old folders, since late 2018

FullScaleNovice
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Re: How to clean and finish this knife?

Post by FullScaleNovice » Fri May 29, 2020 12:54 am

I've already learned some things from your responses. Time to start poring through those links. Thank you very much.

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KLJ77
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Re: How to clean and finish this knife?

Post by KLJ77 » Fri May 29, 2020 1:15 pm

Full Scale,

Welcome aboard...and I hope your restoration works out good. Stick around though...there's more to this forum than just knowing how to clean a knife. When you complete your knife cleaning endeavor, post pics...we would like to see the end results. ::tu::
LJ

"The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are now outnumbered by those that vote for a living."

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Steve Warden
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Re: How to clean and finish this knife?

Post by Steve Warden » Fri May 29, 2020 1:35 pm

KLJ77 wrote:
Fri May 29, 2020 1:15 pm
Full Scale,
..there's more to this forum than just knowing how to clean a knife. When you complete your knife cleaning endeavor...
...sharpen, oil, wipe down, fondle (what some folks 'round here call "coon fingerin'"), wipe down some more, find the right display setting, post a pic or three, fondle some more, wipe down, display, ogle...

Yeah, we're kinda like that. 😁
Take care and God bless,

Steve
TSgt USAF, Retired
1980-2000

But any knife is better than no knife! ~ Mumbleypeg (aka Ken)

FullScaleNovice
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Re: How to clean and finish this knife?

Post by FullScaleNovice » Fri May 29, 2020 5:46 pm

I'm a bit intrigued by reformatting this to solid scales (if that's the right term) and ditch the shells altogether. I don't really have the equipment to fabricate anything out of steel. With no emotional attachment to this knife, I'd be fine if it weren't the same as it is now and this may be the simplest way to make a knife nice on my first try.

Thank you all for your kindness and patience. Other forums for other things are not always so friendly to folks just getting started. ::tu::

I'll update as I go. This virus has me doing and learning many things I never figured I'd do or learn. This will be fun.

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Mumbleypeg
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Re: How to clean and finish this knife?

Post by Mumbleypeg » Fri May 29, 2020 6:30 pm

Sorry it had to be the virus that piqued your interest, but glad you’re interested in any case. Please keep us posted as to your progress (or lack of it) - we like pictures here. If you have questions just ask, or go to the section here on knife repair. viewforum.php?f=38

Ken
Member AKTI, TSRA, NRA.

"There was a time when young people revered their elders. No one knows when this was." - Bill Heavey
https://www.akti.org/

Reverand
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Re: How to clean and finish this knife?

Post by Reverand » Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:14 am

Welcome to AAPK!
Here is an Imperial knife that I cleaned up. I cleaned up shell handles with steel wool, then painted them. Nothing fancy, just Testors model paint. Some people use nail polish.
I lightly sanded these blades by hand with 800-grit sandpaper, and cleaned the blade well (where the blade sits when closed) with Q-tips and oil. I have sometimes used an Emory board in them, but those are pretty coarse and leave some scratches.
I would not clean a knife that is antique, rare, or had collector's value. But I am okay cleaning and polishing a common and inexpensive knife like this. These are made with great blade steel, and make good EDC (Every Day Carry) knives!
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richard
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Re: How to clean and finish this knife?

Post by richard » Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:58 am

Nice job, exactly what i would have done, reverand.

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KLJ77
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Re: How to clean and finish this knife?

Post by KLJ77 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:45 pm

Love that blue you used. Really highlights the knife. ::tu::
LJ

"The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are now outnumbered by those that vote for a living."

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