Foreigner looking for info on old English pocketknife (Richards Sheffield England)

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Edward Skihands
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Foreigner looking for info on old English pocketknife (Richards Sheffield England)

Post by Edward Skihands »

Hey, I just found this beauty and I’m Finn so Idon’t know anything about these knives. ::shrug:: After quick first glance I can tell it’s well machined together and nothing is loose, it’s just a bit rusty. I found it between some wooden planks at firewood storage at summer house built by my grandfather like in the 70’s. It was in spot that will stay dry throughout the year although I did sand off some rust from the blade before taking the picture.

Anyway… what year is my newest partner from, about? Is there something I should know about or take into consideration while I repair it?
::woot:: Just, tell me everything! Okay?
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Richards Sheffield England
Richards Sheffield England
Edward Skihands
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Re: Foreigner looking for info on old English pocketknife (Richards Sheffield England)

Post by Edward Skihands »

Close up on markings
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just bob
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Re: Foreigner looking for info on old English pocketknife (Richards Sheffield England)

Post by just bob »

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

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Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.
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Mumbleypeg
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Re: Foreigner looking for info on old English pocketknife (Richards Sheffield England)

Post by Mumbleypeg »

Welcome to AAPK. Your picture of close up on markings didn’t post. I can’t help with an estimate of age, but recommend you try to avoid cleaning it using harsh abrasives that remove metal. You may have to resort to that but first try less abrasive methods. Some good recommendations can be found here viewtopic.php?f=37&t=54157

Ken
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ThatWeirdKnifeGuy
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Re: Foreigner looking for info on old English pocketknife (Richards Sheffield England)

Post by ThatWeirdKnifeGuy »

Greetings friend.

You do indeed have a shell handled single blade jack knife made by Richard's of Sheffield England, formerly Richartz from Germany. They made a few similar models, as far as I can tell anecdotally. It's called a shell handle because the handle scales are hollow, stamped out of mild steel usually in one piece per side, and attached to the knife at the ends with small metal tabs. These are almost always covered with thin celluloid plastic film covers. This is most oftem seen in imitiation mother of pearl, but also brown as with yours, and also a black jigged plastic of some sort that's slightly thicker.
I'd peg their dates of production late 50's to late 60's.

Richard's moved to England just before WW2. After the war they caught alot of flak from other Sheffield cutlers who were renowned for world class cutlery; shell handled knives were considered low quality. Their shift to a more economically friendly knife was exactly what the average working man in a rebuilding war torn country needed though and Richard's flourished.

They pumped out tons of these knives, but many were used up and tossed, as was intended. Here's a few of mine for comparison.
1. Just like yours, but with the bail
2. Both sides of a similar style, with and without mop celluloid and with additional fish scaler tool
3. This one had mop celluloid but i took it off and replaced it with blue and clear vinyl, polished the bejeezus out if it, knocked the edge off, and gave to my 5 year old son.
4. Black variety
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::nod:: https://newlifeknives.etsy.com ::nod::

That's my Etsy store where I sell old knives and sometimes handmade knife accessories to support my knife habbit. Thanks for looking my friend. ::tu::
Edward Skihands
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Re: Foreigner looking for info on old English pocketknife (Richards Sheffield England)

Post by Edward Skihands »

Thanks a lot everyone. The dark brown on handle is that bakelite stuff, first plastic like materials. I have been restoring the knife by chemically removing rust and gently sanded the blade with p240 paper.

That blade has low carbon but it’s so slim it can become sharp enough to cut paper with it’s own weight, so it will be practical knife in wilderness where I spend most of my time these days. Kind of… love it.

I often develop emotional bond with my knives ::shrug:: like my “Talon”, just some 5cm mushroom knife type thin blade with custom rabbit belt handle, but helped me pull myself up from ice cold water when I dropped through ice decade ago. Now it’s lost and I was kind of devastated a while, but this is looking to become my new soulmate.
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Needs a bit more effort
Needs a bit more effort
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FRJ
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Re: Foreigner looking for info on old English pocketknife (Richards Sheffield England)

Post by FRJ »

I have one kinda similarish from Sheffield.
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Joe
joeradza
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Re: Foreigner looking for info on old English pocketknife (Richards Sheffield England)

Post by joeradza »

Just received one just like it. Glad for the info. Solid knife.
Edit: If the covers are celluloid should it be stored separately in case of out gassing?
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ThatWeirdKnifeGuy
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Re: Foreigner looking for info on old English pocketknife (Richards Sheffield England)

Post by ThatWeirdKnifeGuy »

joeradza wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2024 12:17 pm Just received one just like it. Glad for the info. Solid knife.
Edit: If the covers are celluloid should it be stored separately in case of out gassing?
Im not 100% certain, i can only report my experiences which is that the black like you have seem to be the most stable. For these thin films, they seem to shrink and maybe cause some corrosion to the handle beneath where they're seated, but dont seem to cause the same degradation to the blade steel. They may not even release the nitric acid fumes, or maybe just less since there's not much material there. Either way i haven't noticed them to be dangerous to their neighbors.
::nod:: https://newlifeknives.etsy.com ::nod::

That's my Etsy store where I sell old knives and sometimes handmade knife accessories to support my knife habbit. Thanks for looking my friend. ::tu::
joeradza
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Re: Foreigner looking for info on old English pocketknife (Richards Sheffield England)

Post by joeradza »

ThatWeirdKnifeGuy wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 1:20 pm
joeradza wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2024 12:17 pm Just received one just like it. Glad for the info. Solid knife.
Edit: If the covers are celluloid should it be stored separately in case of out gassing?
Im not 100% certain, i can only report my experiences which is that the black like you have seem to be the most stable. For these thin films, they seem to shrink and maybe cause some corrosion to the handle beneath where they're seated, but dont seem to cause the same degradation to the blade steel. They may not even release the nitric acid fumes, or maybe just less since there's not much material there. Either way i haven't noticed them to be dangerous to their neighbors.
Thank you. It’s a nice big, solid knife which I may use on occasion. I guess I’ll keep it separate, just in case.
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Re: Foreigner looking for info on old English pocketknife (Richards Sheffield England)

Post by Ivoryman »

Edward Skihands wrote: Mon May 27, 2024 9:31 am I have been restoring the knife by chemically removing rust and gently sanded the blade with p240 paper.




Welcome to AAPK. Had to cringe when I read 240 sandpaper. If you're interested in learning, NEVER put 240 sandpaper to your blades. Ruins finish, patina, and removes way too much metal. Big no no. Try toothpaste on a plastic bristle brush, or rust erasers, or a pencil eraser, or naval jelly. Don't destroy the finish or the flats with deep destructive scraches. Stay away from steel wool, wire wheels, and steel wire brushes. There are whole threads here about how to restore, clean, de-rust your blade or knife without rough sand paper. It destroys far more than it cleans. Do the knife a favor and preserve the metal, don't sand it away. IMHO, YRMV.
"It's what people know about themselves inside that makes them afraid." -No Name, High Plains Drifter
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