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  #16  
Old 12-16-2017, 11:39 PM
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Being a Craftsman is part of the reason I feel it's possible that Bo left the first one alone. I still have my first flute. By later standards it was rudimentary, but I was proud of it as it was my first. Bo may not have had that sentiment.

Joe, you commented:

"There was also conversation if Bo ever really completed the original knife as shown in the 1937 photo. It is not pinned, and the discussion revolved around whether he had the tang just stuck in the handle for the photos. It seems likely no pitch was holding the tang within the stag and the hilt wasn't soldered to the blade."



The knife looks complete to me. Why would he have a sheath made for an unfinished knife? I remember in the book when he lived on the golf course going out to show his friends the knife, and one of them wanted to buy it on the spot. He didn't sell it because it wasn't finished and it didn't have a sheath.
Note the other 2 completed knives in the following photo. So it appears to me that he completed this one and 2 others being his earliest knives.




In the following photo of page 38 of the book, Bo describes step by step how he made the knife.
Bo describes the task of filing and shaping the hilt and spacers.
I suppose he could have been describing the building of another knife, as it had a pin, not 2. So because we have a photo of 3 rudimentary earlier designs, it seems to preclude the knife in the 1938 photo formerly owned by Rhett from being the first, doesn't it? If we follow the story that he built the knife without gluing it together, put it to the side and built others improving his skills, then revisited it later and reconfigured it to a more modern look, that would not IMO qualify it as his first knife. Only the raw steel and the stag in it would be considered earlier. His first completed knife would defer to one of the other two that he originally made.

To use an analogy, it's like Henry Ford taking his first model T, reworking it because he likes the look of the more refined model A, then claiming the Model A was his first car.




I think Al Marchand originally forged 3 blades for Bo, and in the photo above showing 3 completed knives with sheaths, it appears that he completed his task. With those 3 appearing to be rudimentary in comparison to the 1938 knives.
So I see a natural progression in skill level with the 1938 batch the ones displaying more refined looking knives.

Last edited by samg; 12-16-2017 at 11:46 PM.
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  #17  
Old 12-17-2017, 07:21 AM
crutchtip crutchtip is offline
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It was only anecdotal discussion Sam, primarily because of the visible tang. Some guys were questioning the possibility it wasn't fully assembled with the tang visible, furthering the idea that Bo rebuilt the knife from the exposed tang configuration. I think the thought was the exposed tang seemed to be a bit of a departure from what we have come to accept as Randall "quality" if you will.

Perhaps when he received the knife he ordered from Bill Scagel (page 38) in mid 1937 was the impetus for Bo to rebuild his knife even more in that image, because it certainly resembles a Scagel

On page 43 you will note in 1938 Bo started working on blade quality improvement to include "thickness and bevel angles".

What I do know is that the stag is the same piece of stag. The blade was altered to what it is now in my opinion. Exactly when, I don't know.

Last edited by crutchtip; 12-17-2017 at 09:10 AM.
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  #18  
Old 12-17-2017, 09:15 AM
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Joe, if the evidence of the group discussing the possibility of whether the 1937 knife was fully assembled because of the visible tang, then at the time of the discussion they must not of been aware of the photo that came to light of the partially built knives with hilts soldered on, leading me to believe the 1937 knife was finished. I also don't see the logic in making a sheath for a knife that he didn't plan to finish.




The evidence of the 3 early knives with sheaths seems to illustrate that he completed the first batch of knives.



He very well could have upon receiving his Scagel knife, been inspired to make the refinements that we see in the 1938 knives.

Also, knowing that he was able to heat the stag on the bottle opener to remove it, he easily could have done it again on the 1937 knife. I think it would have been next to impossible to not fasten the hilt and spacers and shape it to what it was. Again if one of the above pictured unfinished knives with soldered hilts was this knife, then the hilt was soldered on.

Either way, even if the stag is one in the same on both knives, IMO the current refined version can't be looked on as Bos First completed knife. That would be one of the other two, would it not?

I suppose if the consensus is true that Bo refinished that early blade, disassembled it and installed a new hilt and spacers and fitted that original stag on it, it could be considered a later knife built with 2 components from his first knife. But to claim it to be his first knife is misleading. The first for any craftsman, again, IMO is the one that started it all, the one completed, for better or worse.

Great discussion Joe, and it is awesome that we have the knife illustrated in that 1938 photo is amazing.

Do you happen to know the back story of how Rhett came in possession of this knife?

Thanks again,
Sam
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  #19  
Old 12-17-2017, 12:59 PM
crutchtip crutchtip is offline
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Sam, it is all semantics. I still view it as Bo's first knife as he did. Not unlike the first of anything, say a collectible car. These are often rebuilt. Does being rebuilt change the fact it the first? No, perhaps not in original condition, but still the first. Check the VIN.

For this particular knife, whether Bo rebuilt two days later after the original photo or two months later, it is still his first knife. Now you can look at it in the context it isn't in the same state as the 1937 photo, yet still an example of his first effort into knife making imo. Otherwise, there isn't a "first knife".

Bo stated it is his first, and he even identifies it a such in his own handwriting, and he should know. That is good enough for me.

I want to say and if I remember correctly, Rhett was contacted by the family and went to their home and purchased it. The story is the sheath was lost in a duck blind.

Rhett traveled the country every year for decades doing knife shows. At one time he may have had one of the the most impressive knife collections in existence, not only Randall's

Last edited by crutchtip; 12-17-2017 at 01:15 PM.
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  #20  
Old 12-17-2017, 01:21 PM
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For those who don't have the technology, here are 4 pictures of the stag that some feel is all the same piece of stag.
Top from 1937
Next 1938
Next 2004?
Bottom 2017
The bottom photo is a little different angle, but all around the pins can be compared.


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  #21  
Old 12-17-2017, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crutchtip View Post
Bo stated it is his first, and he even identifies it a such in his own handwriting, and he should know. That is good enough for me.
You absolutely have a point about that Joe. No doubt. It's Gaddis and Gary later agreeing that they probably weren't the same knife that bothers me about it also.

So there is the fact that Bo signed the 1938 photo, claiming it to be his first, then Gaddis discovers photos of knives that are obviously earlier, one of which has a very similar, if not the same stag handle on it, and I think it was determined by Gaddis and Gary at that time that they were probably 2 different knives.




I totally understand your belief and reason that they are one in the same.

Thanks for the discussion about it, and as was mentioned earlier, it's awesome that the knife in that 1938 photo is accounted for.
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  #22  
Old 12-17-2017, 02:28 PM
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Joe, in your last post, you asked:

"Not unlike the first of anything, say a collectible car. These are often rebuilt. Does being rebuilt change the fact it the first? No, perhaps not in original condition, but still the first. Check the VIN."

If Bo had taken a 1942 Zacharias fighter, taken it apart, reconfigured it into a 1943 brass thong clip fighter because it was a better design, would you still view it as being earlier than another Zack?

Do you recollect any comments by Bo stating that he rebuilt his first knife? I would think that as Bo had a keen mind, that when the 1938 photo was shown to him and he identified it, I would think that he would have recollected the rebuilding of it and shared that story. Had that happened, we wouldn't be having this conversation. At this point it's only a theory, a good one, but a theory nonetheless. Remember our collector addage, buy the knife, not the story.

Sam
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  #23  
Old 12-17-2017, 03:52 PM
crutchtip crutchtip is offline
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Sam - Bo identified the knife in the photo as his first by the handle. Irrespective of his age or memory, it is apparent he was certain of it both in oral communication and his own writing.

I think you are really trying to make something that just isn't there. You can't change history because it doesn't suit your line of thinking or the way you think it should be. I don't look at it as a negative Bo rebuilt the knife, I think it is a positive and am glad it is still around.

Gaddis obviously had the same concerns looking at the protruding tang from the 1937 photo (apparently found after Bo's passing) when he was researching the book and comparing it to the 1938 photo. Understand this was Gaddis looking at photos years ago and trying to decipher some things after Bo passed. I don't think either he or Gary studied it even as much as you have from the onset of this thread, and "probably" is a far cry from it isn't. I would venture to say it was a casual "Doesn't look the same, not sure. Could be. Maybe. Maybe not. I dunno" type of conversation.

Bo identified it as his first knife. I don't know what else to say.

If Bo took a Zach and altered it, God forbid, but had identified it as his first knife, it is still his first knife even after being repaired. If it was tipped and had to be fixed, that changes if from being his first knife? I fail to see your logic.

Another example, I have seen a couple early 14's/15's that once had tenite handles that had been replaced with micarta. Does that mean it is no longer a 1960 model 15 because the failing tenite was replaced with micarta? Nope. It only makes it a "rehandled" 1960 model 15 and would be represented as such. Still the same knife and sheath.

Last edited by crutchtip; 12-17-2017 at 04:22 PM.
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  #24  
Old 12-17-2017, 06:02 PM
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Thanks Joe for the back story of this knife, as always, it's great to discuss the old ones.
Regards, Sam
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