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  #16  
Old 10-09-2014, 08:40 AM
dax0007 dax0007 is offline
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Randall delrin

Hello all! Great info!! I have always wanted a RANDALL BRASSBACK, but could never find one for less than 1800.......

Well I recently purchase found this one on ebay(same one you guys posted a picture of) and talk to the seller.. The seller was selling it for the ORIGINAL OWNER who bought it in around 1967.. He order then from Randall and back then the handle was simply alternative to IVORY.. No such thing as IVORITE.... He gave me a letter of COA history.. He has just got out of the miltary and wanted to buy a few Randalls..

They are stunning for the age.. Just mint and perfect... I would have preferred a IVROY 1960s BRASSBACK, but i would never be able to afford one i am sure.. I bought the set
Randall Model 12-11 BRASBACK
Randal Model 12-13 ARKANSA TOOTHPICK

i got a great deal in my opinion less than what u pay for a new ones... The toothpick was just around 600..

I like the vintage and plus i have never seen many delrins before...

SOrry it wont let me attach the photos
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  #17  
Old 10-09-2014, 11:45 PM
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Jacknola Jacknola is offline
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Holy batman.!!! ... we've got to see pictures. I can post them for you if you e-mail them to me...Or you can open a free account on photo bucket, upload them there and post the link. Your amazing story is akin to finding a Daytona Cobra in a country barn. I'm not sure which bowie you are referring to in this line however.

Re: ivory, ivorite and/or alternative Ivory. The catalogs of 1969 call Delrin "Ivorite." That is the first mention of the material in a catalog that I've found. (don't have the '68 but no mention of "ivorite" in '67). In the 1969 catalog there is an outright declaration of disgust with Ivory as a material and a declaration it would no longer be offered. Obviously that wasn't strictly followed because many ivory handled knives were made thereafter. I'll post the catalog references later.

"Alternative Ivory" was apparently a term applied decades (?) later to a different material. I've heard that knives with this material were blade stamped with A/I ... but I've never seen one. This "alternative ivory" was apparently offered simultaneously with a micarta product that was also called "ivorite." This ivorite was of course NOT Delriin.

So, it seems as if the term "ivorite" was applied to three different products at different times. Delrin in the late '60s-early '70s, a micarta material from '90s-2010 or so, and the newer phenolic resin material today. So I suspect your information might be good stuff and that the term "ivorite" was not used until the '69 catalog (see below).


Last edited by Jacknola; 07-26-2017 at 06:59 PM.
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  #18  
Old 10-10-2014, 09:15 AM
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Hi dax0007!

Welcome to the knife Network!

There is a 24 hour waiting period for new members for posting pictures, so you should be able to upload them now.

Thanks to Jack for his offer to post them for you and if you're still having problems, I would take him up on it.

Looking forward to seeing your Randalls.

Cheers!

David


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  #19  
Old 10-17-2014, 10:20 PM
dax0007 dax0007 is offline
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Hello Guys!

Jacknola- I emailed u the pictures... I still cant upload.. I click on the upload link and it wants a URL.. Jack if u can put them up for me you are tha MAN!! THANKS!!


Someone already posted the pic of my brassback Bowie from EBAY.. Thats where i bought it, but they will not sell it to me for the price i wanted unless i bought the DELRIN ARKANSAS TOOTHPICK..

To make a long story short I always wanted a Randall Brassback Smithsonian bowie, but never wanted to put out 1500-2k for one.. I saw that one on FEEBAY and thought to myself "That handle does not look like IVORY and MICARTA" and then found out it was delrin..

Overall i am happy with both! Mint lat 1960s with SP-13 stone.. Everything is mint.. I even got a letter from the original owner who bought them after he got out of the miltary 1968..
He placed the order in 1968 ,then received the knives in 1969..

Very interesting was when he order the knives he order 3 to have a matching set..
Smithsonian Bowie Brass back
Model 13 Arkansas
Randall 1-8

However Randall would not make the model 1-8 with DELRIN for some reason. He said only option for the model 1-8 was STAG, WOOD, LEATHER.. Not sure why no option for ivory..

Love this stuff!!
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  #20  
Old 10-18-2014, 08:04 PM
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Here are Don's pictures. These are terrific Delrin handled knives, post 1969. The story he related to me about the origin and acquisition of these knives was very interesting but I'll let him tell it if he wishes. Re: no ivory for 1-8, and no delrin (?) I suggest reading the catalog section on ivory in the 1969 catalog (previous post). The shop was not offering ivory after 1969 unless someone in person in the shop ordered it. But don't understand why they would not handle a 1-8 in Delrin. In fact, they did earlier in the decade. Two APFKs are known to exist with Delrin handles. Both are probably '66-'68 however.

These are great pictures. Thanks to Don for sharing these wonderful knives. I alert everyone, some revolutionary Delrin information is coming soon.

Knives and sheaths:



Knives



Guards and Delrin handles:



Sheaths:



13-12:



Heavy Bowie:




Coolie butt caps




Regards, Jack Williams

Last edited by Jacknola; 07-26-2017 at 07:01 PM.
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  #21  
Old 10-19-2014, 09:06 AM
dax0007 dax0007 is offline
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Thanks Jack...

Thank for assisting! Yes they are stunning! Hope others share more of their Delrin handle Randalls... THe bOWIE is as you said heavy! Very heavy and the handle is actually well balanced..
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  #22  
Old 10-19-2014, 01:25 PM
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Earliest Delrin handled Randall

Eureka!!

This is a vintage 3-7 very recent acquisition which I am quite pleased with. The knife and sheath probably date to 1959-60. It fits nicely with my 1-8 and 2-8 set, and what's more, it is possbily the first Delrin handled Randall ever produced. Of course that depends on the general dating of Model 3s based on the usual criteria, and the history and dating of the use of Delrin by Randall.















[url=http://imgur.com/9JmFAAJ][/url



Notice how this beauty matches the set I was fortunate enough to acquire from Tom Dehart.



This site only allows 10 photos per post. Since I have lots of photos, in the next three posts, I'll address the following:

(1) Use photos examples to bracket dating of Model 3 knives as a way of placing this knife chronologically.

(2) post a photo sequence of Delrin handle knives through time.

(3) Finally we'll summarize the published history of Delrin as a material and come to some the conclusions ... which will be that this is the earliest possible use of Delrin on a Randall knife (or possibly any knife for that matter), or it is a knife that was rehandled

Last edited by Jacknola; 07-26-2017 at 07:03 PM.
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  #23  
Old 10-19-2014, 02:11 PM
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Chronology of model 3s, 1959-64

The next three posts form a set. They lay out the case for a 1960 Randall Delrin handled knife by placing it in a chronology of model 3s that bracket the age, then placing it chronologically in a Randall-Delrin progression. Finally there is a discussion of the alternative possibilities and some details and backup of information about Delrin as a material.

If this Delrin handle is original to the knife, it could move the date of the first use of Delrin by Randall back almost four full years, from 1964 to 1960 or even earlier! First task was to document the age of the knife by placing it in a model 3 pictorial chronology. The catalyst for this pictorial chronology of Model 3s was provided by an E-mail from Ron Mathews comparing my 3-7 to Gary Clinton's documented knife (second picture below). (I'm hoping Ron will comment, correct and-or confirm this cronology of pictures of 3-7s.)

1. Late ' 50s, 3-6 Heiser sheath, ivory handle... for reference.



2. 1960: My recently acquired 3-7 with Delrin handle... probably dated to 1960. This dating was postulated by Ron Mathews in an E-mail and relies on the Heiser-Randall brown button horizontal stamp ... which possiby pre-dates the Heiser-Randall "west" stamp, and characteristics of the knife. Confirmation of date is provided by comparing it with package shown in second picture below.



3. Sept/1960, documented 3-7, owned by Gary Clinton, with Heiser-Randall horizontal stamped sheath, deep choll knife, etc.



4. 1961 dated by blade characteristics and markings on sheath, Heiser-Randall "west" stamped sheath (from Hunt: Randall Military Models):



5. Jan-1962: Knife is documented, ordered Oct. '61, delivered Jan. '62, Heiser-Randall west stamp on sheath.



6. 1963 (?): This 3-7 is from Ron Mathews' collection. I think the brown-button sheath has an east Johnson-Randall stamp which would probably date it late '62, early 1963.



7. Here is another brown-button Johnson-Randall east stamped sheath with a fishhook choll knife probably dated to early 1963:



8. Dated ordered '62 delivered mid-'63, documented, Johnson baby dot, 3-7, no numbers on back of sheath:



9. Dated early '60s by Pete Hamilton, 3-7 Heiser-Randall west stamp, shallow choll- low S, Ron Mathews collection.

This knife/sheath combo has an anomoly. The low S would probably place it 1964 or so, while the sheath should be no later than early/mid-1963. The explanation Is probably simple. It could be that this was a "deep bin" sheath ... the shop apparently employed "last-in, first-out" stocking and order filling methodology.

Also note the authenticating document has errors... it calls this sheath a "Johnson" which it is not. The accuracy of "authentication" relies upon era-specific expertise. Unless the authenticator has a knowledge base deeper than the colletor-circle, about knives of a particular vintage, he will likely default to repeating the consensus opinions of the time. As we have seen, this default can be very wrong. Brown-button era is particularly likely to be erroneously "authenticated."


Last edited by Jacknola; 07-26-2017 at 07:18 PM.
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  #24  
Old 10-19-2014, 08:20 PM
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Delrin chronology

Dating Delrin

For many years, conventional opinion placed the use of Delrin by Randall beginning about 1968. But some knives surfaced that were obviously older. One or two could be waved off as an old blade newly handled. However, as we have seen, just too many "old blades" were found. Plus, the mid-60s era was the beginning of the flood-tide of orders. It is not very likely that the more popular models had components, such as blades, languishing on the shelf for extended periods of time. The start date for use of Delrin had to be moved earlier in the 1960s.

Earlier in this line, I opined that earliest use of Delrin was documented by an "SS" knife that had to be 1963-64. Now the date may need to be moved still earlier - to 1960 .... see the progression below. To accept this thesis, several questions need to have a logical answer. These include (of course): "when was Delrin available?" and "how did it come to be used by Randall?"

Other questions of interest to fill in the Delrin blanks include the following: "How did anyone know about the availablity of Delrin" as a substitute for ivory? It did not appear in the catalog until 1968-69... and even then was almost as expensive as ivory. Another question of interest: "Why was the use of Delrin by Randall later discontinued?"

In any case, here is my pictorial take on Delrin-Randall chronology.

1. 1960 (?) my 3-7 deep choll, Heiser-Randall brown button with horizontal Randall stamp on sheath:




2. 1963 (?) SS blade




1963 - This is probably the same knife, picture taken from Joe Dorsky's site.



3. 1964 (?) Low S





4. 1965? APFK blade with type-1 stamp dated before early 1966. (Mitchell Harrison collection and photo). This knife is paired with an early Johnson baby dot sheath with no model numbers. If the sheath is original, the package could be as early as 1963. 1965 dating is conservative.



5. late 1966 - model 19, type-3 blade stamp, 7-spacer, separate "S", also dated by blade config possibly used only for short time before 1967. (?)



6. late1966-early 67 my Delrin pair, separate S



Years 68-about 71 was the catalogued era, but it seems as if more Delrin was used on Bowies or toothpicks, or at least those seem to have been the knives that have more often survived.

7. 1973 or so Pete Hamilton dated (possibly approximate last date for Delrin) Incidentally... this variant of 5-spacers, all red and white was apparently used possibly only on Delrin during this time. This one has thicker reds than others.



5 spacers, not the red-white, but more traditional, also appear on a Delrin-handled carving set that Steve Zimmerman estimated to be late '60s (see earlier post). The carving knife of that set appears to have a separate "S". I wonder if five spacers in general was something fairly common to Delrin prior to 1973?

Last edited by Jacknola; 07-30-2017 at 02:42 PM.
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  #25  
Old 10-19-2014, 08:39 PM
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History of Delrin as a substance

Before declaring that the 3-7 Delrin is indeed 1960 vintage, we need to ask (1) was Delrin available in 1960? and (2) could this knife have been rehandled in Delrin later in the 1960s?

Could Delrin have been used as a handle material in a knife of this age? The answer appears to be yes... The literature indicates the first US commercial plant was completed by Dupont in 1959 and became operational in January, 1960. So it is possible that a sample was supplied to Randall who experimented with the material in that year.

(Note: Prior to constructing the plant, DuPont had sent out samples of Delrin to 250 businesses produciing over 400 different products in late 1950s to determine commercial viability. It is just possible that a sample was sent to Randall, or transferred to him. It is Here is a picture of a sample being provided to Ford.

http://books.google.com/books?id=Ikn...istory&f=false

Mr. Randall was apparently experimenting with many things during this late '50s early '60s time, including Micarta, inverse tang nuts, epoxy-glues v pinned handles, major blade profile changes, alternative sheath manufacturers, "Randall Made" sheath stamp, etc. And keep in mind that he was already using tenite, a plastic artificial materal)


This January, 1960, timing would just allow the component sheath features, knife age markers, and the availability of Delrin to align with a knife construction date in 1960-61.

My guess is that there is only one person today who might have personal knowledge about the use of Delrin in 1960. That would be Mr. Gary Randall himself. As it is unlikely that he would find the time to comment, we must therefore decide for ourselves whether Randall used a sample of Delrin in 1960, or if this knife was ... say ... originally handled in ivory which cracked and was then re-handled in the late 1960s with Delrin.

After examining this knife, I can find no evidence that it was rehandled - though I'm not sure if there would be identifiable evidence of a shop-rehandle. The material looks appropriately slightly age discolored and marked, use seems consistent with blade, and the soldering and construction, inscription plate look original as best I could estimate without exact comparables. The guard is mishappen, and may have been modified from a dual...but it might be odd to have retained that guard if the knife were re-handled. Furthermore, if the original handle were ivory, ivory handles without a butt cap do not seem to crack or check like those with a cap. This would tend to add a modicum of support to the Delrin handle as being original.

I therefore tentatively conclude that this knife could be the oldest Delrin handled knife known and dates to 1960. If that is the case, it can be speculated that this use of Delrin was probably an experiment with a new material by the shop that eventually resulted in the catalog listing. (However, re-handling by the shop in late '60s, complete with inscription plate, mis-shappen guard, etc., cannot be completely ruled out).

While we are speculating, I suspect that initially Delrin, as a replacement for ivory, was only offered to customers who were personnally in the shop ordering ivory handled knives. Only that circumstance would seem to allow the "sales pitch" discussion of the problems with ivory and the alternative, Delrin. Later Delrin handles could have been supplied by dealer request ... dealers being the customers who would have become familiar with the option. This could reasonably explain the smattering of Delrin handled knives that predate the catalog offering.

Documentation of the availability of Delrin in January, 1960.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyoxymethylene

"...Around 1952 research chemists at DuPont synthesized a version of POM, and in 1956 the company filed for patent protection of the homopolymer ... ...DuPont completed construction of a plant to produce its own version of acetal resin, named Delrin at Parkersburg, West Virginia, in 1960...."

See also: http://newswire.net/newsroom/pr/0008...copolymer.html

http://books.google.com/books?id=6ld...istory&f=false

P. 490. ??A year later, the committee authorized construction of the plant which went into commercial operation in January, 1960.?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Why was Delrin ultimately dropped as a material by Randall? I speculate that two issues with Delrin, machining and bonding of the material to the tang, led to white/gold macarta displacing Delrin in the Randall option list in the early '70s. Difficulties machining Delrin are backed up by a page from "the Randall Chronicles." Here is what Mr. Pete Hamilton had to say about Delrin:

"Q. What is Delrin and when is it used?

"A. This material was the first attempt at a replacement for ivory. Delrin came in white and off white. Both were tried. The material was fairly soft and easy to grind. Sanding and polishing was very touchy. The uses of this material went from the late 1960s to early 1970s."
(Note: Mr. Hamilton is apparently mistaken about the earliest dates of the use of Delrin.) My notes: apparently belt sanding and/or wheel polish finishing of Delrin can cause friction temperature to reach the material's melting point. I suspect the shop discovered this and dealing with that is what Mr. Hamilton referred to as "touchy."

Wiki-comments on characteristics of Delrin:

"Machining

"When supplied as extruded bar or sheet, POM may be machined using traditional methods such as turning, milling, drilling etc. These techniques are best employed where production economics do not merit the expense of melt processing. The material is free-cutting, but does require sharp tools with a high clearance angle. The use of soluble cutting lubricant is not necessary, but is recommended.

"Because the material lacks the rigidity of most metals, care should be taken to use light clamping forces and sufficient support for the work piece."

"Bonding

"POM is typically very difficult to bond. Special processes and treatments have been developed to improve bonding. Typically these processes involve surface etching, flame treatment or mechanical abrasion.

"Typical etching processes involve chromic acid at elevated temperatures. DuPont has a patented process for treating acetal homopolymer called satinizing which creates anchor points on the surface, giving an adhesive something to grab. There are also processes involving oxygen plasma and corona discharge.[6][7]

"Once the surface is prepared, a number of adhesives can be used for bonding. These include epoxies, polyurethanes, and cyanoacrylates. Epoxies have shown 150-500 psi shear strength on mechanically abraded surfaces and 500-1000 psi on chemically treated surfaces. Cyanoacrylates are useful for bonding to metal, leather, rubber and other plastics."


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Conclusion As previously stated, from best evidence and applied logic this knife could be the oldest Delrin handled Randall knife known and dates to 1960. Furthermore, given the start-up date of commercial manufacture, it may be the first Delrin-handled knife of any manufacture.

The above is my current analysis and speculations. I've tried to show my reasoning and thought process. However, I am completely open to comments, suggestions and contrary reasoning be it age progression of model 3s, or availability of Delrin, or how to identify a re-handled Randall knife, etc.

I hope this discussion will become the benchmark for those interested in Delrin-handled Randall knives. In any case, I've personally discovered a lot about Randalls with Delrin during the Vietnam era...and whether this knife was "Delrined" in 1960 or rehandled later, I now have this set (below). And I like this set ... a lot.







Regards, Jack

Last edited by Jacknola; 07-26-2017 at 07:27 PM.
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  #26  
Old 10-20-2014, 09:22 AM
dax0007 dax0007 is offline
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Jacknola,

Amazing information!

I wish i can add.. All i can tell you if what my letter of COA from the man whos name was engraved in my BOWIE and Arkansas... The seller does NOT sell knives, but books and he is a friend on hers.. She had no idea had to priced them , but priced the BRASSBACK i bought off other brass backs that have sold for 1500-2000... She could not understand why this would(the one i bought) would not sell for 1385$ on ebay... However since i was after a RANDALL BRASSBACK and was not handle picky i made her a offer and she declined.. After months of it just sitting on ebay both of us (THE EBAY BOOK SELLER and me)where curious why wont this knife sell... Anyways I ran into your posting and alerted her to it and said " Hey maybe all the old randall guys know its DELRIN and are not interested in it, but I want it!

After she verified your LISTING information she then recounted the owner and he was REALLY SURPRISED it was NOT MICARTA/IVORYITE... So all this time he thought it was IVORITE not delrin..

In his COA to me he clearly states he got out of the military in 1967, placed the order in 1968, and received the knives in 1969... After reviewing the 1969 catalog you posted(WOW COOL) i am convinved DELRIN WAS CALLED IVORITE.. He also stated that, that MATERIAL IVORITE or DELRIN (whatever the term randall ment) was not cheap and Based on your catalog it was same PRICE OF WOOD 12$ for a model 12... I wonder what IVORY was back then,, could not be more.. he also claimed the IVORITE/delrin was considered a upgrade...

Very interesting info! Good catch on your new knife.. I actually email that seller telling him it was DELRIN, but i had no more money..LOL.. glad u got it!
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  #27  
Old 10-22-2014, 04:43 PM
BoBlade BoBlade is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacknola View Post
I'm hoping Ron will comment, correct and-or confirm this cronology of pictures of 3-7s.)
Hi Jack,

Great acquisition and great write up (as usual). Your Model 3 chronology looks right to me. Note: It was a bit of a shock to me that the sheath for the my low S 3-7 was a year or so earlier than the knife! I had never really "looked" at it other than knowing it was brown button. Here are pics of a few more of my Model 3's from the same era:

3-7 with some military provenance. Heiser sheath with a horizontal Randall stamp:



3-6 with a fighting hilt. Heiser sheath with a vertical Randall stamp:



3-6 with a Stockman sheath:



3-6 with a finger grooved laminated brown Micarta handle and a Heiser BB sheath with West facing Randall stamp:



3-6 with a Heiser sheath circa 1959 (The 2nd time the shop and Heiser ran put of brown button snaps! The 1st time was ~1950). Note that I have two of these sheaths and BOTH have the keeper at the far side while being "marked" for a keeper hole in the middle!




Best,

Ron
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  #28  
Old 10-22-2014, 08:09 PM
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Jacknola Jacknola is offline
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Ron, I knew you had the mother lode of model 3s, but I didn't comprehend the depth of your collection. What a great group of vintage 3s! ... with incredible provenance and some historical oddities such as those snaps, stockman sheath, double guard, etc. Every time I've looked at your knives I find new interesting and surprising features. For instance, it looks like two of them have a double stamp!

And the ones you've shared here were all made within the late 50s-early 60s period, extending and/or filling in the model 3 time line. I know your collection dates much further back too. Now, this line not only has a goodly centralized collection of Delrin information, it also has the acme of model 3 chronology progression from late '50s to early '60.

Have you ever thought of posting all your 3s in chronologic order? What a trove of resource. I've always admired the shape of the model 3 blade... but just never found one I had to have, given my attempt to concentrate on Viet era. I have to say that this Delrined model 3 is the most graceful blade I own.

Re: your authenticated low S: I was surprised at the anomaly in dating your authenticated knife and I started to omit it from the chronology ... but it had an interesting and reasonable explanation ... last in-first out and would represent the reality of operations vs the theory. Besides, it is a very nice knife with a low S, extending the date progression another year.

I really appreciate your comments. You know, I write all this stuff, right or wrong, pretty much to document my own curiosity and "research," and secondarily to be a reference and starting point for others. It is gratifying to hear from those I respect. And if it is wrong or erroneous, at least some discussion can help correct the record.

Comment This particular Delrin essay will not end up on the other forum. I've gotten pretty disgusted at ...edited out the hyperbole ... a lot of things that have contributed to that forum being nothing more than a "show-and-tell" run by self-promoting people who are mostly in the business of buying and selling knives, not collecting. I'll eventually get over it I suppose. Hummm... I feel better now.

Last edited by Jacknola; 10-28-2014 at 01:43 PM.
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  #29  
Old 10-22-2014, 08:39 PM
jeepster jeepster is offline
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Give em hell Jack!
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  #30  
Old 10-23-2014, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
...edited out the hyperbole ...
Hi Jack!

I rather liked the hyperbole which was actually no exaggeration at all...

Great job on your research and write-up of the Delrin handled Randalls. Thanks to Dax and Ron for their contributions as well!

Cheers!

David


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