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  #1  
Old 04-16-2006, 04:27 PM
BoBlade BoBlade is offline
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Randall Bore No. 7: CJ Moore sheaths

OK: I've come up with something boring for you guys today: If you've read Randall Giant Robert Gaddis' book, you know that Clarence J Moore was Bo's first sheath maker, and that he was one of Florida's finest leather workers who had a one man shop behind Bumby's hardware store in Orlando. There was a significant difference in the construction of his sheaths vs. Heiser's in the 40's that another Randall Giant Robert Hunt points out in page 12 of his first book: Moore sheaths typically did not have rivets at the throat while Heiser sheaths did, which Bob says "were probably thought unnecessary on Moore's well made and functional knife scabbards". When I got my hands on my first Moore sheath, I attempted to determine just what there was about Clarence's sheaths that made them hold up so well to the abuse they would see in combat conditions without throat rivets. The differences in fit and finish were readily apparant: Moore's sheaths were truly "works of art" (at the same time, Heiser couldn't hope to compete with the product of a master leather worker who made one sheath at a time and who in many cases had the knife in hand when the sheath was made). But did this fit and finish difference translate to the primary difference in functionality? I looked at my Moore sheath a little closer and noticed that his stitching was "zig zag" while all of my Heiser sheaths had "linear" stitching! With a zig zag stitch, Moore was able to get "more stitches per inch" than Heiser did using a linear stitch (there is a finite limit how close you can place the next stitch before you actually start weakening or even cutting the leather). Subsequently I've been fortunate enough to pick up two more Moore sheaths and both of these had the zig zag stitching. I know that's not much of a statistical sample, but at the same time the era of these three sheaths spanned 10 years. I'm not sure how much difference the stitching really made, but I'm pretty sure it was at least a factor. Note the 1st close up photo is of a Moore sheath and the 2nd is of a Heiser sheath. I hope you enjoyed this bit of trivia

Best,

Ron
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Moore sheaths 012 (Custom).jpg (54.0 KB, 86 views)
File Type: jpg Moore sheaths 010 (Custom).jpg (81.7 KB, 79 views)
File Type: jpg Moore sheaths 011 (Custom).jpg (80.0 KB, 74 views)

Last edited by BoBlade; 04-16-2006 at 05:17 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-17-2006, 10:30 AM
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jclarksnakes jclarksnakes is offline
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Ron,
...Not boring at all. This is good stuff.
jc
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  #3  
Old 04-17-2006, 12:37 PM
BoBlade BoBlade is offline
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Thanks, Jeff. Near 50 views and no responses. I was beginning to wonder and reconsider if this was a good idea or not.
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Old 04-17-2006, 02:16 PM
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It was a good thing. I am absorbing the knowledge and have nothing intelligent to add to your post other than a thank you.


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  #5  
Old 04-17-2006, 02:33 PM
BoBlade BoBlade is offline
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Thanks, Gary. Your feedback was really appreciated!
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  #6  
Old 04-17-2006, 03:16 PM
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WOW.......good stuff Ron.

No doubt the "more stiches per inch" makes for a stronger sheath. I have been looking at my Moore sheaths and another notiable difference in the Moore sheath as compared to other sheaths is the "scalloped stone pouch flap. It is cut a little different than the Heiser's and the Johnson's.

The way I understand it is as production picked up in the Randall shop in the mid-fifties Bo looked beyond the Moore shop for a company that could produce sheaths faster than the master leather worker Mr. Moore. So along came the Heiser sheath. I have also heard some rumblings over the years of another Orlando sheath maker the made some sheaths for Bo in the late fifties or early sixties. Don't remember his name though.

I am also a big fan of Heiser sheaths with the brown button snaps......just a dang good lookin sheath. Keep it up Ron......great stuff.

Cracker
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  #7  
Old 04-17-2006, 03:47 PM
Seussbrother Seussbrother is offline
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Aw shucks Ron, I thought I was being polite and not showing my ignorance. Great piece of work! The zigzag stitching is permanently etched in my mind relative to the Moore sheaths now!

Thanks!

seuss
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  #8  
Old 04-17-2006, 04:13 PM
DUH120 DUH120 is offline
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Ron
Very Informative
Thanks


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  #9  
Old 04-17-2006, 04:14 PM
BoBlade BoBlade is offline
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Hi Dan,

For sure the scalloped stone pouch flap is a good "tip off". However, I've also seen some very early (1943) Heiser and Southern Saddlery sheaths with a similar feature. I'm pretty sure Moore stopped supplying Bo with sheaths in any kind of volume by mid 1945. After this he pretty much only made sheaths for new models before Heiser tooled a pattern such as the early 50's bowies, early 14's & 15's, etc. There were a few exceptions such as that 3-7 sheath I posted a photo of on the right which is early 50's and the sheath for this model 7 that came up not too long ago:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=6601119728

It's possible the other guy you're thinking of was Stockman who made a few in the late 50's or very early 60's. Every now and then you see a "one off" sheath by someone who Bo gave a shot at becoming a supplier, but did not cut the mustard for whatever reason. Here is one of those sheaths: No maker's mark and not a Moore or a Heiser.

I love Heisers as well

Best,

Ron
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File Type: jpg Unknown sheath (Custom) (3).jpg (79.7 KB, 30 views)
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  #10  
Old 04-17-2006, 04:16 PM
BoBlade BoBlade is offline
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Allan / Dick: Thanks!
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  #11  
Old 04-17-2006, 05:13 PM
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Ron -- i'm absolutely no authority on the history of the various Randall sheaths, but I'd like to comment from the perspective of a guy who's assemebled a fair number of heavy duty leather sheaths.
I blew up your 2 closeup pictures as far as I could until I started to lose resolution, and to me it looks like Moore and Heiser used two entirely different stitching patterns. Moore's zig-zags don't appear to be saddlestitched, but rather a single running stitch. That would seem contrary to common wisdom about stitch patterns and durability, saddle stitching being by far the preference of makers who want real long term wear in their work.
And I can't see any noticeable difference in the spacing either, so if I were to try to give a reason for Moore's reputation for long lasting leather, I'd look to something like the quality of the leather he used, or perhaps he had a "secret preservative". The stitching can't tell the whole story, methinks
Having said all that - definitely some classic pieces, thanks for the views

Mike


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  #12  
Old 04-17-2006, 06:40 PM
BoBlade BoBlade is offline
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Hi Mike,

You apparantly know a whole lot more about leather stitching than I do (which is zip) and I really appreciate your input. I'm here to learn and that's what just happened I hope this serves as a good lesson to me not to make assumptions about something I know so little about. If Ol' Clarence had any secrets, he probably took them with him to the grave. In any event, his sheaths are a lasting testimony to just how good he was.

Best,

Ron

Last edited by BoBlade; 04-17-2006 at 07:47 PM.
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  #13  
Old 04-17-2006, 07:21 PM
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Hi Ron!

I'm with Seuss and Raindog here. I know diddley squat about sewing leather, but I find this thread (pun intended) to be fascinating.

I also love looking at these classic Moore and Heiser sheaths, not to mention the Randalls that go with them.

I'm not stringing you along either.

Remember folks: "A stitch in time saves nine"...

Cheers!

David


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Old 04-17-2006, 08:08 PM
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Ron

Thanks so much for taking the time to teach us less knowledgeable RMK collectors. I have taken alot of Rhett's Lore info and copied them into a folder for myself.

I hope you don't mind me doing the same with you Bore. There have been a couple of times when I referred to the info to answer a question for someone or refresh my forgetful mind.

Please continue to share your wisdom as often as possible.

Rod
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  #15  
Old 04-17-2006, 08:16 PM
BoBlade BoBlade is offline
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Hi Rod,

I don't mind at all. I just hope I don't step on my own you-know-what again the next Bore installment

Best,

Ron
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