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  #1  
Old 01-24-2022, 02:49 PM
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Jacknola Jacknola is offline
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Leatherman's interesting toothpick

On another board “Leatherman” posted a couple of knives and asked for help. One of them was this 13-12. The only response he got was an off the wall opinion that the handle might be “poly pearl.” That comment exhibited a fundamental misunderstanding of historical RMKs because there is no evidence "poly pearl" material existed when this knife was constructed. It was misleading at best, and at worst, might cause a great deal of confusion. Therefore, I thought it would be worthwhile and instructive to address this here... this site being the acme of historical Randall discussion.







The knife has several markers that can ID approximate age. The blade stamp indicates the blade was definitely made pre-1966. The escutcheon plate looks silver, and its shape is post-1960 (if it were brass it would be post 1965 which would date the knife exactly). The coolie cap striations are middle 1960s as is the collar decoration. The tang nut is missing from the coolie cap but it would almost certainly not have been rounded but was probably hexagonal. The guard is relatively thick compared to later versions, but much thinner than 1950s, ends not brazed on. The solder on the blade at tang is not particularly well done.

All in all, this knife manufacture probably dates between 1964 and 1966, leaning toward the latter date, a relatively tight window, with a fairly high degree of confidence.

So... what handle material was available and used by the shop in this time period? “Poly” pearl is not an option. Only one artificial handle material was being used with some frequency other than Micarta (which this is not, of course) during this time. That material is Delrin. I am 90% certain this is a Delrin-handled knife, which makes it a relatively early example of the use of that material. The only other option would be some other experimental material, but that seems highly unlikely.

The Delrin handle can be cleaned using mineral spirits. Also, there are good instructions available on the internet by search function about how to clean and polish the Delrin handle. But leaving it as found is also an option to preserve its character and history. You can look at the line “Dating a Randall Bowie” to see what kind of nut to put on the cap to maintain authenticity.

It is an interesting knife... and its date of manufacture with the Delrin handle make it somewhat special. I'll consider adding these pictures to the "Delrin" line later. Regards and...

Ciao,
Jack

Last edited by Jacknola; 01-27-2022 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 01-24-2022, 04:51 PM
KenH KenH is offline
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Thanks for posting. while I'm not a real collector, I do enjoy reading about collectable knives. I learn a few things from time to time. Thank you.
Ken H>
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Old 01-27-2022, 11:45 AM
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Jacknola Jacknola is offline
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Leatherman also posted this interesting uncompleted KIT Bowie, asking age. The stamp makes it post 1966, and since KIT knives were discontinued early 1970s, the knife is probably late ‘60s or so. There have been some good discussions about KITs, and some have averred an unfinished KIT is more highly regarded than a finished one. I have a hard time understanding that because I think you can “unfinish” a finished KIT knife. I don’t know if the shop would put a new handle on an old KIT blade.



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Old 01-28-2022, 04:27 PM
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Dang. I see both knives posted on E-bay using my data, unattributed. I don’t do commercial, kinda feel like I was had, helped someone simply for the sake of a sale, not collecting. Still it was an interesting knife. I’ll be more circumspect in future.
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Old 01-29-2022, 03:34 AM
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TexasJack TexasJack is offline
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A very cool looking knife!


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Old 03-18-2022, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacknola View Post
Dang. I see both knives posted on E-bay using my data, unattributed. I don’t do commercial, kinda feel like I was had, helped someone simply for the sake of a sale, not collecting. Still it was an interesting knife. I’ll be more circumspect in future.
Hey Jack
I've always appreciated your perspective on these knives and the amount of research you put into it in helping the community understand what they have.
Once it's out there, it's out there and despite someone wanting it to get a sale, there are many of us who appreciate it with the ernest desire to want to know. And it inspires us to want to know and dig for more.
Folks like you...and yes, I'm going to say it, Joe Dorsky have been a great asset to this community because of your desire to get to the facts.
Thanks for that Jack.
Samg.
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