View Full Version : antique splurge
06-02-2013, 04:58 PM
Yesterday, I drove by an antique shop and decided to turn around just in case they were to possibly, maybe have a knife or two I could buy, admire, re-handle, whatever. Never know, right? Well, I cleared their tin can of 7 knives. On my way out, I noticed a cleaver by the door, and asked the owner to add it to the pile. notably:
- [far left] strange (old carving profile?) knife, soapstone handle, brass? rivets.
- [third from left and second from right] have black wood with welded/folded bolster
- [cleaver] can't see a maker's mark, but 117 is stamped on blade's shoulder
here are a few questions:
1. have you come across soapstone handles?
2. can the folded bolster be a sign of a maker or date?
3. recognize the cleaver?
4. some suspiciously look like boning knives but could just be much sharpened. Not sure there's a difference. Not sure that was a question
4. do i have an addiction?
5. will my wife notice that i have twice as many knives as before she left for the weekend?
ps I plan on making them all "usable". the black ones with folded bolster probably just get cleaned and re-touched as they feel fairly sturdy. cleaver may need complete re-handle as its handle is split through on both sides. haven't decided about the soapstone yet...couple of "boning" knives will probably get new handles as they're completely shot.
06-02-2013, 09:27 PM
Those 5 pin ones date mid 1800's that soapstone one I would leave the handle alone. It is quite rare. I have seen them before I just can't remember where or why they where made that way.
06-02-2013, 10:51 PM
Cool. I need to start dropping by stores like that. That would be a great opportunity to practice making handles.
06-02-2013, 11:38 PM
Great finds, but we need better pics!
Some individual close-ups. Not that I'd be of any help in ID'ing them, I just want more!!!
As for the wife....
......(the greatest advice I've ever received)I find it much easier to ask for my wife's forgiveness than permission.
06-03-2013, 10:24 PM
Hey thanks for the insight! My interest is piqued even more. I'll have to dig a bit deeper before making any kind of modifications on them.
Here are some closeups for your info/interest. I'll start with the soapstone and the butcher's. both their handles feel like they're in decent shape (structurally), albeit fairly grimy between scales. the soapstone's blade seems to have a very dark and (strangely) even patina. could it have been lacquered at some point? too bad about the butcher's broken tip:
BTW...Worse than wife finding new (old) knives in the kitchen is finding the receipt for new (old) knives instead. Actually, she was cool with it. Probably helped by the fact that I got them for (what i'd consider) dirt cheap :O.
I'll post more as soon as i get a chance
06-04-2013, 12:59 AM
it's an old one. see those birdseye rivets. Soapstone handles where not unusual a 100 plus years ago. This may have been made in Canada or a northern country.The Inuit made knives with soapstone and slate handles. You make do with what you can, if you don't have a ready supply of wood material than you use stones. The romans, Chinese and Hindu cultures used stone handles for 1000's of years. soapstone feels comfortable in the hand and provides a fairly nonslip grip.
06-04-2013, 09:38 PM
Yeah, the soapstone does feel nice in hand. I would hesitate to work/carve some for a new handle. It sounds like some of the dust could carry some fairly unfortunate minerals (e.g. asbestos).
Here are two others:
the "boning knife" with black handle and folded bolster is one of my favorites of the lot. it's in decent shape except for rust and grime. kind of attractive too.
I'm bummed that the barrel handled boning knife isn't in better shape. However, i might take the opportunity to emulate the old handle with a new one. could be a fun project. It's the only one where i've found a maker's mark. Looks like WOODS? CUTLERY. I can't quite make it out.
06-04-2013, 11:44 PM
they made that black Ebony handle and braised pewter bolsters knife style from the 1830's all the way to 1930's. I have several from around the civil war and they are some of my favorites. It will take a razor edge. Sand the handle with some light sandpaper and soak in mineral oil overnight and watch them come to life.
06-05-2013, 11:55 AM
Oh my goodness. Such great finds!
06-05-2013, 10:02 PM
Yeah, I'm pretty happy with this find, indeed. Since i've only been looking for the past few weeks, i'm surprised I've already gotten lucky twice (with the old knives, that is). Beginner's luck, I suppose.
Here's the cleaver. I Love the handle with its grip indents. Except it's falling apart. Interesting how the tang tapers down the closer it gets to the butt. Less interesting how someone used a (i dunno) jackhammer? on the spine to get through a surprisingly tough piece of something. The picture doesn't do the mushrooming justice. And the number 117 stamp...
And thanks for the truly helpful input, Sachem!
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