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Thread: Samuel Lee Landers Frary and Clark butcher knife

  1. #1
    Senior Member GeneH's Avatar
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    Samuel Lee Landers Frary and Clark butcher knife

    I just received this Samuel Lee Landers Frary and Clark butcher knife, picked up on eBay for $25 (and ugh, shipping). Right off the bat I could tell this is a good working knife for me and surprisingly comfortable. I'm keeping it, hope to have a lot of use it, but have a couple questions:

    Where can I get info on dating these? The nomenclature appears etched into the blade, not stamped. Any other feedback or opinions of these knives?

    Second question, I would like to lightly sand the handle and steam out some dents, then finish off with Watco Danish finish. Is that sacrilege and am i going to destroy collectable value that some day, ( like when leave it behind for my kids to deal with) it will have minimal value?


  2. #2
    I believe that the name Samuel Lee is what LF&C used as their top of the line butcher knife line. The cleavers found under this name are top notch. I'll go see if I can find my books and see if there's a date of manufacture for this line.

  3. #3
    Correction, the Samuel Lee name doesn't refer to a higher grade, simply denotes butcher knives.

    Unfortunately I can't find a date for this marking.

    LF&C made knives from 1866 - 1950

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneH View Post

    Second question, I would like to lightly sand the handle and steam out some dents, then finish off with Watco Danish finish. Is that sacrilege and am i going to destroy collectable value that some day, ( like when leave it behind for my kids to deal with) it will have minimal value?

    Go for it! There's no real collector market, more of a user's market. Enjoy!

  5. #5

    knyfeknerd's Avatar
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    I'd love to see some more pics of that thing Gene. It looks really cool and I'm loving the handle.
    I understand you not wanting to alter it too much and that's a dilemma that I've had with some vintage knives in the past. The truth is that it's probably pretty funky underneath that handle, no matter how clean it may look. At some point in the knife's life it will probably have to have the handle taken off.
    If "Its" and "Buts" was candy and nuts, we'd all have a Merry Christmas
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    sachem allison's Avatar
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    Samuel Lee was a division of Landers frary and clark. They did most of the higher end and silver work on the knife lines. I don't have the marks any more but, the style looks to be around the 1920's or so.
    I haven't lived the life I wanted, just the lives I needed too at the time.

  7. #7
    Senior Member GeneH's Avatar
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    I'll try to get some pictures in the daylight tomorrow. Thanks, Dave for jumping right in. KnyfeKernd - I really don't want to know how funky that handle is underneath the covers. But might it be unhealthy to use? I'm thinking the Watco seals wood pretty nice (love the stuff) and either paraffin or some of Dave's board ... stuff around the bolster hardware to kinda seal that area. In a year or so I may have enough other projects done and could revisit the idea of replacing it. I bet it would look sharp in light curly birch.

    So the knife is probably pre-1940's and may go back to the 1920's ? Cool!

  8. #8

    knyfeknerd's Avatar
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    Gene, there's probably more bacteria and yuckiness lurking underneath the handles of all the Dexter Sani-Safe knives in use these days.
    I don't think the Black Death is going to be the result of carving up a strip loin with that badass bullnose butcher, but eventually some weird rust or other gloopy-glop will damage that thing. I'd definitely soak it in some mineral oil and see how it looks. You'd be surprised at how great some of that old wood ends up looking.
    If "Its" and "Buts" was candy and nuts, we'd all have a Merry Christmas
    -Cleon "Slammin'" Salmon

  9. #9
    Senior Member GeneH's Avatar
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    Ok, I got outside to quickly snap some pictures. The seem to show up a little darker here that the handle really is. Both sides of the blade are in similar, good condition. You can see where I played around with the edge just a little. I'm anxious to steam out the dents in the handle, especially on the non nomenclature side and use a hard flat sanding block to smooth it out again without taking off too much material.



    No rust to speak of. All I did was scrub it down with a little dishsoap and a nylon brush. There hollow area in the (bolster?) was filled with dry black gunk that I scraped out.


  10. #10
    Senior Member GeneH's Avatar
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    Here is the non-nomenclature side, handle has a split. You can see a metal wedge behind the silver colored pin and brown stuff around the pins. The pin and wedge is sticking up a little. The handle feels solid, no movement that I can discern, but I haven't forced it and don't want to.



    This is the top of the handle.


    Backside.

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