C. 1900 I Wilson Sheffield Butchers' Knife

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cotedupy

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Another old butchers' knife project I picked up as a project. An I Wilson Butchers' knife from the first decade of the 20th century (I guess). Also stamped with the Melbourne importer: Henry Berry & Co Pty LTD.

The blade itself looks to be in quite good condition, with no serious rust, tho slightly over-sharpened in the middle. But the (five-pinned) handle certainly needs a bit of work, with a fairly hefty crack, and warping around the heel. I'd like to try to get it back in shape and keep the original, but don't know how feasible it'd be trying to fill the gaps? Any thoughts appreciated...
 

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milkbaby

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You could take the scales off and sand them flat. You'll be able to guesstimate how much width you might lose after removing them. A slow curing epoxy will help seal the handle from water infiltration when you reinstall.

An alternative method could be to try clamping the scales flat and use a gap filling cyanoacrylate glue that will flow into the gap. If it's really big gaps you'd probably need epoxy instead tho.
 

cotedupy

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Cheers! I think it sounds like epoxy is the way to go. Have never used it before so will do some research...
 

blorp

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Another old butchers' knife project I picked up as a project. An I Wilson Butchers' knife from the first decade of the 20th century (I guess). Also stamped with the Melbourne importer: Henry Berry & Co Pty LTD.

The blade itself looks to be in quite good condition, with no serious rust, tho slightly over-sharpened in the middle. But the (five-pinned) handle certainly needs a bit of work, with a fairly hefty crack, and warping around the heel. I'd like to try to get it back in shape and keep the original, but don't know how feasible it'd be trying to fill the gaps? Any thoughts appreciated...
I think epoxy would work too, then you just sand the excess off. I don't recommend the super-gel type super glues as they tend not to leave a clear finish when sanded. Could have been my specific brand though

I actually use some stuff called "plastic surgery" but it's super watery and would be hard to work for a gap that big.

Could possibly be worth doing a little hand making project too!
 

cotedupy

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I think epoxy would work too, then you just sand the excess off. I don't recommend the super-gel type super glues as they tend not to leave a clear finish when sanded. Could have been my specific brand though

I actually use some stuff called "plastic surgery" but it's super watery and would be hard to work for a gap that big.

Could possibly be worth doing a little hand making project too!
I did manage to get the scales off take off, get the crap and rust out of the middle, and epoxy back together.

Tho the scales do seem very soft and lots comes off any time I even think about sanding them. So might think about making some more in the future. I've made a couple lately that have gone alright.
 

blorp

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I did manage to get the scales off take off, get the crap and rust out of the middle, and epoxy back together.

Tho the scales do seem very soft and lots comes off any time I even think about sanding them. So might think about making some more in the future. I've made a couple lately that have gone alright.
Got new photos?
 

cotedupy

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A wee update to this... I've decided to make a new handle for it.

But clearly I wasn't really paying attention initially- it has a five pinned scales (which I think is fairly standard for the time).
IMG_1110.jpeg


But only three pins in the tang, i.e. not full tang to the end of the scales. Does that look like someone has sawed through it at some point? Or was that something knifemakers did back in the day...?
IMG_1109.jpeg
 

Noodle Soup

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Looks normal for a Wilson knife. Short tang with the handle scales held together by the last pins. I have several in my collection.
 

Ericfg

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the scales do seem very soft and lots comes off any time I even think about sanding them.
Sounds like dry and/or wet rot. I bought what I think is a 1960s/70s knife with ugly handles recently. The plan was to re-handle it but I wanted to be gentle when taking the original handle off. When I got the handle off the inside, mostly up by the bolster/neck area, was just a mess of rotting wood. Outside it was just an ugly, cracked handle. Inside it was a mess. I might re-use an intact rivet head as a highlight on the new handle but the original wood is just non-functional at this point.
So might think about making some more (new scales?) in the future.
I'd re-handle it for use since restoring it for posterity has gone by the board.
 

cotedupy

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Sounds like dry and/or wet rot. I bought what I think is a 1960s/70s knife with ugly handles recently. The plan was to re-handle it but I wanted to be gentle when taking the original handle off. When I got the handle off the inside, mostly up by the bolster/neck area, was just a mess of rotting wood. Outside it was just an ugly, cracked handle. Inside it was a mess. I might re-use an intact rivet head as a highlight on the new handle but the original wood is just non-functional at this point.
I'd re-handle it for use since restoring it for posterity has gone by the board.
Ah yeah could well have been, wasn't quite as bad yours sounds on the inside, but I think it had been sitting in a shed for quite some decades!

Will post pictures once I'm done...
 
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