Old Henckels "100-7", carbon steel.

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Got this for a song from the 'bay yesterday. I've sent a request to my connection at Zwilling who will date it for me but I'm guessing pre-1950.
The blade itself is in great shape; no sharpening scratches at all that I can see. The handle has that sticky/spongy feeling that many old, uncleaned handles get but it's still nice and tight with only two moderate cracks.
001a.jpg
1001.jpg
 
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Great finding! I wouldn't be surprised if it weren't much older. A Nogent handle in the fifties by a German maker would surprise me, but this one was clearly made for the North-American market which I don't know. The last Nogents by Germans in Europe are from the twenties. The profile could benefit from a bit of love: obviously there was a reverse belly that hasn't been fully addressed. The fingerguard could still use some lifting, and the front section is very straight. Some belly makes it much more comfortable when forward slicing as in 'guillotine and glide'. Think a classic Sab profile. It is possible to combine creating a relief bevel and slightly correcting the profile for the tip.
 
Thanks mate! I know you like these as well.
The belly's not as bad as you'd think:
002.jpg


The tip needs a little work. I'm not sure what I'm gonna do with this yet. I may raise the tip a couple of millimeters as I shorten the blade slightly. But this might make a nice utility/petty.
It's nice and light at about 112 grams.
 
Other than the blade the handle needs a lot of love, but I'm not sure how to go about it.
Just behind the ferrule...

006.jpg


...there are two small pins that run vertically through (?) the handle. They are of a very soft metal like lead or tin.

003.jpg


And then at the rear there is the same soft metal that may be sealing a through tang although I can't see the end of the tang.

004.jpg
 
Thanks mate! I know you like these as well.
The belly's not as bad as you'd think:
View attachment 191503

The tip needs a little work. I'm not sure what I'm gonna do with this yet. I may raise the tip a couple of millimeters as I shorten the blade slightly. But this might make a nice utility/petty.
It's nice and light at about 112 grams.
I must admit that it looks much better than I thought. With the tip repair and some thinning and sharpening it might become a wonderful knife.
P.S. Hadn't seen @McMan 's very helpful drawing. That's indeed the kind of corrections I had in mind.
 
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Other than the blade the handle needs a lot of love, but I'm not sure how to go about it.
Just behind the ferrule...

View attachment 191505

...there are two small pins that run vertically through (?) the handle. They are of a very soft metal like lead or tin.

View attachment 191506

And then at the rear there is the same soft metal that may be sealing a through tang although I can't see the end of the tang.

View attachment 191507
Never seen such vertical pins. Usually, there is a bullet at the end of the tang, that's meant to tighten the handle over the tang. Often it gets lost. Probably the pins have been driven into the wood to counter the play that appeared, causing the splitting of the wood. I've never changed a Nogent. In most cases thanks to the rust there is no play any longer. If it is stable I wouldn't do more than cleaning it, and saturate with mineral oil.
 
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That's pretty much what I have in mind.
I haven't decided how to work on the handle though. I wish I could x-ray it to see what's inside.
French Nogents were made of ebony, looked solid but were not. They are bored down the center with a large diameter hole, leaving just a thin web of wood on the sides, as Bernard Levine wrote. All was done to keep the balance point strongly forward. The handles were interchangeable, like Japanese ones. Both material and labour were cheap. German Nogents were really solid, with a neutral balance. Not that easily interchangeable, but there was not such a need for. In fact, I've never seen an external bullet at the end with German ones. Just wondering what you were looking for with X-rays. Here a Dick
20220803_230724.jpg
from the beginning of the twenties — probably as a part of the trade in natura with France after Germany was unable or unwilling to pay its Versailles debt.
 
French Nogents were made of ebony, looked solid but were not. They are bored down the center with a large diameter hole, leaving just a thin web of wood on the sides, as Bernard Levine wrote. All was done to keep the balance point strongly forward. The handles were interchangeable, like Japanese ones. Both material and labour were cheap. German Nogents were really solid, with a neutral balance. Not that easily interchangeable, but there was not such a need for. In fact, I've never seen an external bullet at the end with German ones.
Here's a balance shot:
007.jpg

I suspect the soft metal 'bullet' is used as a counterweight as well as to secure the rattail tang as we saw in that thread I made about the table knives and forks a few months back.
The x-ray comment is me wondering more about the two small pins by the ferrule. I think they are too soft to either tap or pull out. I think they will either break apart when pulled or mushroom if tapped with a punch and hammer.
 
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AFAIK, there were two ways to mount nogent handles.
(1) tang peened over a washer-plug (late ones used brass sometimes).
(2) poured metal
In both cases, the cavity inside the handle would be filled with cutler's adhesive (often "rozzle", which, IIRC, was hide glue and pitch and sometimes sawdust--basically a precursor to wood putty and very strong and stable stuff) and the tang inserted. The end piece was basically to keep it locked in place. A belt and suspenders type of thing. I drilled one out once, expecting the knife to pop right out--but it was still held fast by the rozzle and I had to split the handle.
I doubt that the plug was meant to be a counter weight, considering that all different lengths used the same plug method. I could be wrong, though, and perhaps the plugs were different depths in the different lengths. If so, the poured-metal method would be an efficient way to add different levels of counter-weight to different sizes of knives.
 
This image is interesting. It's been flipped vertically to match more closely the image that follows it.
008b.jpg

It's got a bit of a...'sway-back'? Dunno what to call it.
I have seen that before though. In fact here is an image of two other J.A.Henckels models number 100; one is a 7 inch and the other a 9 inch blade: (photoshopped to roughly match dimensions)
008-100-9.jpg

I'm assuming this 'sway-back' is due to pressure on a thin tang? But if that was the case wouldn't hand pressure be bending the handle downwards?
Also notice the two pins sticking out of the handle, behind the ferrule, on the upper knife in the lower image. That definitely is a feature of J.A.Henckels of that period. I've seen others just like it.

Also note that clip at the end of the handle of the lower knife in the second image. The pin for that clip should run right through the area of a through-tang, if the tang was there. Weird.
 
AFAIK, there were two ways to mount nogent handles.
(1) tang peened over a washer-plug (late ones used brass sometimes).
(2) poured metal
In both cases, the cavity inside the handle would be filled with cutler's adhesive (often "rozzle", which, IIRC, was hide glue and pitch and sometimes sawdust--basically a precursor to wood putty and very strong and stable stuff) and the tang inserted. The end piece was basically to keep it locked in place. A belt and suspenders type of thing. I drilled one out once, expecting the knife to pop right out--but it was still held fast by the rozzle and I had to split the handle.
I doubt that the plug was meant to be a counter weight, considering that all different lengths used the same plug method. I could be wrong, though, and perhaps the plugs were different depths in the different lengths. If so, the poured-metal method would be an efficient way to add different levels of counter-weight to different sizes of knives.
"Rozzle" What a cool word. This is an image of said rozzle:
b01.jpg

This image is from my knives and forks post from a few months ago (again.) You can't really see the through-tang but the scales are clearly obvious, the rozzle is clear, and the soft metal plug (or bullet) is evident as well (at the extreme right.)

"I doubt that the plug was meant to be a counter weight..."
I got this tablewear catalog image (from 1902) that IDs the tablewear above that I think shows that these plugs/bullets were indeed counter weights. At least that is my interpretation of "with" and "without balance". I could be wrong. I often am.
balance underline2.jpg
 
Gotta reply from my connection at Zwilling in Solingen. He said "The 100-7 knife was around for a very long time. I could find it in catalogs between 1883 and 1954."! He sent me some images of catalog pages and I've combined them for us.
cat compare.jpg

They all, but the earliest, mention "through tangs', even in their 1954 catalog.

BTW, Deltaplex, I'm still considering getting this scanned by you. Will PM when I get a chance.
 
Here's a Henx 100-9, from part of the ICBIWTA haul. It has most of the same features as the 100-7. It's still full length; measures 9.25 inches.
b002.jpg

b003.jpg


Got a heckofa swale/reverse curve to it.
It has the two 'pins' by the bolster at both top and bottom. They kind look peaned; like they hold the throat of the handle to...something. But the material is so soft I can literally scratch it with my fingernail.
b009.jpg
c004.jpg

And this time we can see the end of the tang peeking through the plug at the end of the handle. Interesting.
c003.jpg
 
I wish I could x-ray it to see what's inside.... I'm actually thinking about googling 'home x-rays'.
Ladies and Gentlemen, knife knerds of all ages... I present to you possibly the very first x-ray of a kitchen knife.
02a.jpg

Image kindly provided by Mr. Deltaplex; many thanks to him to arrange this.

What the heck is going on here???!?!?!
 
And so the destruction begins.
Pictured here is the handle of the 100-7(below) as well as the 100-9. Yes, the 100-9 handle is slightly larger than the 7.
a006.jpg

.
And after the handle removal.
.
b004.jpg

So that's all lead(confirmed "~90% lead") covering the steel tang. My guess at the moment is when the original handle was attached the knife was held vertically, a handle with a hole a bit larger than the tang placed into the ferrule/bolster area, and then molten lead poured into the hole at the butt end of the handle. That can't be right, can it???
 
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So that's all lead(confirmed "~90% lead") covering the steel tang. My guess at the moment is when the original handle was attached the knife was held vertically, a handle with a hole a bit larger than the tang placed into the ferrule/bolster area, and then molten lead poured into the hole at the butt end of the handle. That can't be right, can it???
What was the balance like before you took the handle off? It wouldn't surprise me too much if lead was used to bring the balance point back towards the handle
 
What was the balance like before you took the handle off? It wouldn't surprise me too much if lead was used to bring the balance point back towards the handle
Agreed about the use of lead for weight and balance. See my post about balance point above..

> So the tube around it was a retrofit!?
No, pretty sure that's original. I dunno, it's all conjecture here but, I think this was an original handle. I wouldn't post this without saying so.
 
So here it is in it's almost finished state. Blade shortened to 6.25 inches (160mm) and re-profiled. Cherry handle (with Walnut spacer not shown.)
a003b.jpg


Original weight was 112 grams, new weight is 92.5g.
 
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