Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Finding things . . .

Some of the most fun you can have for no money is just keeping your eyes open and seeing some cool shit that has been abandoned for whatever reason . I've been wanting a metal detector my whole life , but that's not what this is about , this time .

About 15 years ago I was at a party in the park down by my house . My neighborhood was pretty sketchy back then , you could hear drive-bys and screeching tires and buy almost any kind of weekend party substance right on the corner from some friendly entrepreneur . Seems like that was a long time ago . . . so I'm chilling & grilling at the park . We're all having a great time and I notice something pointing up out of the mud . It turns out that this crusty old knife is stuck in a mud puddle that had dried out and left the broken tip showing about an inch above the crust .

Being the scavenger that I am , I pick it out and clean it off and take it home . It was pretty messy , the tip was broken and bent and the leather handle was falling apart , so I just stuck it up on a shelf next to my stereo in the garage . Hidden back up perhaps for home invasion that never happened . Forgotten for the most part .

Anyhow , fast forward to a few weeks ago and I am thinking , " man I'd like a nice fixed blade knife for my collection , but they can be so expensive . . . " just like that . Eventually as I reach up to turn up the stereo I see my trusty crusty old shank and decide to save a few bucks & restore it into a usable tool .

After a few hours of wire wheeling , heating and rebending the tip and regrinding the point it's starting to look pretty good , but the handle is fucked . The leather rings that made up the grip are disintegrating and falling apart the more I mess with it . It only took about 10 minutes of Googling ® to find replacement parts for this type of knife and I'm off to the races . My buddy Fredo is an aspiring leather crafting master and he offers to help me rebuild the handle and with about an hour on a drum sander and a little burnishing and stain it turned out really nice . I blacked out the metal with gun blueing acid and put a nice new edge on there and it's turned out to be a pretty nice blade .

Turns out also that after I got all the muck & years of neglect off of it , it's a Camillus blade made in NY . They went out of business in the 80's but made blades for the military as well as cooking and plain old civilian type knifing . This one in particular is a Viet Nam era pilots survival knife . The original kit had a neat leather sheath with a sharpening stone in a pouch . That was no where to be found sadly . Fredo is however going to craft me a custom sheath that you can see in the picture . I made a cardstock cut out of what I want it to look like , and he said he could whip it out in no time . Back on the road with a whole new lease on life !

I wonder what kind of life this blade lived through it's long existence and in it's original owner's hands , and how it ultimately ended up in a mud puddle with a broken & bent tip , in the gutter 4 blocks from my house .


STANDARD said...


Guy@GK said...

Thrown away knife with a broken tip in a sketchy area?

Hmmmm... probably been pulled out of someone's ribs!

tiptopdadddy said...

I have that very knife in my glovebox of my truck. I bought it when I was 15 or so. I got it because it could be worn upside down on a backpack strap for quick access Green Berets style.