Two upcoming refurb projects


Well-Known Member
I am just getting into knife making, and have had a couple of guys ask me about helping with their knives... They are both older hunting knives, about 5" blades. One I am only helping to resharpen, then making a sheath... The second has got some pretty significant surface rust, and a stacked leather handle that is about to give-out.

I'm pretty excited about getting to do the work, and is it normal that I am a bit nervous about working on someone else's stuff for the first time? I am completely confident in myself and my skills, but its just the matter of it being on someone else's knives...

I will come back and put up some more pics when I get the knives in person...

This is the one that is getting sharpened and I am making a new sheath for him... I think I will take some time also to sand the blade out to a more consistent finish.

This is the tougher one... We are still talking about what he might want for a handle, but he only wants me to add a snap-loop back to the sheath.

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I still haven't gotten these two knives, BUT my mom brought me 2 that my grandfather had. One she knows for sure that he made from a band saw blade, the other, I can't tell and she doesnt remember...
8" blade on the top one
10" blade on the bottom one (that Pop made...)
For the two you are going to refinish, the first one should be pretty easy. If I recall corrcetly, that one has a tang bolt that will allow it to be broken down pretty quickly. The second one I wouldn't try to refinish much. If you try to get the rust pits out of that one you're not going to have much blade left. I'd scrub it down good with oil and some rough denim and call it good. Just my $0.02.
Thanks Murph.... The first one isn't getting rehandled, only sharpened and a new sheath made for it. The second is probably getting a handle, cleaning on the blade and just a new snap-loop on the sheath...

As for the newest 2 I posted, I think I'll just clean up the wood first and use a scuff pad on the blades.
Sorry for the confusion. On the first one I just meant that it would be easier to clean the blade by breaking it down. My first refurb was of an almost identical piece. I just broken it and polished the blade and resharpened it. Having the handle and guard out of the way helped alot (no slips and scufs of the guard or handle while buffing).
Hey Brad, how did these turn out for you? I have one just like the first one all torn down now. It needs a bit more help then the one you are showing, but it was given to me so I can take my time and not be too worried.

And yes, it is normal to be nervous about working on someone else's knife. One of my customers at work knows I dabble in making knives. Not too long ago he handed me an old Case pocket knife that his kids had given him for fathers day (just to add to the anxiety) and told me he had carried it every day since they had given it to him - "It's my favorite knife" he says. (up the heat a little more). Anyway the tip had been broken off using it for non knife like tasks. He asked me if I could fix it up for him. Well, that took me a while to work up the courage to start grinding on. In the end, it came out really good and went back to him quite a bit sharper than it had been. I still cringe a bit at the thought of working on someone else's knife though.
I had one similar, not as bad rust on the blade but the leather handle was in much worse shape. It was a family hand me down from 3 Eagle Scouts in the family starting with the Grandfather. The person said he wanted to carry and use it.

I looked at rehandeling, but chose with the owners permission to stabilize the handle instead. I coated it with superglue once a day for 2 weeks to fill in the voids of the handle. I then sanded lightly to profile the shape, then recoated with super glue sanding lightly between about the 5th coat. Once built up, finish sanded and buffed. Didnt look "New" but retained its charm, and became a stabile useable knife again. The knife was a old stacked handle Marbel's.

Depending on if the customer is sentimentl or not about the knife would determine how I handled it. If he wants it cleaned up to keep using and thats it, you may get the rust off with a scotch brite type wheel or belt, but the pits will remain.

Murph may have the best plan, soak it in a penetrating oil, then scrub.

God Bless