After reading this I tossed a knife that gets used for testing stupid ideas in my cooling bucket. The bucket has clean water and the knife is 1084. After 10 hours the results really surprised me. This is fresh out of the bucket with just a quick wipe down.
John, like you, I've never had a liner fail (until now). I don't remember if I stabilized the handle material on this knife, but I know I did on the other knife I sold the guy at the same time, so... And on walnut, I use an old-time finish of a linseed/shellac combo, very similar to tru-oil in feel.
Ha ha, being in the trade I'm in I've worked on my share of busted sewers. when it was my own it didn't phase me too much but when it's someone else's that changes the equation. being he just bought that RV it's safe to say he was scraping someone else's crap. that knife should have gotten a decent burial...…….I hope I didn't just ruin anyone's breakfast.
If he was white water kayaking then a knife is recommended safety equipment. I've carried a carbon steel bladed knife white water canoeing and even getting it wet I didn't have rust if I took it out when I got home and wiped it down and oiled it and didn't return it to the sheath until the sheath was dry. I would lean towards thinking that that knife was stored in a wet sheath out of the way where it wouldn't dry very fast. Just my opinion.
Looks to me that the thing was underwater way more than 20 min and at the very least it was in the wet sheath for an extended amount of time. You defiantly did the right thing telling him it was not a manufacturing defect! As far as fixing it I would use your discretion is he a good customer, is the story credible, do you like him?
Gliden07, I agree; stored wet, at least! the guy bought 2 knives from me, so I'm doing this for him as a favor as well as for my karma. took me about 30 minutes to clean it up. no, i don't believe the story, haha. just trying to be a good guy, and maybe he'll buy another; we'll see (hmm...do i really want this guy buying another? not sure). BTW, here's the knife as he will get it back tomorrow; not new, but cleaned up way better than it was, especially for free.. Even sharpened it for him.
Michael, good relations to stand behind your knives. Not only does the sheath show water damage but the heel of that knife laid in contact with water for a while!! Look at the area I circled and it took a while for the water to draw up enough to cause the liner to turn black from the walnut!! I think I would tell him that in the future water damage is on the operators back, and you will no longer warranty against any water damage!! The operator is held responsible for taking prudent care against water damage, to the knife or sheath!
C, oh yeah - this is a "one-off" on repair for non-maker defect, operator negligence! When I sell a knife, I give the buyer one of my homemade cards with what material is used to make the knife, as well as an "information" sheet of do's and don'ts to maintain the knife in good condition.