Repair/Conversions, Fixed Bladed Knives Only, no Folders

KNIFE REPAIR/CONVERSIONS PRICE LIST

I offer the services of my knife-making shop to you, the owner of a special knife, that may need some repair work, or an upgraded handle treatment. For a reasonable cost, your favorite knife can be brought up to a standard of excellence that will be a source of pride and ownership. Sorry, but I only work on fixed bladed knives, not folders, pocket knives, nor switchblades.

01Handle Conversion: A Cold Steel Master Tanto gets a new look from a new handle. Red spacers and black, canvas micarta make this knife a class act.

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Hi Jay,

I received my knife yesterday and I am extremely happy with the results. The handle that you have crafted is a work of art and has transformed this knife into a fine piece.

Best Regards, Larry

02Handle Converstion: Here we have a 10 year old Cold Steel Trailmaster. Its rubber handle had worked loose, and rust was eating away the tang. We replaced the handle with black canvas micarta, and added a strong brass pommel cap for good measure. Before (right)

After (below)

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Jay,

The knife arrived on Wednesday night. All I can say is WOW! it is everything I imagined as we talked about it - and more. Absolutely great. It's better balanced and looks much better after the polishing. I have not been able to put it down when I am in the house. My wife and two kids think I am a bit weird. LOL They are "city folk" and I know they don't understand my ways.

Thanks again so much, Thomas

03Handle Conversion: Here we have a Cold Steel Laredo Bowie, with a coffin- shaped, fake cocobolo wood (it's dyed plywood) handle. Its owner asked for a 6 inch sambar stag crown handle, with four sections of red spacers. A polished red lace agate was inlaid into the crown, to bring it all together. Before (right)

After (below)

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04Repair/Conversion: An old, well-used Smith & Wesson Hunter, with a carbon steel 5-1/2" blade - the owner had replaced its broken handle years ago, with a black, bake-a-lite handle. Now he was ready to have it totally refurbished for the next generation of hunters. Polishing the blade and guard and etching some scroll work into the blade, was the first order of business. Using brass, mosaic pins the new sambar stag handles were added with rust colored liners underneath. Before (right)

After (right)

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05Handle Conversion: An old German-made dress Bowie knife, with a bone and nickel silver handle. The handle material was very thin making it uncomfortable to use. It was replaced with thick scales of creamy white ivory. Before (right)

After (right)

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06Handle Conversion: The Cold Steel Trailmaster, comes standard with a brass oval guard, black neoprene (soft-grip rubber) handle, with a brass thong tube. A black nylon sheath with a thin plastic insert completed the package. The owner really liked the blade's length, shape and weight but not the handle or the sheath. I built him a new sheath from 9 oz. tough water buffalo hide, totally sealed against moisture, with a hot dip mixture of beeswax and saddle oil. For the knife handle I made a new brass guard, both lugged and crowned, and a solid brass pommel with a thong hole. Purpleheart wood was chosen for the handle replacement, with an inlay of bocote wood added to the top and bottom edges for contrast. To bring it all together red liners were used throughout. This big knife certainly took on a whole new look and feel. So, what can I do for you? Give me a call or send an e-mail, and we'll talk over your requirements.

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Testimonial: Jay: Ya know, some people say they're artists, then you have the ones who really are. You, my man, are among the latter. I was speechless about the handle, it's more than what I could have imagined. You were right, the color scheme is great and the sheath is also more than what I could have expected. Now I know why you were so excited. This is truely a unique knife and NOW it's mine!!! I don't want to sound like a crazy man, but this is the only knife like this in the world. I like that. Thanks, Jay, I owe you a tall, cool one someday. I'm super happy with the knife. Looking forward to seeing it on the internet. Again, many thanks and you will be hearing from me again.

Regards, Steve

07Handle Conversion: Another Cold Steel knife, their huge "Gurkha Kukri" with a standard black, molded rubber handle, that was over an inch thick. The owner found it difficult to get a solid, comfortable grip around it. He asked for an indestructible handle of black micarta, and a strong protective finger guard allowing him to use this big, bushwacker on a regular basis with complete confidence. I rebuilt the handle, adding a 3/8 inch thick pinned and soldered brass guard and a birds-beak pommel. Black linen micarta scales with ivory micarta inserts, were pinned to the tang with matching black micarta rods. The deeply-set finger grips were added as an extra message of security. Red liners were chosen to offset each part, and add color and contrast.

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Testimonial: Hi Jay,

I received my Gurkha Kukri with its new handle yesterday afternoon. I must say the new handle looks fantastic. The handle fits just right on my hand and I really like the finger grooves (and the guard and the pommel). I hope I am not being biased but I think this project turned out better than the Trailmaster project shown on your Web site. Thanks for all your help.

Paul

08Handle Conversion: The Cold Steel, A.T.C. (All Terrain Chopper) belongs to "Orion," a member of BladeForums.com. He sent me his favorite chopper to replace the standard black molded rubber handle. He found it uncomfortable to use during sustained, heavy chopping. I started with solid hand protection in the way of a pinned and soldered brass guard, and birds-beak pommel. One inch thick black linen micarta scales were pinned on with matching micarta rods. A brass thong tube and red liners thoughout finished the project.

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09Repair: Here is a fine old, Boy Scout hatchet, that unfortunately, had seen better days. A few of its problems included the handle section, where over half the leather washers had fallen off. Those that were left were loose and also in bad shape. A high speed grinder had been used to sharpen the hatchet. The end result left deep grind gouges all over both sides of the head, and a cutting edge that was worthless. The original leather carrying sheath had been lost, leaving the owner to use a 1945, Army issue, green canvas belt sheath, that was just too big for the hatchet. The only good news for this hatchet was no rust. Look at her now! Ready to give many more years of hard service to its owner. A new handle was built out of tough thick, water buffalo hide with each layer held firmly together with 2-ton epoxy, so it will never work loose. Five coats of Danish oil finish, and three coats of clear gloss polyurethane varnish, were applied to seal and protect the leather. Removing the deep gouges, and rebuilding the damaged cutting edge, was all part of the repair work needed to bring the hatchet back to full service. A new water buffalo hide carry sheath completed the repair project.

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10Handle Conversion: M.P.S. - (Multi Purpose Survival) from Mission Knives & Tools, Inc. This is a great knife from Mission. The grind lines are perfect, and with a "skeletonized tang handle" it's very light weight - only 4.3 ounces. The knife's owner, Jerome, enjoyed using it, but found he needed the handle to have a little more to grab onto. Its Kevlar molded sheath didn't meet his needs either. Black linen micarta scales were added to the skeletonized tang, using stainless steel pins. White fiber liners were added to offset the black handles. A black, left handed, water buffalo hide sheath, with a built in diamond coated knife steel, completed Jerome's wish list. Before (above)

10aAfter (right)

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Jay,

I just have to say I am extremely happy and impressed with your work! When I first took the knife out I had to look at it for a few minutes because it looked so different from how it was before; micarta handles, beautiful black sheath (left-handed of course!) and sharpening rod pouch with sharpener. I'm almost upset I didn't ask you to mirror polish the blade as well! :) I appreciate your work and hope to do business with you in the future! You won't believe how many right-handed sheaths I have! :)

11Handle Conversion: A "Factory Second"? Once, but not anymore! This fine old German made Bowie had mismatched stag handles, and the brass pinning rods were out of line. Replacing the thin brass guard, with a rugged one of nickel silver, both crowned and lugged, and adding a prommel cap was the first step. Next came re-shaping the straight handle into a more interesting, coffin style, surrounded by red liners. Creamy white "core" mammoth ivory handle scales were the final touch to bring this Bowie up to a class by itself. Before (above)

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After (right)

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12Repair: At first glance I didn't think this beat up 40-year-old German Skinner, was worth saving. The blade was badly pitted, the thin brass guard was bent out of shape, the stag handle was missing, and the rough leather sheath, had seen better days. I started with the blade - I polished it, and put a razor edge back on it. I built a new nickel silver guard, and added cocobolo wood handles. Red liners were used to separate and highlight the guard, handle and pommel. A new sheath from tough, thick water buffalo hide will protect this rebuilt knife for many years to come.

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13Handle Conversion: This fine A-1 knife, from the Fallkniven Knife Company, had a short black rubber handle, with a very small built-in finger guard. The owner requested a larger and stronger handle, with a bigger guard for safety. The A-1 was rebuilt by adding a 3/4" stainless steel guard, soldered to the tang. Black canvas micarta, was chosen for the handle, to provide strength and durability. Finger grips were added for a more secure use of the knife, all held together with 2-ton epoxy, and seven stainless steel pins. For a little color and contrast, red, white and blue spacers were added just behind the guard. The Kytex sheath was heated and remolded to securely hold the new larger guard.

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14Handle Conversion: A well-used Cold Steel Recon Tanto that has given it’s owner many years of dependable service, however, the handle was getting chewed up and was working loose from the hidden tang. His request for a stronger handle arrangement, was answered with a new stainless steel finger guard and pommel. Black liner micarta handle scales pinned with black micarta rods and framed with white liners finished the conversion project.

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15Handle Conversion: Here we have a brand new Cold Steel Recon Scout that had never been used. The owner knew he wouldn’t like using the knife with its rubber handle, nor the very thin sheath that came with it. We fulfilled his requirements with a new burgundy micarta handle with finger grips, and a new stronger sheath, built from tough water buffalo hide.

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Hi Jay,

Just received the knife. OUTSTANDING JOB!!! I am very pleased. It looks good, the finger grooves fit, and you are right; the sheath will probably outlast me..., in short, a solid working knife with just the right touch of custom work. I can’t wait to try it out when I go pig hunting in Georgia, and of course I will let you know how it performed.

Thanks again, Neil

16Handle Repair: Here we have a well-used 50-year-old hunter from the Western Knife Company. Two small chips were all that remained of the original mother-of- pearl handle. Stained black and covered with rust pits, the old steel blade was in bad shape, too. Lots of sanding and polishing brought the blade back to a high shine. New handles were built with two beautiful pieces of gold-lip, mother-of-pearl, bonded to bocote wood spacers, with epoxy and hidden pins. It was an interesting project restoring this faithful old hunter, and turned out to be a great working knife once again.

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17Handle Conversion: A very large bush knife, designed by Blakie Collins, and built by the Onterio Knife Company. With its molded plastic “D” guard handle, and black coated blade, the owner felt it handled and looked too much like a military machete. Some major changes were needed. We started with the blade and after a lot of hand sanding to remove the black coating, we gave it a high polish on my Baldor Industrial Buffer. Cutting off the old plastic handle, gave us room to build a new strong handle. Stainless steel was chosen for the guard, crown and flared pommel cap, all pinned and soldered for extra strength. Tough black linen micarta scales were epoxied and pinned to form a new handle, with a secure grip. Red liners were added for color, and to separate and frame, the six different sections. This big bushwacker now has the feel and good looks of a large Bowie.

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18Handle Conversion: This is the “Spike" a Cold Steel Neck Knife. It has a rather plain appearance, with a satin finish blade, and black cord wrapped handle. To dress it up we gave the blade a high polish, and replaced the handle with royal blue liners, gold-lip mother-of-pearl, and a turquoise gemstone spacer.

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19Handle Conversion: This is the “Safekeeper II” a Push Dagger from Cold Steel. It has a dull matte finished blade, a very small rubber handle, and comes with a black Kytex sheath. The owner asked for a complete make-over from top to bottom. Hand sanding removed the matte finish, and a lot of buffing brought out a mirror polish. The small rubber handle was replaced with a select grade (black with white streaks) of water buffalo horn. White and blue spacers were added on each end for color and contrast. A much larger and more comfortable handle was the result. A new water buffalo hide sheath completed the package.

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20Handle Conversion: This 14-inch long Persian fighter, built by Mineral Mountain Hatchet Works, is called an "Assassin." It is a heavy knife and has good grind lines that give it an interesting profile. Its owner, Philip Ready of Warick, R.I., liked the knife, however, he wanted it to be more of a one-of-a-kind showpiece. Stripping it down to the bare blade, we rebuilt it from the ground up, starting with a new guard, and adding a pommel cap, both of nickel silver and lightly engraved. Asian rams horn was chosen for the new handle, framed in red liners, and secured with 1/4 inch nickel silver mosaic pins. The rough grind marks left on the blade required some hard work - hand sanding. This produced a smooth satin finish that was then cold blued, to add color and protection. The thin, green Kydex sheath was replaced with a new one. Hand built and custom fitted, from tough water buffalo hide. This deluxe sheath has an insert of python skin. It was a rare opportunity to rebuild this now classic Persian fighter. The pride of ownership should see this knife's owner through many years of hard service. Before (above)

20aAfter (right)

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21Handle Conversion: This custom made Persian Fighter has a carbon steel blade. The owner, living in R.I. by the ocean, wanted it blued to prevent it from rusting which we did. The knife's originial handle was a very thick black micarta with a hard, uncomfortable edge. He asked for a thinner and more colorful handle of an exotic hardwood, for its replacement. We gave him cocobolo wood, red liners and brass/red mosaic pins, adding a thong tube just for good measure. We replaced its soft leather pouch-style sheath with a stiff, keeper strap style, from tough water buffalo hide.

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22Handle Conversion: A Cold Steel Recon Scout, one of my favorite knives to work on. This time I kept the knife's brass guard. Its black coating was removed and after grinding finger cut-outs into it, a high polish was applied. The black rubber handle was replaced with a beatuful piece of exotic cocobolo wood. Red liners were added to frame all the sections.

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23Handle Conversion: Yes! This is still a Cold Steel Master Tanto, minus its original black rubber handle. It was replaced with a solid brass finger guard, red liners and hard-to-find Sambar Stag handle scales.

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24Handle Conversion: A fine Greco Fighter, with a 9" bead blasted blade. The owner says it's the best all around field knife he has ever used, but found the handle to be uncomfortable for heavy jobs. His first request was for a brass double guard, to better protect his hand from the blade's edge. The new handle's shape was very important to him, too. So he sent me a photo of a Randall-made knife with their Border Patrol style handle. From a solid block of black canvas micarta, I hand-carved the shape he wanted. He was not happy with the knife's sheath, so we built him a new one, from tough water buffalo hide. Before (right)

After (right)

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25Knife Repair: A pair of fine old German-made kitchen knives, that had seen better days. The wood handles were split and ready to fall off. The blades were dull, and covered with scratches from years of hard service. New cocobolo wood handles were built, and pinned and epoxied to the tangs. Careful hand sanding removed most of the scratches, and then the blades were buffed to a fine shine. Before (above)

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After (right)

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Jay,

"I just got the pictures today! Wow! Talk about "before and after!" It means a great deal to me to have these family heirlooms restored. I look forward to working with them when I finally get home! Thanks so much! I have some other minor work (another handle replacement, grinding down a broken tip (it broke when I dropped it! I didn't use it to pry!) that I may ask you to do, but that will have to wait for a bit.

Best regards, Mark

26Handle Conversion: Here is another knife from Mineral Mountain hatchet works. This time it's their Combat Bowie, with the 12" blade. The knife's owner, Philip Ready, of Warwick, R.I., really likes the styles of their knives, but not their handle treatments, nor the thin Kydex sheaths. So he came to me with a long wish list, to change this Bowie into a unique showpiece. We started with the 12" blade, which has some very good grind lines, but deep scratches were left along the hollow ground edge, under the bead-blasted finish. Careful hand sanding removed the scratches, and then many coats of cold blueing produced a deep black protective finish. The dull brass bolster was changed to a bright, lightly engraved finger guard of nickel silver, and a pommel cap was added. Phil likes Asian rams horn for a handle material, so it was used again on this knife. As a contrast to the rough surface of the rams horn, creamy white ivory was used as a spacer, with bright red liners all around. A deluxe water buffalo hide sheath was built to replace the thin Kydex one. Python skin was used for the insert, and a leg tie-down system added, to keep this big Bowie in its place. Before (above)

26aAfter (right)

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27Handle Conversion: This was a total conversion for this Mineral Mt. Hatchet Works, K-19 Bowie. This heavy 10" carbon steel blade, had a brass guard, tan canvas micarta handle, and came with a thin green Kytex sheath. Its owner, Philip Ready of R.I., asked for a complete make-over. The large brass guard was replaced, with an engraved nickel silver one, along with an engraved pommel. Sambar stag handle scales were used, to replace the tan micarta ones. A one inch spacer of "bark" mammoth ivory was added for contrast. Red liners frame all the parts, to bring them all together. The Kytex sheath was replaced with a deluxe one, built of tough water buffalo hide, with an insert of rattlesnake skin.

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28Handle Replacement: This large Al Mar Alaskan Bowie started with a dark diamondwood handle. Its owner requested an alternative ivory handle, the same size and shape as the original. A red spacer was added for some color contrast.

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29Repair/Conversion: This fine old Smith & Wesson hunter/survival knife started out with a hollow wooden handle. After many years of hard use it broke off and the owner rebuilt it. He welded on a full steel tang, and added some black bake-a-lite for handles. Now after 20 more years of hard use, its owner asked me to clean it up and put on a new handle. A beautiful set of matching Sambar Stag scales were chosen for the new handle, pinned on with brass mosaic pins. Red liners went in front and under the stag, to add just a hint of color. The blade and brass guard were cleaned and polished, and small scroll patterns were etched into the blade along with the owner's name. Before (above)

29aAfter (right)

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Dear Jay:

I just want to thank you for doing such a nice job on refurbishing my Smith & Wesson. It is now a real beauty. It will rival any camp knife with room to spare and strength left over. I love what you did to the handle. I would be hard pressed to find a knife as good looking as this. Thank you! I have not yet decided which knife to use when I am out camping, the Smith & Wesson or the Hunter/Camper that I purchased from you. They are both excellent pieces of work and I plan to pass them on to my sons when I cannot do such things anymore. It has been nice working with you and hope to hear from you from time to time. Have a nice summer and a great craft show season.

Thank you, Gary

30Knife Repair: This World War II family heirloom is a Cumillis Knife Co., U.S.M.C. combat knife. It had some big problems. The blueing was shot and rust was working on the blade, guard and pommel. The stacked leather handle was moldy, and the leather sections were cracked and separated. We rebuilt the handle with new sections of water buffalo hide, that were epoxied together, so they would not separate. The stacked leather was then treated with a Danish oil finish, and eight coats of clear gloss spar urethane. The blade, guard and pommel were cleaned, sanded and polished, then deep blued, for many years of rust proof protection. Before (above)

30aAfter (right)

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31Handle Conversion: A fine old Bowie knife with a dull finish, and cracked rosewood handle. We replaced the handle with highly figured cocobolo wood, red liners and nickel silver pins. Careful hand sanding removed the years of scratches on the blade, and guard. Some time on my heavy duty buffer machine, brought out its shine. The Bowie had its own plain metal sheath. The owner asked to have it encased inside a black leather, mountain man style belt sheath, with three rows of stainless steel studs, which we built for him. Before (above)

31aAfter (right)

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32Handle Conversion: A very large, Dexter/Russell Camp Knife, with a 12" blade, and plain white molded plastic handle. The owner requested a new handle with guard, and to have all the manufacturer's logos removed from the blade. Lots of hard sanding, and time with my industrial buffer, removed all the logos. A good strong tang was found under the white plastic handle when it was melted off. The tang now supports a nickel silver finger guard, and a large Sambar Stag "crown" antler handle. Red, white and blue spacers were added for color and contrast. Before (above)

32aAfter (right)

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Howdy Jay!

I love my Cold Steel TrailMaster, but tend to agree with you regarding the quality of the handle. I came across the handle below and like it. Would it be possible for you to assemble a similar handle out of black micarta for my TrailMaster and if so, what would be the cost? I know that you would have to be a bit creative with the different tang style on the TrailMaster. I have pretty big hands, so would you need a measurment of my grip? (I'm 6'6" and 270) Thanks for your help!

Rick Jones

33Handle Conversion: The above e-mail from Rick was the start of an interesting project. For his Cold Steel TrailMaster, he wanted a specific handle shape, and in a very large size. From the handle photo, I made two different sized wooden models, and sent them to him for his evaluation. They allowed Rick to give me the necessary feedback on what worked best for him. So we rebuilt Rick's TrailMaster with an new black micarta handle, to the size and shape he needed.

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Hi Jay!

I love the new handle, it really exceeded my expectations. I also was very impressed with the attention and service you provided. Your idea regarding the wooden trial handles was perfect and I finally have a knife that really fits my hand! Feel free to use this verbage on your Web site and I may send my other TrailMaster your way for similar handle treatment, probably next year. Did you say that they make a maroon micarta??

Cheers, Rick

34Handle Conversion: A new Cold Steel Recon Scout with a black rubber handle and black nylon sheath. We removed the black coating from the brass guard and replaced the rubber handle with a beautiful section of cocobolo wood. A new black leather sheath replaced the thin nylon one. Before (right)

34aAfter (right)

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35Handle Conversion: Most handle conversions I do involve micarta, exotic woods or horns. Here we have something new - a stacked leather handle to replace the old rubber one on this Cold Steel TrailMaster. The knife's owner asked for an oval shaped handle to match the oval brass guard. He also wanted a solid brass pommel cap, with a skull crusher point and thong hold.

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36Handle Conversion: Here we have a Blackjack Marauder, with a 9 1/2" blade, and black rubber handle. Its owner asked for a more durable hand material, a large single finger guard, and less pronounced bird-beak-shaped pommel area. We chose a set of black, water buffalo horn, for the handle, framed with red liners. Nickel silver was used for the large guard, and more rounded pommel cap. Before (right)

36aAfter (right)

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37Knife Repair: This fine old German-made chef's kitchen knife was in bad shape when it arrived at my knife shop. Its wooden handle was cracked and falling off, and the blade was stained, pitted and dull. A lot of hand sanding removed the stains and rust pits on the blade. Then a trip to the industrial buffer brought back the shine. A new brass finger guard was added for safety, plus a set of red, white and blue spacers for some color and contrast. A larger, more comfortable handle was shaped from a solid block of cocobolo wood.

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Jay:

"The knife arrived over the weekend, and I have to tell you my wife didn't even recognize it! It's amazing. The new handle is certainly a lot easier to hold, not to mention beautiful, and your restoration of the steel was above and beyond the call. We've made a new rule about never leaving the knife wet on the counter after use, etc. Many thanks for your excellent craftsmanship."

Michael

38Handle Conversion: This Fallkniven Bowie, with a straight-stacked leather handle, arrived at my knife shop with a very specific request from its owner, for a new handle design. He had seen a Fisk Bowie from Camelot Knife Company, that had the style of handle he wanted. So with a photo of the Fisk Bowie and a very detailed drawing of the new handle from the owner, we set to work to build him his dream knife. Purple kingwood was chosen for the handle material, offset with three pieces of 1/4" nickel silver spacers.

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Jay:

"WOW! That's my first impression after opening the box today, Jay! People have described me as being hard to please, but your work on my knife goes above and beyond my expectations. Functional art would be an apt description. You have certainly undersold yourself on this one."

Very impressed in Texas, Brian Fondren

39Handle Conversion: This is Cold Steel's 1917 Navy Cutlass, with a 25" blade, half-basket guard, and light brown wood handle. Because the cutlass is very blade-heavy, its owner found it uncomfortable to use. He asked me to rebuild the handle with heavier materials that would move the balance point back toward the rear. Brass liners were added under the new handle, and a heavy brass pommel cap, a round ball skull crusher, all added weight to the handle area. White ivory lined micarta for the handle, helped to offset all the black/blued blade and guard. Red liners, and red/brass mosaic pines added color and contrast.

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40Handle conversion: The owner of this knife liked the blade size and design of this Camp Tramp from Swamp Rat Knife Works Company. However, he didn't like their handle shape, size or material. To achieve the knife he wanted, he bought a plain 7 1/2" blade with no handle from Swamp Rat. He also ordered a custom sheet of thick, camouflage-colored micarta from Fibermascus in Clinton, TN. Both of these he sent to my knife shop along with a request for a large, custom-designed handle, with a built-in guard, finger cut-out, deep belly, and a thong hole. We gave him just what he wanted.

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Hi Jay,

"I have nothing but compliments on this new knife in front of me - the more I hold it the more I like it. The handle shape is exactly like I wanted, and fits my big hands like it was made for them . . . which I guess it was! :-) The Danish oil has been applied, as you suggested, and it really did give the micarta a nice sheen, and slightly darker color. I think you did an amazing job, especially with how complicated the design was and I promise that the next one will be easier. :-) Thanks for putting up with all the questions/confusion from my end, and I look forward to dealing with you again."

Until then, take care, Warren H.

41Handle Conversion: The owner of this H. I. Kukri was not happy with the handle's shape. The black water buffalo horn handles had a sharp ridge in the middle, and the pommel cap was just too large. He asked me to reduce the size of the pommel cap and remove the two ridges. A new handle of cocobolo wood with red liners and mosaic pins, finished this handle conversion. Before (right)

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After (right)

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42Handle Conversion: We replaced just about everything on this Tom Brown Tracker. The blade received multi layers of "antique brown" gun blueing. The original black micarta handle scales were replaced with dark burled, cocobolo wood. A new water buffalo hide sheath replaced the hard plastic, Kydex original.

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43Handle Conversion: Mike, the owner of this little custom-made Bird & Trout Knife, liked the Damascus steel's pattern, but wanted to dress it up a little more. We added Mokumee bolsters, blue liners, gold lip mother-of-pearl handle scales with mosaic pins. Before (right)

43aAfter (right)

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Hi Jay,

Well, she arrived today and like you said - sweet, sweet, sweet! Everything you've done for me so far has been great, but this little unique beauty is really exclusive. I've seen nothing like it. Thank you once again for everything. You've made my knife dreams come true. I'm sure in the near future I'll be talking to you again about our next project.

Yours truly, Mike

44Blade Repair, Handle Conversion: This fine, old German-made hunter had seen better days. Its carbon steel blade was covered with rust and was starting to pit. The thin brass guard was beat up and bent, and the jigged bone handle was cracked and loose. To add insult to injury, the knife's sheath had been lost. With a lot of hand sanding on the blade, the rust was replaced with a mirror finish. We then laid down multiple layers of cold gun blueing to protect it. Replacing the brass guard with a thicker, nickel silver one that matched the machined butt cap was the next step. Red liners and rough-surfaced Asian rams' horn scales were added to rebuild the handle. A new water buffalo hide sheath gives this rebuilt knife a new home.

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45Family heirloom repair: A family heirloom passed down from generation to generation. After 65 years of hard use, there isn't much left of this WWII Marine K-Bar combat knife. The brass guard and pommel cap are both missing. The stacked leather handle is falling apart. The blade is rusted, pitted and has large nicks in the cutting edge. Starting with the blade, a lot of hand sanding removed the rust and pits. The blade was polished to a satin finish, then cold-blued to prevent any future rusting. A new brass guard and pommel cap were built, and soldered onto the tang. Thick ovals of water buffalo hide were cut for the new handle. Rather than loosely stack them on the tang and then force them down tight with the pommel cap, which was the old method of construction, I glued each leather section together with 2-ton epoxy, then tightened them down with the pommel cap. The new handle was then dyed black, and given five - six coats of Danish oil finish, which soaks in, and sets up, to seal the leather. The final step was four - five coats of gloss polyurethane varnish, for added protection. Before (above)

45aAfter (right)

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46Knife Rapair: This old Clip Point Hunter from the A. G. I. Knife Company, has seen lots of hard use, yet still has many years of life left in her. To bring her back to that useful life, the owner requested a few changes. The elk horn handle had a slight curve to it, that did not fit a right handed user. It needed to be replaced. The brass bolster gave no protection to the user's hand from slipping onto the blade, so a new finger guard was needed. Being right handed, the low carry, left handed sheath wasn't working for the owner either. We built a new comfortable handle, out of American burled walnut, with a single brass finger guard with black spacers added for contrast. A new high carry, right handed, water buffalo hide sheath completed the project.

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47Knife Rapair: Great Grandma's bread knife, from the 1930's. Truly a family heirloom worth preserving. The thin, serrated blade was stained and dull, but not pitted with any rust. The wood handle had a large crack running down the top, and needed to be replaced. Careful hand sanding removed all the stains and scratches before going to the buffer for polishing. Cocobolo wood was the choice for a new handle, which we lengthened an extra inch from the old one. To add a little extra color and contrast, we added red and nickel silver spacers. Hand filing and sanding each serration, brought the cutting edge back to life. With a new razor edge, she is ready to go back to her family kitchen.

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48Knife Conversion: Another knife conversion project for Phil, from R. I. This time it's a C. R. K. T. Hissatse knife. The knife is well-designed with great grind lines. However, Phil hates the rubber handle and cheap Kyder sheath. Phil's wish list included a new leather sheath, dyed black, with a sharpening stone pouch on the front. Because he asked for a keeper-strap designed sheath, we had to add a double nickel silver guard to the knife, for the keeper-strap to hook over. A black water buffalo horn handle replaced the old thin rubber one. A N. S. mosaic pin and N. S. thong tube helped hold it all together. Red liners were added for color and to frame the handle parts.

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49Knife Repair: A Puma Hunter's Bowie, all the way from western Australia. The knife's owner, Stephen, asked for a more durable handle material, a stronger guard than the aluminum one, and a new sheath. He also wanted a "sterile" blade without the Puma companies' logo. With lots of careful hand sanding we removed the Puma logo, then buffed and polished the blade back to a satin finish. A new finger guard was built from nickel silver, along with a set of spacers. I moved the old thong hole back from the middle of the handle, and added a N. S. thong tube. For a tough new handle, we chose black canvas micarta. Only sanding it up to 120 grit, left it with a gray, rough surface, giving it a better secure grip. However, Stephen wanted a black handle, so to bring out the micarta's true color, we treated the gray handle with a Danish oil finish.

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G'Day, Jay,

My bowie knife was waiting for me when I got home from work today. A strange feeling. It was so different from the damaged old crock that I sent you, and EXACTLY what I had pictured in my head when we discussed restoring it. The micarta is sealed against the salt spray, yet still has the roughness I asked for to improve grip. I ran a magnifying glass over the work, and found the fit and finish to be excellent. The crossguard is precisely as I asked for, and you were quite right about moving the thong hole further up the grip. It will mean that I can cut safely at sea with the lanyard attached. No chance of losing a second knife to the Indian Ocean! As for the sheath, I'm not sure which is better, the design or the execution. I particularly like the little things that didn't really show up in the sheath pictures on your Web page. The way the blade is protected from the metal press stud by the extra layer of leather, and the little drain hole at the back of the sheath. Did you do that because this is a sea-going knife, or is it part of your regular design? A nice touch, anyway. So, you turned a damaged working knife into "better than new" and it looks pretty stylish, too. That's the good news. The bad news is that "Number-One Son" says it makes his belt knife look pretty shabby, and wouldn't an "upgrade" be a great birthday present? I'd hoped to get away with a birthday card, and a warm handshake. Looks like it'll be costing me money after all.....Talk soon. Best wishes.

Stephen

Jay, the knife is here, the photos aren't yet. So you were right. Customs had opened the package, and had a good look-through, but your repair wording on the package and the broken bits of handle helped make it clear that it wasn't a new knife. Thank you very much. Please feel free to use the above note on your Web page if you think it suitable. My son really is interested in a fancy belt knife. He has been talking about a desert ironwood grip, with brass hardware. I'll be in touch again very soon. Thanks again. The knife is perfect.

Stephen

50Knife Repair: Before passing this old Boy Scout bowie knife on to the next generation of his family, the owner sent it to me for a total restoration. I began with a lot of hand sanding to remove all the rust and scratches. Working my way up to 600 grit sandpaper brought the 6" clip-point blade to a nice satin finish. From a satin finish to a mirror finish required lots of time on my industrial buffer. The end results were well worth all the time and effort. The double brass guard spent time on the buffer, too. Removing the dull patina brought back the shine, to match the blade. The dark wood handle is teakwood and was covered in multi layers of chipped, yellowed varnish. Rather than replace the handle scales, we restored them with lots of hand sanding and five to six coats of Danish Oil Finish. The knife had no sheath, so we built a new one, out of tough water buffalo hide. Now the "family heirloom" is ready for the next generation.

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51Handle Conversion: a well-used Solligen bowie knife, made in Germany. Somewhere along its life the bowie's original handle had been replaced with a section of wooden broom handle. At one time the blade, too, was in bad shape as the owner had a local blacksmith remove the rust and scratches, and then polish the blade. Now he was ready for a total upgrade on the rest of the knife. We started with a new single finger guard of solid brass and added a solid brass "bird's beak" pommel cap, with a thong hole. For the new handle material, Asian rams horn was chosen. A black water buffalo hide sheath with a black and white python skin insert was then built to replace the old worn out brown one.

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52Handle Conversion: All the way from western Australia a matched pair of Puma bowies. Their owners, B-1 and B-2 were not happy with the aluminum finger guard nor the stag handles. They also wanted "totally sterile" knives and new leather sheaths. We started by removing the Puma logo from the blades and building new deluxe water buffalo hide sheaths with rattlesnake skin inserts. The aluminum guards were replaced with solid brass and the handles received "Presentation Grade A" AZ desert ironwood replacements. Black and brass spacers were added for color and contrast. I would guess that now there are a couple of very happy blokes down under!

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53Handle Conversion: Any knife-a-holic who loves "big" knives has to have a Rambo III in his collection. Mass produced by United Cutlery, they are impressive but when everyone has one, how do you make yours "special"? You send it to my knife shop!
First a new sheath was built out of black water buffalo hide. I added a leg tie-down system and a sharpening stone carrying pouch. Rambo III was then stamped into raised leather panels. After taking apart the knife's handle we added two sets of red and nickel silver spacers just to add some color and contrast. Next we replaced the steel nut at the end of the pommel with a nickel silver pointed "skull crusher" pommel cap. The cheap Dymondwood handle (it's dyed plywood) was replaced with a rare section of Presentation Grade "A" AZ desert ironwood. Now that's a "big knife!"

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54Handle Conversion: Here we have another Fallkniven Company knife. This one is their F1 Drop Point Hunter with a molded rubber handle. A well-built knife with good grind lines, but the rubber handle had to go. Once the handle was removed we added a small brass single finger guard. Black and brass spacers were added for color and contrast. A beautiful block of "burled" Presentation Grade "A" AZ Desert Ironwood was selected for the handle. A loveless style handle was chosen for the design. A new brown water buffalo hide sheath was built for the newly rehandled knife.

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55Handle Conversion: This hawk of French design is stamped 1804 and L & C, for Lewis and Clark. It arrived at my shop with just a plain wood handle with the head attached. The owner asked me to rebuild it with more of an early Native American design but to keep it simple at the same time. We started with a new handle of curly maple that we stained to bring out the fantastic grain patterns. Next we wrapped the butt end and hand area with wide, tan leather lacing. Just below the steel head I added a wide wrap of black rabbit fur. I built a horsehair concho from a section of sambar stag antler, made into a round button with three brass beads added for sparkle. Seven diagonal rows of domed brass tacks run down the handle to a "drop" of feathers, beads and a bear claw. A new leather sheath with a solid brass stud closure was built to complete the project.

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56Handle Conversion: Another C. R. K. T. company's hissatsu knife with the molded rubber handle and kydex sheath. This conversion was a little different style. I added an engraved brass bolster rather than a cross guard. This allowed me to build a pouch style sheath with a built-in sharpening steel for a streamlined look. Brass and black spacers were added at both ends for color and contrast. A new handle of Presentation Grade "A" AZ Desert Ironwood was added for a touch of class. A solid brass skull crusher was added to the butt end.

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57Handle Conversion: A nice size hunter by Hattori with a hollow ground blade, stacked leather handle, and a right handed, black leather sheath. The knife's owner is left handed so he send his favorite knife to me for a new left handed leather sheath. The knife also had a few issues. The brass guard was not tight up against the back of the blade leaving quite a noticeable gap. The leather handle had not been sealed allowing the leather to dry out and shrink. This problem produced rough ridges next to the two sets of colored spacers. Over time, as the leather continued to shrink the whole handle loosened allowing moisture to get in and rust the tang and rot the leather. We built him a new, heavy duty left handed sheath making the knife more user-friendly. Replacing the stacked leather handle with tough, black canvas micarta will allow this hunter to give many more years of service.

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58Handle Conversion: A fine old Boker Bowie with a few issues that the owner asked me to correct. Although the brass "S" shaped guard had nice lines it was always in the way for close-up work. So we built him a plain, double guard with simple oval shaped ends. The walnut wood handle had some good grain patterns but lacked good gripping power. A far better choice is sambar stag with its rough texture. We added red liners under the stag for color and contrast.

Jay,

You were right, the knife has a new appearance and feel to it. You are a true artist by trade, not to mention that your workmanship and attention to detail is top shelf! In a few weeks I will be sending you Rambo III for some needed modifications that we talked about earlier. Well, thank you again for such a great number that you did on the Boker. Talk to you soon.

Regards, Russell

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59Handle Conversion: From the Falkniven Company, their hard working Thor Bowie design. The length and balance of the blade work well for its owner. However, the stacked leather handle had too narrow a profile for a good grip. The owner asked for a larger and thicker handle of sambar stag. While we had the handle off, we also changed the steel guard to one of brass with an added brass, skull-crusher pommel cap. A new sheath was needed to replace the old well-worn one with its horizontal carry belt loop. Dyed black, his new water buffalo hide sheath has no belt loop, just a brass stud to keep it in place as it is carried tucked at an angle under the owner's belt.

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60Knife Repair and Handle Conversion: Here we have an old three piece set of stocky and butcher knives. They had become family heirlooms as they were passed down through the generations of the family. These hand tools had been used to earn a living for the family by their great-grandfather in the early 1900's at the Chicago stockyards. Now the family wanted to save them and to use them in their kitchen. We cleaned, polished and sharpened the blades. The tang on one knife was rusted all the way through and needed to be repaired. We then added red liners and new handle scales of Honduran rosewood.

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61An old M8 trench knife - proudly carried by an earlier family member in harm's way. Now it was needed again, this time for service in Iraq. A few hours of hand sanding on the blade removed the rest of the factory blueing, all the rust and scratches. The blade, guard and butt cap were then reblued. The stacked leather washer handle was replaced with a strong piece of cocobolo wood. We added a diagnonal piece of bocote wood just for a little contrast. Red, white and blue spacers were added at both ends to add a little color. A new combat sheath was built with four lashing points, two at the top and two at the bottom.

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62Another old Western Knife Company hunter with a fake plastic, mother of pearl handle. There isn't much left of the handle and the blade is in rough shape. The thin leather sheath has dry rot and will not last much longer. A lot of hand sanding (up to 600 grit) removed the rust and scratches from the blade. Some quality time at the industrial buffer brought out a mirror finish to complete the blade work. To rebuild the handle we installed new, real mother of pearl in gold-tipped scales. A new water buffalo hide sheath was custom-built to replace the old one.

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63Handle Conversion: A cold steel, Trailmaster with its cheap rubber handle was not what its owner wanted. So he asked me to design and build him a longer "dog-bone-shaped" handle using black canvas micarta. We hit it dead-on!

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64Handle Conversion: Stop everything!! This "high priority" project just arrived and it still has Iraq dust and sand in the scabbard. Sent to my knife shop by a Sergeant in the 121st infantry, this Mission Knives, M. P. K. S., combat knife needed a new handle and finger guard. The knife originally came with a handle and finger guard of molded plastic. The Sergeant asked for a new handle built of tough black canvas micarta with a single finger guard of stainless steel. In just two days, we gave him what he wanted including a handy thong tube. On the third day it was on its way back to the war zone with my thanks and best wishes.

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65This random pattern Damascus blade was sent to my knife shop by its owner who wanted a Randall-made style fighter built around it. We gave him a double grass guard and matching round pommel cap, two sets of brass and black spacers, framing a handle of presentation grade AA Arizona desert ironwood.

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66Nothing fancy for this cold steel Trailmaster, just a new handle of solid, thick sambar stag. This straight "stick" of antler with its rough texture of ridges replaces the old black rubber handle that was much too thin for such a large knife. We kept the knife's original oval brass guard but added a matching brass pommel cap with a brass plate to help balance the knife's heavy blade.

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67Another cold steel Tanto with black rubber handles. Its owner asked for an upgrade to red spacers and cocobolo wood. We gave it to him.

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68An old family heirloom. This bastard file had been ground into a knife blade and used for many years until the handle fell off. Its owner sent it to me for a full conversion. We started with a small round brass guard and domed brass pommel cap. A straight piece of sambar stag antler was used for the new handle. Adding a finger cutout and a thong tube finished the project.

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69This is a large Case XX Bowie. It arrived with an ugly white plastic handle that needed replacing. We started with a new 3" long oval guard of mokume-gane that was forged in a random pattern. A "crown" piece of sambar stag antler was chosen for the handle. We added finger grips to it and gave it color and contrast with black water buffalo horn and ivory spacers.

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70The cold steel Trailmaster with its thick blade at 9 1/2" long needs a large, heavy handle to help balance the feel of the knife. We achieved this with a large section of presentation grade AA Arizona desert ironwood. A flat plate of brass for the pommel cap with a 3" long double brass guard helps to balance the knife. A new water buffalo hide sheath, dyed black, with a few military ribbons and service crests attached, completed the project.

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71This WWII military knife is a family heirloom in need of a lot of work. The blade is pitted and rusted, as is the guard, the tang and its pommel caps. The stacked leather washer handle has dried out as the varnish coat protecting it has worn away. Now it has dry rot and is falling apart. The split leather sheath is in just as bad shape with dry rot and a missing keeper-strap. A lot of hand sanding removed the rust from the blade, guard and pommel cap. Then some quality time at the industrial buffer polished them all to a brilliant shine. After removing the old handle and cleaning the rusty tang we rebuilt the leather handle gluing each washer together with two-ton epoxy. The handle was then treated with Danish oil finish to seal the leather. Four to five coats of high gloss polyurethane varnish were added for a final layer of protection. A new custom-fitted sheath was built to carry this rebuilt knife for many years to come.

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72Handle Conversion: Another Thor Bowie with its stacked leather washer handle, S. S. double guard and matching S. S. pommel cap. Its owner wanted a stronger handle of black canvas micarta. We started with a new 3" double brass guard and matching brass pommel cap. White and black spacers were added for color and contrast. Two finger grips were added to the black canvas micarta handle for better control. A brass thong tube was also added. A high-carry, black water buffalo hide sheath was built for its new home. Click image for larger view

Dear Jay,

I wish my Dad could see this knife: he loved tools and he loved beauty. In particular he loved that place where form and function come together and a tool simply rings a perfect note. The Thor was a good blade with no voice and now it sings. The new handle is superb providing great grip, balance and beauty. The sheath alone is a work of art. I look forward to using this knife often and someday passing it on to my son. Thanks for your fine work.

Sincerely,
John A. Philip
Manlius, NY

73Handle Conversion: This classic 1960's era Gerber MRK II didn't look like much of a knife when it arrived at my knife shop. However, it was a treasured family heirloom who's owner, Stephen, had used and abused it while serving in the war in South Vietnam. Needless to say, Stephen wanted something very special for his old friend. We tried our best starting with a mirror polish for the well-used blade. Replacing the old gray metal handle with it's broken guard, the owner chose nickel silver and stacked, leather washers. For color and contrast we added two bands of colored spacers in the Vietnam service ribbon colors of yellow, green and red. Click image for larger view

74Handle Conversion: Another interesting handle conversion project for Stephen. This time it's a very rare, early 1970's era Randall Made knives Model #12, Raymond Thorp Bowie in a "kit" form. To keep up with the high demand for their combat knives during the Vietnam war, Randall offered a few of their knife models as kits and this is one of them. The 13 inch blade and sheath were all that the owner received and it was up to them to build the handle. The original owner chose to build his with black water buffalo horn and man-made ivory spacer and pommel cap. Stephen chose the new handle material and design with great care and it shows. Nickel silver guard and pommel cap with black and N. S. spacers. They frame the highly figured cocobolo wood handle with its bocote wood spacer. I was pleased with the results and believe Stephen was, too. Click image for larger view

Dear Jay,

Those two knives are so damn beautiful! I am just sitting at the table looking at them and admiring your craftsmanship and artistry, Jay. WOW doesn't even come close. My young 1st Cav. friend is here and he just about sh-- when he got a load of both of them. We both had the same thing to say, "Now, that's a Gerber!" I am just in awe of both of these knives - that big Bowie is just incredible. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Jay, for putting so much of yourself into my knives. I am truly humbled. God Bless you, my friend.

Stephen

75Repair/Conversion: An old Gerber Mark II from the early 1960s with the offset blade. This classic fighting knife was rehandled with a short rugged N. S. guard and crown. A matching N. S. pommel cap was also added as a pointed skull crusher. The new handle is a beautiful section of Presentation Grade A Az. Desert Ironwood in a burled grain pattern. This fighter not only looks fantastic but feels great in the hand.

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76Repair/Conversion: A W. W. I military issue Bolo knife. Thousands of these were produced for the military during the great war and many still survive. Here is one of them. In need of a little T. L. C. and some upgrades, we took on this interesting project. The blade was in very good shape with no rust or pitting due to the heavy black coating that was factory applied. We removed this coating and the rough scratches under it, then gave the blade an antique blued finish. We did the same to the double guard and pommel cap. We replaced the old roughly shaped wooden handle with a set of Presentation Grade A Az. Desert Ironwood scales in a burled grain pattern. Two brass/black mosaic pins were used to hold them on. The owner had a sterling silver U. S. M. C. insignia pin that we inlaid into the handle. A new leather sheath was also built as the original canvas one had been lost.

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77Repair/Conversion: One of only a few hundred W. S. K. (Wilderness Survival Knives) that were made for the Tom Brown "Tracker" model in damascus steel. We replaced the thong handle scales of ivory micarta with Presentation Grade A Az. Desert Ironwood in a burled grain pattern. Three brass, black mosaic pins were added to help hold them on. The damascus steel blade is prone to rust so we gave it a mellow antique blueing finish to protect it.

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78Repair/Conversion: Another Gerber Mark II fighting knife. The first photo shows the knife with its molded aluminum handle removed. A sad note is the very short 1 3/4" long tang that Gerber puts on this famous knife. This knife will get a new N. S. guard with a crown and matching N. S. pointed skull crusher pommel cap. Stacked leather washers will build this knife's new handle. However, first we have to weld on a threaded rod to the short tang then we can stack and epoxy each leather washer together as we build the new handle. We also added the colors of the Vietnam Service Ribbon to the handle.

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79Handle Conversion: The owner of this cold steel R1 military classic enjoyed the knife but not the straight lines and thick feel of its handle. He asked me to contour the handle for a more secure and comfortable grip. To add even more security to the grip we added a S. S. pommel cap (hand stop) with a thong hole.

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80Handle Conversion: An old Civil War era cut-down saber knife. This knife has some great "bones," but its handle had seen better days. Originally this saber's wood handle was covered with red fabric and wrapped in braided brass wire. The fabric had rotted away loosening the brass wire and exposing the cracked wooden core. Its owner asked for a new leather wrapped handle to reuse the wire and not to touch the patina of the other metal parts, also, to build a new leather sheath. The black LA alligator hide with its natural squares we used to rebuild this handle adds a little touch of class. While the handle was apart we cleaned the rust off the tang and then welded the old guard to it. With the welded guard and the two-ton epoxy used to attached the new handle no moisture will get in to rust the tang. The owner and I discussed many design styles for a new sheath along with options for carrying it. He chose a black leather vertical high carry design with leather lacing holding it all together.

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81Handle Conversion: An old M3 trench knife from WWII that is a family heirloom. Its owner asked for a new handle built from a section of whitetail deer antler that he provided. This crown piece was badly curved, so to straighten it out we added a section of cocobolo wood just behind the guard. The blade was in good shape and at the owner's request we cleaned and then polished it to a mirror finish. A new sheath was built, dyed black, and we added a holder for a diamond-coated sharpening steel along the side.

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82Handle Conversion: This old Randall made #14 survival knife had been overhauled by its owner. He covered the micarta handle with tight fitting black leather stitched up the top. The double brass guard was replaced with two curved sections of a horseshoe and a pommel cap was added using the same horseshoe. Time now for a total remake and the owner asked for us to use classic materials that look great together. He chose Desert Ironwood for the handle and nickel silver for the fittings. We added four sets of spacers in N. S. black to frame all the parts.

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83Handle Conversion: An old German made Soligen bowie with a cracked stag handle and a bent brass guard. We rebuilt it with a new double brass guard and matching brass ball pommel cap. The new handle is stacked leather washers with two sets of colored spacers.

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84Knife Repair: During World War II many servicemen would personalize their government issued combat and utility knives. With most handle conversions showing up on old Navy knives. Most likely the sailors had more time on their hands while sailing into "harm's way" and an easy access to their ship's machine shops to do the work. They seem to have used what ever materials could be found on board ship but most often they used the broken pieces of plastic from the canapes of wrecked aircraft adding many colorful spacers between the plastic pieces for color and contrast. While the fit and finish on their new knife handles was always very well done showing fine craftsmanship and pride of ownership, Mother Nature was ever cruel, for over time (50 to 60 years) the plastic destroyed itself by breaking down into a crystal-like powder. That is what has happened to this fine old Navy divers knife handle. We cleaned up the blade and pommel cap and rebuilt the handle using manmade golden ploy amber, with red, white and blue spacers.

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85Knife Repair: Here is a fine example of why wood handled cutlery should never be cleaned in a dishwasher. The high heat in the drying cycle will, over time, dry out the wood causing it to shrink and crack. With this kitchen knife the blade became so hot the tang scorched the inside of the wood. We rebuilt the handle with a colorful piece of cocobolo wood.

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86Total Rebuild: How do you design and build a bowie blade this big? You start with a dream, then the desire, and finally an old trucks steel leafspring. Add in many enjoyable hours in your small garage workshop where you learn to grind, sand and polish this tough piece of steel. Unfortunately as your dream slowly comes to life you find it must be set aside never to be completed as work and raising a family take up more of your time. Until now, 40 years later, when your grown up son brings this massive blade to my knife shop in hopes that I can finish his father's dream. It was a real pleasure to take on this special project. We started with sanding and polishing the 13-inch blade to a mirror finish. After adding a set of black and brass spacers behind the massive guard, a block of presentation grade A Arizona desert ironwood was chosen for the new handle completing the project.

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87Total Rebuild: A very rare find - a handmade Ruana blade from 1986. Its owner requested a double guard with a crown and a matching pommel cap all of nickel silver. Two sets of black and N. S. spacers frame the coffin-shaped handle of exhibition grade American walnut. A large bronze masonic emblem was inlaid into the handle.

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88Handle conversion: From Mission Knives, their MPK10, it comes with a hard molded plastic handle with guard and plastic sheath. For this project we built a new double guard of N. S., then added a new handle of black canvas micarte. Hand carved finger grips and a N. S. thong tube were included. We updated the sheath to a leather one, dyed black, with a pouch on the front for a sharpening steel.

 

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89Handle conversion: Another Cold Steel Master Tanto with its cheap rubber handle and small finger guard. Mark sent this knife to our shop from Germany with very exacting requirements. He included a well thought out line drawing of his needs. Mark asked for a larger finger guard, of brass, and a strong new handle, of black canvas micarte. For a better grip he asked for deep finger grips and a pointed pommel cap of brass. When changing the grip he requested a hollow area on both sides of the hqnde be carved out for placement of his thumb. A new sheath was built for a horizontal crossdraw carry method. A deluxe style was chosen with a rattlesnake skin insert.

 

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90Handle conversion: A big knife from Cold Steel, their Natchez Bowie. This, too, was sent by Mark in Germany. He asked for finger grips and a S. S. sub-hilt be added to a new handle of black canvas micarte. A deluxe style sheath was built with a rattlesnake skin insert to be carried on an adjustable shoulder harness.

 

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91Handle conversion: Another interesting project from Mark in Germany. This one is a Gerber MKII with its standard aluminum handle which is uncomfortable to hold in cold weather. Mark asked for a larger double guard of brass with a matching pointed pommel cap. Deep finger grips were hand carved into the new black canvas micarte handle.

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92Handle conversion: The narrow stacked leather handle that came on this Falkniven Thor Bowie was too small and uncomfortable for its owner. He asked for a larger handle of presentation grade AA Az. desert ironwood in a burled grain pattern. We added finger grips, a brass pommel cap and brass thong tube. To add color and contrast the ironwood was framed between brass and red spacers.

 

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93Handle conversion: Here we have an 1848 Russian short sword made in Sweden and marked only with A. & E. H. Its owner has plans to carry it with his "Emergency Bug Out Bag," but asked for a few changes and upgrades first. After 161 years the blade was in remarkably good shape with no rust or pits. However, it was covered with many deep scratches and had a very bad grind line along the cutting edge. A lot of hard hand sanding removed most of the scratches and we worked our way up all the way to 600 grit sandpaper. My industrial belt sander worked wonders to re-profile the cutting edge and some quality time on my buffer brought the blade up to a high satin finish. The brass "S" guard needed work as the top was bent and the guard had only been dry-fitted to the tang. After fixing the bent "S" we soldered the guard to the tang using J. B. Weld compound for a tight seal. A new handle was shaped from black canvas micarta with red liners added for a little color and contrast It's now ready to give many years of hard service. A new water buffalo hide sheath was built to carry this sword safely with five lashing holes placed around its outer edge so it can be tied onto the pack. A separate belt loop was designed with the built-in swivel of S. S. bearings allowing the sword to be tilted fore and aft out of the way. A sharpening stone pocket was attached to the front where it's handy for instant use. A new 1 3/4 inch wide belt was built to complete the rig.

 

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94Handle conversion: It can't be?! But, yes, it really is a Cold Steel S. R. K. You've seen them for years with their black teflon coated blade and ugly black rubber handle with built in single finger guard. After a fun-filled week in my knife shop she came out with a new one-of-a-kind look. The blade was cleaned and polished. Then a double brass guard was welded on with black and brass spacers just behind it. A colorful piece of cocobolo wood was used for the new handle.

 

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95Handle conversion: When this bowie came from the Gerber knife factory, it had an ugly black rubber handle. Once this was removed we rebuilt a new one from a complicated set of 24 parts using black water buffalo horn spacers to offset the sections of kingwood with extra spacers of black and brass sheaths. A flat brass pommel cap was added to the end. Rather than give the new handle a traditional round or oval shape, we sanded and polished it into an interesting hexagonal design. A new black leather sheath replaced the old nylon one.

Jay, The knives arrived today. I can't stop fondling them. The old Marbles deserved a "good home" and a proper re-working and now it finally has both - if I can keep my son and my nephews from stealing it for their deer hunting. I will use her with respect and will give her the treatment she deserves. That old knife still has a lot of years of use in it and now it has a handle (and sheath) to match it. The Gerber bowie is something else - Wow!! What a great handle! Finally this great old knife now has a handle and a sheath that matches its character. You took a knife that had been abused and not treated very well (before I got her) and have turned it into a "head turner!!!" I look forward to using her in my fishing adventures. Thank you for a great job! Looking forward to the SRK. Clif

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96Handle conversion: This was, and still is, an old marble hunter. However, when it arrived at my shop it was just an old rusty blade with no handle and no sheath. We cleaned and polished the blade then built a new micarta handle in black linen. A few sets of red and nickel silver spacers were added along with a new N. S. pommel cap. A right handed water buffalo hide sheath completed this repair project.

 

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97Handle conversion: A well built W.S.K., from the Red corpion Knife Company, called their predator. The overly long handle, at 6 inches, comes with thin, black micata, handle scales. Theowner asked for the same style of removable scales, built from Honduran Rosewood, with red liners, under them for a little color and contrast.

 

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98Knife Repair: Another WWII combat knife, with a badly rusted and pitted blade. It's stacked leather washer handle had also seen better days. It originally had a very thin metal, double guard, and pommel cap. After cleaning and polishing the 7 inch blade, we built a new thicker guard, and pommel cap from .S., with a satin finish. Rather than rebuild the stacked leather washer handle, with a round hsape, we profiled the leather to match the new guard. Giving it a flat oval design, that is easy to grip.

 

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99Repair conversion: Another Cold Steel Trailmaster Bowie knife, with its ugly rubber handle. Its owner asked for a simple stag handle. We gave him a large piece of Sambar Stag. This curved stick piece has been capped off with a flat brass pommel cap with a brass nut.

 

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100Repair conversion: A well designed Hattori Fighter, with a simple Cocobolo wood handle. its owner asked for an upgraded handle to match the crowned, N.S. double gard. We started with Kingwood scales, then added 3 sections of black water buffalo horn, framed with N.S. spacers. Using toehold thong tube hole, we pinned on a new N.S. pommel plate.

 

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101Knife Repair: A fine, old machete, built in the Dominican Republic, by the Promedoca company. Its owner, also from the Dominican Republic, has a deep kinship with themachete, and planned to make it a family heirloom. But first it needed a lot of work. The machete's original fancy handle had been lost, from heavy abuse, and was replaced with a block of cheap soft wood. We replaced it with a highly figured block of cocobolo wood, with 2 sections of Bocote wood spacers for color and contrast. Six sets of red, white and blue spacers were added to frame all the sections. We also added a N.S. double guard, and round pommel cap. The 12 inch blade was hand sanded, then polished to a mirror finish.

 

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102Knife Conversion: A New York executive, wanting an unusual letter opener fo this office, sent me his favorite Rapala fillet knife. Its thin narrow blade was just the right size and shape for a letter opener. After removing the old wooden handle, we added an engraved N.S. bolster, red white and blue spacers. Finsihing it all off with an ivory Micarta, coffin-shaped, handle. A new sheath was built to house the new opener.

 

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KNIFE REPAIR/CONVERSIONS PRICE LIST