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Need some input from my metalworking friends and bitter enemies.

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  • Need some input from my metalworking friends and bitter enemies.

    I have a restoration project underway and need some suggestions. I don't have any before pictures but here are 2 of my grandad's corn knives that have been in my mom's shed for probably 30 years. As you can see they have both been retrofitted with makeshift handles at some point. They were completely rusted when I decided to try to make them serviceable again. Don't ask me why, I have no idea if or how I will ever use them but they were Grandpa's so I'm giving it a shot. I soaked them in Evapo-Rust which removed the rust and left them mostly black. Most of the black came off with a stainless steel brush but after a little light grinding it became obvious that I could not grind out the pitting without jeopardizing the integrity of the blades. So now my question, can the pitting be filled with something or, is there a finish I can apply that will work over the black in the pits? I was thinking about cold bluing them just for the appearance but I hate that the pitting will still be there.

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    If it weren't for double standards, liberals would have no standards at all.

    "Ammo and really good friends are hard to find in a gunfight so I bring them with me" E. J. Owens

  • #2
    Toothbrush with Flitz and Kroil?
    Friends don't let friends shoot factory ammo.

    Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential.
    -Winston Churchill

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    • #3
      ...some home remedies that look like cheap experiments

      https://homequicks.com/clean-rust-off-metal
      Friends don't let friends shoot factory ammo.

      Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential.
      -Winston Churchill

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      • #4
        Here's an off the wall idea. Find a decent blacksmith who can cut and combine these blades into a stack and make a damascus knife blank. Then have him make a nice blade or make a nice blade yourself from the damascus blank. Use the large crescent shaped handle to make the knife scales or use both handles to make laminated blanks.
        In the current condition you've done about all you can do and you said yourself that you have no use for them. Making the damascus and the handle still leaves a connection to grandpa and a family heirloom worth passing down. Won't be cheap, but will be 100% grandpa's.
        Every once in a while in life we need a policeman, a lawyer, a doctor and a preacher. We need a farmer three times a day, every day.

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        • #5
          I am also looking for information on ridding shallow pits.
          Endeavor to persevere.

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          • #6
            i like Rocky's idea. You would end up with a perfect knife.

            But thinking of it: I'd just cold blue and oil the blades these are historic pieces and some platina gives them character. If made like new they would just be two new corn knifes. Some pitting shows the harsh life they WORKING tools had. I'd clean and oil the handle on the left one, again showing the wear from a hard working hand. The right knife I'd get some epoxy, fill the crack and then oil finish ehte wood.

            let them show their life history and that of you ancestor; and explain what they are to your kids so their significance is carried forward to future generations.

            just my thoughts.

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            • #7
              I'm in complete agreement with Bear. They are what they are and should be honored for their service without 'sanitizing.'
              Homo sapiens, [ˈhōmō ˈsāpēənz] Noun. An advanced primate characterized by a large brain which it seldom uses.

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              • #8
                brand new flawless blades are too easy and have zero history.....head to any ARMY NAVY store buy two machetes and grind to shape...polish and done....now you have two old handles with new blades....big whoop

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                • #9
                  FWIW, that black stuff in the pits is Fe3O4, black iron oxide. It is totally harmless from the standpoint of toxicity. Now, if the oxide has a rough surface, you might need to do a bit of sanitizing if you plan to use them for foody sorts of reasons. Other than that, it's an indication of character, and (to my MT head) set up and enjoyed in context.
                  -Remote locations are cheap insurance.
                  -There are two kinds of ships: Submarines and targets

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                  • #10
                    I like Rocky's idea too with a giant but, I have already done that with a couple of saw blades and an elk shed that I picked up in New Mexico. I'm in for about $260 on the saw blade knives, one for me and one for my brother. They won't be Damascus but will have some pretty deep connection for us. I think I agree with Bear and Plainsman except I'm going to make new handles for them. I have some sycamore boards that were milled from a few trees from the farm. The grain pattern is just awesome so the plan for now is a bit of polishing to smooth the grinding scratches then cold blue them as they are and make new handles. Might use them as a camp tool just for grins. I'm a bit of a perfectionist so the pitting really bothers me but I might be able to overlook it in this case. If I just can't tolerate it when I'm done then I'll see about getting them fashioned into a useable knife. I also have about a 4' crosscut saw that my mom insisted one of us keep and neither my brother nor my sister would take it. It's fairly thin and flexible so I'm thinking about having fillet knives made out of it. As you can see I have way more ideas than I need to be contemplating but my wife seems to be very ok with me spending some not quite disposable income in this instance. She knows how close I was to my grandparents and their farm.
                    If it weren't for double standards, liberals would have no standards at all.

                    "Ammo and really good friends are hard to find in a gunfight so I bring them with me" E. J. Owens

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                    • #11
                      Ed, Here is a video about repairing a Colt Lightning that was deeply pitted at points on the barrel. They filled the deepest holes by laser welding them. Interesting concept but I have no idea as to the cost. (Sure wish they'd have shown the gun firing.) RD
                      Every once in a while in life we need a policeman, a lawyer, a doctor and a preacher. We need a farmer three times a day, every day.

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