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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  The Cutting Edge (Moderator: St. George)  |  Topic: Just a simple Russell knife. 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Just a simple Russell knife.  (Read 37588 times)
Adirondack Jack
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« on: September 09, 2010, 04:24:15 pm »


While I was in knife mode (after finishing off the fancy knife and stand), I finished a little "made from blank" knife I started last winter.  It was the last of 6 different Russell blanks I'd bought from Texas Knifemaker's Supply 6 or 7 years ago.   I'd polished the blade to 800 or so and used it as a test subject for the "Dixie Instant Antique" browning solution I'd bought for the rolling block project.  If I liked the way the knife came out, on to the gun.  If not, I figured it was a lot easier to re-finish a knife than the gun.... So yeah, who the heck ever heard of a plum browned knife blade?  But I liked the way the steel came out, hung the blade on a nail in the shop and moved on to the gun.

  Then one cold night I was feeding the stove and hoping spring would hurry along, and thought some of the hard maple I was burning looked pretty nice in a simple, handsome sort of way.  I trundled out to the unheated garage, fired up the table saw and cut a couple of small planks from a 4" piece of limb wood.  I stashed the wood on a high shelf in the shop to let it further season (it was already almost a year since it had been cut, so once cut thin, it would season pretty quick.)  I finally got around to doing it up the last few days.

So there ya have it, a  "Russell Green River" knife blank of carbon steel, plum browned and scaled with hard maple from my wood pile.



The blade is sharp as a razor (diamond stone followed by a ceramic stone that is about 2000 grit.)  It'll julienne newspaper cut into 1/16" wide strips cut on a bias.  Look out Tomatoes  Smiley



I made the scales a little thinner on this one than some of my others, and left the back half of em flat so it'll stay put instead of wanting to roll if placed on an uneven surface.  A bit of rocker was sanded into the front part of the scales for comfort.  Sanded em to 800, gave em a couple coats of Tung Oil and a bit of Butchers Bowling Alley Wax.

Just a simple knife, but it'll do.
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« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2010, 04:35:04 pm »

That's more to my liking than so many of the "fantasy" knives I see.  Thanks for sharing.
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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2010, 04:45:37 pm »

That's more to my liking than so many of the "fantasy" knives I see.  Thanks for sharing.

And far more useful.
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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2010, 05:16:23 pm »

Nice work the Maple looks good.
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WaddWatsonEllis
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« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2010, 07:16:16 pm »

Methinks your 'simple knife' will be used alot more than the fancy custom knives we see in here ....
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« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2010, 04:10:09 pm »

Dandy Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2010, 05:02:23 am »

I like the Russell knives.  I do several a year for family and meself.  You have done a great job on that blade. Grin
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« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2010, 11:21:07 pm »

Took the old buffler skinner campin with me last weekend,danged if i don't like this style now,them danged old blades mean buissness..Don't know which bled more,me or the steak! Undecided Looks can be deceaving Lips Sealed

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« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2010, 01:35:51 pm »

Hi AJ, great looking knife, is this the blank that you used?
Django
http://www.texasknife.com/vcom/product_info.php?products_id=626



While I was in knife mode (after finishing off the fancy knife and stand), I finished a little "made from blank" knife I started last winter.  It was the last of 6 different Russell blanks I'd bought from Texas Knifemaker's Supply 6 or 7 years ago.   I'd polished the blade to 800 or so and used it as a test subject for the "Dixie Instant Antique" browning solution I'd bought for the rolling block project.  If I liked the way the knife came out, on to the gun.  If not, I figured it was a lot easier to re-finish a knife than the gun.... So yeah, who the heck ever heard of a plum browned knife blade?  But I liked the way the steel came out, hung the blade on a nail in the shop and moved on to the gun.

  Then one cold night I was feeding the stove and hoping spring would hurry along, and thought some of the hard maple I was burning looked pretty nice in a simple, handsome sort of way.  I trundled out to the unheated garage, fired up the table saw and cut a couple of small planks from a 4" piece of limb wood.  I stashed the wood on a high shelf in the shop to let it further season (it was already almost a year since it had been cut, so once cut thin, it would season pretty quick.)  I finally got around to doing it up the last few days.

So there ya have it, a  "Russell Green River" knife blank of carbon steel, plum browned and scaled with hard maple from my wood pile.



The blade is sharp as a razor (diamond stone followed by a ceramic stone that is about 2000 grit.)  It'll julienne newspaper cut into 1/16" wide strips cut on a bias.  Look out Tomatoes  Smiley



I made the scales a little thinner on this one than some of my others, and left the back half of em flat so it'll stay put instead of wanting to roll if placed on an uneven surface.  A bit of rocker was sanded into the front part of the scales for comfort.  Sanded em to 800, gave em a couple coats of Tung Oil and a bit of Butchers Bowling Alley Wax.

Just a simple knife, but it'll do.
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« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2010, 07:09:03 pm »

Hi AJ, great looking knife, is this the blank that you used?
Django
http://www.texasknife.com/vcom/product_info.php?products_id=626




Track of the Wolf has them for $9.95.
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Jake MacReedy
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« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2010, 06:06:05 pm »

Now THAT'S a "usin' knife" pard!  And has already been stated, a lot more of these were worn on the belts of frontiersmen, plainsmen and cowboys than any other kind of knife.  I'm a fancier of big Bowies, and have a couple I've put together myself, but this style of knife was the real "user" out here in the West!

Jake
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Adirondack Jack
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« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2010, 11:41:13 pm »

Hi AJ, great looking knife, is this the blank that you used?
Django
http://www.texasknife.com/vcom/product_info.php?products_id=626




yep, that's the one.  Back when I bought it, they were a bunch cheaper.  I think they averaged about $7.50 apiece then.

I did a "sticker" and a boot knife sheath, and a pacific patch knife, scaled with cocobolo



a buffalo skinner and sheath


a "sheath knife" and a elk suede sheath


and a "camp knife"


The patch knife and the sticker get used daily on my bench, and the others are on a display in my shop, but get rotated through kitchen duty when I cook (Momma don't use "real" knives, because she can't bring herself not to bear down on em like she does on the cheap clubs she uses).
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« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2011, 04:53:52 pm »

I really like it!  There were far more knives like this carried here in the West than all of the other types..including the big Bowies!  I like the looks of a Bowie knife, but a good "butcher" style blade like this is far more useful on the trail or in camp than a Bowie is.

Jake
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« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2011, 03:54:19 am »

How much would it set me back for a knife similar to that one you made?  I'll order the blade and have it sent your way, same with my handles of choice....

What can I say...I really like it. 


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1961MJS
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« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2013, 10:28:48 pm »

Hi

Frankenstein here again (I think I've brought about 5-6 threads back to life this year).     Shocked

Is the plum brown knife blade period correct to the 1860's through 1900 at all?


 I remember my Grandmother's knives being dark carbon blades, but I don't think they were brown.  I have several butcher blades and boning blades that I'm putting together with home grown Osage Orange scales to give to my old scout troop.  I thought I'd brown them so they wouldn't stain so much.

Thanks
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« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2013, 11:39:37 pm »

My Good Frankenstein  1961 -

I do not recall seeing a carbon knife deliberately browned in any of the museum exhibits that I regularly stalk visit,
or for that matter on the webisphere... Most I have seen were stained by regulat use, such as by tomatoes or potatoes.

that, however, doesn't mean you can't do it :-)

yhs
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1961MJS
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« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2013, 03:11:14 pm »

My Good Frankenstein  1961 -

I do not recall seeing a carbon knife deliberately browned in any of the museum exhibits that I regularly stalk visit,
or for that matter on the webisphere... Most I have seen were stained by regulat use, such as by tomatoes or potatoes.

that, however, doesn't mean you can't do it :-)

yhs
prof marvel

Thanks Professor

Is the staining more gray, or would cold bluing work?  I'll definitely use the browning on some of the Scout's knives (two for each patrol) mainly because it will look good against the Osage Orange wood for the slabs.

Thanks again.
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Blair
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« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2013, 04:23:22 pm »

1961,

I would agree with PM.
A well used "good" knife may take on a somewhat gray to brown patina , depending on how much usage it gets and of course the amount of cleaning it gets when that usage is finished.
Best I can suggest is to use them and clean them well after use... they will find their own color.
BTW, Osage Orange is an excellent wood for knife handles! Extremely durable in all types of conditions.
I hope this helps.
My best,
Blair
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« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2013, 07:09:11 pm »

Track of the Wolf has kits on sale as we speak. handle options are stag, walnut or maple.  Years ago I put a similar kit together, and there is no trick to it at all.  All you need are a hammer to set the rivets and an assortment of files and sandpaper to shape and smooth the handle.

EASY-PEASY!    Of course if you want to give someone else free money, have at 'er!

As for darkening the steel, just cut up a few salads and leave the steel unwashed until it is just right. It won't take long!
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« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2013, 08:37:22 pm »

Mustard or vinegar will give a PC finish. However be aware mustar bluing, salads etc will only work on carbon steel not stainless.
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1961MJS
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« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2013, 10:24:19 am »

Mustard or vinegar will give a PC finish. However be aware mustar bluing, salads etc will only work on carbon steel not stainless.

From what I've seen, the Russel's are all Carbon Steel, not Stainless.

Thanks

Mike
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« Reply #21 on: December 29, 2013, 04:34:48 pm »

Here's how some original I. Wilson's looked.

Nothing fancy about these, and they're not "browned" either.

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« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2013, 08:39:13 pm »

Very nice, I would be happy to put that right next to my Randal and use the snot out of it.
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1961MJS
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« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2014, 10:44:22 pm »

Hi

I'm far enough along to show some of my Green River knives that I'm putting together for my son's old Scout Troop in Wichita.

The first picture is of a seven inch Green River Butcher blade with Osage Orange scales (from my backyard).  The Middle knife is a ten year old four inch ripper blade with maple handles.  The Right picture is of a six inch Green River boning blade with the cheapest walnut scales that Jantz sells.  The second picture is just a close up of the three handles.  The third picture shows an arrangement for a single sheath to hold all three blades.  The set will all have better walnut.  The patrols will just get a butcher blade and a ripper blade.


* Green_River_01_Crop.jpg (65.75 KB, 640x474 - viewed 432 times.)

* Green_River_03_Crop.jpg (66.86 KB, 640x480 - viewed 457 times.)

* Green_River_05_Crop.jpg (74.94 KB, 640x480 - viewed 402 times.)
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1961MJS
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« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2014, 10:48:28 pm »

This post just shows a close up of all three handles.

Later


* Green_River_06_Crop.jpg (147.88 KB, 993x745 - viewed 390 times.)

* Green_River_07_Crop.jpg (292.86 KB, 1280x960 - viewed 359 times.)

* Green_River_08_Crop.jpg (67.13 KB, 640x480 - viewed 400 times.)
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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  The Cutting Edge (Moderator: St. George)  |  Topic: Just a simple Russell knife. « previous next »
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