by *AJH* Custom Knives & Services
2020 year will be tough. Due to my newly discovered health problems requiring chemo treatments, surgery and recuperation - all unknown.
This is the fine print
There was always a need to repair and refurbish good quality old
knives, family heirlooms and keepsakes - folding, or fixed blade ones.
Picture is worth 1000 words, so it is said. Everyone today has some gizmo which takes pictures - Digital camera or mobile phone, and the flat bead scanner works good too.
It is good for me to see the details of the repair needed, detail of unusual assembly, or the condition of the knife in the need of repairs or refurbishing for estimate.
Try to make clear and sharply focused pictures, and have ready to attach to my reply.
The bulk of my repair work mostly consists of extensive handle repairs, including pins/spacers/scale replacement, and occasionally a total change of a handle design, folder springs and repairs, and some stainless welding where possible:
Total refurbishing consists of stripping the knife to it's individual
components, total blade regrind, sand and polish all parts, replace
what is needed.
That is why the pictures are so important - to find the take down points. Some knives were made never to be taken apart.
After the knife is reassembled, it gets final buffing and sharpening to a razor edge.
Kitchen and Chef's knives - Common, or special editions refurbishing:
The blades get complete overhaul - sand away and polish most sharpening scratches, stains and rust.
Blade-tips which are broken will be re-shaped, old delaminated, damaged wood handles will be replaced with top quality hardwoods, cheap Aluminum rivets will be replaced with Nickel Silver ones.
I glue down all new scales so no water can get to the tang to destroy the handle with rust from inside and be food-safe.
Stacked leather handle knives:
WW-II, RH-PAL, EGW, Mark, USM, USN, Ka-Bar repairs:
Handles get new leather washers, all glued together and compressed together in a vise, this time on cleaned metal. When the shaping is finished the leather is soaked in preservative, dried and polished.
If requested the leather can be blackened, or dark browned.
If the pommel was used as a hammer - I will sand away all dents.
The whole blade will be re ground and polished. The fuller groves are done by mini hand grinder so will not be perfectly ripple free.
Flat or Hollow ground for getting the used up fat edge to a new, working thickness.
If the rust pits were too deep to completely grind off (that would make the blade too thin) I get the metal parts bead blasted for frosty finish.
That will also clean out and blend in the remainder of the pits. The gun blue will finish the metal for good military look and some rust protection.
If the blade is supper rusty, or have very deep rust pits, it will require considerably more time and resources to make it look presentable again. 90% of all repairs required the total regrind.
There is no guarantee that I will be able to remove all the rust pits, since some can go right through the blade.
Stainless steel containing iron is prone to microscopic rust, forming worm holes sometimes right through the blade.
These are invisible to naked eye, and show as wash out lines after polishing, as the polishing wheel catches the edge of these holes.
Grinding the blade down eliminates only large pit rust from the surface.
If these micro pits are present, no mirror polish is possible, also this blade will rust despite being made out of "stainless" steel.
These pits are the result of a poor alloy, as not all the iron particles do form carbides and are free.
Manufacturer's logos, trademarks or any other Etched markings, or shallow stamping not deep enough, will be totally obliterated by any blade sanding.
The deep etch in black will loose the distinct black color, as the carbon soot wipes readily off.
A large portion of old cutlery was manufactured
out of plain hard carbon steel, then chrome plated.
Any re shaping, like broken off tips, requires that the blade be correctly tapered /thinned and polished.
The chrome plating will be polished off, there is no way around it. The blade will stain, as it is just a cheap high carbon steel.
You do have the option is to have it re-chromed after, at the Chrome plating shop near you, use the Casey gun Blue to make it somewhat rust resistant.
Or just put up with cleaning it with Comet/Ajax when it does get stained.
To refurbish the folder, it has to be taken down, pried and broken
apart, hopefully without damaging liners or bolsters beyond repair.
New type liner-locks assembled with screws:
I do not keep any screw inventory, so if you lost one you got to look online for same.
Any other repairs considered only after I know all it is to know about the knife - spell it all out on the form.
THE ORIGINAL SCALES WILL BE DESTROYED, EVEN IF ONLY FEW YEARS OLD.
Vintage knives - about Celluloid scales
Even if you knife is in brand new, or mint condition without a blemish, and you would like only a scale replaced, the folder has to be taken totally apart.
The new scales has to be glued on, and then riveted to liners - riveting means forming heads on both ends of the pins with the hammer - one head visible on the outside of the scale, the other is ground flush in a countersunk hole on the inside.
Refurbishing consist of total disassembly - cleaning, polishing the liners, back spring/lock bars, sanding, polishing and sharpening all blades, sanding flat inside of old scales for the perfect fit.
Scales get glued on this time, and are secured with new pin rivets.
All main new pins are machined to fit - no idea where the factories get their oddball pin sizes as no knife making supplies sell them. Then pins are riveted with 0.005" clearance to achieve smooth blade action without slop.
I can make you a new blade if you are unable to get the replacement from the manufacturer. The shape will be close to the original, but no markings on it. When the broken blade part is missing, I make a new custom blade shape to fit the handle.
I can cut a rectangular, straight nail notch/slot freehand if absolutely necessary.
I use 440-C, hardened and tempered to about 59 RC, for blades and springs, but will use other materials, if requested, available, or supplied by you.
Of course all of this work takes much time, and therefore is not cheap, or free.
The repair costs can exceed the actual purchase price, sometimes several times over.
You do have an option just to throw your knife away and go purchase another knife, or keep old one and cruise garage sales or auctions for the same model with needed parts intact, or in better shape than yours. Than use it to make one good knife out of two.
The basic cost of scales includes only any of the exotic woods I have on hand.
For many knives even my cheapest scales will be a Cadillac replacement for the factory ones. Speciality scales like Abalone, Turtle, Fossil or mammoth Ivory etc will cost you extra, and these are really expensive.
No real Elephant Ivory, legal or pre-ban can be transported to foreign country, choose from many alternatives.
You can save quite a few dollars by getting your special scales yourself - from knife making supplies online stores - than mailing them with the knife.