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I am a jeweler by trade, but enjoy collecting knives and guns. A couple of years ago I decided to try using one of the tools (a laser welder) in my shop to do something a bit unconventional: replacing a 1/4" chunk of the main blade missing from the point of a rusty, long-neglected WW2 Camillus Navy Utility knife. I had once considered using a regular welder to attempt this but found that pocket knife blade metal was too small and thin for a conventional welding machine (or maybe simply exceeded my welding prowess) plus I was warned (by somebody smarter than me) that excessive heat generated by the welder would radically change the temper of a knife blade. But I figured the laser welder may change all this because A) it was designed for smaller work and B) it localized heat to a tiny (sub 1mm) area directly at the weld; in fact you can hold the blade in your hand while working on it! Before attempting this on my rusted-shut-basket-case Camillus, I decided to first attempt to fix another slightly less collectible knife, a Schrade Old Timer with about 1/8" broken off a secondary blade. After some trial and error this knife came out well so I moved on to the Camillus. I replaced the missing 1/4" piece with success and now carry this knife daily. Even I cannot tell you exactly where the blade was broken! Replacing the missing piece was far preferable to me than grinding the blade down to the point of the break. Can't say the knife looks new or anything, but it looks darn good and 1000% better than the rusted hunk of metal destined for the trash it was when I got it. Also, it allowed me to retain the original tang stamp- not a huge deal on a mass-produced military utility knife but would be consideration for a more collectible piece. Since then I've done a couple more blade tips for local customers and am interested in offering the service to a wider audience. If anybody has a knife with this issue, before grinding it down to the point of the broken tip, please contact me first. Include photos if possible.

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Replies to This Discussion

Gotcha! Thanks for the info, Andy. Made me scratch my head on that one, but makes sense once explained.

D ale, you're very welcome!
 
D ale said:

Andy,

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!!! .. THANK YOU .. !!!

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D ale

Andy,

Good work!  Cost of the equipment makes it a little limited.  The short answer on temper is yes.  Along the line of attachment, the temper is gone, creating a smal area of the knife with a potential breaking point if the knife is abused again as a prybar.

I think this becomes a great user or display,the value, in my opinion is no less now than it was with the break. As you said there would be prists on both sides of thr fence on this technique.  

Looks great, for repairing a rare old knife that wont be used, fantastic. No real worry anout the temper for display purpose. For your own daily user, you know the tip may g dull sooner and thats ok too. Sure beats a broken tip. 

I agree Michael it sure does

I am currently documenting the process for replacing about half of a clip blade on an old and abused Schrade "Uncle Henry" model.  (Will post pictures soon).  This is a good example of a knife most would probably not bother to spend the time or money to have fixed UNLESS it had sentimental value, but it is perfect for this procedural demonstration.  The Uncle Henry is a bit of a conundrum as these seem to have been produced for decades, all looking very similar, but with various manufacturers including Schrade, Camillus, and even virtually identical versions made in China- What's worse is that they used various materials for the blades.  The one I've got here has clues marked on the tang: S.C.C.+, USA 886UH, and seems to have blades made of 440C Stainless; Arriving at this conclusion required a little detective work including looking at copies of factory "S sheets" posted to various forums, as well as noticing a distinct lack of rust on these blades while the springs themselves had excessive amounts (these likely made of 1095 carbon steel).  Stainless should laser weld as well or better (certainly cleaner) than the high carbon blades in my previous examples.  I have ordered some 440C stock and it should be here soon.  As far as blade temper is concerned, there is no law stating that a person couldn't have the blades re-tempered after this procedure.  It's just that I am not set up to disassemble knives and heat-treat blades, both from an equipment standpoint nor an experience standpoint.  There are plenty of folks who can do that, however.  Given the nature of how laser welding fuses metal together, I see no reason a piece couldn't be re-annealed and tempered once repaired.  I will post the photos of the Uncle Henry to this thread hopefully by the end of this week....stay tuned.

!!!!!  ... Thank you for doing this, Andy ...  !!!!!

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This group is my favorite here on iKC.

As such .. I take a personal interest in its "activity".

So again,

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Thank You

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Enjoy,

D ale



Andy Jordan said:


I am currently documenting the process for replacing about half of a clip blade on an old and abused Schrade "Uncle Henry" model.  (Will post pictures soon).  

Happy to be here D ale....I'm excited to share my results on forums such as this one. I have been doing these blades for a few local enthusiast buddies over the past year and so far so good, but aside from the Old Timer I got some photos of early on, I really just don't have many documented examples to show anyone. The Uncle Henry will certainly prove more of a challenge given so much of the blade is missing but I am about 80% sure it can be done effectively...we shall see.

Andy I am very much looking forward to this one.  That is a large bit missing on a knife not in great shape so it will be very interesting to see how it turns out.  I too appreciate your sharing this with us, it truly is fascinating and something I have never seen attempted or done

Jan, I should have that steel in here by late this week...hoping to do something worth looking at.....

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