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Note missing rivet and corrosion (or ?). Can I clean this without ruining the value? A cool stag.

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Comment by Lars Ray on November 1, 2022 at 21:56

Hi Dwaine - great question..."Can I clean this without ruining the value?" I can assure you there are as many opinions about that topic as there are members here. 

My opinion is a resounding Yes ....but with a caveat. Know your skills! I am really good at a lot of things - but restoring any of my knives is not among them.

So I found a Master blade smith here in McKinney that performs what is called a Sympathetic Restoration on my knives when needed. A sympathetic restoration simply means a really good and thorough cleaning, some blade restoration to remove rust pitting & light surface scratches, but without removing all of its history or markings, and a new edge applied to the blade. This could include (and usually does) replacing pins, rivets, or screws as well. This type of restoration brings the knife back to life and serviceability without losing its history or aged character. A hard or Full Restoration is bringing it back to as close as original state as possible - and can often mean full part replacement....like restoring a car.

To date, I have been very successful in realizing the full value of any knife I have had a sympathetic restoration performed on. And that's only because I made the decision not to skimp on costs and try to do it myself.

Full disclosure - there are quite a few members here who have some wicked skills when it comes to their blades - be it knives, bayonets, leather work, or missing parts. I weep openly when they showcase their work because I am not that skillful. Any one of them would be happy to give you some advice.

As others chime in (as they usually do on topics that stir up passions like this), weigh each one carefully. There's a Polish saying I like to share often here - and that is Wisdom comes in two parts - knowing what question to ask, then knowing who to believe the answer from. 

So - with all that being said, here's my money shot for you. If this were my knife, I would not hesitate in having a sympathetic restoration performed on it - to include pin replacement on the stag (if needed) or the rivet on the sheath.

I hope this helps - 

White River Knives

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