Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
Old Hickory Butcher Knives
 Login/Join
 
Greenhorn
posted
I have a few 7" Old Hickory Butcher Knives that I would like to "redo." Can anyone tell me what the purpose of the "hump" on the back of a butcher knife is for? And will I ruin the knife if I grind it flat or round it? Thanks!


"...having Providence for their founder and Nature for shepherd, gardener, and historian."
 
Posts: 44 | Location: Alabama | Registered: 01 May 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
posted Hide Post
Keep it cooled, and you will not harm it. Grind with a can of water there beside you. Grind a couple of seconds and quench. Repeat until you get what you like. Be especially careful near the point. It will heat faster.
 
Posts: 557 | Location: geneva,fl | Registered: 29 March 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Factor
posted Hide Post
The problem with them seems to be the more modern versions where there are what appears to be "vise marks" along the spine of the blade. Some folks try to remove these too, and the blade gets rather thin when doing so.

LD


It's not what you know, it's what you can prove
 
Posts: 3843 | Location: People's Republic of Maryland | Registered: 10 November 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
posted Hide Post
Patrick,I'm not familiar with the particular knife you are referring to,however,in my experience with collecting old stuff,if it came that way into your possession I would be very wary of changing,or "cleaning up" the overall configuration of the piece.In some cases even cleaning the patina off the blade can destroy any value it might have as a collector piece.Personally,the only thing I would "do" to it is repair of the handle in a P.C. manner,and maybe sharpen it so it's usable


Beer is proof that God loves us,and wants us to be happy-B. Franklin
 
Posts: 1939 | Location: Oreegun Territory | Registered: 24 March 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Hivernant
posted Hide Post
These knives are modern and have no historic or preservative value. Those marks were made by the drop-hammer during the forging process and would not occur on a hand made knife. Try using one of the Green River butchers knives and grind that hump down.
 
Posts: 129 | Location: Southern California | Registered: 28 April 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Greenhorn
Picture of Hole-in-my-Hand
posted Hide Post
When I first got into re-enacting appx. 15 yrs ago. I used to take Old Hickory knives and remove the wood handle and replace it with Antler. Make a tack sheath and put them on Flea bay. I would do the same with the paring blades except I would make a neck sheath. Sold quite a few of them.
 
Posts: 19 | Registered: 17 September 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Hivernant
Picture of Pare-
posted Hide Post
I'm not sure what the hump is for on those butcher knives, but they date back to the Fur Trade era. Both of my Wilson knives have this hump.

Follow the directions given by WBE and it will turn out fine.

Pare-
 
Posts: 104 | Location: Little River, I.T. | Registered: 06 February 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
posted Hide Post
My guess is that the hump is there to add weight towards the tip of the blade. It helps when using the knife to hack through a joint when butchering.
 
Posts: 332 | Location: South Coast (MS) | Registered: 16 September 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Greenhorn
posted Hide Post
I have an original South American Machete brought from there by a friend.
It has a heavier than average blade with a good sized hump near the tio.
Really adds to power when swinging it.


Mike in BC
 
Posts: 6 | Registered: 21 June 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
Picture of markinmi.
posted Hide Post
Ive used these blades many times and come up with more than a few handsome pieces I take those marks out with a belt sander and age the blade with bleach.There was an article a few months back in ML showing how to grind the blade and to make a nice scalper
 
Posts: 625 | Location: North of Detroit Mi | Registered: 12 March 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
posted Hide Post
Please excuse the ignorance I showed in am earlier post on this thread,it just occurred to me what the subject of discussion was.I was wandering through a grocery store,saw one,the light went on in my head,and I said "D'OH!". Big Grin


Beer is proof that God loves us,and wants us to be happy-B. Franklin
 
Posts: 1939 | Location: Oreegun Territory | Registered: 24 March 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Greenhorn
posted Hide Post
There were some slight differences between the butcher knives of today and of the fur trade era.

Those differences are easy to find and the modifications are simple to make.

All in all the variations in an off the shelf Old Hickory knife of today and what they have pulled from the ground at Jamestown are so slight as to be considered "minute detail".

Dip in the blade at the choil.
Size and placement of the rivets.
Those nasty phony forge marks.

Russell has an in depth examination of butcher knives in his work. Packed in oil, without handles and shipped in crates of hundreds of dozens.

Thickness and size of the blades varied with the contract specifications.

They were "hand made" only in the sense that peoples' hands touched them. The knife factories of that day had huge water powered grindstones and trip hammers for the forging. They were produced on contract to specifications and gauged for uniformity.

They were not the one at a time product of some blacksmith at a small forge.
 
Posts: 3 | Registered: 27 June 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Greenhorn
posted Hide Post
Thank you all for the information. The part about added weight at the tip makes sense. Since it has no real value, I have used it as a "test" blade. I have faked a patina with bleach, sanded it off and tried it with vinegar. I put new oak handles and darkened them with vinegar. I have not ground the blade yet as that is permenant. It has been alot of fun experimenting. Thanks for all of the feedback.


"...having Providence for their founder and Nature for shepherd, gardener, and historian."
 
Posts: 44 | Location: Alabama | Registered: 01 May 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Pilgrim
posted Hide Post
JUst got back to the bright lights, been away for a while.
I have reground many an Old Hickory for over 40 years in fact. They are a great knife for the price although I mostly use Russell Green River Knives now.
I have taken off those roller marks on the blade with just one of those combination belt disc grinder things they sell at Sears. The blade was kept cool with a dip into water with every pass on the belt.
I always believed the hump on the butcher blade was to assist in keeping the gut bag away from the point when dressing out animals. The thin blade and fragile edge of a 1/8 inch thick blade does not really lend itself to chopping as well as a cleaver.
Russell knives seem to keep a good edge, are consistently well made and are period correct for late fur trade, why use a Old Hickory and have to do all that altering? My favorite is a 6 inch blade that Mark Francis McGee put curly ash scales on. It is a keeper and gets used daily. I have a nice plains style sheath , unadorned for carrying it in the field. It's a fine tool for home and field.

Hugh


never been lost, mighty confused for a month or three but never lost
 
Posts: 59 | Location: british columbia | Registered: 13 September 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata  
 


2014 Historical Enterprises, LLC