Saturday, 5 March 2011

A Little More On Knives.

I have done a little more research on knives of the period, but from what I have found it seems there is little to no difference between 18th century trade knives and early 19th century trade knives. Trade knives in general were simply inexpensive butcher knives. I have read that the number of pins in the handle do not date the knife, but only serve to identify the type, e.g. the 6 pin butcher knife having 6 pins in the handle. However, in my experience those knives with more than 3 securing pins tend to be 19th century. Rivets of course as I mentioned in an earlier post are a 20th century type.
Some handles such as the 6 pin are two separate slabs which enclose the full tang. I have two original 19th century knives that only have 5 pins, but they are identical to the 6 pin style.
19th century butcher knives.

Some blades only had a very short tang which was inserted into a sawn slot handle and secured with 3 pins. 

Another type had a short pointed tang made for pushing into a handle, the same as a metal file. I also managed to purchase two of these in a second hand shop.

This lower one I use as a hunting knife. When I made a handle for it I drilled through handle and tang and inserted one brass pin to help secure the blade.

Found at an Iroquois site.

This article is copyright Keith H. Burgess.


Gorges Smythe said...

It would be interesting to know the purpose of that little nub on the tang of the Iriquois blade.

Hutch said...

Very nice. I have an older knife, though I think, judging by the handle, that it's of post-Southern Independence. In the near future, I need to find a place to harden the steel. I can get the knife hair shaving sharp, but it loses that sharpness after cutting a single onion and chopping a couple cloves of garlic. I like it though, so I'm going to keep trying, and it was my great-grandfather's knife.

Le Loup said...

Yes Gorges, unfortunately it is not a very clear image. I wonder infact if it might be a metal loop or stirrup for attaching a leather thong?

Le Loup said...

Hutch, sounds like that knife is worth hanging onto. I would love to see an image of it one day.

Hutch said...

I believe you can look at it here:


That's the cutlery I use most often. That poor Vanguard (left,middle) has been through hell and back without fail.

Le Loup said...

Thanks for the link Hutch. That blade on the right is a nice looking blade. Ignoring the rivets in the handle, that could easily be taken for an 18th century blade. If it were mine I would be taking that handle off, getting the blade rehardened and fitting a new handle on using pins instead of rivets.
Great looking blade Hutch.

Anthropoid said...

Hi Le Loup.

The knife your father had which you say had the tip broken off, and that he used as a utility knife has a name, they call them 'Shoe Knives'
The tip was not broken, that is how they are made.
If you Google'Shoe Knife' and look for images you will will see these are the same as your fathers. I think they are still available from some Sheffield makers today.
Great site by the way. Spend lots of time here and learn a great deal.


Le Loup said...

Thank you Steve, much appreciated. I have learnt something new today. I will have to google "shoe Knives".
Regards, Keith.

Keith H. Burgess said...

This article is copyright to me, Keith H. Burgess. The following site & name has breached copyright & has stolen my article for advertising purposes.