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Rusty Ka-Bar type knife... what to do

This is a discussion on Rusty Ka-Bar type knife... what to do within the Edged Weapons forums, part of the Gun Forum category; I have been doing a major garage clean out and came across this knife that I have had since I was a boy scout...about 1960. ...


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Old June 6th, 2013, 09:38 AM   #1
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Rusty Ka-Bar type knife... what to do

I have been doing a major garage clean out and came across this knife that I have had since I was a boy scout...about 1960. I believe that this was a knife issued to naval aviators. My father and I were navy oriented. Somehow, just sitting around it has gotten a little rusty. I am thinking about cleaning it up... use chemicals? or just wire brush and sandpaper? any ideas?


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Old June 6th, 2013, 09:54 AM   #2
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What's your intention to keep it for collector value or have something useful?

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Old June 6th, 2013, 09:54 AM   #3
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I would tape off the handle and have it bead blasted. Then go nuts on it with some wd-40 and steel wool to soften the blast finish. Then either paint or polish. I don't think sandpaper is gonna help. Can't tell real well from pic but it looks like there is pitting in the middle of the blade below the blood groove. I'd be worried about chemicals jacking up your handle. Looks like your sheath needs some TLC too.

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Old June 6th, 2013, 09:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixplus1 View Post
I have been doing a major garage clean out and came across this knife that I have had since I was a boy scout...about 1960. I believe that this was a knife issued to naval aviators. My father and I were navy oriented. Somehow, just sitting around it has gotten a little rusty. I am thinking about cleaning it up... use chemicals? or just wire brush and sandpaper? any ideas?

Basically:
http://www.knifecenter.com/item/ON49...Leather-Sheath

I would Go Slow!
Start with just a good oil(Ballistol for example)and 4-0000 Steel Wool...
See what you got after a couple of repeats!>

CAVman in WYoming

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Old June 6th, 2013, 10:07 AM   #5
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Use electrical take over the leather (short periods of time. a few days at most so the adhesive doesn't transfer over) then you have a few options really. Some of witch depends on what the end goal is.

CLR works great but it is a bit strong. That and a wire brush followed up with some medium steal wool. Then a piece of leather to finish it off.
Any Rust penetrant spray will work almost as well with a little more elbow grease. Even WD.40 is okay though not a rust penetrant.

You could go Chem free and do a softer wire wheel followed by a buffing pad and some rubbing compound. I've seen a few before that have had chrome like finishes on them

GL on your project

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Old June 6th, 2013, 10:11 AM   #6
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I have used this method on several objects and it works great. I've never used it on a knife nor an object that was valuable or a precision dimensioned (gun barrel, etc.), so disclaimer!

Use an electrolytic bath. it's simple, easy, and no sweat. It will give you a good result for a first step with no labor at least. See this link - there are many other out there and they all are about the same. Use a sacrificial piece of stainless steel wool for the anode - it has a lot of surface area.

Just try the method out on some scrap first and see what you think.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Elec...val-aka-Magic/

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Old June 6th, 2013, 10:18 AM   #7
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My personal suggestion, owing to my background in auto body and classic car restoration, would be to start out with a rust converter. Commercially available at any auto body supply store, a rust converter will chemically convert the red iron oxide into black ferric tannate, which is a much more stable material and forms a protective barrier over the fresh steel, much in the same way the zinc coating on galvanized steel oxidizes and forms zinc oxide to protect the steel underneath. This will, at the very least, stop the formation of more rust while you figure out what to do, and should make the rust removal process easier once you do.

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Old June 6th, 2013, 10:22 AM   #8
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Ok... I like the oil and steel wool approach. I might turn this over to a grandson.. have one in boy scouts. I tried to give him my Bear Grylls survival knife, but his scout master is not allowing big knives. I expect him to move along to an explorer group. So, I might just keep this with my M1a stuff along with the old bayonet.

This knife has a sawtooth affair on the back edge. The story I was told was that it was to allow pilots and crew to cut and saw their way out of a crashed aircraft. It is really not as pretty as the marine ka-bar. This knife is utility/functional. Even now in it's somewhat rusty state, it is still sharp.

Hopefully, I can get the cleaned up and send followup pics. However, this is a totally amateur job. But I happen to have oil, wd40 and lots of fine steel wool.

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Old June 6th, 2013, 10:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildcat78 View Post
My personal suggestion, owing to my background in auto body and classic car restoration, would be to start out with a rust converter. Commercially available at any auto body supply store, a rust converter will chemically convert the red iron oxide into black ferric tannate, which is a much more stable material and forms a protective barrier over the fresh steel, much in the same way the zinc coating on galvanized steel oxidizes and forms zinc oxide to protect the steel underneath. This will, at the very least, stop the formation of more rust while you figure out what to do, and should make the rust removal process easier once you do.
Thanks... I will look for a rust converter in the auto store...

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Old June 6th, 2013, 11:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
I have used this method on several objects and it works great. I've never used it on a knife nor an object that was valuable or a precision dimensioned (gun barrel, etc.), so disclaimer!

Use an electrolytic bath. it's simple, easy, and no sweat. It will give you a good result for a first step with no labor at least. See this link - there are many other out there and they all are about the same. Use a sacrificial piece of stainless steel wool for the anode - it has a lot of surface area.

Just try the method out on some scrap first and see what you think.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Elec...val-aka-Magic/
Thanks, this is intriguing. I will keep it in mind for plan B.

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Old June 6th, 2013, 11:10 AM   #11
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It's a 6" Jet Pilots Survival Knife. Made between 1957 to 1961. The Government revised the contract then to change the blade length to 5 inches and that knife is still made today.

As a 6 inch variant of this knife it's kind of rare. Camillus ended up the producer of most of these knives and their name should appear on the other side of the blade. If for some reason It's a Marble's named knife than that's a whole different story.

If it was a 5" JPSK I'd say get another knife they can be found for less than $50 all the time.
The leather on the handle looks to be OK. I'd not use an electrolysis method on this knife as it will end up ruining the leather.
If your trying to maintain some collectors value in this knife I would avoid most of the suggestions that have already been posted on this thread. Don’t mean anything insulting with this advise but there is a difference with what you end up with. Whatever you do it won’t make it what it was before the rust attacked it. But the results will vary.
I’d start off with the method that CAVman suggested. I can see in the picture that your still going to have spots of heavier rust on the blade.


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Last edited by sac troop; June 6th, 2013 at 11:29 AM.
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Old June 6th, 2013, 11:20 AM   #12
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vinegar will remove rust pretty well. wrap the handle with electrical tape to seal in the leather and soak it for a few days or as needed. it removes all rust...

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Old June 6th, 2013, 11:35 AM   #13
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Thanks, Sac Troop

I have never gotten the story on this blade before. I like your pics. The rust is heavier towards the hilt, but I can make out an "M" and an "IUS". Obviously this knife is damaged, but I will try to do something with it.

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Old June 6th, 2013, 11:51 AM   #14
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Old June 6th, 2013, 11:53 AM   #15
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I like using this product called Evaporust. I remember buying it at harborfreight but I believe you can buy it at Lowes and Home Depot as well. I believe the product is made from natural ingredients and works wonders on rusty car parts such as steel wheels, heads and even my reloading dies! Its also a good way to remove parkerizing/rust from your M14/M1A mags. Process goes like this: soak in Evaporust, wait 45 minutes to over night, remove from solution and wipe.

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