Sometimes you’ll find real treasures looking around in your grandpa’s stuff. Like this little bad boy. This little knife is around 100 years old and leaving it like this ain’t gonna cut it. 

There are some things that should be treasured because they remind us of our loved ones. They remind us who they were and where we come from. They should be treasured because they’re little bits and pieces of our past. Which brings me to this little knife that was rusting away in a storage room somewhere.

Restoring the knife:

rusty knife before restoration

Restoring a rusty knife is pretty straightforward. First of all remove the old handle. In this case, they made the handle from leather rings that sit around a hidden metal tang, but they’re really brittle and rotten. So we’ll replace them with a new, custom made wood handle.

rusty knife without the handle

The second step is to clean the rust away. We’ll do this by leaving it overnight in citric acid. This should do the trick.

knife in citric acid

The citric acid revealed some inscriptions on the ricasso, the length of the blade on one side and the name of a city in Germany, Solingen, also called the “City of Blades” since it’s famous for its well-made knives and blades.

clean metal

Next, we chose a dark ironwood for the handle. Carving it with a Dremel works really well and doesn’t take more than a couple of hours to get a basic handle shape. The rat tail shaped tang helps speed things up a bit, because you don’t need to make the handle from two pieces, like in other cases. So we just drill a hole down the length of the wood handle. Make sure the tang fits snug inside.

wood for the handle

After putting it back together, add a bee’s wax coating to the grip and leave it wrapped in a cotton rag overnight. This helps the wood soak up the wax better.

knife wrapped in cotton rag

And this is the final result after a quick polishing and sharpening. Grandpa’s knife turned out really well!

finished knife

If you have stuff from you’re grandparents laying around, catching dust, maybe give them a closer look. You might find something that reminds you of them, so why not take care of it?


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