Reader Knife Restoration: Vintage Western Fixed-blade

Knife Restoration

Reader RB writes:

I wanted to share a couple of pictures of this knife I put a new handle on and cleaned up a bit.

I got this several years ago after my now wife’s grandfather died following a battle with cancer. The knife, made by Western of Boulder, Colorado, was in his garage which we were cleaning out. I don’t know the precise date of manufacture, but from what i gather it was sometime between The 50’s and late 70’s.
The handle originally was of the stacked leather variety. About half the leather washers were gone and the rest were totally desiccated. I decided to clean up the blade a bit and see what I could do about a new handle. I fabricated the handle out of a whitetail shed I had, and added the rosewood spacers when I cut the antler a bit shorter than I intended. The handles are attached with epoxy.
I opted to leave patina on the blade, and fixed it with a coat of paste wax, which I also used to seal and polish the handle. As you can see, my sander got away from me and I left a couple scuffs on the blade above the maker’s mark. Other than that, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.
The knife currently serves as my letter opener. I don’t carry it because I dig have a sheath, but I plan on making one eventually. At some point I’d like to take the old hunting knife out and use it to dress a deer. My wife’s grandfather was andavid outdoorsman and I think he’d appreciate that.
This was my first knife restoration. I have some experience working with bone and fancy woods from working on guitars as a teen.




  1. PeterK says:

    Nice work. Tools should be used.

    1. RB says:

      Thanks! And I need to screen things I write for autocorrect-induced typos before I send them off.

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Reader Knife Restoration: Vintage Western Fixed-blade

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