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Old 01-15-2012, 01:42 PM
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Question Knife question. Cattaraugus 225Q. Leather handle.**PICS ADDED**

Twas digging through and sorting some of my old camping equipment and came across the above knife and sheath.I can not remember where or when I got this Long time.

Anyway I cleaned it up a bit and a few stokes on the oil stone and looking good! (will post some pics later)

The hand/finger guard is a bit lose. I did some research on the knife and wondered if I can safely get the leather handle wet to swell it out some? The leather is dry but not cracking. Will that tighten the guard? If so, when dry I would just put some neatsfoot oil on it.

From what little research I did, it seems to be a pretty good knife with a bit of value. This one is in really good condition considering the age.

Thanks for any tips.

Last edited by Rule3; 01-16-2012 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 01-15-2012, 03:20 PM
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I have been an antique knife collector for many decades and specialise in US military and US folders. First off even though these knives arent rare they are historic so tred lightly. Next dont "polish er up". A light balde cleaning with 000 steel wool and wd-40 should be all the cleaning needed. So the blade is stained, so what, those stains add caractor. The world is full of shiny knives and guns but in severe shortage of knives with the "been there done that" look. Next take all measures to stop any active rust as this is a cancer that will eventually destroy the knife. Now that my rant is over, I will answer your question.I have had good luck tightening old leather handled knives by generous amounts of a quality leather conditioner. This can be obtained online or a leather shop. It takes several applications and and a few months to recondition the handle. Be pantient.
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Old 01-15-2012, 03:52 PM
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I have one brought back by a family friend from Guadalcanal in 1943. Had the sheath but it rotted away years ago. Priced it a few years ago. Guy said it was a USMC cooks knife. I was offered 45 bucks but turned him down.
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Old 01-15-2012, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 30-30remchester View Post
I have been an antique knife collector for many decades and specialise in US military and US folders. First off even though these knives arent rare they are historic so tred lightly. Next dont "polish er up". A light balde cleaning with 000 steel wool and wd-40 should be all the cleaning needed. So the blade is stained, so what, those stains add caractor. The world is full of shiny knives and guns but in severe shortage of knives with the "been there done that" look. Next take all measures to stop any active rust as this is a cancer that will eventually destroy the knife. Now that my rant is over, I will answer your question.I have had good luck tightening old leather handled knives by generous amounts of a quality leather conditioner. This can be obtained online or a leather shop. It takes several applications and and a few months to recondition the handle. Be pantient.

Patience? Me??

I have already done as you suggest as to the blade. It had some light surface rust which I removed with extra fine steel wool and some Flitz to prevent further rusting. The blade is stained but also still has a hard shiny surface.

Thanks
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Old 01-15-2012, 08:38 PM
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I was told years ago that these are 'quartermasters' knives. It's a sharpened pry bar.
Use the blade to pry open wooden crates and the hammer pommel to nail the lids back down.
The sheathes were left handed and rather thin leather. Didn't hold up well.
Funny thing. a sharpened pry bar makes a perfect grunt's knife.
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Old 01-15-2012, 08:44 PM
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Look on evil-bay in the WWII knife section to get an idea what they are going for now days. There must be a lot of them around, they are always several for sale at a time.
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:19 PM
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I have one that I inherited from my dad. The story I remember -- tho it seems a little coarse in retrospect -- is that he took it off a dead Marine on a beach in the Pacific. Dad was with the First Division, and wore it for the rest of the war. I learned the word "groove" from the knife as a little boy when I asked what the indentation on the blade was. He always called it his combat knife. When he was a few days from death in 1995 and having bad dreams, he took it from a drawer and put it on his bedside table.

When I inherited it the leather rings that comprise the handle were loose, and I used a leather conditioner over time, as explained above, to make the leather swell so that it is now tight. It is an excellent knife.

I think market value is about $50, but, as they say, my dad's Cattaraugus 225Q is priceless to me.
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Old 01-16-2012, 12:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilgrim6a View Post
I was told years ago that these are 'quartermasters' knives. It's a sharpened pry bar.
Use the blade to pry open wooden crates and the hammer pommel to nail the lids back down.
The sheathes were left handed and rather thin leather. Didn't hold up well.
Funny thing. a sharpened pry bar makes a perfect grunt's knife.
In my research I read this also. There is also some that state it was not actually so, and that they were actual combat knives. It may or may not be. Either way it is a nice knife. I just wish I could recall how I acquired it.

I cleaned it and applied some Neatsfoot oil compound that I found in the garage. Probably as old as the knife. Will see how it likes in the AM. Maybe some neutral Kiwi polish, read something about heating it up and applying.
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:32 AM
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I think the "Quartermaster" story originated as a means of explaining the letter Q in the model designation. The Army, and I think other services, issued a small craters hammer to Quartermasters.
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:46 AM
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Rule,from what "experts" with leather tell me, neetsfoot oil is no good for long time leather. They say it is fine for shoes , belts, ect, items went to be worn out, yet for heirloom type items it can actually deteriate leather over the long term. I dont know from personal experence but heed their warnings. Next a brief history of knives of WWII. The US was caught offguard when the war started and the few knives in inventory were WWI surplus. With so many other things needed in the war, the govt simply put out specs to knife makes and bought all they could produce. Just about anything from cut down swords to kithchen knives were bought and issued. As late 1944, my neighbor a veteren, was given an allowance by the govt to purchase a knife as they could not issue him one. He kept the money and had momma send his boy scout knife from home. The demand for knives was never fully met by the end of the war. So about any knife could and was used in combat.
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Old 01-16-2012, 11:02 AM
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Ooops. To late. It's all I had in the garage other than Kiwi shoe polish. It and the sheath are way better looking than it looked after at least 10 years in the box. I do not think I have hurt it.

But after looking up Neatsfoot, it is as you say not the best for older leather.

Is there a way to safely remove it or just leave it?

Maybe go squeeze a Mink for some Mink oil??


From all the "internet" stuff I was able to research the Q was not for opening boxes, it was meant as a knife..
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Old 01-16-2012, 01:27 PM
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From my research, which is limited, any oil product is a poor choice for antique leather. Tandy leather co should have a leather conditioner for sale.
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:00 PM
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Couple of pics:




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Old 01-16-2012, 02:34 PM
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That is a fine knife!!!
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Old 01-16-2012, 03:35 PM
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Looks like a cool knife Roy.

You may read up on Lexol, it does a pretty good job of re lubricating dry leather fibers. I've used it on old holsters.

Josh P
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Old 01-16-2012, 04:53 PM
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I found some leather conditioner we had for the inside furniture so I lathered that on it.

Here is a workbench pic:

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Old 01-16-2012, 10:56 PM
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I'll be darned, I've got one of those too! And here I thought it was a reground combat knife! Mine's pretty gritty, well used, and coated in a heavy sticky paste. Now that I think of it, it may be cosmoline. Guess I'll soak it in some kerosene or kroil and see what happens!
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:39 AM
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I'll be darned, I've got one of those too! And here I thought it was a reground combat knife! Mine's pretty gritty, well used, and coated in a heavy sticky paste. Now that I think of it, it may be cosmoline. Guess I'll soak it in some kerosene or kroil and see what happens!
I wouldn't use Kroil for anything. I hate the smell of that stuff and their ads say "pleasant smell"

If it is cosmoline, mineral spirits would be my choice.
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