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Old 06-01-2020, 07:41 PM
JayFramer JayFramer is offline
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Default Military Knife Rescue

Was at work on the base today and we were cleaning out some old warehouses and I found an old abandoned toolbox. Tucked inside was this military electricianís knife:



As you can see it mustíve been neglected for a long time. The blade is marked Camillus, New York USA. It is a TL-29 type knife and is real cool. It has a screwdriver too.

I plan to refinish it and bring it back as good as I can and then put it in one of our toolboxís to use on deployments and stuff.

Anybody know or can give tips on refurbishing a knife? I want to bring this old warhorse back! Take care,

-Jay
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Old 06-01-2020, 08:53 PM
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I picked up one of those at a thrift store a couple years ago. Soaked the rust with white vinegar and applied some steel wool. Cleaned up the handle with WD40, Dawn and a toothbrush. Itís now in what I call useable condition. Cool knives but not worth much money.


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Old 06-01-2020, 09:17 PM
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We use to get the TL-28's and TL-29's by the box full back in the 1970's and 1980's. I was an Aircraft Electrician in the Marine Corps back then and we all carried one or the other on our belts all the time. One the TL-29's, we would file off the knife blade on the screwdriver blade. Not good to slip and have your thumb slide down the knife protion of the screwdriver blade. So as soon as the knife was out of the plastic bag that it came in, out came a file and the blade was filed off. I still have a couple of each in my tool box in my gun room.
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Old 06-01-2020, 09:36 PM
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Nice find ! I cleaned up a Boker found in a old toolbox, soak with Dawn rinse blow it out then lube and blow out again.
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Old 06-01-2020, 10:04 PM
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My BIL carried one for years. He was an electrician in the Air Force and in later life. Wore out a few, I'd imagine.
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Old 06-01-2020, 10:19 PM
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My dad was an electrician for the US Gov't before he got kicked up to management. He carried one for a long time. I believe he gave me one or two over the years.
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Old 06-01-2020, 10:46 PM
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It looks serviceable as it is. Now you need the pouch and the pliers.
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Old 06-02-2020, 01:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gonerydin View Post
I picked up one of those at a thrift store a couple years ago. Soaked the rust with white vinegar and applied some steel wool. Cleaned up the handle with WD40, Dawn and a toothbrush. Itís now in what I call useable condition. Cool knives but not worth much money.


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That is generally the approach I would take. I think my Camillus is the same knife, except for the blade etch. I think the blade and screwdriver are stainless; at least they havenír rusted or taken a patina yet. (My old Imperial has a carbon steel blade with a stainless screwdriver).

I would first see how much of the crusty black stuff would come off with a popsicle stick, a rust eraser or maybe some Scotchbrite, before using the vinegar, looking for a reasonably smooth, semigloss or satiny finish. The original tools are not highly polished, so I wouldnít shoot for that.

Flush the joint with soap and water, chase with WD40, and put a drop of mineral oil on the joint.

How are the springs on yours? Good snap, reasonably flush?
Mine was ostensibly NOS, and it works fine, but has some of the worst sunken springs I have seen on any knife, one of the perils of buying knives on line.
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Old 06-02-2020, 01:37 AM
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I was an ET in the Navy, these were issued items. I still have a couple around somewhere. As AJ says, if you plan to use it, file off the sharp blade on the screwdriver....ouch!! They are great little knives and served generations of electricians and Electronic Technicians!!

Best Regards, Les
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Old 06-02-2020, 02:25 AM
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What else was in the tool box?
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Old 06-02-2020, 08:50 AM
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I was an IC (NEC3384) in the navy. I carry a TL-29 some 40 odd
years later. As maintenance electrical/electronic types we did
mods on our knives depending on what we did.

You can see in the pic the lanyard loop on the knives have
been removed and the pins filed flat. This was done to allow carry
as flat in your pocket as you could so if/when you had to crawl or
slide between equipment and your tool bag had to stay behind, you
were thinner.

The knives have the hinge pin staked to spread it. That allows
more torque on the screwdriver blade. The knife section of the
screw driver blade is actually for wire stripping. I'd leave it be.
Since I mainly did facility and power distribution I cut the screw
driver blade to allow turning heavier screws.

An 3EOX1 would have different requirements than an 2W2X1 so
the mods would depend on your AFSC. I would definitely stake
the hinge pin to keep the blades from getting loose.

FWIW, Xcelite was a big supplier of tool sets back in the day.
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Old 06-02-2020, 09:19 AM
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What's the little dip on the top of the screwdriver blade for?
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Old 06-02-2020, 09:30 AM
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50+ years ago I was on a Canadian fishing trip with my dad and his friends. Big trip for a 10 year old! The 2nd day we were walking a portage and I found an old stag-handled knife (fixed blade) in the mud. Cleaned it up and used it some as a kid.

Now I'm wondering where it got to. Not with me, not in dads stuff. (I do have his Kabar from Boy Scouts.) My brother might have it. Thinking that could probably used a clean up, so if I can find it I'll use the info here. Timely!
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Old 06-02-2020, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene L View Post
What's the little dip on the top of the screwdriver blade for?
The dip is where it was cut to give 2 parallel faces for the blade
to fit in the screw slot. Other wise in that area the blade is wedge
shaped.
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Old 06-02-2020, 10:26 AM
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The restoration methods suggested by others throughout this thread will work fine for the knife pictured in the original post.

Many members of the sea going services like to have a marlinspike on their knives. The knife in my picture was given to me with a broken point and no scales (handle slabs).

I reprofiled the blade to a sheepsfoot point and made scales from a former micarta NASA instrument panel.

There's something to be said about bringing an old knife back to life.
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Old 06-02-2020, 10:49 AM
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The tl-29 is still issued today. All the civilian DoD welders in my shop have them in their issued tool boxes. Too bad we machinists dont get them.
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Old 06-02-2020, 11:02 AM
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I think I have the sheath, pliers and knife. I think it was for como guys. All kinds of stuff fell into my duffle bag back in RVn.
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Old 06-02-2020, 02:12 PM
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I thought I had a couple laying around 👍
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Old 06-02-2020, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
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I thought I had a couple laying around 👍
Looks like a few demo knives too.
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Old 06-02-2020, 02:43 PM
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I was an Army mechanic and had one in my tool box that had the metal handles. My dad borrowed it and that was the last I saw it. Forgot about it till now.
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Old 06-02-2020, 08:19 PM
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These are knives that I was issued and used while in the Corps, all except the top one. The top one is pictured by itself. That is a WW II USMC knife, you don't see many of them and they are pricey when you find one. The green pouch is what is called "rigger made". It was made for us by our Flight Equipment personnel, they made them to hold knives and pens, sometimes with a flap on them.

I do not think the OP's knife is an "issue item". I have never seen one with etching on the blade. That said I am sure someone will point out the error of my ways.

AJ
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Old 06-02-2020, 11:22 PM
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No help with refurbishing, just like detail drawings.

Military:


1930 Civilian Catalog:
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Old 06-03-2020, 12:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayFramer View Post
Was at work on the base today and we were cleaning out some old warehouses and I found an old abandoned toolbox. Tucked inside was this military electricianís knife:



As you can see it mustíve been neglected for a long time. The blade is marked Camillus, New York USA. It is a TL-29 type knife and is real cool. It has a screwdriver too.

I plan to refinish it and bring it back as good as I can and then put it in one of our toolboxís to use on deployments and stuff.

Anybody know or can give tips on refurbishing a knife? I want to bring this old warhorse back! Take care,

-Jay
Found this:


Not a Camillus, but definately a cousin.
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Old 06-15-2020, 02:46 PM
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When I was an Avionics Tech in the Navy we were issued those in our tool boxes. The screw driver blade was snapped off before we got the tool boxes.

A few years ago I found an old contract (1930's?) online to supply the military with TL-29's. As I recall the price per unit price was something like .57 cents.

Back in the old days, (pre-Covid-19,) I used to see a knife dealer at the Denver gun show with a bunch sorted by year.

Bill
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Old 06-15-2020, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CA Escapee View Post
When I was an Avionics Tech in the Navy we were issued those in our tool boxes. The screw driver blade was snapped off before we got the tool boxes.

A few years ago I found an old contract (1930's?) online to supply the military with TL-29's. As I recall the price per unit price was something like .57 cents.

Back in the old days, (pre-Covid-19,) I used to see a knife dealer at the Denver gun show with a bunch sorted by year.

Bill
I was an Avionics Tech (Aircraft Electrician) in the Corps. We were issued them by our Shop Head. A box full would be given to him and he would give them to us as needed. Our Flight Equipment Shop personnel would would make us pouches to carry them in on our belts. This is pre-tool box era. Accountability sure changed the way things were done. We just used a file to take the edge off the screwdriver blade. Saved lots of thumbs that way.
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Old 06-15-2020, 06:06 PM
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I have an identical one except it is made by Imperial and the scales are maroon colored plastic. In my freshman year in college I worked part time for a company stringing and installing cable TV and that was part of my issued toolbelt kit. It now resides in my inside-the-house toolbox.
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