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Thread: Loose pommel trouble

  1. #1
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    Loose pommel trouble


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    I'm doing a little "refurb" project on an old Case that I found in pretty rough condition:


    I now have the blade smoothed/polished in pretty good shape (down to 600 grit) and I'm waiting on some finer grit wet-n-dry paper to finish it.

    In the mean time, I need to work on the aluminum pommel. It's quite loose. It looks OK in the photo, but it can be pulled back about 1/16" or more.

    My problem is, I don't know how to remove it. I'm very certain there is no cross pin. There is evidence of a second part that's fitted perfectly in the main part, but I can't see how it can possibly be disassembled.




    There is just enough space when pulling the pommel back that I could probably work in some epozy or JB Weld, but that doesn't sound like the best solution to me.

    Any ideas, suggestions of information?

    Thanks very much,
    desmobob

  2. #2
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    Keep in mind that I'm a complete knife-noob. Maybe the problem is not with the pommel but the leather handle itself having dried out and shrunk over the years. A possible fix would be a good cleaning with Lexol or something similar and then continuing to apply a good grade leather conditioner repetitively over time, allowing the leather washers to absorb the conditioner, swell slightly, and tighten up against the pommel. I don't think you would want to use anything that was primarily water as it would hasten corrosion of the tang.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buk View Post
    Keep in mind that I'm a complete knife-noob. Maybe the problem is not with the pommel but the leather handle itself having dried out and shrunk over the years. A possible fix would be a good cleaning with Lexol or something similar and then continuing to apply a good grade leather conditioner repetitively over time, allowing the leather washers to absorb the conditioner, swell slightly, and tighten up against the pommel. I don't think you would want to use anything that was primarily water as it would hasten corrosion of the tang.
    That's certainly a good suggestion, Buk.

    When I first found the knife, the pommel was only slightly loose. I used a heat gun to warm the leather and add Sno-Seal (beeswax/silicone) and repeated this process until it was saturated. This tightened the pommel some, but not enough.

    Then, I tried holding the knife, blade up, and rapping the pommel on the end grain of a 4x4. What this accomplished was to make the pommel much looser than it was originally.

    Now, I need to find out exactly how to properly tighten the pommel.

    Thanks,
    desmobob

  4. #4
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    You need to peen it. Place the pint of the knife on a very dense wood. Lightly tap the protruding tang with a small hammer. Sharp, light raps. Use your wrist, not your arm. Don't drive the pint into the wood too deeply-move it around.
    Bill
    www.billdeshivs.com

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill DeShivs View Post
    You need to peen it. Place the pint of the knife on a very dense wood. Lightly tap the protruding tang with a small hammer. Sharp, light raps. Use your wrist, not your arm. Don't drive the pint into the wood too deeply-move it around.
    Bill
    But the tang doesn't protrude....

    Stay sharp,
    desmobob

  6. #6
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    Looks like it's visible to me.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill DeShivs View Post
    Looks like it's visible to me.
    That's not the tang. Whatever it is, it's part of the pommel. I did try giving it a hit to see if it would tighten things up. That straight line you see on it is where my cold chisel was resting when I rapped it....

    Stay sharp,
    desmobob

  8. #8
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    There are 3 methods for attaching a pommel- pinning, peening, or screwing it down. It's one of the 3.
    Bill

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill DeShivs View Post
    There are 3 methods for attaching a pommel- pinning, peening, or screwing it down. It's one of the 3.
    Bill
    I'll try to spend some time working on it this weekend. I hope I don't have to resort to "destructive testing" to find out which method was used....

    Thanks for your help,
    desmobob

  10. #10
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    My bet is on the through tang. Let us know.
    Bill

  11. #11
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    Check the center of the pommel with a magnet. If it sticks then its the end of the tang and is 'peenable'......

  12. #12
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    Case attaches the pommels by pouring molten solder (or pewter or some sort of melted metal) down into a hollow recess in the pommel surrounding the end of the tang. There's a picture of it in the newest Case catalog that I have. The pommel end goes into some sort of hydraulic ram press that compresses the leather washers, then the assembler pours the liquid metal down into the recess. It's ground off flush and polished along with the butt of the pommel when cooled.

  13. #13
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    Well, that explains the mark on the pommel. I have never had one of these apart.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil in Alabama View Post
    Case attaches the pommels by pouring molten solder (or pewter or some sort of melted metal) down into a hollow recess in the pommel surrounding the end of the tang. There's a picture of it in the newest Case catalog that I have. The pommel end goes into some sort of hydraulic ram press that compresses the leather washers, then the assembler pours the liquid metal down into the recess. It's ground off flush and polished along with the butt of the pommel when cooled.
    THAT was some good information that I figured would solve my problem! I scratched the "insert" thing showing on the end of the pommel and it was soft; it appeared to be lead.

    I took a torch with a fine tip and heated the center of the pommel and sure enough, the metal melted. I held the pommel down tight until it cooled and the metal solidified. BINGO! Still loose....

    I gave up and forced a bunch of polyurethane (Gorilla) glue into the tang/pommel and clamped it up. The way that stuff expands, the whole thing ought to be nice and tight tomorrow. Ought to be....

    Before I did all this, I finished sanding the blade smooth with 1000, 1500, 2000 and 2500 grit wet-and-dry paper on a block in the sink. The blade looks pretty good, considering the shape it was in when I found it. After the pommel situation is fixed, I need to find, buy or make a nice sheath for the ol' girl and I'll be all set.

    Thanks once again for all your kind help, gentlemen. I really appreciate it and hope I can return the favor sometime.

    Stay sharp,
    desmobob

  15. #15
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    Here's a photo of what the knife looks like now. I made sure to leave the knife's age evident, while spiffing her up a bit.
    Compare the condition of the blade to the "as found" photo in my original post....




    Thanks again for the help,
    desmobob
    Last edited by desmobob; 09-03-2007 at 09:02 PM.

  16. #16
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    Looks great. So, the Gorilla Glue did the trick. That'll be something to file away in the organic computer just in case it's ever needed.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil in Alabama View Post
    Looks great. So, the Gorilla Glue did the trick. That'll be something to file away in the organic computer just in case it's ever needed.

    Thanks, Phil.

    That polyurethane glue (Gorilla Glue, Elmer's ProBond, etc.) is some pretty neat stuff. It foams up and expands as it cures. It also stays a little bit flexible. It's VERY tough. A bottle of it is a darn handy thing to have around.

    Stay sharp,
    desmobob

  18. #18
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    That is an excellent job of refurbishing a good old knife. I am impressed, and just wanted to say so.

    --Mike L.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike L. View Post
    That is an excellent job of refurbishing a good old knife. I am impressed, and just wanted to say so.

    --Mike L.
    Thanks very much for the kind words, Mike. Actually, it looks a lot nicer in the photo than it does in person.

    Stay sharp,
    desmobob

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