I picked up this Camillus swell end jack at a knife show today. Measures 3.5”, half stops on both blades, handles appear to be cocobolo. Mechanically it was probably the best older knife I handled today. The springs are almost entirely flush the whole way around. There's a very slight gap on one part of the main spring but other than that it's tight. Very nice walk & talk with good snap on both blades. The stock is fairly thin, as are the edges, and neither blade looks to have ever had much use. They sharpened up beautifully with minimal work and are now terrifying newsprint around the house. I was on a quest for a barlow but none that I saw really ticked all the boxes I wanted. This jack did so I decided to get it and put the barlow search on the back burner for now.
I do have a few questions though that I’m hoping you guys can help me with, more for my own curiosity than anything else.
~ Does anyone know if this knife had a particular pattern or catalog number? I've looked through some older Camillus catalogs that were around the web in PDF but didn't see this one listed so far.
~ The wood on the mark side has a much different appearance than the pile side. The pile side just looks and feels like regular cocobolo with a straight grain. The mark side has much more figure to it. I figure it’s still cocobolo but, other than the shade, certainly not a match to the pile side in terms of looks. Is it possible the factory put a nicer looking piece of wood on the mark side?
~ Also, the mark side wood also has a much smoother finish and some chatoyance to it in certain lighting. The bolsters on that side don’t have the same darkness of patina as the pile side. This causes me to think the mark side has been buffed at some point. Combining this with the difference in the wood pieces noted above do you think the mark side may have been rescaled?
Pics below were just some quick shots but they illustrate the differences in the wood to a fair degree.
Stamp on the secondary blade is the same as the first three lines of the one shown above. It lacks the fourth line of U.S.A.
Last edited by jujigatame; 08-13-2012 at 05:49 PM. Reason: title
Neat find! I don't know how wood was selected on the oldies but from what I remember reading on BRL's forum, the idea of matched sides was dreamed up by collectors. I like the cocobolo on both sides. Although more close up photos to show the surface details would be helpful, I think you're right about it being buffed... the bolsters, shield, and the main blade looks resurfaced... I can't tell from the photos if the pen blade has been buffed also. It's not as bad as some. I have a couple that could be used as mirrors! It's funny how people seem to enjoy a patina on a new knife but are quick to remove the old from an old knife. It looks like it has a lot of life left in it. Are you going to carry it?
That's a beauty.
Nice knife. Until now, the only knives I have seen with that shield have been Challenge. I wonder if there was some contract work by Challenge for Camillus, or by Camillus for Challenge. Both firms did a lot of contract work. Or maybe it is just a coincidence.
Just beautiful knife!
Coincidently, I have a HSB jack that has the same shield... and it's in my pocket. It's a recent acquisition from the 'Bay... slightly buffed by eBay standards. I don't know who made it for HSB...
edit: My Morley Radio Tool also has the same shield: http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u...radio-tool.jpg
Last edited by supratentorial; 08-05-2012 at 09:42 PM.
It's hard to date Camillus knives. Here are two Camillus jacks with the same shield. One has the sword brand stamp on the tang, though they seem close in age. . . .
To find my SFOs and the dealers who carry them, check my developing website at:
Honorary Guardian of the Lamb Foot.
Gentlemen, those knives shown are simply wonderful knives, thank you for lifting my night!
Gary Watson 16 Nov 1956 - 21 Dec 2009. Missed Incredibly.
Really interested in the HJ Pattern - always looking.
About the only thing I know about old knives is what appeals to me, and there's no doubt about this one, I like!!
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Nice SC Jacks there guys!
Thanks for all of the comments and info guys. I've got the knife in my pocket today and am really enjoying it.
I've got some more pictures but they're not the best as I'm trying to revamp my light setup. One thing I noticed that I've yet to to able to capture is that if I shine a light on the mark side wood there is a pattern of very fine lines. Perhaps it would have been created or brought out by a buffing. I'll work on getting an image of it.
Here's the stamp on the secondary blade with three lines.
Got some better pics of the jack to share. I still need to get some outdoor photos in natural light but time hasn't permitted it yet. Anywho....
Here's an end on shot of the main blade. It was hard to get decent focus but this gives an idea of how thin the blades are ground.
Finally had the chance for some outdoor pictures on Saturday.
With a Camillus electrician...
With an Uncle Henry 885...
With the Waterville jack...
The four in a group...
Last edited by jujigatame; 08-13-2012 at 07:25 PM. Reason: spacing
I like that wood, looks like antique furniture!
Very interesting and large shield. I'm glad to see you're using the knife, it's too good to be hidden away.
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