Charlie Bell knives

Chui

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Joined
Jul 10, 2012
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2,094
- wonderful stuff Chief Chief ......now you'll be able to carry around and fondle summat your Dad gave you :)

Great story.........great knife :thumbsup::cool:
 
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knifethetank

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Dec 18, 2018
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1,074
The beauty of a custom is the ability to work with a maker who is willing to use cover material that has meaning to the end user. My dad bought a large piece of kiln dried purple heart 35 years ago from the base wood hobby shop. He passed away shortly thereafter and never got to use it. I carried it around since his passing. The abalone shield came from a shell my wife and I picked up off the beach at Vandenberg AFB 20 years ago. Charlie Bell cut some slices off the purple heart, had them stabilized so they will stay purple, and cut the double bomb shield out of the shell I provided. It's been overcast and raining the last few days so I can't get really good shots without some sun. Another feature of this knife is G10 purple liners, making it about half the weight of comparable sized slipjoints with steel liners. Will take more pics showing the liners when the weather clears up. Bose WT pattern with single wharncliffe 154 CM thin ground blade, pinchable, sweet walk and talk, is the perfect EDC for me. Thanks Charlie for making me this wonderful slipjoint.

bellpurpleheart-1.jpg

John, very nice craftsmanship from Charlie and it’s really nice you can carry that special knife in memory of your Dad. Can’t wait to see more pictures.
 

Peregrin

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Sep 2, 2004
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14,693
The beauty of a custom is the ability to work with a maker who is willing to use cover material that has meaning to the end user. My dad bought a large piece of kiln dried purple heart 35 years ago from the base wood hobby shop. He passed away shortly thereafter and never got to use it. I carried it around since his passing. The abalone shield came from a shell my wife and I picked up off the beach at Vandenberg AFB 20 years ago. Charlie Bell cut some slices off the purple heart, had them stabilized so they will stay purple, and cut the double bomb shield out of the shell I provided. It's been overcast and raining the last few days so I can't get really good shots without some sun. Another feature of this knife is G10 purple liners, making it about half the weight of comparable sized slipjoints with steel liners. Will take more pics showing the liners when the weather clears up. Bose WT pattern with single wharncliffe 154 CM thin ground blade, pinchable, sweet walk and talk, is the perfect EDC for me. Thanks Charlie for making me this wonderful slipjoint.

bellpurpleheart-1.jpg
Wonderful little knife, John! It's great that he could incorporate the wood and the shell, that have special meaning to you, into the knife. I'm sure it brings a smile to your face whenever you use it.
 

Chief

Chief Master Sergeant USAF (ret) 1975-2000
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Joined
Nov 15, 1998
Messages
2,693
Thanks for all the comments on my purpleheart Bell. Finally got around to taking more photos at different angles to show the G10 liners. They significantly lighten the knife without sacrificing rigidity.

bellpurpleheart.jpg


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Note the smooth transition from the handle to the tang on the kick side. This is an element of slipjoint design that Charlie and I have discussed extensively. Gives a natural, comfortable place for your index finger.

bellpurpleheart-3.jpg


I chose purple for the liners. Originally thought complementary yellow would work, but it clashed. Superb fit and finish.

bellpurpleheart-4.jpg


Scalpel sharp.

bellpurpleheart-5.jpg
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2008
Messages
2,009
Love the knife and love the backstory on the slabs but damn, the double bomb shell shield is just over the top.....I didn't even know that was an option!

Beautiful knife Chief dripping with sentimental meaning.
 

aji1

Gold Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2016
Messages
233
I recently picked up this Charlie Bell Zulu in brown linen micarta and CPM154. I really love how he did the swedge and I am generally really happy with the knife. There is a little up and down play, though; I am hoping a good cleaning might take care of that (maybe there is something wedged in there). Otherwise, I might check with him to see if it is something he might be able to fine tune.

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LastRodeo

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Joined
Nov 2, 2013
Messages
3,917
I recently picked up this Charlie Bell Zulu in brown linen micarta and CPM154. I really love how he did the swedge and I am generally really happy with the knife. There is a little up and down play, though; I am hoping a good cleaning might take care of that (maybe there is something wedged in there). Otherwise, I might check with him to see if it is something he might be able to fine tune.

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Up and down play on a knife with a back spring is weird. The back spring tension should be holding to tight.
 

aji1

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Joined
Dec 19, 2016
Messages
233
Up and down play on a knife with a back spring is weird. The back spring tension should be holding to tight.

Yeah, it's definitely weird. The spring tension is strong in between the closed/half-stop/open positions, but a little loose at those positions. The gap this creates is small, but visible, and you can hear it rattle a little if you give it a gentle shake. I am hoping that Charlie can fix it, as it is otherwise a really nice knife. Perfect size, fits my hand well, excellent blade shape and grind, good fit and finish otherwise.
 

LastRodeo

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Nov 2, 2013
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3,917
Yeah, it's definitely weird. The spring tension is strong in between the closed/half-stop/open positions, but a little loose at those positions. The gap this creates is small, but visible, and you can hear it rattle a little if you give it a gentle shake. I am hoping that Charlie can fix it, as it is otherwise a really nice knife. Perfect size, fits my hand well, excellent blade shape and grind, good fit and finish otherwise.
It rattles when you shake it,the mystery deepens. I can't wait to find out what is going on there.
 

aji1

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Joined
Dec 19, 2016
Messages
233
It rattles when you shake it,the mystery deepens. I can't wait to find out what is going on there.

You got me motivated. I read your post and thought, "Yeah, time to figure this out." So I sent an e-mail to Charlie, basically recapping what I posted here. An hour later, he responded. "Thanks for the note. It’s hard to tell without looking at it, but it sounds like a spring issue. If you can send it to me I’ll see what it needs. No charge for repair." I replied that I live in the Netherlands; he got back to me 20 minutes later and asked if I would be OK with splitting return postal costs, as insured shipping is kind of pricey. Of course, that is fine with me.

Mr. Bell seems like a stand-up guy. I always respect people that are willing to stand behind their work and I also like it when people communicate in such a quick and courteous manner. Today I boxed up the knife and it is en route to Edmond...
 

LastRodeo

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Nov 2, 2013
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You got me motivated. I read your post and thought, "Yeah, time to figure this out." So I sent an e-mail to Charlie, basically recapping what I posted here. An hour later, he responded. "Thanks for the note. It’s hard to tell without looking at it, but it sounds like a spring issue. If you can send it to me I’ll see what it needs. No charge for repair." I replied that I live in the Netherlands; he got back to me 20 minutes later and asked if I would be OK with splitting return postal costs, as insured shipping is kind of pricey. Of course, that is fine with me.

Mr. Bell seems like a stand-up guy. I always respect people that are willing to stand behind their work and I also like it when people communicate in such a quick and courteous manner. Today I boxed up the knife and it is en route to Edmond...
I have met Charlie, I agree he seemed like a fine fellow. Glad you are going to get it resolved.
 

aji1

Gold Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2016
Messages
233
I wanted to report back about the problem I had with a Charlie Bell knife (see my previous posts in the thread) and it's resolution. I sent my knife back to Charlie on July 23rd. It took a while to get there, as international shipping has been dramatically slowed by the coronavirus situation. Mr. Bell e-mailed me upon receipt of the knife and then updated a few hours later, when he had time to inspect it. "It was a bent spring, I checked the hardness on the spring and it was lower then normal and that could be part of the problem. Another problem is the way I originally ground the blade tang, the corners were more rounded then I do now. And that causes some slight play in the open position. Best I can get without building a new knife." He repaired the spring within a few days and shipped it back to me (which, again, took several weeks). Well, I received it the other day and he did a fantastic job on it. Awesome walk and talk, zero gaps, and perfectly centered. The play due to the rounded corners is very minimal; it is definitely not an issue for me.

His communication was excellent and his service was outstanding. So much so, actually, that I have a new C. Bell on the books. I will post some pictures when I receive it! It is just so rare these days to encounter exceptional customer service and in such a thoughtful manner.

(P.S. As always, sorry for the crappy phone photos.)

[EDIT TO ADD:] He also buffed out some scuffs on the shield and pivot. It is basically a brand new knife at this point.

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aji1

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Joined
Dec 19, 2016
Messages
233
I picked up my new Charlie Bell on the way home from work the other day! It was a hectic weekend, with lots of family obligations, so I didn't have a chance to post until now.

It's a shadow sowbelly in CPM154 and vintage Westinghouse paper micarta, a touch over 3.5" closed length. In all honesty, straight out of the box, this knife has the smoothest, best action of any I have purchased (with no flush or lubrication). Pinchable, with about a perfect 5 pull, and just smooth as silk. It has great fit and finish, with everything seamless and flush. It feels fantastic in hand and the grind is basically perfect. I am very happy with this knife.

Charlie was great to deal with as well. He told me about six weeks, plus shipping time. In reality, it was one month and one day from placing the order to picking up the box (and that includes trans-Atlantic shipping and customs processing). He didn't even ask for a deposit; he sent photos of the completed knife for my approval and I paid at that point.

The only thing that sucked was the €119.23 (~ $140) for import duties, VAT and processing fees, which, of course, is no fault of Charlie's (and which I expect when ordering anyway).

Here are a couple of Charlie's photos. I haven't had time to take any of my own yet (and I am not too good at it anyway), but I will try to take some over the next few days.

sowbelly1.jpeg

sowbelly3.jpeg
 

JTB_5

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Oct 6, 2017
Messages
5,955
I picked up my new Charlie Bell on the way home from work the other day! It was a hectic weekend, with lots of family obligations, so I didn't have a chance to post until now.

It's a shadow sowbelly in CPM154 and vintage Westinghouse paper micarta, a touch over 3.5" closed length. In all honesty, straight out of the box, this knife has the smoothest, best action of any I have purchased (with no flush or lubrication). Pinchable, with about a perfect 5 pull, and just smooth as silk. It has great fit and finish, with everything seamless and flush. It feels fantastic in hand and the grind is basically perfect. I am very happy with this knife.

Charlie was great to deal with as well. He told me about six weeks, plus shipping time. In reality, it was one month and one day from placing the order to picking up the box (and that includes trans-Atlantic shipping and customs processing). He didn't even ask for a deposit; he sent photos of the completed knife for my approval and I paid at that point.

The only thing that sucked was the €119.23 (~ $140) for import duties, VAT and processing fees, which, of course, is no fault of Charlie's (and which I expect when ordering anyway).

Here are a couple of Charlie's photos. I haven't had time to take any of my own yet (and I am not too good at it anyway), but I will try to take some over the next few days.

View attachment 1435559

View attachment 1435560
That's a sweet one! That black paper is really black.
 

Railsplitter

Gold Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2010
Messages
6,606
I picked up my new Charlie Bell on the way home from work the other day! It was a hectic weekend, with lots of family obligations, so I didn't have a chance to post until now.

It's a shadow sowbelly in CPM154 and vintage Westinghouse paper micarta, a touch over 3.5" closed length. In all honesty, straight out of the box, this knife has the smoothest, best action of any I have purchased (with no flush or lubrication). Pinchable, with about a perfect 5 pull, and just smooth as silk. It has great fit and finish, with everything seamless and flush. It feels fantastic in hand and the grind is basically perfect. I am very happy with this knife.

Charlie was great to deal with as well. He told me about six weeks, plus shipping time. In reality, it was one month and one day from placing the order to picking up the box (and that includes trans-Atlantic shipping and customs processing). He didn't even ask for a deposit; he sent photos of the completed knife for my approval and I paid at that point.

The only thing that sucked was the €119.23 (~ $140) for import duties, VAT and processing fees, which, of course, is no fault of Charlie's (and which I expect when ordering anyway).

Here are a couple of Charlie's photos. I haven't had time to take any of my own yet (and I am not too good at it anyway), but I will try to take some over the next few days.

View attachment 1435559

View attachment 1435560

That paper micarta looks so smooth and clean! Stunning knife!
 
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