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GEC Harness Jack Progress

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by Modoc ED, Mar 4, 2011.

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  1. Modoc ED

    Modoc ED Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    This is a GEC Northfield Harness Jack Burnt Stag knife that I got in mid-November 2010. This picture was taken new out of the tube.


    On Saturday, 22 January 2011 I went to a ranch roughly 25-miles South of town to help butcher pigs. The rancher provided breakfast and lunch. For lunch the main course was of course pork -- pork chops, pork roast, pulled pork. I like a little white vinegar sprinkled over my pork and since I only had this Harness Jack with me, I used it to cut the vinegared pork. This is what the knife looked like the next day -- a heavy, even, patina (too much too heavy for my taste) from the vinegar I'm sure and some pig skinning.


    Yesterday, I polished the blade of the Harness Jack with a Flitz metal polishing cloth. This is how the knife looks this morning. Much better for my taste. Some patina but not the heavy patina it had.


    This is a close-up of the blade after polishing. The curved patina line about halfway up the swedge isn't just imprinted on the blade it is actually etched into the blade. If I run my finger nail over that line, I can feel the etched/engraved line and my finger nail catches on it. The small mark halfway between the etched patina line and the nick is also etched into the blade. The patina from just into the nick to the end of the nick is not etched into the blade. The blade steel is GEC's 1095.


    This is the first knife I've ever had that a patina line was actually etched (eaten into) the blade. The toughest thing this blade has come in contact with was the vinegar sprinkled on the pork, a couple/three rabbits from the neighbor's rabbit hutch that I've skinned for dinner and of course some pigs skinned that day. Hmmmmm, I wonder if this particular blade is a bit soft. It works just great -- cuts, etc.. It also sharpens easily and holds a good edge.

    The big reward for me so far is that the rancher gave everyone who lent a hand (5 people) a whole pig to take home for their freezer.

    I'm going to use this knife again for some chores during the calf branding in March/April and I'll post pictures again to show the results, if any, of that adventure.

    Last edited: Feb 7, 2016
  2. Core Knife Co.

    Core Knife Co.

    Apr 8, 2009
    Ed, looks good either way. I personally liked that heavy patina, but they both look great. Sounds like that reward was worth all the effort.
  3. orca8589

    orca8589 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    Great job putting this one to work. :thumbup: (And nice pics too.)

    I like good carbon steel with a patina finish, but like you I'm more into a 'character' appearance, not so much a 'heavy use' look. I patina'd a blade with an onion, and wound up with the circular pattern of the onion innards on the blade. After that, I decided to let my carbon steel blades patina on their own through use.

    Last edited: Mar 4, 2011
  4. waynorth

    waynorth Dealer / Materials Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    Nov 19, 2005
    Vinegar is a pretty vigorous oxidizer! I have turned a blade pitch black in 2-3 minutes with warm vinegar, so yes, it is etched.
    I always rinse a knife off immediately after I cut meat, or encounter acidic food. The acids are water soluble, so the blade will etch much less.
    Nice to see that HJ a-workin'!!:thumbup:
  5. Knife Crazied

    Knife Crazied

    Apr 17, 2009
    I agree with you I don't really like the heavy patina. :)
  6. Thalestin


    Jul 20, 2006
    Looks good either way. I never polish my blades personally. I find the natural patina, however it is earned is kind of neat. Ive had mine get pretty dark, but that dark layer usually comes off when I carve some harder material such as carving wood
  7. Campbellclanman

    Campbellclanman Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Great topic on the patina Ed, I found that the GEC's patina very quickly, apples will do that too...i cut some apples-then took some shots of the knife with the apple slices etc, so in all the apple juice may have been on there for say...20minutes...man..that was enough for the juice to etch in all right.
    One thing I have noticed with Northfields...the etch dissapears very quickly once a light acid such as the above mentioned acids hit it.
  8. mley1


    May 6, 2010
    I love a dark patina on a carbon blade. Whenever I get a new knife with carbon blades the first thing I do is eat an apple with it. After a few apples it takes on a nice dark gray patina. And, the more you use it, the darker it gets. The only thing I'll do is wash it off with water, wipe it down, then wipe it with an oily cloth. There's just something that the dark gray patina does for me. I love the looks of it.
  9. Steve_Holt


    Dec 21, 2008
    I generally keep my carbon blades pretty clean and shiny. I usually clean them up pretty quick if they cut something juicy. Not Always. I have a couple that have a nice "earned" patina. I've only forced a patina on one knife by sticking it in a pear for a few hours.

    But I think that one looks great with the dark blade. I may have to give a vinegar bath a try on a blade soon. I did it to a tomahawk a few weeks ago and liked how it came out.
  10. Jenner 515

    Jenner 515

    Nov 27, 2002
    I've gotten a patina on a few of my blades over the course of time.

    The only one that ever etched like that was a Schrade Old Timer.
    I had put the knife in my Wife's travel bag, put that in a suitcase, and checked the whole thing for a trip to MD.

    Getting there I found that her Shampoo/Conditioner had leaked and gotten all over the blade. Washed it, oiled it, but it still took a pretty sever etch all over.
  11. Cisco Kid

    Cisco Kid

    Oct 20, 2009
    Well, call it patina or something else, but I work very hard to keep any sort of stains off my knives. What I really like is a surgically clean blade, and try to keep all my knives that way, helped by an oc personality that extends to keeping the edges razor sharp, having the blades with no wobble and dead center when closed, etc.
  12. protourist

    protourist Have you ever caught me lying to you before? Platinum Member

    Aug 19, 2007
    That is a great looking knife. Personally, I thought the patina looked fantastic but that's just me.
  13. TLARbb


    Jan 24, 2010
    Wow! That harness jack is fantastic. A carbon knife looks great with a well earned patine! Personally, I don't care to force a patina on my carbon steel blades, but carbon steel does what it does. I don't have any problem with a natural patina, but I do keep my blades clean and dry and oiled when not using them.

    Here's what my Avatar knife looks like after a year of life with me.


    Last edited: Mar 5, 2011
  14. Modoc ED

    Modoc ED Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    You're right about vinegar being a pretty vigorous oxicizer Charlie but for the small amount of vineagar and time exposed, I just didn't think the blade would get that dark. I really didn't think about it after we ate. The skinning was over so after lunch I didn't even have the knife out to use it. I only opened the knife the next morning and as you can see in the second picture, the blade was very dark. I'll contiue to let the blade aquire a nice patina but a more subtle one that the one I polised off.

    Yes, this HJ gets plenty of work. It's in my pocket quite a bit and comes in handy not only for daily, mundane, things but ranch, farm, and hunting chores too.
  15. sunnyd


    Jul 17, 2004
    I am a big fan of that Harness Jack pattern and the dark patina to boot. :D ..

    ..However Ed, a fine friend of mine just asked me if that is a White-Clear Vinegar or Red Vinegar imposed PATINA you are referring to in regard to that hi-carbon blade??. I told her it was likely a White Vinegar PATINA.. But, I reckon I'll let you say what is what.

  16. Modoc ED

    Modoc ED Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    It was white vinegar Anthony. The best vinegar for pork is white. The best vinegar for fried fish and chips is cider (red).
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013
  17. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker

    Aug 18, 2008
    That's a sure way to get it off and running on a fine patina! Great knife for the job too!
  18. sunnyd


    Jul 17, 2004
    Thanks for the clarification here Ed..

    Incidently, I am so taken with this HJ of yours that I just closed a deal with a friend on a trade so I can add one of these to EDC as well. :cool:

  19. Tostig


    Jun 16, 2009
    Modoc/ Ed. I think your knife looks even nicer now , has a bit of character.


  20. knowtracks

    knowtracks Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 16, 2006
    As most everyone here knows, Charlie (Waynorth) started the Harness Jack "rebirth" :cool: He 1st went to Queen and had 3 different runs made before going to gec.
    And because this is a HJ thread I just can't resist posting the 2 knives Charlie had gec build.:D
    The 1st is a stag the 2nd an ebony :thumbup::thumbup:

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