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The twice a year gun show again helps me score on some nice items...

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by PocketKnifeJimmy, Sep 16, 2018.

  1. PocketKnifeJimmy

    PocketKnifeJimmy

    Aug 4, 2013
    Twice a year they hold a decent sized gun show in my area, (one in the Spring, the other one done near Fall). Anyhow, since it's only twice a year, I try attending them both. I used to think gun shows were fun, but mostly overpriced in selling their wares. As I became better at really searching through all the tables, I began getting decent deals. I look for items that call out to me in some way, but that are also favorably priced, and have had a good streak at the shows.

    Today was no exception. I was looking at one of the dealer's tables, and found a Camillus folding machete in pretty darned decent shape, and paid $75 otd for it. Neat historic item, and it even has the protective sleeve that is oftenly long lost when it comes to these.

    The other was the Parker Cut. Co. bowie shown in the picture below. It's a Seki Japan made knife that is obviously in unused condition, (likely made during the 1980's), and came with it's original box. It is stamped as 'Parker Cut. Co.' and was sold as part of their 'Eagle Brand Cutlery' line. For this one I paid $65 otd, which is way less than half what I have seen them go for online, (in the same mint condition).
    Both tickle my fancy, and neither one will break the bank.
    They will both make nice additions to my collection :)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
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  2. SpySmasher

    SpySmasher Lead Guitar Platinum Member

    Sep 1, 2016
    Really great! I can see why both "called to you."
     
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  3. gdog363

    gdog363 Gold Member Gold Member

    233
    Mar 8, 2017
    Many years ago I saw the fabled orange handled Gerber Mk II at a gun show for $200. Unfortunately this was before I was a “knife guy”
     
  4. Stumpy72

    Stumpy72

    315
    Jul 5, 2018
    Good scores! I envy your still having gun shows that are worth going to. There used to be half a dozen every year in the area where I live. These days, we’re down to one a year and it’s such a sorry thing that it’s not even worth going to.
     
  5. PocketKnifeJimmy

    PocketKnifeJimmy

    Aug 4, 2013
    Truth is, if it wasn't for the couple gun shows every year, I would basically have little to no access to buying such things in person, (where I can actually handle and inspect). Internet orders have become my main source of acquiring my items, and it's mostly because brick & morter sales have become extinct in my area, (at least for the items I'd have any interest in). Yeah, I really look forward to these gun shows held twice a year. I was out of town yesterday, (my daughter's wedding), and flew back home this morning. I wasn't expecting to make the gun show this time around, but when I got home this morning, I figured "why not", and headed straight there after my trip ended. i'm glad I went :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
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  6. needler420

    needler420 Basic Member Basic Member

    792
    Apr 29, 2011
    I got a couple of those Parker balisongs NIB

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. PocketKnifeJimmy

    PocketKnifeJimmy

    Aug 4, 2013
    Nice specimens! :)

    It's been said before, and I will say it here again... Parker had his hands in a lot of the knife business world. Yes, some of the things he supposedly did were controversial, to say the least, but the products he sold ran the gamut from not very good at all to very nice stuff indeed. Some collectors have come to appreciate that some of his brands produced knives that are definitely worthy of being owned and collected. The prices on the better stuff has proven this, since they have been commanding higher prices on the market.

    This latest Parker bowie completes my acquiring the three bowies that were in this series. The series included mostly some folders, but it was the three bowies in the series that appealed to me the most.
    One was done in a Mother of Pearl handle. One was done in a Buffalo Horn handle. And this third one, which although looks like a Stag of some sort, I believe it's actually a bone handle made to resemble the Stag look, and that is not without precedent in the knife world.

    Here is a picture of an old Parker catalog showing the entire series, including the three fixed blade Bowie knives, (the first three knives on the top left). Again, I now own all three...

    [​IMG]
    The Bowies had a full retail price of $200 each for the first two, and $150 for the third (which is the one I just purchased).


    On the other knife I purchased today, I believe the Camillus folding machetes have in no way reached their full collector potential, and I believe they will someday command MUCH more money than they currently do. I mean, they were made quite a few decades ago for U.S. military use. They were part of a Pilot's survival kit during, and maybe slightly after, WW2. They've been discontinued for a very long time now. This one being a Camillus made item, that too will help in it's appreciating in value, since Camillus went out of business in 2007.
    And, think about it, a folding machete... How cool is that!
    Also, it has a liner lock! Wow! Liner lock on a military item such as this that was made so many decades ago.
    Yup, $75 for such a cool and very unique item in the blade world... it's a bargain.
    They are often found without the sheet metal blade covering, and it will, and should, lower the items overall value. Why? Well, it is considered a part of the knife, although it's detachable, and it's a big part of it's uniqueness.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
  8. PocketKnifeJimmy

    PocketKnifeJimmy

    Aug 4, 2013
    [​IMG]

    If some of you remember when Ka-Bar came out with their initial line of 'Zombie' knives, they mentioned that the knive's blades were based on original designs from WW2.
    Well, if you look at their 'Pestilence Chopper', you can see that it's blade is similar to the folding machete :)
    My understanding is that there was a fixed blade machete during WW2 that had this shape, but I've never seen one.

    And here, in the following picture, is a reproduction that used to be sold by Atlanta Cutlery. It was likely made in India by Windlass Steelcrafts. This reproduction has been discontinued, AC's last listed price was $95.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
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  9. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Gun shows are usually fun. Glad you found some things that you were interested in. Around here, I believe the next knife show is next month in Pigeon Forge TN.
     
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  10. PocketKnifeJimmy

    PocketKnifeJimmy

    Aug 4, 2013
    Looking up some more detailed info about the folding machete, I found the following...

    In 1942, the Army Air Force adopted a Folding Machete for use in the B-2 and B-4 Bail out kits. This machete was designed to replace the Model 18 Collins machete. The reason for the adoption was to reduce space in the emergency kit. When folded, the AAF Folding Machete measures only 11 inches.

    Case, Camillus, and Cattaraugus were the 3 makers of the WW2 model folding machete. (I’ve also read Kinfolks made them but until I see one by them I’m going with the “3 C’s”.) All three are nearly identical to each other. As such all three suffer from the same flaws.

    The shape of the handle is not especially comfortable. The edges are squared off and cut into the hand over time. The liner lock on the blade was not trusted by the users and was subject to failure. To make matters worse, the blade guard was a separate item and was subject to being lost. However, due to the war, these minor issues would have to wait until after the war to be resolved.

    The folding machetes were called “Jungle Knives” by the crews who carried them. Despite their flaws, they did work. In some instances, crew members would reshape the plastic grips to make them more comfortable. However, the other problems remained an issue; especially losing the blade guard.

    For the most part, the AAF folding Machetes were issued to crews operating in the South Pacific. However, I have seen accounts of them being used in European theater. I assume this was later in the war when survival kits were becoming more standardized or perhaps when certain Bomber Groups were transferred from the Pacific to Europe.
    I’ve been looking for the AAF’s nomenclature for this item. I have seen at least on instance of it being called the M1942 Folding Machete but most sources have called it the AAF Folding Machete.

    From what I understand, The USN and USMC flight crews also used the Folding Machete in their bail out kits. Again, I’ve yet to be able to verify this.

    The Royal Air Force and Commonwealth forces also adopted the folding machete for the air crews. They not only bought ones made in the US but produced them under license in Sheffield, England. The British made folding machetes normally had a lanyard hole added to the handle.

    After WWII had ended trials were conducted to address issues with folding machetes. Problems with the poor shape of the grip and loose blade guard were the top issues. Imperial submitted a design with an improved grip and integral folding blade guard in 1947 and this would later be adopted by the newly established U.S. Air Force as replacement. The new Imperial Folding Machete was known as the A-1 Folding Machete. The A-1 also rreplaced the canvas bag of the previous model with a soft leather sheath that included a sharpening stone enclosed it a small pouch on the sheath. The A-1 was adopted in 1948 and remained in service throughout the 1950s. During this time, the older AAF folding machetes were phased out.
    The liner lock on the folding machete is very stiff and extremely strong. I've seen you tube videos of people using them and I have no doubt they are as rugged as Sherman Tank!
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
  11. PocketKnifeJimmy

    PocketKnifeJimmy

    Aug 4, 2013
    Well, it was time to acquaint myself to my new additions. I mean, yes, I looked them over before purchasing them, and checked them out for a bit after getting home, but that initial preservative application and wipe down is the real up and close time to see what an item really entails in it's fit & finish. This knife is a beaut, and she's in as pristine of a condition as any knife just having left it's manufacturing facility, (although this knife is actually about 30 to 35 years old).
    They did a nice job at assembling this knife. As for it's construction, the blade/guard/tang, are all one piece, with the nickel silver hardware & scales being fitted on by pins. If one looks carefully, one can see where the two pins were used for the nickel silver hardware attachment, and two for the attachment of the scales (4 pins total).
    The nickel silver was well cast, and the final polishing done just right, imo.
    This was definitely a good score for my collection :)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
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  12. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I wonder what Parker means by "hand made". Technically almost all knives are hand made and Jim Parker was certainly known to twist a few words.
     
  13. PocketKnifeJimmy

    PocketKnifeJimmy

    Aug 4, 2013
    Yup, you are right, sir, most knives are still hand made, although most are nothing like the hand made of yesteryear. That said, I have a few SAKs, and watching how they are made... WOW! I mean, they have managed to almost do away with the human hands with their knives, (almost completely automated).

    As for Parker using the "Hand Made" stamping... Just some good old fashioned marketing. It still goes on in oh so many ways, and likely will forever more ;)

    I mean, just like the patriotic wording on the blade. This sort of stuff was oh so common on the imported Sheffield England Bowie knives of the mid to late 1800's. Knives made in a country that we actually broke away from, and here they were etching the blade to cater to the American buyer... Marketing, got'a love it ;)
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
  14. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I always get a kick out of marketing yarn. It's okay really. Victorinox has certainly automated their SAK production.

    The Parker knife is really cool by the way. I see Parker stuff at shows (gun and knife) and pawn shops when I visit. I have a couple Parker Eagle knives; one a Buck 110 clone that I think is a pretty good knife, just heavy like the 110's. Those were the days!
     
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  15. PocketKnifeJimmy

    PocketKnifeJimmy

    Aug 4, 2013
    Now, with my moving on to the folding machete cleaning... I could so easily have removed the stains on the blade and the rest of the knife's steel. But, just like my recent antique Gurkha kukri knife, I was not about to go tamper with an honest patina. With no active red rust being present, all she needed was to be well oiled and wiped clean, ( my only using a brand new soft toothbrush, q-tips, some clean cloths, and the oil). After I got everything cleaned up, I simply wiped her down to remove the excess oil. She is now over 70 years old, and again, I was not about to ruin her by breaking out with the Flitz to make her look all purty and brand new, (which she obviously is not). After having oiled the pivot area, she is a smooth operator. All is tight, and has no cracks in her handle material, (black bakalite?).
    Where the blade mostly shows it's grayish stained patina, is where the removable sheet metal blade edge protector did not cover. Now that I have here oiled and wiped off, I will display her alongside the blade edge sheet metal covering, but not mounted to the blade. I also will keep the blade in the open position, making it easier to give her an occasional routine maintenance wipe down.
    I know many may think that the folding machete may have been a goofy idea, but these were designed, not for many years of hard core jungle use, but instead for a Pilot to have a machete tough enough to serve days/weeks in an emergency/survival situation. It being 11" folded, kept it compact for it's survival gear storage. Cool knife, and again, (imo), an item that has not reached it's collecting value potential.
    Heck, almost any old school (traditional) Camillus folding knife can easily run $75 or more, so this THING costing me that much, ($75), and being over 70 years old.... well, a total bargain. It's got to be one of the coolest items I have in my collection! :)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
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  16. PocketKnifeJimmy

    PocketKnifeJimmy

    Aug 4, 2013
    So, one of the things I enjoy about my collecting hobby, is delving into learning more about the items that I acquire.
    Reading about the WW2 AAF Folding Machete, I notice that there is mention of Camillus alone having produced somewhere in the ballpark of just over 100,000 of them. When including the other two contracted manufacturers, there may have been over 200,000 made. So, I get to wondering, if they were made for certain Pilot Survival Kits and for certain planes, then why did they produce so many? I wonder if they also got commonly placed/used for other purposes, (besides for their main reason as a Pilot Survival Kit tool)?
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
  17. PocketKnifeJimmy

    PocketKnifeJimmy

    Aug 4, 2013
    I knew that the Parker Cut. Co. Bowie knife above was a knife based on an original Manson Sheffield Bowie knife of the mid to late 1800's era. Anyhow, doing a little poking around online, I was able to find some pics of an original. The Parker may not be an exact reproduction, but I think it pays great homage to the one of yesteryear.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]

    In one major way that the Parker version took liberty in being different from the original, is in the guard area. The Manson original leaves a gap between the sides of the guard on both sides. Where as the Parker's blade and tang was cut in such a way to incorporate the shape of the guard into it, so no gaps on the Parker guard.
    Another deviation done, is that the Parker has nickel silver pins to attach the scales and the nickel silver hardware (rather than the steel pins used on the original Manson). The Parker's method is more eye appealing because the pins, after peened down to the hardware, then got buffed to almost become seamless to the hardware.

    Again, the Parker is really only based on the original, catching it's basic style, and is not an exact reproduction. That said, it would seem that in some ways, the Parker's deviations make for a nicer overall knife (if historical value is taken out of the equation).
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
  18. PocketKnifeJimmy

    PocketKnifeJimmy

    Aug 4, 2013
    I had not yet put out my new Parker Bowie aquisition on display,. That said, this morning I noticed one of my clocks on my living room wall had given up the ghost, (a new battery failed to get it moving again). I say "one of my clocks" because I had two up, (a larger one, and the smaller one that kicked the bucket). Ah, well, I guess that was perfect timing, (pun totally intended) :)
    I had a couple shadow boxes stored that had been used on previous projects, but were later replaced. So, this broken clock, not needing a replacement because of the larger clock still working, I decided to repurpose one of my stored shadow boxes for the Parker Bowie. I then placed it where the now broken clock had been. A perfect little storm sort-of-a-thing. So, now I don't have to look at a non working clock on my wall, and I got my Bowie up that gives much more interest to my space than a bland looking clock.

    [​IMG]

    I still have some ideas about how I will display the WW2 Camillus folding machete... But going to leave that for a later date when my creative juices start overflowing again ;)

    You know, with my reading that it is common for the folding machetes to be found without their detachable blade guard, I am kind'a surprised that some sheet metal outfit doesn't make a run on making and selling some as replacements for the originals that may have gotten lost. I mean, looking at the original that came with mine, it does not seem like it would be much of a task to pump out a good amount of them in a short run by any experienced shop. Also, with Atlanta Cutlery having offered a reproduction of the folding machete, I scratch my head as to why they would not have offered the guard as a seperate accessory.
    Oh, well, just something that made me wonder :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
  19. PocketKnifeJimmy

    PocketKnifeJimmy

    Aug 4, 2013
    Now my Camillus folding machete has a new home in a display case too...

    [​IMG]

    It involved buying an inexpensive front loading shadow box, using some good old fashioned crafty ideas, and WAH-LAH, Jimmy wall art was born! lol! ;)

    I display the items in my collection for multiple reasons, including, (but not limited to), the following...
    1. It helps in protecting the items.
    2. It adds style to my decor.
    3. Myself, and my guests, get a chance to visually enjoy them.
    4. Great conversation pieces.

    Just imagine if the items in museums were placed all over on tables and hung from nails on the walls, without any care in their presentation... I simply believe presentation makes a difference, and not just in museums :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018

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