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*AJH* Custom Knives & Services Trademark

Refurbishing Repair  Restoration


New update - April 2018

Due to my new extreme personal busy schedule and available free time I will be working on no more than 2 knives/month during summer and foreseeable future.
The shop is closed for winter so that leaves me just enough time to make or repair no more than 12 knives per year.

Knives go on the custom knife and repairs order waiting list, and are made or repaired in the order they arrive.
First come first served - you are expected to mail your knife within one week from initial inquiry, so mail your knife as soon as you are ready.
If it arrives after the list is full, the turn around will be affected - or delayed until it is possible for me to work on it. Or it will go on the next year waiting list.

Serious notes:
Nobody will get on the list unless the filled out "Knife Repair submission Form" is received.
The knife pictures are required for preliminary cost estimate - to follow with the reply to my mail.
Your timely reply to all correspondence is expected. Not to reply is rude - and it also means that you have wasted both our time and repair is no go.

You must read and follow simple "Shipping up repairs instructions". Failure to do so will cost you extra money.
How much? The customs bill I have to pay at the Post Office, plus 2 hours of my extra time I have to spent scanning and mailing you the paperwork, and extra trip to town.
The Shipping any collector / family heirloom item is completely at your risk as no postal insurance will cover it, unless a proof of value is "carved in stone".



This is the fine print

The only purpose of the knife repairs I do is to honestly repair and restore the knife to it's full functionality

There was always a need to repair and refurbish good quality old knives, family heirlooms and keepsakes - folding, or fixed blade ones.
I have learned to make all replacement parts individually by hand out of necessity, as there are no replacement factory parts available.
I will give you opportunity, and consider your input, however I do reserve the last word on all matters of the repair.
That includes the cancellation of the repair if the knife real condition is so bad that the repair would not have a happy ending:
The description of the knife's condition is inaccurate - blade rust pits are so deep that it is impossible to save it, repairs of one part would snowball into replacing may other parts - actual repair cost versus the end result too unreal
I do professional repair, striving to make your knife looking as good, and in most cases better than new, keeping the model characteristics close to original if possible.

However, if your knife is in mint unused condition but has some minor defect, like scales not fitting properly, do contact the manufacturer first.
Do not demand the knife should be fixed to the original factory looks. It is just not going to happen.
Two main reasons:
#1 - the factory replacement parts are NOT available.
#2 - I do not put out shoddy work. Manufacturing is about making money = cheapest materials etc.

Some factory knives are sold in such a sorry state and made so cheap, that they are actually of limited use and are a throw away items.

The remodeling of the brand new knife is not my favorite work.
After breaking the knife apart it is seldom possible to put it together by hand as precisely as in the factory jigs.
This goes doubly for fitting new scales - some models were designed by evil extraterrestrials.
The bolster-scale gaps are a part of the eyeball fitting, and are often part of factory assembly as well.
Pivot pins sizes as used by factories are not available to public. New pins have to be machined down from nearest larger size pin stock.
Hand riveting does not make pins always blend seamlessly into bolsters, and also the pin alloy may have a different sheen when polished.

I do spend tremendous amount of time trying to accomplish what factory did not or could not do.
This does not mean that if the outcome is not to your vision of perfection, I will refund your money, working for nothing.
If at all my work adds value to your knife - it is not designed or intended to fool any collector.
If it is indeed a real collectors item, any repair or alteration to it will actually diminish it's collector's value.


Picture is worth 1000 words, so it is said. Everyone today has some gizmo which takes pictures - Digital camera or mobile phone, and the flat bead scanner works good too.
It is good for me to see the details of the repair needed, detail of unusual assembly, or the condition of the knife in the need of repairs or refurbishing for estimate.
Unfortunately Camera or scanner pictures are not suitable for email because they are just TOO BIG. Crop and resize them for email.
A good image size and format is JPG or PNG from 640 dpi to 1000 dpi wide at %90 quality or compression. Attach to your reply:

I start all the service work as soon as possible, on the first come - first serve basis.
When your turn comes I try to finish the repair within a day or two.

    The bulk of my repair work mostly consists of extensive handle repairs, including pins/spacers/scale replacement, and occasionally a total change of a handle design, folder springs and repairs, and some stainless welding where possible:

The blades broken in half or through any portion of cutting edge can not be welded back together.

Total refurbishing consists of stripping the knife to it's individual components, total blade regrind, sand and polish all parts, replace what is needed.
After the knife is reassembled, it gets final buffing and sharpening to a razor edge.

Kitchen and Chef's knives - Common, or special editions refurbishing:
The blades get complete overhaul - sand away and polish most sharpening scratches, stains and rust.
Blade-tips which are broken will be re-shaped, old delaminated, damaged wood handles will be replaced with top quality hardwoods, cheap Aluminum rivets will be replaced with Nickel Silver ones.
I glue down all new scales so no water can get to the tang to destroy the handle with rust from inside and be food-safe.

Stacked leather handle knives:
WW-II, RH-PAL, EGW, Mark, USM, USN, Ka-Bar repairs:

Handles get new leather washers, all glued together and compressed together in a vise, this time on cleaned metal. When the shaping is finished the leather is soaked in preservative, dried and polished.
If requested the leather can be blackened, or dark browned.
If the pommel was used as a hammer - I will sand away all dents.
The whole blade will be re ground and polished. The fuller groves are done by mini hand grinder so will not be perfectly ripple free.
Flat or Hollow ground for getting the used up fat edge to a new, working thickness.
If the rust pits were too deep to completely grind off (that would make the blade too thin) I get the metal parts bead blasted for frosty finish.
That will also clean out and blend in the remainder of the pits. The gun blue will finish the metal for good military look and some rust protection.

If the blade is supper rusty, or have very deep rust pits, it will require considerably more time and resources to make it look presentable again. 90% of all repairs required the total regrind.
There is no guarantee that I will be able to remove all the rust pits, since some can go right through the blade.
Stainless steel containing iron is prone to microscopic rust, forming worm holes sometimes right through the blade.
These are invisible to naked eye, and show as wash out lines after polishing, as the polishing wheel catches the edge of these holes.
Grinding the blade down eliminates only large pit rust from the surface.
If these micro pits are present, no mirror polish is possible, also this blade will rust despite being made out of "stainless" steel.
These pits are the result of a poor alloy, as not all the iron particles do form carbides and are free.



Discontinued repairs:



Western Boulder Colorado knives
I will no longer repair this brand of knives.
This 50 years + old twin tang design results in premature leather washer demise. Factory does not ever glue handles to seal moisture getting to tangs.
The tangs swell with rust and the leather washers just crumble off the handle like a dry toast.
The leather washers and spacers require to be shaped like a letter "H" that I do have to painstakingly cut by hand on every piece.
It is not standard so there are no washers like that ready on the market.
This job would require me to have carving leather on hand just for this possible repair, which I do not have, and am not planning to purchase.

Multi tools with 2 or more springs
Example - Swiss Army and Scout's knives. I have no factory precision jigs for reassembly of so many layers with loaded springs.

Real Mother Of Pearl
This handle material comprises of the stack of supper thin layers so it is supper brittle.
More so than a paper thin sheets of glass.
Master pin is located so close to the edge of the scale, in the mid top of the knife, that any pressure of the pin ever so slightly damaged by insertion will break it.
After the break - it is back to square 1 - dismantling the knife to attach the new set of MOP scales and then reassembly all over again.
Chance of breaking the scale without the factory jig is over 90%.
Too expensive to purchase for replacement, work time is super stressful, triple, compared to working with other materials.

The note about maker's markings/logos:

Manufacturer's logos, trademarks or any other Etched markings, or shallow stamping not deep enough, will be totally obliterated by any blade sanding.
The deep etch in black will loose the distinct black color, as the carbon soot wipes readily off.


I can't repair molded plastic, or molded rubber handles

A large portion of old cutlery was manufactured out of plain hard carbon steel, then chrome plated.
Any re shaping, like broken off tips, requires that the blade be correctly tapered /thinned and polished.
The chrome plating will be polished off, there is no way around it. The blade will stain, as it is just a cheap high carbon steel.
You do have the option is to have it re-chromed after, at the Chrome plating shop near you, use the Casey gun Blue to make it somewhat rust resistant.
Or just put up with cleaning it with Comet/Ajax when it does get stained.


Folder repairs

To refurbish the folder, it has to be taken down, pried and broken apart, hopefully without damaging liners or bolsters beyond repair.

New type liner-locks assembled with screws:
I do not keep any screw inventory, so if you lost one you got to look online for same.
Any other repairs considered only after I know all it is to know about the knife - spell it all out on the form.

SERIOUS NOTE:

THE ORIGINAL SCALES WILL BE DESTROYED, EVEN IF ONLY FEW YEARS OLD.

Vintage knives - about Celluloid scales

Even if you knife is in brand new, or mint condition without a blemish, and you would like only a scale replaced, the folder has to be taken totally apart.
The new scales has to be glued on, and then riveted to liners - riveting means forming heads on both ends of the pins with the hammer - one head visible on the outside of the scale, the other is ground flush in a countersunk hole on the inside.
Refurbishing consist of total disassembly - cleaning, polishing the liners, back spring/lock bars, sanding, polishing and sharpening all blades, sanding flat inside of old scales for the perfect fit.
Scales get glued on this time, and are secured with new pin rivets.
All main new pins are machined to fit - no idea where the factories get their oddball pin sizes as no knife making supplies sell them. Then pins are riveted with 0.005" clearance to achieve smooth blade action without slop.
I can make you a new blade if you are unable to get the replacement from the manufacturer. The shape will be close to the original, but no markings on it. When the broken blade part is missing, I make a new custom blade shape to fit the handle.
I can cut a rectangular, straight nail notch/slot freehand if absolutely necessary.
I use 440-C, hardened and tempered to about 59 RC, for blades and springs, but will use other materials, if requested, available, or supplied by you.
Of course all of this work takes much time, and therefore is not cheap, or free.
The repair costs can exceed the actual purchase price, sometimes several times over.
You do have an option just to throw your knife away and go purchase another knife, or keep old one and cruise garage sales or auctions for the same model with needed parts intact, or in better shape than yours. Than use it to make one good knife out of two.
The basic cost of scales includes only any of the exotic woods I have on hand.
For many knives even my cheapest scales will be a Cadillac replacement for the factory ones. Speciality scales like Abalone, Turtle, Fossil or mammoth Ivory etc will cost you extra, and these are really expensive.
No real Elephant Ivory, legal or pre-ban can be transported to foreign country, choose from many alternatives.
You can save quite a few dollars by getting your special scales yourself - from knife making supplies online stores - than mailing them with the knife.

Animated bullet   Customer comments on my repair   Animated bullet

When you receive your knife, please include your Comments to your Received confirmation email
Note
Always thoroughly dry your knife and sheath/case after washing or getting it wet before tucking it away.
Do not store your knives in their leather sheath if even moist.
This moisture / condensation leaches out the remnants of tanning acids from leather, and that causes much rust..


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