View Full Version : Found an Old Hickory Butcher Knife today
07-17-2010, 11:35 PM
It turns out actually to be an old carbon Case XX. Its a little pitty and the handle and all is in decent shape. It could be shown some TLC and make a fine/decent old knife.
What should I do, clean it up or leave it as is, it'll probably just go in the knife box. Or, does it really matter anyway. Only give half of a ten dollar bill for it.
Needless to say it will get a sheath :)
07-18-2010, 08:31 AM
You said the magic name Case XX. Myself I`d clean it with 0000 stel wool, straighten any bent areas then put an edge on it and enjoy a fine knife. Remember to clean it after using and put a light coat of cooking oil on it to prevent further rusting.Robert
07-18-2010, 09:13 AM
I'd do the same as HC416taylor, but use mineral oil. MO won't go rancid.
I'll make it three votes for the cautious use of 0000 steel wool, oil and elbow grease.
Many old blades can be re-finished to a new looking condition but it's much harder than it sounds. The risks of changing the original, subtle factory surface profiles are very great. Nothing wrong with leaving the "experienced" patina on a blade.
07-18-2010, 11:34 AM
The patina is as good a rust inhibitor as there is for carbon steel.
07-18-2010, 06:43 PM
Thanks guys!. I hadn't looked at this post since I started it. Huh, only moments before now I got the ol knife out and first I going to make the edge uniform through out the length of the blade. That won't take too long to even things up (minor pitting/dents on the edge surface) before I start putting and edge on it.
As usual I'll probably post a pic when it done. Note, I will keep most of the original patina in place but it will be sharp. I just hate to deface anything .... vintage.
07-28-2010, 03:46 AM
I just got to sharpen a Case XX last evening. Nice iron blade and the patina was even over the full length. If it were mine, I'd clean it gently to remove any obvious rust and give it a good sharpening. After that it would get used in the kitchen. The one I sharpened would be a good general purpose blade.
07-29-2010, 07:14 AM
Well I've cleaned it up as about much as its going to get. The only other thing I'm gonna to do with is sharpening it up to a good edge. Right now it won't cut paper. The edge Pitts came our rather easy so now, its about time to break out the DMT Whetstone again.
I will be making Sheath though.
Question,,,,,,,, anyone else have one of these or a Set
07-29-2010, 07:28 AM
These are great sharpeners for exactly that knife.
They work great.
07-29-2010, 05:42 PM
Unless I just missed it, the only thing missing was the price.
07-29-2010, 06:07 PM
They are about 6$.
I can get you one, the vedor right next to us has them.
I love mine.
I like it for what it is! I've always liked those surface hammer forging ridges- either real of faux- no matter. The hilt slabs look to be in really good shape too. The edge profile looks a little blunt and rounded- might try something like a Lansky to knock that angle down. Then it will be relatively easy to keep sharp.
07-29-2010, 08:33 PM
Looks great Sprue, Ive got a knife and cleaver like that, looks about the same, maybe a few less pits but the same "patina" I think both were yard sale finds and I love em. I use em in the kitchen
07-30-2010, 05:00 AM
Old Hickory are still available, but I don't think Case makes them!
07-30-2010, 09:14 AM
Bought my wife a set of them soon after we wed. Been chased with them, but never caught.
Their still hanging on the wall, by the stove, in a cherry holder I made many years ago, and the wife just cuts meat and veggies with them. They sure hold a good edge if properly used and cared for.
My Daughter has her name on the back of the knife block, so they will be appreciated for yet another generation at least.
Some good things, and gals, last a very long time.
08-04-2010, 10:11 AM
I've got a couple of Old Hickory knives, the oldest are just stamped Ontario Knife Works. (or something like that) One looks exactly like yours. Despite having several knives in the $100+ range, I still use the Old Hickory knives for cleaning and butchering deer due to the sharpness, ease of sharpening and blade shape.
09-13-2010, 08:31 PM
Got one looks like yours, handle is stamped Old Hickory, Blade is stamped Ontario Knife Co, Made in USA. Had it since forever and use it almost dayly in the kitchen for cutting meat, cooked or raw. Takes and holds an edge better than anything elce I have, A few strokes on a butcher steel and it is ready to work.
01-06-2011, 02:51 PM
I just noticed new old hickory knives at a hardware here. I bought three different ones and was sure dissapointed when I took them out of the packaging. A butter knife has as good of an edge as the new ones, I suspect they will be good after sharpened though.
01-08-2011, 11:26 PM
That butcher knife looks just like the one my mother-in-law used to cut down the ceiling in the old apartment after the loose plaster (which she had unsuccessfully asked her husband to take care of for many months) finally came down on its own, right in the middle of the table!
One of our cherished family stories. I have great visuals of her climbing up on the kitchen table in order to reach that 10-ft ceiling. All after left for work, of course!
02-02-2011, 10:42 AM
The ridges are there to impell air into the cut, thus making it easier to slit the knife in really big cuts. Ie the meat wont cling to the steel.
A more modern way to do it:
02-04-2011, 03:08 PM
My wife and I bought a small house in Great Falls back in 1976. The little old lady who owned it left this chef's knife in a drawer in the kitchen.
The only marking to be seen is on the handle.
Where there is the number 48910 and the name DEXTER.
This blade is made of extremely good steel...with a remarkable temper.
It is as flexible as a filet knife, especially out in the third closest to the tip.
Thin as paper at the front, the steel rings like a sword blade when struck, or swiped across something hard like a cutting board.
It has the patina that was honestly earned before we got it, and fills the chef's knife slot in a knife block full of Chicago Cutlery blades.
02-07-2011, 11:14 PM
Had to dig into the website a bit but looks like they get $6.90 for that sharpener.
Scroll down a bit and you'll see it.
02-08-2011, 07:07 AM
These are great sharpeners for exactly that knife.
They work great.
+1 for the Rada sharpeners. I have a couple. They are cheap and work for me for my old carbon steel knives.
02-11-2011, 07:15 PM
You guys should try the Lansky sharpener, or another brand of that same type.
02-16-2011, 11:10 AM
Hey, I just saw some of these on Gunbroker. A whole set of them for thirty something bucks. Hold on, I'll go look for it.
Yup, no bids and relisted again.
Obviously not a vintage set but still made by Ontario Knife Co.
And no, the auction is not mine and I've got nothing to do with it.
02-16-2011, 07:12 PM
Dexter makes those really noisy spatulas that the Shogun, Benihana, Fuji, etc. chefs use on the big hibachis. I have one, and it is my favorite spatula. I use in in the skillet, on the BBQ, everywhere!
09-10-2011, 05:20 AM
my grandfather used these to butcher hogs w/in the great depression in west texas. only income the family had. i recently inherited em. from what i can tell from research they were made in the 1880's. love em! bottom one was his elk skinning knife.
09-10-2011, 06:31 PM
When I was a teenager I found an old Case XX Old Hickory butcher knife behind the house in a pile of junk. The wooden scales were about gone but I managed to salvage the blade. I oiled it good and put it in an old box. I'll have to go take a look for it, might make a fun winter project.
Incidentally, I also found an old butcher knife my great grandmother used to use. She passed away in the mid 70s. I was using a metal detector at the place we used to live (her old house) a few years ago and got a good hit, right next to where a big ol' rose bush used to grow in the little garden in the nook of the house. Lo and behold, I dig up a butcher knife. I was laughing about it when I showed Dad, wondering how it got there. Dad told me my great grandmother did most of her gardening with a butcher knife instead of a hand trowel. That gal was very close to 6 foot tall and quite a lady.
My grandmother tells the story that when she first married my grandfather a gypsy/begger came by my great grandmother's place and asked for a "wee small piece of meat." Great Grandma went to the smokehouse with a butcher knife and hacked off a small chunk of meat. When she turned around the gal told Great Grandma she wanted "a big chunk". My Great Grandmother waggled that butcher knife at the gal and told her to leave just right now, leaving little to the imagination as to what her insuation was.
That was the same lady who chased my grandpa back to the house with a willow switch when he tried to follow his father to town when he was a kid in the 20s.
I can just imagine the lady I mostly remember from pictures, standing to the door of the smokehouse, hair curled tight in a simple flower print dress and shaking a butcher knife and warning her off. That's just a short jaunt from the rose garden and I'd sure like to think it was the same knife. Probably isn't but I'd sure like to think it's the same knife. Hell of a funny story in anyway.
09-11-2011, 08:47 AM
I have the blade of an old hickory butcher knife here somewhere.
I bought it as NOS from a now defunct hardware store back in 1980. Price was less than two bucks.
The handles got mostly burned away when my nephew left it on a store eye.
I'd intended to put new handles on it for many years, but packed it away and forgot it.
These original Old Hickory knives were dirt cheap but the steel will usually take a razors edge and is as hard as a drill bit.
I started a small skinner blade made from an old broken Old Hickory blade , still have it as well.
Only reason that blade broke was blood rust eating through at the handle after decades of lying in a shed uncleaned, then being used as a throwing knife by three generations of kids.
When drilling holes for scale rivets I had to first use a ball grinder to break the surface, then use the hardest bit I could find.
09-11-2011, 10:18 AM
Years ago, I had a professional chief tell me how he maintained carbon blades. He took a wine cork and some toothpaste and gave the blades a brisk rub. It will clean off any junk and leave the blade smooth and with the patina intact. I also do this on my carbon blade pocket knifes.
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