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Old 04-22-2014, 11:26 PM
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Jacknola Jacknola is offline
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 625
Below are Rocky Whitaker?s two knives, the brown-button Bowie and the 6? Ark Toothy?both pre-1963, maybe a good bit oder. The pics have been blown up and fooled with to look at the coolie caps. They both appear to have the ?older? profile and both appear to have a hex nut. This is added evidence that there was a general use of hex nuts early, then a change away from hex nuts about mid 60?s, say? 1966.

But what about the incredible symmetric rounded ?nuts?, nuts reshaped to a skull crusher, etc. that began appearing in the late ?60s? How did the shop manage to round off the tang nuts so precisely without damaging the flutes below the nut?

Well, today they might have been created by using an inverted tang nut. The inverted tang nut used by many makers today is already round with a slot on top. It is tightened down with a screwdriver INTO the pommel which simply has a countersunk hole part way through the pommel material.

After installation, to make a round or pointed tip, just file off the excess top part sticking out above the pommel, including the extra tang material, shape it how you want. The excess tang ?nut? portion above the top level of the pommel is already round, it is not a hex nut with the flanges rounded off. Here is a diagram I made to try to illustrate the inverted tang nut for those who don?t know how it is done.

But is this what was done in the mid '60s? Maybe ... maybe not. Some of those "round nuts" look like they were tightened down on top to the pommel flutes, not "growing out of" the pommel. And a comment that Pete from the shop said they rounded off regular hex nuts must be taken into account.

(Note: same source quoted Pete as saying they used regular acorn nuts for reverse tang when they adopted that method... However, that is not assurred. The shop seemed to have transitioned to a "cap" or true "acorn" nut in the early '60s and the hole for the bolt does not transit the cap. Second, I don't think the shop used brass acorn nuts, ever. Third, looking at several "reverse tang nut" pommels and comparing them with late 60s acorn nuts, the "nutted" portion of the reverse tang pommel does not look the right size to have been created by a ground down acorn nut... but those observations are not definitive... they could have been used in some manner... .

But if the shop was using inverted tang nuts in the mid-late '60s, it raises some other questions. This system was not adopted for all other Randall knives until early ?70s, probably about 1971-72. It is specutlative, but possible the inverted tang nut could have been used earlier because the coolie cap was deep enough to allow a counter sunk hole. Perhaps the other pommels might have been too thin to counter sink.

But that is all just speculation ... more examples will help.

Last edited by Jacknola; 07-31-2017 at 03:40 PM.
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