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Old 08-12-2016, 11:50 AM
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Jacknola Jacknola is online now
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Ron, Bill, thanks for the data. It is amazing the details that are revealed when people share info across chat lines instead of being purely confrontational. Thanks again. Small bits of data have a way of spilling over outside of the original subject... Regards.
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Old 09-02-2016, 12:43 PM
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This is trivia about Solingen blades for Randall collectors. I carried a Solingen-14 S (stainless) blade in Vietnam and never could get a good edge on it. My twin brother got a Solingen-14 S while on his second tour after losing his Randall-14 ST. He could not get a good edge on it.

I currently have two Solingen-14 S blades that I cannot get a good edge on. So either the Solingen stainless blades are lousy for being sharp or they are so hard that they cannot be sharpened by standard field methods. But Solingen blades were used for m14s, m15s, m16s, m18s and especially m17s. Why especially m17s? Because if the stainless blades were used for m17s, I doubt they would have been acceptable for NASA except as an ax.

The m17 ordered by NASA were constructed using Solingen blades. These were all made of carbon steel, stamped on the ricasso, from the leftovers of the first batch of Solingen blades delivered to Randall in 1956 (Stainless Solingen was probably not available until after 1963). So... were the NASA Solingens as bad at edge holding as the stainless variety? What about the early Solingen-blade m15s, the early m18s with teeth, etc.?

I have a Solingen-14 carbon blade as well as the two Solingen-14 stainless blades. They are all well used so I couldn't hurt the knives. Therefore I decided to test putting an edge on them. I used the little sharpener shown that I got off E-bay for about $2.00(I was highly impressed with the sharpener/hone and have ordered four more for cheapo Christmas gifts). It has two grind slots, one for edge, one ceramic for hone.

Solingen-14s, carbon and stainless, pocket sharpener, file

Using the pocket sharpener/hone

Opening throat of sharpener because one of the Solingen-14s would bind...indicating the variability of the knives.

One of my Solingen-14 stainless blades would not quite fit into the slot of the little sharpener...The thickness of the blade above the bevel would bind on the plastic insert slot. So I carefully opened the plastic slot up with a file (see picture) until the knife would seat. I then sharpened and sharpend and honed and honed the three blades.

Results: both of the Solingen-14 stainless blades had a better edge after considerable work, but honestly, both were still pretty dull, ax-like. However, the Solingen-14 carbon blade took an edge like a champ, as good as the Randall-made carbon knives. And it has kept the razor sharp edge for some time, easily restored with a few quick swipes through the hone.

From this experiment, I conclude that the Solingen carbon blades were good quality steel knives with a solid edge holding characteristics. This is probably why they were acceptable to NASA in their m17 form and why Randall used them in the first place. However, the Solingen-stainless blades sucked at being turned into a sharp knife, at least with standard tools available to the user. I suspect the shop knew it but during Vietnam era they pretty much were just pushing products out the door.

I am going to try one more time to put a good edge on one of the Solingen-14 stainless blades. They were already attempted sharpened, scarred up some, so it will not further damage the blade. This time I'll use a very hard stone and a professional method. However I suspect the steel is not very good for the purpose of a knife.

Just another piece of data for collectors to put into the trivia book. Ciao.

Last edited by Jacknola; 07-28-2017 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 09-02-2016, 06:26 PM
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My stainless Solingen 15 Airman takes quite a good edge, unlike your 14's. It will liberate hairs from my arm. I don't understand why there would be any difference between it and your 14's.
I wish I still had my stainless Solingen Model 18. My recollection is that it took a good edge and held it fairly well--BUT it was stolen many years ago, so I can't confirm this today.
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Old 07-28-2017, 12:32 PM
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Another line restored. I just hope the rest of the hosting sites don't do the same thing.

Last edited by Jacknola; 08-12-2017 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 07-28-2017, 05:45 PM
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Moosehead Moosehead is offline
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Hi Jack!

Thanks very much for restoring all of your photos to this very informative thread!

I'm sure it is a tedious task, but it's very worthwhile and a great benefit to serious RMK collectors.



It takes less effort to smile than to frown !
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Old 08-12-2017, 05:47 PM
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Well, I just had to have another m14 Vietnam era sawthooth knife...

Help me because I'm forgetful in my old age... do I already have some of these sawtooth thingees and don't m14s look pretty much alike?

Uhhhh... yes I do and yes they kinda do look alike... but there is an important difference (at least to me) in this one ...

Last edited by Jacknola; 08-13-2017 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 08-12-2017, 07:41 PM
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Awesome pieces of Randall history Jack!
Is the important difference to you:
1) unmarked stainless?
2) carbon
3) escutcheon plate and or initials?
4) Handle material? The top two appear to be micarta, but your new one doesn't have that grainy look.

Regards, Sam

Last edited by samg; 08-12-2017 at 07:43 PM.
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Old 08-12-2017, 07:46 PM
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Jacknola Jacknola is online now
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The key is....Orlando sawteeth CARBON... other things are cool but this is unusual and fits a catagory. Good eyes. There are eight different Vietnam era riveted-sheath blade types

M14 Orlando stainless
M14 Orlando sawteeth stainless ✔️
M14 Orlando carbon ✔️✔️✔️
M14 Orlando sawteeth carbon ✔️

M14 Solingen stainless ✔️✔️
M14 Solingen sawteeth stainless ✔️
M14 Solingen carbon ✔️
M14 Solingen sawteeth carbon ✔️

Other options aren't blade related...maybe one day I'll get interested in other odd m14 handle types, Tenite, brown Micarta, etc.

Last edited by Jacknola; 08-14-2017 at 08:30 PM.
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