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  #61  
Old 03-29-2016, 01:39 PM
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Jacknola Jacknola is offline
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Well, the ground-down Solingen (above) sold for $470..they had 19 bidders, which just proves that a lot of people don't read what is posted here. $470 just for the altered knife? .. because the Byrd sheath is not worth much ... For that price he could have gotten something good ... 1973 tooth 14, or 1-7 Fighter, or something. Oh well...

Last edited by Jacknola; 07-28-2017 at 12:08 PM.
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  #62  
Old 03-29-2016, 01:51 PM
Sligo Sligo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacknola View Post


Well, the ground-down Solingen (above) sold for $470..they had 19 bidders, which just proves that a lot of people don't read what is posted here. $470 just for the altered knife? .. because the Byrd sheath is not worth much ... For that price he could have gotten something good ... 1973 tooth 14, or 1-7 Fighter, or something. Oh well...
Directly, I've been following this also and thought the same.
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  #63  
Old 03-29-2016, 02:22 PM
Ta2bill Ta2bill is offline
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Absolutely! It's incredible what a fool and his money will soon depart on......As I had mentioned earlier, My custom Soligen Model 14 was only $550.00......
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  #64  
Old 03-31-2016, 12:17 PM
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This topic should continue to be about ?vintage model 14s? and I hope others post pictures and stories. However, on the topic of ?dating Solingen Model-14? knives, here are some considerations.

1. Solingen blades were ordered through a broker in W. Germany. He farmed out the manufacture in the town of Solingen, the cutlery center of Germany. That area has many blade manufacturing companies, but there is no written evidence who the manufacturer(s) were... unless the information is in the original Randall records. The Solingen blades were likely forged in 500 blade batches, per Gaddis.

2. The ?Solingen? part of the logo just indicates a town or region, not a manufacturer. In fact, they may not have all been made by the same manufacturer.

3. It is likely that considerable time elapsed between making a blade in Germany and final polish and assembling that knife at the Randall shop. Therefore, even if each batch of Solingen blades could be traced to time and manufacturer, it might not have any connection to when they were finished and sold.

4. Apparently the etched Randall-Made/Solingen logo was applied at the Randall shop while any cross-ricasso ?stamp? was applied in Germany.

5. There are observable differences in blade grinds. However, Gaddis stated that the shop had to do extensive individual finishing on each blade, so differences may be systemic.

I thought perhaps the different batches of blades might have a discernable variation in main blade grind , maybe the depth of the primary bevel. Examining maybe 50 pictures of Solingen 14s dating from about 1963 to 1971, the clip grinds seem somewhat different but I can't make any firm conclusions. Here are a collage ranging from about 1958-1971 or so.



6. The etched Randall-made/ Solingen logos on 14s has some group differences. This can be seen in the picture below where two of the logos have a smear in the ?E? and an anomaly in the ?N?. But I can?t find a way to use that to define age. One reason is that I have no idea how or when an etched logo is applied to the blade. Also we don't really know the steps that the shop went through to prepare a Solingen blade for delivery. It may be that the shop randomly chose a blade to be finished to fill an order.... So I don?t think differences in logo can be correlated to other minor differences in the blade grind, shape, etc., and thus to time finished and shipped.



7. The 500 original blades delivered in early 1955 are assumed to all have been marked across the ricasso (see example below). However, I?ve only seen pictures of about 6-7 Model 14s that were marked this way, including one in Hunt?s ?Military Models? that had a unique top blade line. Given so few have been exhibited, perhaps that assumption is flawed, or they were used for early 18s, etc. It should be noted that the cross-ricasso stamped blades can be firmly dated from about 1955 throughout late '50s, to at least 1963. These stamps are seen on some of the earliest model 17s and 18s too which were made from re-ground Solingen 14s/15s.



Anyway, I don?t think it is worthwhile to chase Solingen blade shapes or stamps to define age groups.

Postscript - the altered grind "Solingen" blade recently sold on E-bay (see discussion above) has some serious problems beyond just the alteration of the clip ... the primary bevel and other grind characteristics may be questionable, though the oddities may just be photo angle.

Last edited by Jacknola; 07-28-2017 at 12:09 PM.
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  #65  
Old 04-01-2016, 06:37 PM
Ta2bill Ta2bill is offline
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Here you go Jack! Check out the pronounced "hump" on this old girl! The gold paracord makes this one easy to date.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/RANDALL-MADE...torefresh=true
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  #66  
Old 04-01-2016, 07:30 PM
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Ah yesssss.... Here is the beauty, well used like 45 year old Model 14s are supposed to be...and carbon steel rather than stainless, unusual that late when stainless ruled the jungle. This guy was deployed after 1970...maybe... I have less then full faith in cords and stones in well used knives, and the earlier green paracord looks very "gold" when weathered and faded. This one shows the shiny back of lots of sweat. Love it and will watch this auction with interest. Note the high peak on the "hump." Hummmm... carbon Solingen... hummmm




Last edited by Jacknola; 07-28-2017 at 12:09 PM.
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  #67  
Old 04-01-2016, 08:47 PM
Ta2bill Ta2bill is offline
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The gold cord was supposedly used between 71/72. Lined thong holes came about at the end of this period. (late 72) It all fits!
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  #68  
Old 04-01-2016, 10:11 PM
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Looks like my brother was right. He was very confident that he ordered his saw-teeth Model 14 from the catalog in Dec 1965 or Jan 1966. However, conventional wisdom has it that ST were not cataloged for 14s until the 18th printing in 1967-8 or so. I checked the part of the 17th catalog I have saved and it doesn't seem to list ST as an option for the model 14 - though of course it does for the 18. BUT...

Gaddis, p 221: "In the 'Extra Features' section of the seventeenth printing of the catalog were a couple of new additions that customers in the military welcomed. These were Model 18-style sawteeth now available on Models 1, 14, 15, and 16, plus the inclusion of stainless steel blades, both Randall Made and Solingen, for the popular Model 18... In many respects these new options were just catching up with current requests from the men in Vietnam, but it was helpful to formally add them to the list."

I do not have this "Extra Features" section of the 17th and don't know where to find a full digital copy, ... but if Gaddis wrote it he must have had the documentation. I guess the conventionally repeated wisdom about the 1967 first availability of ST in the catalog could be erroneous. Funny how even "common knowledge" about little things can be questionable.

Last edited by Jacknola; 04-02-2016 at 05:24 PM.
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  #69  
Old 04-02-2016, 05:53 PM
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If you don't look, you cannot discover. I hate it when I overlook something and my brother turns out to have been right. Of course I have that page from the 17th catalog, which was first printed mid-1965. Now I wonder where the idea that ST options was not cataloged until the 18th came from? Here is the 17th.






Last edited by Jacknola; 07-28-2017 at 12:10 PM.
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  #70  
Old 04-12-2016, 06:39 PM
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OK, I've partially identified the source of the "ST option not offered until 1967, 18th catalog" misinformation. Gaddis of course accurately identified the the 17th as being the first catalog to list the option for the M-14, and Sheldon's book, p. 78, echoes Gaddis.

However, Hunt, writing in Randall Military Models, p. 156, said: "Note that saw teeth are rare on a Model 14 from this period [1964-65] and not offered as an option until the eighteenth printing of the catalog in 1967." The same mantra has been repeated in several discussion lines dating back 10 years or more on various chat boards.

I suspected that when the old guard began discussing age estimation of Randall knives in the pre-internet era, the group just adopted the "Model 14 ST option first offered 18th printing" and it became doctrine. I originally thought this was because the ST option in the 17th was not listed with the knife itself, but rather was in the "Extra Features" section. Furthermore, the M-14 listing in the 17th Catalog specifically said that Micarta, etching, and escutcheon plate were the only options available for the M-14. So it would be a reasonable assumption that the original old guard smply missed something.

BUT... looking further, it seems that the shop-17th Catalog was different from the catalog sent to and used by at least some dealers. For instance the Dick Van Sickle 17th Catalog does not seem to have the sawtooth option listed at all. So, no wonder confusing, contradictory, and erroneous assumptions have been repeated through the years. Those guys could have been basing their opinions on the wrong catalog!

It is a small point, true... but it is nice to fill in blanks no matter how trivial, and to me, knowing the mysteries of the M-14 from 1955 to 1972 is fun. Anyway, another mystery solved.

Here are the relevant pages from Dick Van Sickle's 17th catalog. Also of note in the catalog, the knives do not have prices listed.


Last edited by Jacknola; 07-28-2017 at 12:10 PM.
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  #71  
Old 04-13-2016, 06:21 AM
Ta2bill Ta2bill is offline
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Thank you for all of the hard work and effort that you have put into your research on this and all of the other various studies! It goes on without much fanfare, but for me, it is much appreciated!

I have a vast amount of older catalogs, but none from the Dick Van Sickle shop. I have several of Tom Clinton's catalogs though. Maybe now, since this last set of framed catalogs is nearing completion, I will have to start collecting catalogs from the various dealers thru the years.......Thanks for adding to my addiction once again Jack! lol
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  #72  
Old 04-13-2016, 09:09 AM
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Bill, the definition of "addiction" is: "Despite all evidence and consequence, you continue to do it." You are not alone. I'm starting a 12 step program. Step 1 is admit you have a problem, step 2 is send me all your knives for safe-keeping to remove the temptation.

What I really want is for you to post your vintage 14s. But I hate the tiny format of the in-house server. I can talk you through setting up and using photobucket which would allow you to post bigger pictures, post the same picture on various boards, re-post pictures later, etc. Could do it by phone easily if you would like to call some evening. Regards.

What is left to discover about M-14s? Random thoughts...
  • When and for how long were the extra long guards used?
  • Exactly when did the split-backs evolve into the rough back?
There should have been an exact date but no one has ever documented it... it seems as if everyone just waves their hand and says "about 1965-66"... that is a pretty big wave of the hand.
  • Need library - more pictures of M-14s in action in Vietnam...it was probably the most appreciated knife in the war, must be pictures out there.
  • Were there any "SS" marked Model 14s made?
  • How about this... do you know what the shop paid for each M-14 Solingen blade? Or what the cost of manufacturing each M-14 Solingen blade was? I have a good idea backed by some data, will post this evening.

Anyway, I'm going to add pictures of a few more vintage Model 14s as time permits.

Last edited by Jacknola; 04-13-2016 at 11:27 AM.
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  #73  
Old 04-13-2016, 01:35 PM
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Long post with some more deep-background thoughts about the Solingen 14. Directionally it is correct. Individual conclusions may be problematic.

Only in the 15th and 16th catalogs (distributed 1962-63 ? see 15th catalog above) did Randall offer to sell just the Solingen Model-14 blade. Though the price of a completed Solingen 14 knife (without sheath) went from $18.50 in the 15th to $20.00 in the 16th catalog, the price of just the Solingen blade remained the same at $8.50.

We can draw a lot of logical conclusions from the above data.

Assuming that the shop margin was 50-percent (note: standard sales methodology of the time used Cost/Price = markup), the total cost of making the Solingen-14 knife could have been no more than about $10-$12 including materials and labor. Remember, the Solingen blades being offered in the catalogs for $8.50 were all probably acquired in 1955, probably for a cost of less than $4.00/blade, and could have been half that. This would leave at least $6-$8 for additional labor and materials to make a finished knife offered for this price? which should have provided a margin for standard profitable manufacture, assuming sale for $18.50.

I believe Randall was offering the Solingen-14 blade in 1962-63 as a discount way to clear out the Solingen inventory which had originally been acquired in 1955. Then in 1963 the shop created another use for the Solingen blades, as Model-18s. Shortly thereafter, the war heated up and the shop suddenly needed more, not fewer, Solingen blades. This would be about the time Randall began ordering additional M-14 Solingens and etching them with the Randall-made/Solingen logo in the shop (Note: RMK shop acquired their own etching machine in 1960-61 or so).

I speculate that the offer of blade-only was removed from catalogs subsequent to the 16th (though the blade-only cost was included in the ?Kit? insert) because of the increased demand for completed knifes.

In the 15th/16th catalog (see above) Randall suggested using tape, rivets, bolts, plastic, wood, etc., to make a handle for the naked Solingen blade. I?ve attached a picture that I believe shows a surviving example of such an attempt in the early 1960s.

Last edited by Jacknola; 07-28-2017 at 12:11 PM.
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  #74  
Old 04-13-2016, 06:01 PM
Ta2bill Ta2bill is offline
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Solingen Model 14 blade



Just sent one of these off to James Behring for a makeover....

Last edited by Ta2bill; 04-13-2016 at 06:22 PM.
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  #75  
Old 04-13-2016, 07:09 PM
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Hey...!! I think I stole that picture off the internet for my earlier collage. Glad I stole it from a good guy.

This blank is great... can't tell the time-span though. I suspect it would be later in the Vietnam era just because.

This one is a little unusual because it has the etched logo applied. I've seen pictures of several Solingen blanks that did not have the logo. I assume the logo was applied after finishing of the blade was completed and it was ready to have handle and hardware installed, which could make this one a marker of sorts for further study. Another interesting thing, often the squared-off front of the Solingen blade choll was radiused by the shop during finishing. This one was left as a right-angle.

I might have another Viet era Solingen to post tomorrow. Can't wait to see what shows up. Regards.

Last edited by Jacknola; 04-14-2016 at 09:19 AM.
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