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  #46  
Old 09-05-2018, 07:24 PM
Ta2bill Ta2bill is offline
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Sam, I know that you remember this little guy in my collection!



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  #47  
Old 09-05-2018, 07:34 PM
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As you can see, those communication cables that were released before launch we're probably toast. So they were sectioned up and distributed as momentos.
Just think, there is a Randall on top of that Roman candle!

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  #48  
Old 09-05-2018, 07:36 PM
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Yes I do remember that one Bill! Great find.
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  #49  
Old 09-05-2018, 11:14 PM
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Joe, upon your urging me to reread page 188 Gaddis', I did that. As you noted in an earlier post, on page 184 Gaddis' concludes from all available evidence that on ALL flights the Astro had scales on.
Then on page 188 Gaddis' indicates that:
"From the very beginning, Randall literature indicated that these knives were carried by the astronauts without the Micarta handle pieces. Bo even stated this in a letter to a customer dated 27 December 1961."

Gaddis goes on to say:
"But we have seen the photo of the original 9 Astros sent to Cooper for the project Mercury Men, and these have their Micarta handle pieces bolted in place"

Joe, by Dec 1961, only suborbital flights had been made by Shepard and Grissom. The Orbital flights starting with Glenn didn't begin until February 1962, after Bo wrote his letter to the customer,

Later on page 188 Gaddis' states that it was his guess that each man may have been allowed to do as he thought best in regard to the Micarta.
We know that in the 2 suborbital flights, the knife was stored in the hatch. With the payload restriction of the Redstone booster, there was severe restrictions on weight. On the Orbital flights with the more powerful Atlas booster, the astronauts carried their knives in the survival pack.
It seems that Gaddis' concluded that ALL knives were carried with scales on, based on the photos pre shipment, with the later caveat that each man could make his own decision in that regard.

Then we have Bo Randall stating that Alan Shepard flew his without scales on, and wrote a letter to a customer to that effect.
How Bo had knowledge that Shepard flew his without scales I do not know, but with Bo stating it In his advertisement, and making paperweights and tie clips without scales to illustrate that, that's provenance enough for me to believe that the 1st Randall in space didn't have scales.
We know now that Grissom and at least Gordon Cooper flew theirs with scales on.

Joe, you noted earlier that:

"The paperweight and tie clip I am not sure are a basis for anything of substance. It is apparent Bo liked the design, to include it seems the tang material removed and he also apparently liked the drilled holes for attachment of a scaled (or tenite) handle material. So perhaps he simply liked the look of the overall design in its stripped down form. "

It was more than that Joe. Bo claimed that Shepard flew it without the scales. A letter to a customer stated that.

This was my only point, that the scaleless Astro has it's place in Randall history, rather than "merely a side note", it made history as the first in space. Give it it's due.

Question, have you ever seen an early Astro made for the public that came with the early brown Micarta in a canteen snap Johnson sheath?
They have to be out there don't you think? I don't recall seeing one, but I know you have observed many more Astros than I have. If so, pics would be great.
Thanks Joe, and as always, I enjoy sparring with you. You are an asset to the community....
Sam
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  #50  
Old 09-06-2018, 07:58 AM
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Bo Randall features the Astro without scales in every catalog, in the world famous knives section from 1961-85. The catalog changed format in 1988.
Interesting that he didn't feature the knife with scales in that section, so I suspect that scaleless version of the Astro was a bit more than a "side note" in his mind.
Joe, if your side note comment was aimed at overall production of the scaleless model, you seem to be right, as I have only seen 1 surface, but to say it's a minor side note to The "history" of the model, imo is not correct, as stated earlier, Mr Randall claimed it was carried by Alan Shepard, the first American in space, without scales. So historically, it occupies a prominent place in the history of the model.

I think that possibly part of the reason for the lack of sales and interest, may be due to the fact that it doesn't have scales. You typically see knives with handles of some sort. As you commented earlier, "it's not practical without scales". the point is that it wasn't marketed as something to be used as a tool, it was marketed as a momento, a replica of the first knife in space.
Most of the criticism that I've heard about the knife over the years is about the handle. The point is, It was a replica, a momento. It obviously has been found useful by some, the brown Micarta that I own was used by a Merchant Marine.

Last edited by samg; 09-06-2018 at 08:20 AM.
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  #51  
Old 09-06-2018, 08:13 AM
crutchtip crutchtip is offline
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Sam =

There ya go. Scales, no scales. Scales, no scales. Again, to me, it just isn't that big of a deal that one of the boys may or may not have taken the scales off. I think the important thing is the intent of the design and it coming to fruition the rules the day.


I do not recall seeing an Astro that was made for the general public in a canteen snap sheath. The knives were not available through normal channels when the sheaths were being used. Come to think of it, I don't know if I have seen one in a double brown button sheath. That being the case, it would lend itself to orders for the knife prior to that period were ordered w/o sheaths for display (very,very few) with a bigger influx by late 63 into 64 when the 'standard' split-back with harness rivets was in play.

Just read this in Gaddis on page 187. The knife was offered to the public as the model 17 in May of 1963, generally well beyond the canteen snap era and in to the standard split-back period. So, that would put it beyond the dbl brown also for all practical purposes. It would be interesting if one showed up that was legit, and probably the earliest delivered to the general public with a sheath.

Last edited by crutchtip; 09-06-2018 at 08:15 AM.
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  #52  
Old 09-06-2018, 10:35 AM
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There was a double brown button in Hunts book. You are probably right about the canteen snap sheath, but I would think there would be public sold early brown Micarta perhaps with or without sheath, as we know they were made for customers prior to the 1963 catalog.
The hunt is on. Part of the joy of vintage Randalls.
Thanks Joe.

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  #53  
Old 09-06-2018, 10:56 AM
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Does the Astro in Hunts book appear to have the early brown Micarta in your opinion? The pictured knife looks very much like the one on the left that I own, but it definitely has the later mid-60's brownies Micarta.I have noticed much variation in the distance between bolt holes in these Astros. perhaps due to the fact that they were hand done. Don't know if they had a standardized jig that they used for that, but there are definitely differences.



This brown Micarta below has a different spacing for the bolts. The front hole seems to be relatively the same, but the back one is closer to the thong hole on the 2 pictured together. I have noticed that on the early training Astros too.



It seems these early training Astros had larger cavities for the astronauts. Mine is not as large, but larger than the standard of later years. This would explain the greater distance between bolts.


Last edited by samg; 09-06-2018 at 12:17 PM.
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  #54  
Old 09-06-2018, 09:04 PM
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Here are a couple more early Astros, including one with a lift a dot sheath





Here is an early Astro with a lift a dot sheath.



Interesting about the above photo with the lift a dot sheath is the bevel on the Micarta slab. It has a narrower flat surface than any that I have seen.

Here it is with a typical handle.






I was illustrating in an earlier post about how close the back bolt was to the thing hole to facilitate the larger tang storage cavity. It appears that the earlier Astros had this similarity. I will track other Astros to see if that observation holds up.




Regards, Sam
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  #55  
Old 09-06-2018, 10:43 PM
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Interesting photo of a Astro tie clip on it's original card from the shop.

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  #56  
Old 09-07-2018, 07:48 AM
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It seems that the bolt locations on the handle of these Astros varied in the early years. With the exception of the solingen training knives. The rear bolt of those were very close to the thong hole, obviously because of the larger size of the cavity.

Gordon Cooper's personal knife had a regular sized cavity.



The NASA training knives had larger cavities, resulting in the close relationship of the rear 2 holes.
















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  #57  
Old Today, 02:46 PM
Ta2bill Ta2bill is offline
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How about the final word on the first knives directly from Bo Randall?

Also another interesting Astro with an Andy Thornal flare!



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