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Historical Inspiration This forum is dedicated to the discussion of historical knife design and its influence on modern custom knife work.

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Old 09-11-2009, 11:02 AM
Andrew Garrett's Avatar
Andrew Garrett Andrew Garrett is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Nampa, Idaho
Posts: 3,582
1907 bayonet

I picked up a 1907 bayonet this morning from a coworker who knows I have an old SMLE MKIII that it will fit.

It's in fair shape but the leather portion of the scabbard is trashed, and it has a coat of black spray paint on all the steel parts (yay... ).

Of course, the first thing I do is look up all the crazy stamps and markings (love the internet). It turns out that many dozens of manufactures made these in a handful of contries. Mine is made in Great Britain at the Enfield Armory. The rest of the stamps are pretty hard to read, but I can make out two inspection stamps (perhaps it was refurbished at some point) and the 'GR' stamp for King George. The rest are illegible.

I was watching one of those crime shows on tru TV a while back and they showed how forenic scientists can retrieve the serial number from a weapon even when it has been ground off. It turns out that they just etch it with acid. The areas under the numbers are tool hardened and therefor denser from the stanping process and etch at a different speed making the numbers easily readable even after they are ground off.

I wonder if that process will work for 'weak' stamps too. Any tips for how to mildly strip the paint and lightly etch for any hidden or weak markings?

I plan a full refurbish on this piece, but don't want to remove any markings at all.


Andy Garrett
Charter Member - Kansas Custom Knifemaker's Association

"Drawing your knife from its sheath and using it in the presence of others should be an event complete with oos, ahhs, and questions."
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Old 10-30-2009, 02:27 AM
CWKnifeman CWKnifeman is offline
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Burleson, Texas
Posts: 851
Andy the blades were forge stamped and the marks if any were only put in with a light press.
With numberd on s gun the press used to stamp are normally put in with more pressure than any thing else stamped such as the makers name. most gun body sections are milled and not cast. thus the numbers will still be able to be brought back.
Unlike the blade the opposite is done thus it would be almost implssible for it to work well with the acid.
Curtis Wilson

Curtis Wilson
Wilson's Custom Knives, Engraving, and Scrimshaw
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