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  #1  
Old 10-13-2020, 08:00 PM
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Dating this Model 1-7

Hello, I recently received this Model 1-7 and as far as I was able to search I guess it would be a late 60's to early 70's model. But not sure. Thanks in advance.

121590716-4562408413772528-7811915725735556184-n

121624443-625729391433182-7512190890662054766-n

121510741-686960728922726-959497112887774253-n

121541147-711075819498984-1161530390447552154-n

121666580-257225822399457-4453673744255828438-n

121555864-976196156222532-308289120066060493-n

121614959-655560538474996-7597877598491951949-n

121522386-672839883358929-5757158282808893141-n

121543874-1033816127056985-325701528455239450-n

121549822-464527784507660-4743670074029286331-n


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  #2  
Old 10-14-2020, 10:47 AM
BoBlade BoBlade is offline
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Welcome, Patrick. Great knife in beautiful condition. You can bracket the date within 5 years as follows:

1. The spacers (For this leather handled knife) are "3 thick two thin", which puts it 1972 or earlier.

2. The blade stamp is "Type 3" (See Jacknola thread about dating by blade stamp below). This puts it post 1966.

Good show on the book.

Ron
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  #3  
Old 10-14-2020, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoBlade View Post
Welcome, Patrick. Great knife in beautiful condition. You can bracket the date within 5 years as follows:

1. The spacers (For this leather handled knife) are "3 thick two thin", which puts it 1972 or earlier.

2. The blade stamp is "Type 3" (See Jacknola thread about dating by blade stamp below). This puts it post 1966.

Good show on the book.

Ron
Thanks Ron for the information. I really appreciate it.
I'm happy that I was not too far from what I was thinking.
What I like is the different blade point, that is it more ridged (?).
I like the Model #1 and since the 1990's I used several and this one is different of what you commonly see.

121623688-675433209773356-786199452323004449-n


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  #4  
Old 10-24-2020, 11:15 PM
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Nice knife and BoBlade is always the most reliable commentator. I might postulate age of knife a hair later... 72-73 or so ... because the sheath has only the length number, not model number.

This is not something I’ve delved into or extensively researched. I just have an feeling that the omission of the model stamp number on fighter sheaths (possibly to allow use of same sheath for models 1 and 5 without causing questions from customers) was post US withdrawal from Vietnam in 1973. On the other hand, the white stone might be an anomaly in that case. Also the stitching on the butterfly (closely paralleled lines of stitching neatly radiused at top) is distinctive of a certain leather worker ... and I don’t think it appears after about ‘73. I would welcome being corrected if wrong.

Last edited by Jacknola; 10-24-2020 at 11:48 PM.
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  #5  
Old 10-25-2020, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Jacknola View Post
Nice knife and BoBlade is always the most reliable commentator. I might postulate age of knife a hair later... 72-73 or so ... because the sheath has only the length number, not model number.

This is not something I’ve delved into or extensively researched. I just have an feeling that the omission of the model stamp number on fighter sheaths (possibly to allow use of same sheath for models 1 and 5 without causing questions from customers) was post US withdrawal from Vietnam in 1973. On the other hand, the white stone might be an anomaly in that case. Also the stitching on the butterfly (closely paralleled lines of stitching neatly radiused at top) is distinctive of a certain leather worker ... and I don’t think it appears after about ‘73. I would welcome being corrected if wrong.
Thanks Jacknola for your feedback. I was looking the other day Mitchel's Collection web page and he has a couple of Mid 1960's with the sheath that only have the blade length stamped like this one.

https://www.randallmadeknife.com/071...839l2w5jvg60es

https://www.randallmadeknife.com/new...v50ysu4rxa2j97

As well as a 1970's model again with only the length on it.
So I don't know what to think about the single stamp on the back.

The white sharpening stone I understand that is late 60's, early 70's. Is that correct?

One think I like about this knife is the pronounce angle the handle has compared to the blade. I know that the Model #1 comes with the handle that way, specially the straight handles, but this one is more visible, and more comfortable to my hand.


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  #6  
Old 10-25-2020, 09:18 PM
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You will need to ask Mitchell whether those are original sheaths. Mitchell is quite knowkedgable and one of the top 2-3 leading experts on vintage model 1 knives .. but that doesn’t mean he has not paired up some knives with incompatibly dated sheaths and or stones. Many old knives are now in newer sheaths.

In my experience industrial and craft mass production of any item is rarely done using two or more variants in basic signature details. I consider it unlikely that Johnson stamped some model 1 sheaths with the length number only, while at the same time stamped others with length AND model number. Few if any manufacturers of anything allow their production workers to do things ad hoc in that manner (though Heiser may have done it to some degree).

The recognition of that basic production rule was a key to solving the issue of Heiser/Johnson sheaths with Randall stamps. I suspect those sheaths for Mitchell’s knives are not original to those low S knives.... but I readily concede I have not deeply researched this because I thought the single number stamp came after US Vietnam commitment was essentially over. I only collect knives that could have been carried in Vietnam. I don’t have any with just length number on sheath... but again I am a “collector” with small “c.”.

There are two types of “white” stones and stones are the least reliable marker for dating purpose for obvious reasons. Also even if original, there seems to have been considerable overlap in stone usage. The bear stone I think went from about 1970-73 or so. The other began use in 1968 and continued off and on to about the same time.

Last edited by Jacknola; 10-25-2020 at 09:44 PM.
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  #7  
Old 10-26-2020, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Jacknola View Post
You will need to ask Mitchell whether those are original sheaths. Mitchell is quite knowkedgable and one of the top 2-3 leading experts on vintage model 1 knives .. but that doesn’t mean he has not paired up some knives with incompatibly dated sheaths and or stones. Many old knives are now in newer sheaths.

In my experience industrial and craft mass production of any item is rarely done using two or more variants in basic signature details. I consider it unlikely that Johnson stamped some model 1 sheaths with the length number only, while at the same time stamped others with length AND model number. Few if any manufacturers of anything allow their production workers to do things ad hoc in that manner (though Heiser may have done it to some degree).

The recognition of that basic production rule was a key to solving the issue of Heiser/Johnson sheaths with Randall stamps. I suspect those sheaths for Mitchell’s knives are not original to those low S knives.... but I readily concede I have not deeply researched this because I thought the single number stamp came after US Vietnam commitment was essentially over. I only collect knives that could have been carried in Vietnam. I don’t have any with just length number on sheath... but again I am a “collector” with small “c.”.

There are two types of “white” stones and stones are the least reliable marker for dating purpose for obvious reasons. Also even if original, there seems to have been considerable overlap in stone usage. The bear stone I think went from about 1970-73 or so. The other began use in 1968 and continued off and on to about the same time.
Thanks Jacknola for your reply.


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  #8  
Old 10-31-2020, 09:24 AM
crutchtip crutchtip is offline
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I will chime in on this subject. While most know any of this stuff is not an exact science, with knives and sheaths made in small shops, hand made. So while the theory of standardization in manufacturing (probably the incorrect term in this case) is the goal for consistency of products, I don't think it is wholly applicable in the traditional sense with a hand made product like Randall Knives. That being said, most of the nuances of blade grind, stamps, spacers, handle material, sheaths, and stones, are a guide, not necessarily a definitive in all cases.

There is a problem in the collecting community that still exists, that being matching up, often incorrectly, a knife and sheath that were not original to each other relative to "manufacture" time solely to have a "complete" package. The worse is when a sheath is purposely paired with a knife it doesn't belong with to enhance collector interest and/or the value. I know of one specific case, but I won't go into it here.

Personally, I agree to a certain point with Jack that the model number stamp was used less on Johnson sheaths later in their production years. Not completely, but for the most part. That is not to say though that earlier sheaths from the 60's were made sans model number. I have had numerous examples.

I believe the sheaths in question are original to the knives, an example of what I stated above.

I have in my hand as I write this a Johnson brown button with no model or blade length stamp, along with a late 70's to early 80's Johnson sheath with both model and blade length. There ya go.

Last edited by crutchtip; 10-31-2020 at 09:55 AM.
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  #9  
Old 11-01-2020, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by crutchtip View Post
I will chime in on this subject. While most know any of this stuff is not an exact science, with knives and sheaths made in small shops, hand made. So while the theory of standardization in manufacturing (probably the incorrect term in this case) is the goal for consistency of products, I don't think it is wholly applicable in the traditional sense with a hand made product like Randall Knives. That being said, most of the nuances of blade grind, stamps, spacers, handle material, sheaths, and stones, are a guide, not necessarily a definitive in all cases.

There is a problem in the collecting community that still exists, that being matching up, often incorrectly, a knife and sheath that were not original to each other relative to "manufacture" time solely to have a "complete" package. The worse is when a sheath is purposely paired with a knife it doesn't belong with to enhance collector interest and/or the value. I know of one specific case, but I won't go into it here.

Personally, I agree to a certain point with Jack that the model number stamp was used less on Johnson sheaths later in their production years. Not completely, but for the most part. That is not to say though that earlier sheaths from the 60's were made sans model number. I have had numerous examples.

I believe the sheaths in question are original to the knives, an example of what I stated above.

I have in my hand as I write this a Johnson brown button with no model or blade length stamp, along with a late 70's to early 80's Johnson sheath with both model and blade length. There ya go.

For sure is not exact science. Although if the seller is not cheating, with all the components: grind, stamp, spacers, pommel length, sheath, stone, you can have at least one approximate year of manufacture.


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  #10  
Old 11-08-2020, 11:02 PM
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Gentlemen, thanks for your input. the sheath usually takes a back seat to the knife for collectors. In my case however, the narrow focus of my interest, US Vietnam era, causes me to be a bit more discriminating about the total package.

I readily agree that overlap in characteristics can and did take place. I'm not sure when the change to only stamped length for model 1&5 sheaths occurred. We do know it occurred because most or all model 1s in the 50s and 60s had two numbers, and most or all model 1s from the mid 70s forward had only one number. But that leaves a fairly substantial gap from (in my opinion) about 1970 to late 72-early 73. And I suppose it is possible that some sheaths were stamped with a single number earlier though I continue to be bit skeptical.

I am open seeing documented knives that help to pin this changeover date down. I have pictures of 3-4 model 1 sheaths with both numbers that are late 60s. The problem is... many cool old model 1s have been posted on the net, but few show the back of the sheath. And a great many beautiful old model 1s (and 5s) are now in newer sheaths because sheaths often don't last 50 years, unlike knives.

Perhaps I'll get motivated and collect info and submit it to the board for comment. This is not a big deal with me.

Regards,
Jack

Last edited by Jacknola; 11-13-2020 at 08:29 PM.
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  #11  
Old 11-12-2020, 01:03 AM
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Quote:
have in my hand as I write this a Johnson brown button with no model or blade length stamp, along with a late 70's to early 80's Johnson sheath with both model and blade length. There ya go.
Thanks for info Joe. Johnson apparently did not put any numbers on any of his early sheaths, brown button or babydot. That includes all models not just 1&5s. Mid 1963 is when he began adding numbers...

A babydot Johnson sheath, any model, without numbers is usually pretty precisely dated to first six months 1963 and possibly just the second Q of that year. And of course any Johnson brown button predates the baby dots and would likely be last half 1962 to 1st Q 1963.

Not sure if you are talking about a model 1 sheath in your second point... But only model 1&5 sheaths (which as you know were identical) were altered in early 1970s to have only length stamp. Other sheaths continued to have both numbers.

This is why I speculate that lots of customer questions about ... say ... a model 5 received with a sheath stamped “1” .... caused Mr. Randall to throw up his hands and tell Johnson to leave off the model numbers on 1&5 sheaths.

That said there are always a anomalies as you have pointed out. And of course there could be a gap from when a sheath was made and when it was sold...which could explain older-sheath/newer-knife. Older-knife/newer-sheath likely means replacement.

Regards

Last edited by Jacknola; 11-12-2020 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 11-12-2020, 10:41 PM
crutchtip crutchtip is offline
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I don't think Maurice was consistent early on. He had to have model number on the sheaths for the most part if for nothing more than efficiency in production.

That being said, I ran thru some old photos and found more than a few Johnson BB with model and length, and in fact, it appears a sheath with neither is far less common and is the odd man out.

This may take a bit more looking into, and I will keep an eye out, but sheaths sans any marking from Johnson seem to be fairly uncommon.
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Old 11-14-2020, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
I ran thru some old photos and found more than a few Johnson BB with model and length, and in fact, it appears a sheath with neither is far less common and is the odd man out.
This may take a bit more looking into, and I will keep an eye out, but sheaths sans any marking from Johnson seem to be fairly uncommon.
If you found brown button (BB) sheaths with numbers, I suggest they were probably Heiser "HKL," not Johnson. I studied these two issues (1. Johnson BB sheaths; and 2. Johnson early baby dot (BD) sheaths sans numbers) in several discussion lines with lots of documentation. But since it has been some time, here is a "Cliff notes" review of these two issues.

Johnson brown button (BB) sheaths, mid 1962 - early 1963:

We defined Johnson BBs A sheaths (as opposed to Heiser, aka "HKL" BB) as those with an east facing stamp with all the characteristics of Johnson baby dots including retainer placement, butterfly stitching, etc. And Joe, you are right... there are not a lot of Johnson BBs that have surfaced... he apparently did not make a lot of BB sheaths (at least compared to Heiser). But none of those that have been found in my search had numbers stamped on them. Here are some pictures and discussion...

This first picture illustrates the classic difference between Johnson BB sheaths and Heiser "HKL" BB sheaths. On the left is the Heiser HKL which obviously looks like a Heiser. On the right is a Johnson BB which in every respect looks exactly like a Johnson baby dot. Note the lack of any numbers on the Johnson...



Below is an early Johnson BB model 1 sheath. No numbers....



Below is an early presentation WDR model 3. No numbers....



Below are four Johnson BB sheaths... No numbers...



Below is a Johnson BB sheath, model 3?-4? knife, no numbers...



There are more Johnson BBs that I've posted in various lines but this is enough to verify my original statement that Johnson did not stamp his BB sheaths with numbers. HOWEVER, there is one exception to this Johnson BB sheath, "no-number" feature, and it creates quite a perplexing paradox... It is about “C” split-back sheaths. This paradox is discussed in depth on the last pages of the "magic Randall" line linked below. I have a theory but no way to find proof at this time.

http://www.knifenetwork.com/forum/sh...=57968&page=11

RE: Johnson baby dot sheaths, no numbers, probably first 6-9 months 1963:

I documented in other lines the time when Johnson's first began to use baby dots (BD), ... which I interpret as being about start of 1st-2nd quarter, 1963 or so. When he began using them, he continued his BB practice of not stamping them with numbers. This lasted until about 3rd quarter 1963 when he began adding sheath numbers. Here are SOME of the documented baby dot, sans number, Johnson sheaths from this <6 month window...

Below is 1963 Bowie, Johnson baby dot sheath, no numbers...



Below are pictures of several Johnson BD sheaths No number, documented







Please, I don't want to replay discussions of the definition of Johnson vs Heiser HKL brown button sheaths. The above cliff notes summaries are for those who didn't or haven't followed the Heiser-Johnson grand unification theses and proof presented by Ron and me in the past.

I hope this helps refine dating of Vietnam era RMKs. If I get motivated to research the question of single number stamps on model 1s and 5 sheaths further, I'll start a new line and present my findings.

Regards.
Jack

Last edited by Jacknola; 11-15-2020 at 12:54 AM.
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  #14  
Old 11-15-2020, 09:41 AM
crutchtip crutchtip is offline
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Jack -

I am fully aware of the difference between a Johnson and HKL, seeing I coined the HKL name in an article written a decade or more ago, well before anyone had addressed the subject.

http://www.rmkcollector.com/the-rand...tnote-part-iii


Not to revisit it as you stated, but it was known for years the main issue was as stated, for most collectors for whatever reason - maybe perceived ease of identification, or more likely they simply did not care (still don't) - sheaths with the RMK logo stamp were considered Johnson's. Bob Hunt and myself were suspect in the 1990's of the HKL sheaths being virtually identical to Heiser made sheaths, but the train of thought at the time even from some at the Randall shop was no one outside of Maurice Johnson ever had a stamp, hence the paradox, but obviously proved to be inaccurate

Interesting that many of the photos you posted are mine, including the first with the two #1 sheaths. You will note the stark difference between the shape of the sheaths, obviously cut using different dies. I have more photos, some that make you think a bit, but the issue at hand is Johnson's stamping of model and blade length.

I don't argue that there are examples (some shown in photos you posted) of his early sheaths sans stamping as the black #1. All I am saying is, I have seen both. What is the time frame difference relative to production? A few weeks? A couple of months? No one really knows. What we do know is Johnson made brown button sheaths for a relatively short time, perhaps 6 months or so.

A footnote to this is Wickersham incorrectly identifies these HKL sheaths as Stockman made in his book.
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