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The S.R. "Steve" Johnson Forum Specialized knife making tips, technique and training for "ultra precision" design work enthusiasts.

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  #31  
Old 09-24-2010, 11:44 AM
jayers3673 jayers3673 is offline
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Also reading Harvey Draper's website, It sounds like Bob & Harvey were alot
alike. Both from the " old school ". Living life on their terms; they lived as they
chose, went where they wanted, did what they wanted- "the old breed".

Did Bob ever take you up in his Bi-Plane?

Jim

Last edited by jayers3673; 09-24-2010 at 09:49 PM.
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  #32  
Old 09-28-2010, 11:17 AM
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Bob used to do virtually all of the soldering, when I was there. The old "special melt" tool steel soldered like a dream, never any problem with the guards, or even the brass inserts in the tang, everything just stuck. There was, however, really a lot of trouble getting 154-CM to solder, even with N.S. and brass fittings when we first started using that steel that was in the driveway when I arrived. The representative from Eutectic came to the shop and after he suggested Eutectic 157 with the appropriate flux, things were a little better, but not "easy." He came back and then suggested that we use Eutectic 682, "For difficult to wet alloys." Things were a lot easier then, though soldering that steel is not what you'd call, "easy," still, at least for me. I may have soldered 5-10 knives, most of which would have been those I made for myself, but I do remember soldering a knife or two to show a guy who wanted to make knives, who'd visit the shop now and then. I did a pretty good job, as I recall, but it was because I'd watched Bob do about a million soldering jobs. Bob would also shape all of the handles. Bob and I would cut, grind to outline and rough grind the blades, and I'd generally re-grind after heat treat, then polish and fit guards. Then Bob would rough shape the handles and while I'd finish the handles, Bob would get going with the sheaths. By the time I'd have some of the handles done, he'd be ready to fit the sheaths, then he pretty much would etch the blades with the old KMER etching process and I'd sharpen the knives. That etching had to start after dark, as the KMER process involved darkroom work and the one way to get the room dark was to wait until dark. We worked late most of the time, anyway, so it worked fine. In Riverside, we had a room that we could just shut the door and do the stencil work, as I recall. For sharpening, it seems like Bob would put the initial bevel on the edge and then I'd generally finish them up on the stone. Got lots of practice sharpening knives on a stone, I tell ya!


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Last edited by Steve; 09-28-2010 at 02:15 PM. Reason: additons
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  #33  
Old 09-29-2010, 04:37 PM
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Eldon Talley Eldon Talley is offline
 
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Thanks for sharing your memories.
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  #34  
Old 10-04-2010, 09:37 PM
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I remember the autos that Bob bought that we'd tool around L.A. in: His little Honda Civic that he bought not long after I arrived. Got great mileage and would carry us and most anything a knifemaker had to haul around town. Of course heavy machines were shipped in, but we didn't really get a lot of new equipment, a grinder, a buffer, saw, maybe a lathe, not sure. He had a little Clausing Mill that worked fine for all we used it for, and which worked as well for working on the S&W M41 conversions that he'd do now and then. He let me drive that Civic to Utah for Christmas in 1972, probalby and it ran very well, even in the snow up above our farm, looking for jackrabbits. (I stayed on the road!)

The yellow Chevy Blazer which we drove to Houston and to Idaho, that winter and visited Bernie Sparks and family. They fed us well and I took the Blazer over to Montpelier, I believe, and visited a high school friend. On the way back, I slipped it into 4wd and ran off into the barpit and back onto the road in about 2' of snow. Bob happened to see me out the window of the Sparks' house and it miffed him a bit, but no problem. It was snowing so hard when we left that we probably wouldn't have made it back to Logan, UT if we hadn't had a 4wd vehicle.

He also bought that '69, or so - I'm just guessing, Barracuda with the push-button gear shift which he'd wanted for a long time. Pure nostalgia! Then, of course,in 1972-3(?) Honda came out with it's 4 cylinder motorcycle and we got two of the first 350cc/fours in L.A., at least we thought so. They were some of the first at that dealer's place, I know. We rode those around until 1974 when I went back home to Utah. I took my M'cycle. driver's test when I got back to riding in probably 1975 and the DL examiner said, when I handed him my old license, "You drove around L.A., huh? You probably don't even need to take this test!"

Bob loved to fly and we, or he, got his Private Pilot License at Rose Aviation at the Hawthorne Airport. Scott, his instructor said, after his first solo, "He is probably the best student I've ever had." It was great running down to the airport and putting in a little solo time flying out and back to various areas of L.A., up and down the Pacific Coastline and circling the holding pattern over Alondra Park, just a few blocks from the old Loveless Shop in Lawndale. He later picked up the Starduster II bi-plane, which he seemed to really enjoy, until he got landed on while on approach at the Riverside Airport. I don't know anything about that occurrence.

As you can see, Bob was very generous. Who on earth would let a "kid" (I was barely 21 at this time) drive an almost new car from Calif. to Utah, in the winter and then take another, almost new 4x4, out in the snowy winter in Idaho? Really?

I can't remember any more vehicles, at the moment, but if I do, I'll add to this, as I just did to the one above dated 09/17/2010, which is the 21st entry.


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Last edited by Steve; 10-06-2010 at 04:26 PM. Reason: changes, additions, corrections
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  #35  
Old 10-06-2010, 05:31 AM
Charles Vestal Charles Vestal is offline
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Steve,

I am really enjoying reading your memories of your time spent with Mr. Loveless.

If you don't mind me asking, how long did you work in the Loveless shop?

Take care

Charles
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  #36  
Old 10-06-2010, 11:40 AM
jayers3673 jayers3673 is offline
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Robert Loveless

I think everyone is enjoying reading about the Life & Times of Bob,
and the time you spent with him. Keep "Jogging" that memory Steve.
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  #37  
Old 10-06-2010, 01:01 PM
Hikein Hikein is offline
 
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More please

Although I've spent too much time reading this thread, I'd happily spend a few more hours.

Steve, you're not only a "pretty" good knifemaker but a great writer as well. Please keep it coming.

Mitch
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  #38  
Old 10-06-2010, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Vestal View Post
Steve,

I am really enjoying reading your memories of your time spent with Mr. Loveless.

If you don't mind me asking, how long did you work in the Loveless shop?

Take care

Charles
Thank you, Charles. I'm enjoying it, too, but it's.........I don't know......

According to the Loveless Catalogue: "In May of 1971, a young man called me from Spokane, to talk about working in this shop. A week later, I picked him up at the airport, and in the next four days watched how he handled the work I laid our for him. His name is Steven R. Johnson, and he comes from Sanpete County, Utah, where he first began learning the trade of knifemaking under Gil Hibben. Later work with Harvey Draper and then in the Davis Shop in Spokane gave him a good basic foundation in knifemaking."

I wrecked my pickup in Nevada in October of 1974, on the way home for the deer hunt, so it was probably close to October 17th. That makes it 3 years and 4 months. That's nothing, compared to Jim Merritt's time with Bob.


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Last edited by Steve; 10-18-2010 at 08:20 PM. Reason: typo
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  #39  
Old 10-08-2010, 03:03 AM
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One day, checking out the progress of the twin .45 Autos (Two National Match frames with Commander slides, using the N.M. target sights) that King's Gun Works was working on I remember Bob discussing the welding of the rear of the frame with, I think, Jim Hogue, when Jim started telling us about the robber who came into the store and accosted the salesperson at the front. Jim heard what was going on and crashed through the office door with a shotgun and blasted a round at the intruder, just as he was rounding the corner of the doorway, narrowly missing him.

Another time, Bob went out with some deputies (There were deputies in the shop every now and then) to act as a drug buyer in order to nab some local drug dealers, maybe it had to do with a car theft, not sure.... All I remember is that when they came back to the shop, Bob was very quiet and didn't have anything to say about what happened. He was obviously concerned, I wouldn't say, "shook-up" but he was not his usual talkative self. He never did tell me exactly what happened that night, but I could tell it wasn't fun, maybe exciting in one way or another, but not fun!


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Last edited by Steve; 10-18-2010 at 08:20 PM. Reason: correction
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  #40  
Old 10-08-2010, 10:27 PM
michaellovett michaellovett is offline
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Hi, Steve:

I've been reading this thread with interest. I've been wanting to post a few things, but I'm just not ready yet. I know Bob had just a few days left when I last talked to him. He sounded so tired and weak. I knew it was coming, but I still wasn't ready for it.

I still catch myself picking up the phone to call him before I realize what I'm doing. I'm just a little slow on the up-take I guess.
Thank God for Jim. He has had so much to take care of.

Mike
Maker
The Loveless Connection Knives

Last edited by michaellovett; 10-08-2010 at 10:36 PM.
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  #41  
Old 10-10-2010, 02:46 PM
beebee58 beebee58 is offline
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Steve, I've been away from the computer for a few days and just now read about Mr. Bob (that's what Clay called him). I'm so sorry to hear about this.


My only memories of Bob Loveless are the 2 times that he called to talk to Clayton (each one at least 20 minutes) and I about knives. We found out from him that we only live 20 minutes away from his birth place here in Ohio. Bob even sent Clay a book about his knives and asked which one he liked the best. We never got that knife, but we cherish the memories of our conversations. We even kept the box that the autographed book came in.

The knife world lost a true pioneer of custom made knives.


William "BB" Johnston and Clayton
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  #42  
Old 10-11-2010, 11:17 AM
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The word is getting around and more are saddened daily, it seems. I got two emails last week from people who'd, "Just heard" and wanted to comment about the loss that we all feel. There are so many stories out there about Bob. Thanks for commenting. I saw Bob hand over a new Horn folder in a Guild business meeting to someone who had been recognized for doing something good for the Guild, just reached in his pocket, handed him the knife and said, Thanks!"


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Last edited by Steve; 11-10-2010 at 05:11 PM. Reason: typo
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  #43  
Old 10-11-2010, 01:56 PM
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Bob always had some coffee cans with holes in their lids sitting around on the floor of the shop, perhaps under the bench, that had "MT 45," or "MT 9mm," or "MT 38" on the plastic lids. These were for collecting "empty" brass from times out at the range, or on the desert whenever he'd go shooting. An older fellow by the name of Johnnie Gillespie, who lived a ways up north, would drop by, once or twice a year and pick them up and leave a bunch of loaded ammo in brown paper bags, folded over and sealed with his label. I bought some of these and finally fired the last ones a couple of years ago. They were getting a little sluggish, but they were at least 20-30 year old reloads. Didn't want to make my 45 function very snappily!" I think Mr. Gillespie was having a kind of hard time and Bob enjoyed buying his ammo and helping him out a bit, plus they were good reloads. As mentioned, the 45 and the old S&W Triple Lock were two of his favorites, but most any pistol held an interest for him. He liked the S&W Bodyguard, also, as I recall. We visited the Auto Mag facility a couple of times, maybe and on he second visit, I think, he and Mr. Sanford made the trade of a knife (Fighter or Boot?) for the pistol. It surely would be great to see that pistol again, with the serial number that includes, either "RWL" or "RL" as part of the number. I can't remember exactly what the ser.# was.


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  #44  
Old 10-11-2010, 06:28 PM
michaellovett michaellovett is offline
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Always did like the looks of the Auto Mag.

Mike
Maker
The Loveless Connection Knives
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  #45  
Old 10-20-2010, 06:22 PM
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One time, for a while, in Lawndale, Bob had an acquaintance who lived in Elko, Nevada who was encouraging him to move the business up there. He even went up there to check it out. In a little while, we drove up there to have a look. We took the long deserted highway from Tonopah to Elko and I do mean deserted! It wasn't the famous "Loneliest road in the U.S.," Highway 50, but it must have been at least Highway "49 1/2!" We drove to Las Vegas, then on to the north after staying the night in Tonopah, to Battle Mountain and finally Elko. It took the whole day and, though the scenery was interesting, but a bit boring at times, we only saw one car - and one airplane that seemed to be following along the highway. (He was looking for signs of life, too, perhaps!)

We spent a couple of days in Elko looking around, even visited the manufacturer of a camp saw that was made for hunters, that had a blade that was about a foot long, with a "T" handle of cast aluminum, that Bob thought was pretty neat. The owner was an older fellow and Bob was considering buying the rights to make the saw, thought it'd be a great addition to the Loveless line. We both got pretty excited about living in that area.

After we left for home and got back to Lawndale we proceeded to work on how we were going to move. I loved the idea, it was basically like we'd be moving back to territory that was a lot like where I'd grown up, high semi-arid desert and the Ruby Mountains weren't far away. We'd be able to ride motorcycles, shoot, hunt, fish, whatever! See the stars in the night sky! Well, about a month later, more or less, Bob said one morning, immediately as I stepped through the door of the shop, "Steve, come here, I need to talk to you. I walked to the back end of the shop by the little heater in the right-hand corner and he said, "Son, I just can't see how we can move to Elko, I know you want to go, but it just isn't going to work." (Or something along those lines, I don't recall the exact words, but I do vividly recall his sincerity and concern that this was going to be a difficult dream to give up, maybe more on my part than his.) I was quite sad about this turn of events, but suspecting from what I'd heard from this comment and that, of late, what the situation was going to be like in Elko, and how things were in L. A., I understood. I appreciated the fact that he found it hard to do what he did and for the concern he had for me and what I'd been planning on for quite a while. I think, within the year, we started looking at Riverside, for a new location. Smoggy old Riverside! Why would anyone want to move to Riverside!!?? But then, Riverside was the "country" compared to L.A.!


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Last edited by Steve; 10-23-2010 at 05:26 PM. Reason: changes, typos
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