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  #31  
Old 06-24-2017, 11:38 PM
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Jacknola Jacknola is offline
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Well, crutch, that was very helpful and also to the point. Thanks for adding your comments. My whole essay was full of suppositions (and I hope I made clear what was fact and what was assumed and what was deduced in that essay). The whole thing was based on what we knew but with so many unknowns there is bound to be lots of room for error in the suppositions and deductions.

The only reason I undertook quantifying what is known about white-Tenite is that the price asked and apparently bid (unless shill bid) for those knives seems a little out of the norm. And, Scott, calm down. No insult was intended to any of the experts ... They are truly experts and even if Bob Hunt erred, it was only shown after a lot of later research that brought additional data to light, data that built on the foundation laid by those guys. It is possible to err without being a failure. No one is infallible, and I'm certainly not. But how do we get to the bottom of this price anomaly of white-Tenite if we cannot question what has come before? No insult at all was intended here. Trust me... if I want to insult someone, they will know it.

Joe, i have wondered about white and green in conjunction... it could make some sense with a similar handle shape evolution. But the reason I speculated all the USNavy knives were a single color, white, with 3-screws, was a note that Randall included when he sent them off. Gaddis says he wrote "I should like to point out that the Tenite material used in these handles is of a soft grade and that the same material in a much harder and more durable quality is obtainable, but I could not get sample of it in time for this shipment." I interpret this meaning a single sample was used for these test knives. I'm guessing it was white.

USMiltary is funny about formal equipment proposals (I was involved briefly with a project proposal to the military) and a change in the proposal requires lots of grunts and groans. If the blue prints of the proposed knife had three screws, then the test knives also would almost surely have three screws, or they would not be "to spec." It the Solingen blades had three holes it is probably because the prototype sent to them had three holes and Gaddis states that two extra blades were made at the same time the 10 Navy knives were put together. Those extra blades went to Germany as prototypes for the Solingens, hence likely the source of the 3-holes in Solingens, and an indicator that the Navy knives were 3-screw... possibly the only ones made (?).

That 3-screw thesis is easily confirmed by looking at the detailed blueprints Mr. Randall had made up. Those blueprints specified a slotted Tenite handle (according to Gaddis - which meant that handle actually proposed to the Navy was to be different from the prototype shown in the March meeting) The number of screws would be specified on those blueprints and a copy would have been given to the Navy as part of the proposal. If the shop has those blueprints, which I would think they do, it is an easy check for someone connected.

When the hard Tenite was finally acquired, it could have been green... but white was still being used when the Solingens began being made in the spring of 1955. So if green was used in 1954, two different colors were being used simultaneously, which kind of goes against good business practices ... but supply perhaps could have dictated it. I think it possible that the picture of Tex was later, after green and supplanted white, and he had acquired a later knife. But again, that is open to question.

It would be interesting to review the sales records for May '54-June '55 to see how many m14s and m15s were sold. My method of back-calculating the number at least has a basis, which I detailed. Whether it can stand rigorous looks is another question, but Scott, I wouldn't discount it without saying why. That type of argument adds nothing. If someone has a better way of estimating the number, I'm open to it.

Thanks for the comments Joe. This is an interesting and historical piece of trivia and I'm glad you have joined the conversation. It is trivia ... except that +$10K is not a trivial price for a knife, so it has an immediate interest ... at least to me. Ciao.

Last edited by Jacknola; Yesterday at 01:33 AM.
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  #32  
Old 06-24-2017, 11:56 PM
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Ronnie if that was originally a white-Tenite handle Solingen, it probably wouldn't have been 3-screw because all the Solingen white-Tenites that have surfaced have been 2-screw. A 3-screw m14 would have been an Orlando blade made before Solingens were available. I kinda doubt more than two or three 3-screw Tenite m14s were made, and maybe none at all, only 3-hole blade blanks. m14s were not formally accepted for military evaluation and thus they would not have to have been constructed as per blue prints.

HOWEVER... prototype m14 blades were also sent to Germany concurrent with the model 15s. These blades most likely had three holes, just like the m15s, and I'll bet the blueprints of the m14 called for 3-screws. It's just that since the military never ordered any for testing, the only 3-screw m14 blades made were maybe 2-3 prototypes, at least one of which was sent to Germany.

But, if that m14 had originally been a white-Tenite handle ... someone made a big mistake putting ivory on it (which by the way is pretty cool in its own right). That blade does not show a lot of re-grind at the shop either, at least at the choll. That right-angle choll is how those blades were made in Germany. Re-grinding at the shop is what gave some of them a more gentle radius. Thanks for showing this knife. I want it.

Last edited by Jacknola; Yesterday at 12:54 AM.
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  #33  
Old Yesterday, 01:00 AM
jeepster jeepster is offline
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Ok.
Ronnie

Last edited by jeepster; Yesterday at 01:17 AM.
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  #34  
Old Yesterday, 07:23 AM
crutchtip crutchtip is offline
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Originally Posted by jeepster View Post
This is a Solingen Blade 14 that I owned for several years. I sold it probably 10 to 15 years ago. I always assumed that this knife started life as a 3 screw Tenite Randall that someone re-handle with Ivory slabs.
Wish I still had it.

Ronnie -

been many years since I saw that piece also, but is that a nickel silver hilt or highly polished brass? Hard to tell in the photo.

Last edited by crutchtip; Yesterday at 07:25 AM.
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  #35  
Old Yesterday, 08:58 AM
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For those of you that don't have Robert Hunt's books, here are a couple pictures of the subject knives in his book "Randall Knives Rare, Unique & Experimental"

Regards, Sam



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  #36  
Old Yesterday, 12:46 PM
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Great contribution Sam...that is the Hunt book I don't have. Comments:

The m14 appears to be a/the prototype taken to the march meeting with the USNavy Bureau. It has a "tunnel" handle held in place by screws, not rivets. I believe two prototypes were made. PERHAPS two or three more m14 prototypes were made with the slotted tenite handles after the March meeting. Certainly some m14 blades were made to forward to Germany in May. After May, I believe m14s were probably handled using 2-screws, though the tang still had three drilled holes per the blue prints, though there isn't any proof one way or another. The three-hole tang can be inferred as late as the filled-hole micarta knives era, some of which have a single center filled screw hole, and some of which have two outside filled screw holes.

The reference to a nylon handle in the text is confusing. Mr. Randall's own coorespondance discusses "Tenite" and Gaddis calls these handles "plastic," a term he also applies to Tenite. I wonder what led Mr. Hunt to label them "nylon?" Perhaps the USNavy/Marine prototypes did use some odd material... but it would seem strange from a business and from military proposal standpoint for Mr. Randall to use one material in March, specify a different material in the blueprints, and use that different material in May. Stranger things have happened I guess. All can be cleared up with a review of the documenting blueprints.

What won't be cleared up is whether several 3-screw slotted white-Tenite 14s were ever made. The USMCs ground forces were not fully represented at the March meeting but the m14 prototype was fowarded by the attendees for their informal evaluation. Perhaps a couple of 3-screw slotted Tenites were forwarded in May informally to the USMC grunts ...though Gaddis didn't mentioned it and no purchase orders.

Re: m15. I assume this was also the prototype shown to the Navy in the March 1954 meeting. It also has 3-screws securing the handle but the handle looks oddly like it may be slotted, not a tunnel. Again, the material looks like Tenite, though pictures can be very deceiving. The etching appears to be authentic to the original prototype.

Thanks for bringing this to the conversation.

Let me take the time to opine on something.

No one to my knowledge has even patially addressed the full issue of white-Tenite... not Tom, not Bob, not Bob, not Joe, not Mitchell, not Ron. No one. Therefore, no one is an expert about this material. Similarly, no one ever examined in detail the issue of Delrin, or the total number of Solingen saw-tooth m14s made during the Vietnam era, etc.

If none of us still alive throughout the RMK universe are experts, appeal to "expertise" as a way to limit conversation is a waste of all our time. So are declaratives without the backup information or logic presented. What isn't a waste of time is sharing thoughts, pictures, bits of information and be willing to acknowledge contradictory data. That is how collaborative learning takes place, and we all benefit. How? We get a common knowledge base for our evaluation of white-Tenite, and understanding of the shop in the mid '50s, and a deeper appreciation of the history of the m15/m14.. And we also get information to help judge the rarity and value of these Tenite knives... which will/could carry over to a study of green-Tenite.

It isn't going to fly very far if conversation degenerates into a series of declaratives, leading to he-said vs he-said. That is my two bits.

Last edited by Jacknola; Yesterday at 02:14 PM.
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  #37  
Old Yesterday, 02:32 PM
crutchtip crutchtip is offline
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I may stand corrected on my statement that the nylon handles were riveted on. Again, I have not looked at those knives in years, but I seemed to recall rivets. In a conversation yesterday, a natural question would be how could you use molten lead or tin and not melt the nylon? So by photographic evidence, it does appear they were bolted.

I don't know the exact chronology, but the nylon handles were obviously hand made, whereas Tenite handles were molded with the slot for the tang. The prototype 15 appears it could be slotted for the tang but under a magnifying glass on the photo, maybe not. I will have to look at it again at the shop.

I disagree Jack, white tenite has been addressed. It lasted for a very short time, perhaps only a matter of months as a standard color handle and possibly not much beyond the knives submitted. Perhaps it was the feedback from the powers that be didn't like the white I know I heard it somewhere. Was some still used after green was introduced? Probably, as Bo didn't waste too much. That being said, 2 bolts, three bolts, not really too important. What is important is that Bo realized he could save time and materials using two bolts and probably used feedback as the impetus to change the handle color. I will repeat that the only three bolt I know of in a collection is in Gary Clinton's. If the numbers you came up with are anywhere near accurate, you would think another would have shown up by now.

My opinion is three bolts and white tenite went the way of the dinosaurs very quickly in that order.

Edited to add: Tom Clinton had a 16 tenite that had what he called a red or black handle. He had it for years thinking it was "super rare" special mojo tenite. One day he took some polish to the handle and lo and behold, the polish took off the "dye" and it was white underneath. More that one way to skin a cat I suppose. Don't know if it was done at the shop or by a previous owner, but someone didn't like the white handle. This was probably a 1958 or 59 knife so if original to the knife, white tenite handles were still in the shop. In fact, I would bet you could find a couple there to this day.

Last edited by crutchtip; Yesterday at 02:46 PM.
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  #38  
Old Yesterday, 03:19 PM
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Jack, a little off track, but not having this Bob Hunt book, here were a couple more adaptations of the m14-15. Photos are as they appear in the book.







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  #39  
Old Yesterday, 05:54 PM
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Moosehead Moosehead is offline
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Hi guys!

In an earlier post on this thread, Jack suggested: "... Maybe we could start a catalog, pictures of all known white-Tenites?..."

So I reached deep into my personal stash... (of pictures that is...) and came up with this example, which I believe is the Model 14 that sold for a mere $28,000 on eBay back in 2005.









By the way, it was rumoured at the time that the buyer eventually took a bath on this knife when he had to resell it.

Cheers!

David


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  #40  
Old Yesterday, 10:52 PM
jeepster jeepster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crutchtip View Post
Ronnie -

been many years since I saw that piece also, but is that a nickel silver hilt or highly polished brass? Hard to tell in the photo.
It was nickel silver Joe.
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