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  #151  
Old 02-15-2020, 04:49 PM
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Jacknola Jacknola is offline
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Thanks for the input. I too thought this to be early black Micaeta... but closer look led me to believe it to be brown from a longitudinal cut. It seems Randall was very careful to properly ID his knives with stamp and etch. The “Randall Made, Orlando Fla.” etch pattern was created in mid 1963. The “Randall Made, Solingen” etch pattern dates from the 2nd order for Solingen blades which were delivered without the ricosso stamp. It also dates from about mid-1963.

If this is a Solingen blade, mismarked, it would be pretty strange. Occums razor...i believe it is more likely Orlando, with the early humped teeth feature... and I think it likely to be late 1963. I would emphasize the early blade shape, teeth characteristics, and actual Orlando stamp, iver blade-shape-made-later with mis-marked stamp. If it is indeed black Micarta, I would move manufacture up a year. I wonder how and if the metallurgy could be tested to ID Randall O2 steel vs Solingen steel? Ciao.

Last edited by Jacknola; 02-15-2020 at 04:56 PM.
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  #152  
Old 02-15-2020, 05:40 PM
crutchtip crutchtip is offline
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I spoke to the owner about it, and it is definitely black micarta.

I have no doubt is it a Solingen blade, just by looking at it. Seen enough of them to know. Early Orlando humps tended to be a bit "softer" and not as pronounced.

Orlando humps were pretty much gone by late 50's I believe, and probably a bit earlier. Again, it depends on how many were forged and used at any given time. Some I am sure sat in the bin as did I believe this 14 being discussed, not relative to forging of course being a Solingen, but in use. In any case, I surmise the Orlando 14 grind as we know it came about because it is easier to forge and finish, and it differentiates the Orlando hand forged blade from the Solingen made blade. This, despite the fact that an Orlando hump forging was the original pattern for the Solingen blades.

Rough grinding a blade for an 18 in this case, and having it sit for a couple years, would not be out of the ordinary back in the day.

Last edited by crutchtip; 02-15-2020 at 05:45 PM.
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  #153  
Old 02-17-2020, 01:49 AM
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Jacknola Jacknola is offline
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Regarding the strange m-14, here is a close-up of the blade and stamp. I would have immediately thought this to be Solingen except for the etched logo. I suppose it is possible to envision a scenario early in the shop's use of their own in-house etching capability (1963) where someone used the wrong logo etching template.



This (below) is a close-up of the handle. This photo and blow up of others exhibited in the offer on e-bay led me to consider it to be brown Micarta from a longitudinal cut.



However, I have I've noticed some of my own m-14s with early black Micarta handles occasionally exhibit a brownish cast when photographed... not all, just some. Notice the second knife from left that looks to be brown Micarta. It is actually early black Micarta.



Whatever... the knife is unusual by either count... the mistaken logo or a brown Micarta Orlando blade made to look like a Solingen. Thanks for your input. I'm now somewhat glad I didn't chase the original auction and recycle the Orlando-saw tooth I already own. Ciao

Last edited by Jacknola; 02-17-2020 at 03:03 AM.
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  #154  
Old 02-17-2020, 10:19 PM
crutchtip crutchtip is offline
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I had some questions as to the micarta as the photos were not the best. I opted out because I didn't want to take the risk of it being black.

In the photo of the handle you posted, you will note in the very center there is the filled hole visible. It appeared to be black resin, not brown. More importantly was the yellowing of the canvas was very evident, which you wouldn't see in brown micarta.

So, that is how I came to my conclusion.

The etching I think was simply a mistake.
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  #155  
Old 02-19-2020, 12:58 PM
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Jacknola Jacknola is offline
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This is a close-up photo of the Micarta handle of Lt. Corocan's Solingen carbon m-14 pictured in detail in earlier post (see page 10). The knife was bought in mid-1965 and carried in Vietnam.



This is almost certainly a predominantly black Micarta handle yet extensive handling and the photo effect I mentioned gives the flats of it brownish hue. It seems that the early Micarta material used a brown canvas of sorts in a ply (?) which is picked up in pixels by digital cameras. Where the material was heavily touched (finger grips) the oil and wear remained blackish. Later Micartas did not exhibit this characteristic.

What this means is that while the strange teethed m-14 certainly has a brown look in the photo, (and it may be brown pending in-hand examination) a collector should be cautious about judging brown Micarta solely from a single picture. Also be aware that a block of Micarta could be cut in several ways giving a different look to pieces from the same source. And each block was indeed different ... hence the very early reddish "brown Micarta," and the deeper chocolate " brown Micarta" used later.

This is just a heads up for collectors without the ability to actually closely examine a knife before buying it on-line. Joe and others can elaborate with greater expertise and experience. Ciao.

Last edited by Jacknola; 02-19-2020 at 02:09 PM.
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  #156  
Old 06-29-2020, 12:49 PM
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Now on the second page of this board is an in-depth discussion of white Tenite handled Randall model 14s and 15s. Much of the discussion concerns the history of Solingen blades of both models, AS such it is of interest to the vintage model 14 collecting community... Vintage Vietnam era Randall knives cannot be fully discussed without talking about Solingen blades.

http://www.knifenetwork.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=67500

The discussion was one of the best collaborative research and investigative efforts I've experienced on Randall boards and the conclusions are important for understanding the early history of Model 14s. Therefore, I'm reproducing the last substantive post from that line. For a full understanding, I suggest scanning the line because the methodology is instructive.

-----------------------------------------------------


Well, I guess we can come to a conclusion with Joe's comments and solid references, and Sam, Ronnie, and Bill's raw data, pictures, and observations.

Sam, my opinion is that ALL the 500 m14s and 500 m15s 1st generation ricasso-stamped Solingens had holes drilled in Germany because they all were delivered presumably within a few months of each other. To change the manufacture and contractual specs of those 1,000 knives after production had started would be almost unheard of.

What this means is you will probably find five holes or so drilled in the tang of every one of those m15 and m14 Tenite-handles, 1st generation Solingen knives.... if you took the handle apart.




(Note: this assumes there was only one 1st generation Solingen order... the original for 500 each m14 and m15s. This was my deductive conclusion in the vintage 14 line.. and the reasons are listed there based on sales of combat knives during this peace-time period. If there were additional orders, that would change several things including estimates of how many green-Tenite handled 14s-15s were made.)

Let me summarize...

March, 1954 - Mr. Randall had meeting with USNavy, provided detailed blueprints and model knives. USNavy ordered 10 m15s (no m14s?) for testing based on detailed blue prints. These blue prints presumably called for 3-screws securing the tenite handle.

May, 1954 - USNavy test models finished and shipped, presumably using three-screws securing the handle as per the blue print specs. The 1st generation Solingen order was placed. New catalog was published, with first offer of Solingen m14 and m15s.

May, 1954 (cont) - One or more m15s and m14 Orlando-made blades were sent to Germany to be used as prototypes for the Solingen order. These prototypes were made at the same time the test examples were made for the USNavy presumably to the same blue print specs...

Dec, 1954 - Shop received first installment of the Solingen order for 500 m14s and 500 m15s Solingen blades, ricasso stamped....

DEDUCTION: these blades were delivered with three holes drilled in the tang and the thong hole drilled at the end of the tang. This is presumably because the prototype Orlando blades sent in May had three holes, which in turn was because the blue print specs provided to the USNavy called for three screws securing the handle.

...1st generation Solingen batches continued to be received until Spring, 1955 (?). First production of customer-ordered Solingen blades was in January, 1955 (?). All customer orders, Orlando or Solingen, were constructed with white- (and later green)Tenite, 2-screw handles. 2-screw handles on Solingen knives necessitated additional holes be drilled in the tang at the shop...

Early 1963 - last of original Solingen 1st gen, ricasso-stamped blades used up, new orders placed in Germany and additional orders placed periodically thereafter. New supply did not have same ricasso stamp, (the ricasso was later stamped with the word "Stainless ," if it was a stainless steel blade. Stainless Solingens were probably was not ordered until a couple of years later). Etched Randall trademark introduced. Thong hole on blade tang not drilled in Germany. Holes probably/possibly not drilled in Germany though this may have been a later spec.

Last edited by Jacknola; 06-29-2020 at 01:01 PM.
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  #157  
Old 07-05-2020, 02:34 PM
crutchtip crutchtip is offline
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Jack -

I don't recall seeing an early Solingen tang that was original with more than three holes, two to attach the handle, and a thong hole. They "all" were drilled/punched (probably punched) in Germany prior to delivery according to Pete Hamilton. I do not believe any with three bolts were ever delivered to any entity, and if they were, the design changed rather quickly to two bolts. I would think if a three bolt example existed, it would have surfaced in the last 65+ years. The original examples in the museum with three "bolts" are not bolts at all, and IIRC are actually lead plugs like John Ek used on his knives.

I have seen a couple that were "kit" blades that someone tried to replicate the original design. Have also seen some Orlando blades that had boogered up holes that were slightly mis-drilled relative to location and were oblique/elongated when the correct location was determined. The hole was filled with epoxy and re-drilled.
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  #158  
Old 07-06-2020, 05:25 PM
Ta2bill Ta2bill is offline
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Here is a picture of Solingen blades in stacks at the museum.



Also, Gaddis pgs. 135 & 143 have photographs of three bolt Solingen fighters.

Last edited by Ta2bill; 07-06-2020 at 05:32 PM.
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  #159  
Old 07-06-2020, 09:38 PM
crutchtip crutchtip is offline
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I have seen the display in the museum, but don't recall seeing one outside of the museum. Like I stated above, I think they were changed in short order, maybe after the first sample was received. Note the blank in the museum has four holes and the tenite handle next to it will not bolt on as the tang holes won't line up. That is what Jack was trying to figure out with his five hole theory.

I base most of it from looking at early knives and taking the handle off. I can't say 100% none had three holes, but most certainly didn't have five that I recall. Of course I have not looked at every one made, but have looked at a pretty good sample.

None of the earliest 18's have more than two plus one (tang) holes that I have examined, and they are the same blades used in the 14 and 15 production.

The knives in the catalog on page 133 and the photo on page 135 are the same knives. They are in the museum as I mentioned above.
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