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WIP - Makeover - 1968 PUMA Hunter

Discussion in 'JapaneseKnifeSharpening / Dave Martell Knives' started by Dave Martell, May 21, 2018.

  1. Dave Martell

    Dave Martell Founding Member

    So we've got something a bit different here don't we?


    This knife belongs to the forum owner Jim. He's asked me to fix 'er up and upgrade it a bit while I'm at it changing the handle and who knows what else.

    This particular knife is a good example of 1960's vintage German knife making. It represents a time where decent hunting knives could be had for not much money, knives that could be used, and then handed down to the next generation.

    Most of us knife collectors wouldn't think about messing with a vintage knife as it can have collector value (which would be about $300+ if in mint unused condition with sheath & box) but in this case it has little to no such value as is so we've pushed aside any guilt and are pressing on.

    I'll do my best to document the process (AKA - experiment) that I go on with this knife and share it with you all. Please feel free to comment and join is as we go. Enjoy the WIP...

    P1010028.JPG P1010029.JPG P10100222.JPG P1010020.JPG P1010031.JPG
  2. Dave Martell

    Dave Martell Founding Member


    The first step will be to remove the stag scales. These are held in place by, what I believe to be, bird's eye bolts. One side of the bolts have a larger head which I'm guessing (maybe hoping?) to be the head of the bolt that I can grab onto and screw them loose. I'll get back to you on this.
  3. Dave Martell

    Dave Martell Founding Member

    OK so it turns out that the bolts are actually rivets (I should have known!). Here's the process I used to remove them as well as the scales....

    The heads of the rivets are peened over on both sides so I started by grinding the heads off (using my disc grinder) only one side, leaving the side with the larger heads in place.


    Here you can see the heads of the rivets ground down.


    Now I used vise grips to grab hold of the rivet head on the other side that had been left alone. A twist and a pull and they easily come out of the scales.


    A tap on the scales and they come lose yet are still held in place by the lanyard tube.


    Luckily the tube is only held in place by glue on one side so I was able to pry one scale off and remove them both from the tang.

    Here's the scales completely removed....


    The next step will be to clean up the tang and see what condition it's in. This will determine what we do with regards to a replacement handle. Stay tuned.... :)
  4. Toothpick

    Toothpick #2 since day #1 Founding Member

  5. Jim

    Jim Old Curmudgeon Founding Member

    Any suggestions for handle material ?
    Slabs or hidden tang?
    I was thinking a more traditional western shape....
  6. Dave Martell

    Dave Martell Founding Member

    I'm torn on this Jim. The condition of the tang is pretty good, 99% flat and VERY square to the bolster - both good things for fit 'n finish. If we go with full tang we're limited (for the most part) to using the profile that is already there and that's because the handle is small, there's nothing to work with. If we go hidden tang then we can have a huge amount of flexibility on profile/shaping, we lose the old school full tang look/feel though. It's a tough one to decide on.

    On material - stag! Sambar stag to be more specific. :cool:
  7. Dave Martell

    Dave Martell Founding Member

    When I rescale a western knife I like to know the condition of the tang and it's fit to the bolster. I use an engineer's square to check the flatness of the tang and how square it is to the tang. I tried taking a picture of this, too hard to do by myself, sorry.

    I also go one step further and scuff the tang on my grinder's platen using a worn Trizact Gator belt. I'm simply trying to find if there's any high and low spots, I'm not looking to flatten the tang here. If the tang does need flattening I'll go with a more abrasive belt and get it done that way.


    Turns out that we have some pitting, scale, and/or forge marks showing.....


    This tang will need some flattening if it's to be used again.
  8. Jim

    Jim Old Curmudgeon Founding Member

  9. WarrenB

    WarrenB Contributor

  10. Rick

    Rick aka Pensacola Tiger Founding Member Gold Contributor

    I've always liked a hidden tang, similar to what is on this Randall.

  11. Jim

    Jim Old Curmudgeon Founding Member

    Yep.. that style in Stag is one of the front runners. I was thinking getting a period correct coin for the buttcap.
  12. WarrenB

    WarrenB Contributor

  13. Jim

    Jim Old Curmudgeon Founding Member

  14. Dave Martell

    Dave Martell Founding Member

  15. Dave Martell

    Dave Martell Founding Member

    Jim is going with a new guard that I'll be making so I removed the old one....

    I figured that the old guard was soldered in place and installed from the direction of the tang so I secured the blade in the vise with the tang pointed down so the guard would fall when the solder liquefied.

    I used a simple propane torch (seen in the bottom of the picture below) to heat the tang as well as up under the guard being careful to keep the heat away from the blade. This wasn't difficult to do as I started to hear the ting of the solder moving and smelt it almost right away.

    A light tap from a plastic mallet and the guard fell down the length of the tang just as planned. :)

    We're currently sourcing the materials for the handle but in the meantime I'll get started on the blade. Stay tuned!
  16. Jim

    Jim Old Curmudgeon Founding Member

  17. Toothpick

    Toothpick #2 since day #1 Founding Member

  18. Dave Martell

    Dave Martell Founding Member

  19. Toothpick

    Toothpick #2 since day #1 Founding Member

  20. Dave Martell

    Dave Martell Founding Member

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