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Digital Subscriptions > American Survival Guide > July 2019 > DEDICATION TO RESTORATION

DEDICATION TO RESTORATION

RESCUE HIDDEN TREASURES HIDING UNDER THAT RUSTY PATINA.
Putting an edge on this old draw knife didn’t remove any of the character from the blade

Some people like old firearms; some like old vehicles. I like old tools, especially old bladed tools. I’m not a “bright and shiny” kind of guy. As an outdoorsperson and historian, I like things that tell a story. Tools do just that.

Among most indigenous people, it is believed that a tool holds the spirit of the person who either made it or used it. Believing that, when I pick up an old axe or knife, I feel that spirit and wonder about the stories the tool could tell.

Where I live, I am known for sharpening bladed tools. I also work to restore neglected blades, bringing them back to life. I am really fond of carbon-steel blades and admittedly do not really like stainless steel. Tools made from carbon steel are tools of history; they hold an edge and will last forever…if they are taken care of.

If there is a drawback to carbon steel it is that it rusts. The good news is that with a little work, in most cases, carbon-steel tools and blades can be brought back to “life.”

Recently, a good friend brought me a knife and asked if I could do something with it. It was in rough shape and badly rusted. It was so bad, in fact, that I almost didn’t take it on.

Then, I heard the story behind the blade: My friend’s brother carried this knife in Vietnam.

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American Survival Guide July 2019, How-To : Fire Protection 101, Decoding The Signals of Civil Unrest, Hydration Filtration + Suncompass Solar Nav, And More...