case knife display

The W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company has a very rich history that began in 1889 when William Russell (“W.R.”), Jean, John, and Andrew Case began fashioning their knives and selling them along a wagon trail in upstate New York. The company has produced countless treasures and it continues to do so as one of the most collected brands in the world.
strichzwei
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2019 1:07 am

case knife display

Postby strichzwei » Sun Jul 28, 2019 1:11 pm

Hi everyone, first post here.

My father just gave me a "Case" knife display that he acquired sometime in the early 80's (?).

I would like to display it on the wall in my house and am looking for some guidance from those that are more knowledgeable and have been through this before.

1) how to treat the knives:
A) Cut the wires to remove all knives from the board
B) use some sort of chrome polish to remove the discoloration/rust on the blades and the backbone.......I need guidance on brand, technique, etc
C) Leave all handle material as is.

2) How to display::
A) I would like to reattach the knives to the original board, but was considering using "rare earth" magnets instead of rewiring so they can easily be removed for inspection or maintenance
B) I would love some sort of original display case, but it needs to be mounted to a wall, did this exist? and do I have a chance finding one? (I do not have room for a freestanding display). Green board is 31" X 19".
C) Does anyone make a wall mounted display case that will accept the original board? I guess I could make one....if someone has done this would appreciate them sharing how they did it.

Thanks so much,
Scott
20190727_191548.jpg
20190727_191621.jpg
20190727_191635.jpg
20190727_191639.jpg

User avatar
treefarmer
Gold Tier
Gold Tier
Posts: 7296
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:53 am
Location: Florida Panhandle(LA-Lower Alabama)

Re: case knife display

Postby treefarmer » Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:05 pm

Wow, what a pile of Case knives! ::woot:: 1st, ::welcome:: to AAPK. ::handshake::
It is obvious some need attention, rust on the blades in some of the pictures. The knives that have lost their handle "luster" are made of Delrin and they have I suppose oxidized. They can be cleaned easily, the rusty ones will need some special attention. There are several different posts on the forum concerning rust removal.
strichzwei, you have a wonderful prize and a good bit of work to make it better. There are some very knowledgeable folks on AAPK that should be able to advise you in the care and display of your gift from your father.
Treefarmer

A GUN IN THE HAND IS BETTER THAN A COP ON THE PHONE.

User avatar
XX Case XX
Silver Tier
Silver Tier
Posts: 2771
Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2015 7:24 pm
Location: California

Re: case knife display

Postby XX Case XX » Sun Jul 28, 2019 4:19 pm

First of all, that is a very nice display case. I couldn't think of a more wonderful gift for a knife guy than that right there. Now, about your questions. I understand your desire to remove, clean, and re-attach all those knives. I get it.

But here's the thing, and remember, it's only my personal opinion. If you'd like to clean those knives, that's fine. But to re-attach them, well, that's a different story. In my opinion, removing those knives and re-attaching in a different manner would ruin the "Structural Integrity" of that display.

What I mean is, most serious collectors like having things in their original condition. Take a classic car for example. Most car guys would rather find a 68 Camaro RS in all original condition, than find the same car re-painted, with a different steering wheel, different engine, and different wheels on it.

As I said, if you'd like to clean those knives up a bit, (not too much) and re-attach them using the same mounting wires, I personally feel that would be fine. As far as the rest, I'd leave it alone.

Here's a picture of one of my older Case knives. You can actually see a line on the bone handle where it was attached to the board using those same wires.The board it was on must have been facing the sun in the morning or late afternoon because that part of the handle is lighter than the rest. I love seeing that kind of thing. That line is one of the things that sold me on that knife. (Click on the photo to enlarge so you get a good look).

Anyway, I hope you consider all posts regarding your question so you can make an informed decision. There are many others here that know a lot more than I do and can offer deeper insight into your dilemma. I certainly hope you get it all sorted out. Please let us know what you decide to do.

Mike
Attachments
fullsizeoutput_23f.jpeg
"If there are no Dogs in Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went". Will Rogers

I work hard so my Dog can have a better life...

User avatar
Doc B
Bronze Tier
Bronze Tier
Posts: 1573
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:57 pm
Location: San Antonio

Re: case knife display

Postby Doc B » Sun Jul 28, 2019 4:27 pm

Welcome to AAPK. That is a very nice collection you have acquired! I agree on the need to get them off the board and get some level of protection on them. I'm not familiar with the way they are attached. Your magnet idea sounds intriguing. Being able to periodically inspect and "play" with your knives would enhance the fun...IMHO. Probably the cheapest, quickest and most conservative thing you could do to protect them would be 1) Use a pencil lead to "scrub" the overt areas of rust off the blades. It is soft enough to not hurt the metal and hard enough to remove rust. 2) Apply mineral oil to the joints and blades.
This is my bulk knife cleaning kit:
IMG_1522.jpg

Mineral oil (very cheap and found in any pharmacy). It is food safe, Cotton swath...to saturate and quickly wipe down blade with a liberal coat of oil. Also, the small model paintbrush makes it easy to rapidly apply oil to the joints.
If you were long-term storing them...I'd consider Renaissance Wax, for the blades. A little more pricey than mineral oil...but one container will darn near last you a lifetime. Thanks for posting them; enjoy!
Edit...Mike slipped in with his entry above...while I composed my entry. Again...my thoughts are simply opinion, as well. I appreciated the "structural integrity" comment as well...however, it appears that many of the knives have significant overt rust on the blades. That certainly would be occurring in the joints, as well. I like the idea of preserving the original type attachment...but my personal opinion (vote)...would not be at the expense of allowing that level of rust to continue on the knives.
Heretical Refurb / Mods of cheap old folders, since late 2018

User avatar
philco
Gold Tier
Gold Tier
Posts: 13357
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2008 9:32 pm
Location: Kentucky (Wildcat Country)

Re: case knife display

Postby philco » Sun Jul 28, 2019 6:44 pm

The first thing I'd be concerned with doing is figuring out what's causing those knives to rust. Is there, perhaps, a celluloid knife in the bunch that is outgassing ? If so, it needs to be removed immediately. I'll leave it to others to guide you through the cleaning and restoration process. I personally don't see a problem with using magnets instead of wires to hold the knives in place assuming you can do that in a way that allows the display to remain visually similar to what it looks like now.
Once you're done with restoring this display, be sure you mount it somewhere that will keep it from being directly exposed to sunlight as that will fade the handles over time.
Good luck and please post some follow up on this project. ::handshake::
Phil
AAPK Administrator

Jesus died for you. Are you living for Him?

"Buy More Ammo!"
Johnnie Fain 1949-2009

Please visit my AAPK store http://www.allaboutpocketknives.com/philco

User avatar
Mumbleypeg
Gold Tier
Gold Tier
Posts: 6024
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:28 am
Location: Republic of Texas

Re: case knife display

Postby Mumbleypeg » Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:31 pm

Welcome to AAPK Scott! Very nice old display, from the looks of it and the number of Delrin handled knifes I’m guessing it’s from around 1970 +/- a few years, maybe into the 1980s. But wow, where to start!?

I’m of the “keep it as original as possible” school of thought. I like to preserve history whenever possible. First, how are the wires attached to the board? It appears to be an original factory display and if so the wires are twisted on the back, which means you can carefully untwist them, and remove the knives one at a time. Clean the knife, then use the same wire to put it back. Whatever you do is going to take time and a lot of work. Don’t get in a hurry! When cleaning knives it’s very difficult (often impossible) to correct a mistake, so unless you’re a pro, slow and steady is the rule of thumb.

All posted thus far is good advice. Here’s a compilation of threads about knife cleaning. viewtopic.php?f=37&t=54157#p600904 Recommend you take some time to read through them. Pencil “lead” (graphite) is a great tool for what it appears your knives need. If it was me I’d invest in a couple of those flat-sided carpenter’s pencils - lots more “lead” to work with so you won’t have to read-sharpen as often.

The Delrin has what’s called “Delrin haze”. That can be remedied fairly easily. viewtopic.php?f=2&t=47409&p=489100&hilit=Haze#p489100

I don’t know if your board was originally part of a free-standing or countertop display, but if you just want to hang it on a wall I’d look into a shadow box type of case to mount it in. Should have a glass, or plexiglass cover to help protect the contents. They’re expensive but you can get glass with anti-UV and non-glare coatings. Those kinds of glass and shadow boxes can be purchased at art framing stores. Most will custom build whatever you want. For a price of course. But you already have a valuable asset so why not protect it.? JMO

Ken
Member AKTI, TSRA, NRA.

"There was a time when young people revered their elders. No one knows when this was." - Bill Heavey
https://www.akti.org/

strichzwei
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2019 1:07 am

Re: case knife display

Postby strichzwei » Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:52 pm

Thanks for all the good advice!
Scott

strichzwei
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2019 1:07 am

Re: case knife display

Postby strichzwei » Mon Jul 29, 2019 2:32 am

the knives are attached with wire and twisted in the back, I guess I can just untwist and put them back one by one. I really would like to clean them up and oil them to prevent further rust, and I don't know hat they look like on the back side.
thanks all,
Scott

User avatar
Mumbleypeg
Gold Tier
Gold Tier
Posts: 6024
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:28 am
Location: Republic of Texas

Re: case knife display

Postby Mumbleypeg » Mon Jul 29, 2019 3:11 am

strichzwei wrote:the knives are attached with wire and twisted in the back, I guess I can just untwist and put them back one by one. I really would like to clean them up and oil them to prevent further rust, and I don't know hat they look like on the back side.
thanks all,
Scott


That’s a good sign. Means the board is probably as it was assembled at the Case factory. As for oiling the knives, if you do so be very sparing with the oil as it will collect dust, especially if too much is used. Which will in turn holds moisture, even from humidity in the air. My preferred lube and preservative for a task like yours is Tuf-glide, because it dries and leaves lube and invisible protectant coating on the metal. Renwax is probably best for long term protectant but it is not really a lube, and takes longer to apply than Tuf-glide. If you have the time, used Tuf-glide in the joints and then RenWax on the rest of the knife, after you’ve cleaned it up.

A drop of oil in the joints is great, and recommended for a knife that you’re going to use regularly. I don’t think it’s needed for a knife that’s going into a display.

Ken
Member AKTI, TSRA, NRA.

"There was a time when young people revered their elders. No one knows when this was." - Bill Heavey
https://www.akti.org/

strichzwei
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2019 1:07 am

Re: case knife display

Postby strichzwei » Tue Jul 30, 2019 3:34 pm

Ken et al,

thanks for the detailed advice.

I am also of the "school of thought" to keep things original.

The wire ties that hold the knives on, where obviously done with a tool, many twists and quite tight, I am not sure if I could untwist these in a manner that would allow them to be reassembled in and "original" fashion and not damage the board at the same time.

What about if I were to leave the knives on the board and "restore" the fronts of the blades but use Q-tips or something similar to oil the backs of the blades? Does that sound like a reasonable approach?

Thanks,
Scott

Ken, looks like we are both in the lone star state.....well, I am in Austin.

User avatar
Mumbleypeg
Gold Tier
Gold Tier
Posts: 6024
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:28 am
Location: Republic of Texas

Re: case knife display

Postby Mumbleypeg » Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:47 am

strichzwei wrote:
What about if I were to leave the knives on the board and "restore" the fronts of the blades but use Q-tips or something similar to oil the backs of the blades? Does that sound like a reasonable approach?

Thanks,
Scott

Ken, looks like we are both in the lone star state.....well, I am in Austin.


I’m about an hour north of the DFW metro-mess. If it wasn’t so far I’d come and help you work on it. :)

As for leaving knives on the board and using something to put oil on the back sides of the blades, I sure wouldn’t try it. (As I already said I wouldn’t use oil anyway.) You might be able to do it, but if I tried I’d probably have as much or more oil on the board than on the knife, which would likely ruin the board’s appearance. Plus, how would you see if you got all the blade covered or not?

I’d try taking one off by undoing the wire. Then see if you can put it back using the same wire, or some wire like it from the hardware store. If you can’t re-use the original wire but can put it back with new wire, then you could just cut the wires to remove them and put them back using the new wire. Like i said in a prior post, take it slow and cautious until you get it figured out.

Ken
Member AKTI, TSRA, NRA.

"There was a time when young people revered their elders. No one knows when this was." - Bill Heavey
https://www.akti.org/

rugmar
Posts: 131
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:45 pm
Location: Central NC

Re: case knife display

Postby rugmar » Wed Jul 31, 2019 4:40 am

I’m going to offer an alternative suggestion. How about removing the knives, storing the original board and then making a new one of the same size to display the knives in the exact same positions. Make it from sheet metal then paint or powder coat it white or off white and then use your magnets to attach. Look at how new Case displays are made. This way you have a beautiful display but you still have the original if you want to go back to it.

Really nice gift. You should be proud!! Thanks for sharing with us! ::tu:: ::tu::

rugmar
Posts: 131
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:45 pm
Location: Central NC

Re: case knife display

Postby rugmar » Wed Jul 31, 2019 4:46 am

Or paint it green to look just the way it is now. My suggestion above said white or off white but when I looked back I saw the original color was green background.

strichzwei
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2019 1:07 am

Re: case knife display

Postby strichzwei » Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:33 pm

OK, makes sense.

- I think my best bet is to remove the knives, that way they can be thoroughly inspected and treated.

- I can use the original board by putting a large "rare earth" magnet behind the board and smaller ones in front of the boar (honing stone and oil are adhered to the board and do not want to remove.

- Photo document how the knives were attached and save all the wires in the event someone wants to put it back in its original form.

thanks all,
Scott

User avatar
Mumbleypeg
Gold Tier
Gold Tier
Posts: 6024
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:28 am
Location: Republic of Texas

Re: case knife display

Postby Mumbleypeg » Wed Jul 31, 2019 4:27 pm

Good luck with it! Be sure to photograph your progress and keep us posted re what worked best (and didn’t - but hopefully you won’t have any of that). We can all learn something from your project. ::tu::

Ken
Member AKTI, TSRA, NRA.

"There was a time when young people revered their elders. No one knows when this was." - Bill Heavey
https://www.akti.org/


Return to “Case Knife Collector's Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 43 guests