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Stockman Main Blade Swedge Grind Question

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by Joe58, May 25, 2015.

  1. Joe58

    Joe58 Gold Member Basic Member Gold Member

    Nov 11, 2002
    Ok, perhaps a dumb question that the answer is obvious to that eludes me, but I've noticed on a stockman main blade the top front part (the swedge?) of the blade is ground or angled on the presentation side, but not on the opposite, pile side. Why is this? Why not grind both sides?

    I thought perhaps it had had something to do with access to the other blade nail nicks, but it's no where near the other two blades.

    I just cannot fathom the reason for this. I tried to capture it in the pictures. These are main blades on a Buck 301, and a 303, and a Western 742, that were laying around handy. But I've noticed it on a Camillus I have as well.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. MarkPinTx

    MarkPinTx

    801
    Aug 21, 2003
    The primary purpose of a swedge is to thin the point area of the knife. Secondarily, it may be used to help create some clearance for other blades. On really thick blades (there's a Colt Canoe on the Rough Rider and Related Slipjoints thread that demonstrates this), you can see the thinning utility of swedges. A lot of Cases of recentish vintage have dual swedges (Humpback whittler, Copperlock) on not so thick blades, but you can see that it just makes the blade "pointier." The one-sided swedge that you note is just a cheaper way of doing what a "dual" swedge does. They are also decorative.
     
  3. Joe58

    Joe58 Gold Member Basic Member Gold Member

    Nov 11, 2002
    Ah, gotcha....yeah, I've really no trouble with the look of it, although to me it looks better with both sides done. It does make sense to give the pointy end a bit more thinness for cutting/stabbing into something.

    Just something I found curious. :)

    Thanks!
     
  4. Markesharp

    Markesharp

    Mar 8, 2014
    Joe - I have the same "pet peeve" with swedges on one side only. The only reason it is done that way is to save costs. Period. If I am going to keep the knife, I grind a swedge on the back side to match the front side. I have done it on a dozen knives and it just looks "finished" IMHO. :)
     
  5. paulhilborn

    paulhilborn Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    Good questions Joe, I know what your asking and my thoughts were along those of which Mark gave. One additional question I have is an older Schrade/Schrade Walden 3 7/8 Stockman I have that has "Kon Kav" etched on the main blade has a half Sabre grind on one side and flat grind on the other side, why I wonder not a full Sabre grind???
     
  6. Markesharp

    Markesharp

    Mar 8, 2014
    Not 100% sure on the one-sides Sabre grind Paul, but I have noticed the same on some old Schrade whittlers. My thoughts are the Sabre grind is like a chisel when removing wood as it is easier to control your cut depth with a "flat back" on the blade.

    I have a couple cheap old Imperial Barlows that are Sabre ground on one side only.

    Hope this helps your carving skills! :eek::barf::eek:

    Just kidding brother, you have a good start on that Bald Viking! :D
     
  7. Modoc ED

    Modoc ED Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    Some knife companies used to (or is it use to) finish only the mark side of their blades. It is common to find knives with the mark side of the blade polished while the pile side of the blade is satin/unpolished. It's the same with covers - wonderful stag on the mark side but so so stag on the pile side and the same for bone and other cover material. A nice swedge on the mark side with no swedge on the pile side. Stainless steel for the main blade - non-stainless for the other blades. For some of these companies it was a matter of cost and time.

    I've got a nice link somewhere about this very thing. I'll try to find it and post it later.
     
  8. paulhilborn

    paulhilborn Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    It's going to take more then that Mark:D your mentioning that same blade on your whittlers sparked the ole memory...I too have an older Camillus made Sta Sharp that is only Sabre grounds on one side...your the smarter brother...I just have all the looks:D
     
  9. MarkPinTx

    MarkPinTx

    801
    Aug 21, 2003
    Yeah the saber grind on one side is taking it to an extreme, as is nice stag/bad stag. With carbon blades, the mirror/satin doesn't bother me that much as neither will be around very long.

    There's that "famous" or popular Camillus peanut or jack with the gorgeous blade on the mark side and optically flat on the pile. Such a disappointment. This one is a little ground down, but:

    [​IMG]
     
  10. MarkPinTx

    MarkPinTx

    801
    Aug 21, 2003
    Also, Joe, I don't think I ever recall seeing a Buck slip with a mirror finished blade? But I am far from any sort of authority. Interesting to see the resemblance from common parentage of the 303 and Western.
     
  11. Joe58

    Joe58 Gold Member Basic Member Gold Member

    Nov 11, 2002
    Some good info there. I'm not well versed in the older traditionals history and I learned a lot from those answers. Much appreciated.

    ***I was going to ask then, from knives made "back in the day", what were the more premium brands then that are known for not cutting corners, and finishing a complete knife, so to speak.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2015
  12. afishhunter

    afishhunter

    Oct 21, 2014
    Buck, Camillus (made knives for many others as well as their own branded), Case, Schrade (also made knives for others plus their own brands) Western (fixed blades) Puma, Sheffield, Hen and Rooster, Boker Tree Brand, the German Eye Brand, Victorinox SAK, Ka-Bar, Marbles, Utica, Ontario, and while not a "premium" brand, Opinel, are a few that com to mind.
     
  13. ea42

    ea42 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 1, 2006
    Joe, I think you'd be hard pressed to find any pre-1950 manufacturer who only swedged one side of the blade, that's just bizarre. On some occasions a different swedge was used on the pile side as opposed to the mark side in order to facilitate blade clearance. For instance on some congress or serpentine knives you might find a cut swedge on the mark side and a drawn swedge on the pile side, where an opposing blade was nestled up against it.

    As far as polishing one side of a blade, this was quite common with all the old manufacturers. Usually the mark side of the pocket or main blade was polished (crocus finish), while all the other blades and pile side of the main blade were given a satin finish. The reason for this was that a crocus finished blade accepted an etch far more clearly than a satin finished blade, and the master blade is usually the one that was etched. Blade rub is also better hidden on a satin finished blade. On finer knives such as the pricey pearl knives all blades were crocus finished. This was done on a hard wheel back then, and took a very high amount of skill. The blades had a mirror finish which was so fine that it actually inhibited rust.

    Eric
     
  14. RDaneel

    RDaneel Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 23, 2000
    This is a great topic and a question I've also had. I just did a quick review of some of my older knives. The few I checked from early 20th century through the 20s and 30s had the swedge on both sides. Those post WW2 had only the mark side swedge. Interesting.
     

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