View Full Version : Any knife makers out there?

Todd Burch
09-29-2012, 9:52 PM
I bought this knife the other day. I was trying to barter a vendor down at an antique sale, and she wasn't budging. She finally said "make a pile, and I'll make you smile". So, instead of just getting the one item I wanted for $15 (she would not take $10), I got six items for $30. This was one of the "extras". She did make me smile!

I have since learned this is called a Beet Knife. I want to remove the rust from it using electrolysis, but I don't know how to remove the scales from the haft without tearing it up. They appears to be beech.

Could these be Corby rivets? If so, what's the best way to remove them?

Thanks, Todd

Bruce Volden
09-30-2012, 3:43 PM

I'm not a knife maker-just engrave MANY of them so take with a grain of salt. These look like ordinary brass rivets. I would take a caliper and get a rough diameter (so you can later run to the hardware store and buy same size brass rod). I would drill them out with an undersized bit and push them out the other side (or punch out). HTH


Todd Burch
09-30-2012, 10:46 PM
Thanks Bruce. I decided to drill them out.

The first one, I took it slow, and lo and behold, the top came off - Corby Rivets!


I punched it out...


...the rest of the way - 1 down, 2 to go!

And that is what it looks like. The two halves are simply pressed into each other.


Second rivet went great also. Then, working on the third - it started spinning in the hole... and... UH OH!!!

Darn!! When the top of the rivet came off, it grabbed on the drill bit, then when sideways, and trashed my handle. :(


Oh well, I guess I'll make new handles. Gotta find some figured hardwood. Maybe bubinga - maybe quarter sawn white oak. Old handles (scales) are quarter sawn beech. The knife blank will go in the electric bucket tomorrow. Stay tuned!


Todd Burch
10-01-2012, 8:12 AM
Seems these rivets are not Corby Rivets, but compression rivets; also called cutlery rivets. Now I'm having a hard time finding the same size as the original. Originals have a 3/8" diameter head, a 1/8" post size. The scales are 11/32" thick each side, so I'm guessing I need a rivets that will handle a 7/8" width.

Todd Burch
10-01-2012, 3:22 PM
I found some rivets that will work on McMaster-Carr. What an awesome website for finding stuff. Very nicely done.

Todd Burch
10-03-2012, 11:00 PM
My first knife rehab project is over. New white oak handles (scales) and brass rivets. I put a couple quick coats of some Minwax Antique Oil finish on it. If I had a use for it, I guess I would sharpen it.

Make: Ontario Knife Company.
Style: Beet Knife.

$5 for the rusty knife.
$1.50 for the rivets.
Oak handles - scrap wood from wood I harvested myself back in '96.
$35 for the pilotless 5/16" Forstner bit. (I had to get a new tool out of this project!!)

The first picture makes it look like there still some rust on it - but there isn't - it's a reflection.


Todd Burch
10-04-2012, 11:07 AM
Just as a matter of documenting the process and rivets I used, here's the link to the rivets. Scroll down to the 2-piece tubular rivets. I ordered the 5/16" head and 5/8" length, and trimmed the length as needed.


To install the rivets, I first epoxied one rough-cut scale to the haft, let it cure, and then drilled 5/32" holes through it, using the pattern of holes in the haft. I then epoxied the other rough scale to the haft, let it cure, and used the holes drilled in the first scale to drill through the second scale. I then countersunk a 5/16" hole (3 each side) for the rivet heads to be recessed into the scales. I then sanded the perimeter of the rough-cut scales down to the haft all the way around using a 1" x 42" belt sander.

To set the rivets, I used a small ball peen hammer to get them started. They are a very tight fit and (the solid post into the hollow post) and are not meant to be removed.

I then took them over the arbor press and pressed them together, but they needed to be pressed deeper than flush. I thought about it for a while, and figured out an easy way to do this. I took two 8d box nails, hacksawed the heads off, and then used clear masking tape (so I could see the exact positioning) to hold the nail heads, smooth side down, on top of the rivet heads (one on each side of the handle). I re-pressed on the arbor press and they counter-sank perfectly.

Final sanding of the handles removed the wood down to the rivet heads, and a little extra sanding got the heads of the rivets shiny.


Peter Stahl
10-04-2012, 11:16 AM

Great job!

ray hampton
10-04-2012, 7:15 PM
using the nail head are a good idea

Pat Barry
10-04-2012, 7:49 PM
Nice work on the restoration, now what the heck is a beet knife?

Gary Max
10-04-2012, 8:57 PM
Beets me--------------sorry I just had too

Bill Bukovec
10-04-2012, 9:14 PM
Thanks for posting. I've always wondered if those rivets had a specific name.

McMaster does have an awesome web site.

Chris Walls
10-04-2012, 9:37 PM
The knife was likely used for "mangel " short for mangelwurzel, a type of sugar beet. Used mainly for livestock feed. the spike was used to pick it up and the blade used to clip the top off and cut it up for feed to cattle.