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Thread: FS - 10" Stiletto drawknife

  1. #1
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    FS - 10" Stiletto drawknife

    Most of you now know that my obsession with drawknives gets out of control on a weekly basis. This one was in fairly good shape when acquired aside from being covered in a heavy patina, which included years of dirt and grime. I first thought it had no maker's mark due to the heavily covered surface. The handles were tight, but the wood was very rough to the point of being uncomfortable. I repaired, refinished and painted them and added a couple coats of poly for wear protection. The handles are oriented such that the knife can be used bevel up or down - depending on your stature, bevel down might be more comfortable. And, yes, your stature does have a bearing on the correct angle of the handles for a particular use.

    The bevel of the 10" blade was cleaned up a bit as was the backside. It was then sharpened to a fine edge and and accompanied by my patented "custom blade guard."

    This is a "gold rush" knife. There were a fair number of companies started in conjunction with the California gold rush, and this knife originates from one of those with an interesting history. Livingston Low Baker & Robert Muirhead Hamilton came to California in 1849 in hopes of finding gold. Mining for gold was hard work with little rewards, so Baker & Hamilton started selling general supplies/ tools & provisions to the miners. They first conducted their business out of a tent on Mormon Island near the town of Folsom California.

    In 1850 the pair opened their first store in Sacramento concentrating on agricultural equipment and general merchandise. The trade of their Sacramento store extended throughout Northern California, Oregon & Nevada.Baker & Hamilton eventually had offices in Washington/Oregon /San Francisco /Los Angeles/ New York and even had their own manufacturing factory in Benicia Ca. They were able to manufacture and market their own products, with Stiletto being one of their brands. By 1860 B&H had a thriving block-long store in Sacramento, and in 1867 they opened their first store in San Francisco, down on Front Street, which was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake. After merging with Pacific Hardware & Steel Co. in 1918, Baker & Hamilton merged with Pacific Hardware & Steel Company to create Baker, Hamilton & Pacific Company and moved into 700 7th Street at the corner of the evolving Mission Bay area.

    $65, plus actual shipping. Payment by personal check. I prefer to ship you the knife, and if you like it you send me a check. If you don't, then ship it back to me and pay me nothing. Your risk is simply return shipping.
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  2. #2
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    This is a "gold rush" knife. There were a fair number of companies started in conjunction with the California gold rush, and this knife originates from one of those with an interesting history. Livingston Low Baker & Robert Muirhead Hamilton came to California in 1849 in hopes of finding gold. Mining for gold was hard work with little rewards, so Baker & Hamilton started selling general supplies/ tools & provisions to the miners. They first conducted their business out of a tent on Mormon Island near the town of Folsom California.

    In 1850 the pair opened their first store in Sacramento concentrating on agricultural equipment and general merchandise. The trade of their Sacramento store extended throughout Northern California, Oregon & Nevada.Baker & Hamilton eventually had offices in Washington/Oregon /San Francisco /Los Angeles/ New York and even had their own manufacturing factory in Benicia Ca. They were able to manufacture and market their own products, with Stiletto being one of their brands. By 1860 B&H had a thriving block-long store in Sacramento, and in 1867 they opened their first store in San Francisco, down on Front Street, which was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake. After merging with Pacific Hardware & Steel Co. in 1918, Baker & Hamilton merged with Pacific Hardware & Steel Company to create Baker, Hamilton & Pacific Company and moved into 700 7th Street at the corner of the evolving Mission Bay area.
    John, your history comments are quite interesting. At least one of my gouges has a Stiletto mark and one of my chisels has a Baker Hamilton mark.

    My draw knife accumulation is also starting to get out of hand. Found and bought a bunch out on the coast not long ago.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  3. #3
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    Jim, while this knife is in excellent shape (after the handle repairs) the history of drawknives is nearly as important - at least to me. I always wonder what stories they could tell, the work they have done, and even the experiences of the folks that had a much more difficult life than most of us lead today. And, in this case, the amazing story of a couple of gold prospectors that didn't do so well at the river, but sure hit gold with their business endeavors!!

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  4. #4
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    John,

    I did send you an email about your thoughts on drawknife handle position as it pertains to bevel up vs. bevel down (not PM) via the Creek portal but havenít received a response. Thereís no rush but I just want to make sure you received it, as itís the first time Iíve sent an email rather than PM through the Creek.

    Stephen

  5. #5
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    Stephen, I did not receive it. Normally, it comes as a regular email to my email address, but I haven't received anything. Email me at john at johnkeeton.com. Thanks.

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  6. #6
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    So do you use the draw knives in projects you create John? Or do you simply collect and restore? I suspect many myself included have little knowledge of them. Interesting history lesson too. I enjoy history especially when it's related to tools and similar items.

  7. #7
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    Price reduction and deal sweetener

    Price reduction to $60, plus shipping. And, I am throwing in this 8" blade as a "project blade." There is no maker's mark, but the back has an apparent lamination and a bevel has been established that will need to be further sharpened for efficient work. This blade had been struck on the spine, as many of them have, and I worked that down, cleaned up the blade (took a while!) down to bare metal, and then browned it to add back a patina.

    Ronald, the simple answer to both questions is "Yes." I do use them in the building of Windsor chairs, and yes, I do seem to collect them. At any given point I usually will own a dozen or so. I thoroughly enjoy rehabbing/restoring them, and I also enjoy providing others with a drawknife that, even though a century or more old, can still be a valuable asset to their workshop. The ones that remain in my "stable" do change over time depending on new acquisitions - mostly based on a whim of whether I have owned a similar one before, whether it has a history that is more compelling to me, and in the end - do I have wall space for yet another drawknife!!
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  8. #8
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    PM sent with some questions.

    Thanks,
    D.J.

  9. #9
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    These have sold! Thanks.

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