M14 Forum banner

Restoring my old Ka-Bar **Project Complete**

1945 Views 37 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  Joe Silvia
When my daughter graduated from boot camp, I bought a new Ka-Bar and had her name laser-engraved on it. This was done for me as a favor by engineers in my company. I donated my Ka-Bar so they could test the process before running the final part on my daughter's knife.

I sent the blade, hand guard and pommel out to PFC THOMAS to have them bead blasted, then parkerized.



Back from PFC...





I numbered all the old handle sections and traced the new leather pieces so I can pre-sand the leather pieces before stacking them. Once I stack them, they'll have the rough contour and all I should have to do is sand them all to form.















I'm going to paint the tang with a few coats of rustoleum, then epoxy the stack onto the tang.I'll compress the leather and pin the pommel in place while it all cures.

I'll need to find a good leather stain and sealant now.

Tony.
1 - 20 of 38 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
735 Posts
I'll need to find a good leather stain and sealant now.
I would recommend Fiebings Professional series dye in the color of your choice. The professional series are oil based, so they penetrate a little better and are slightly more durable. You can dampen the leather slightly with water to get even better dye penetration. After the dye, let it completely dry and burnish to get the excess dried dye off. Then apply conditioner before you apply the top finish.

For finish, check out Resolene, Gum Tragacanth, Super Sheen, or Tan Kote. Since the leather stack is basically all edge leather, I'd recommend Tan Kote. On the plus side, It will let the leather stack absorb a leather conditioner a lot easier in the future; just apply conditioner right over it. The bad thing is you'll have to reapply the Tan Kote in the future since it will wear off.

Resolene and Super Sheen are acrylics, so they give an impressive shine, but they're pretty permanent. They don't let conditioner get absorbed as easily. Gum Trag is more for single finished edges and gets rid of all the "fuzzies" easier, but takes a lot of burnishing.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
735 Posts
Oh, and I'd recommend NOT using epoxy for the leather stack. Roughen the smooth faces to match the other side with some sandpaper. Use Barge cement on each side of each piece of leather. If you cannot find it, a good quality rubber cement will do OK, but Barge is the number one choice. It will let the stack be slightly flexible without making it brittle. This is of course assuming the leather washer stack fits pretty snug on the tang- looks like it from your photos.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tonyben

· Registered
Joined
·
735 Posts
One last thing-

Since it's a KaBar with that pommel, you may want to completely drill through the pommel and make a full-length pin to go all the way through. That blind pin can be a real PITA to get out in the future if you ever need to re-handle it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tonyben

· Registered
Joined
·
3,200 Posts
We mainly used them for mumbly-peg, split, or opening cans. In trades with sailors, a K-Bar would get anything on the ship. In the air wing, we preferred survival knives which were checked out of flight equipment.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,340 Posts
Hi,
Fantastic!

But, Wifey won't like an Anvil and Forge on the Patio, when Knifemaking bites you in the Azz! :cool:
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,983 Posts
I did my Bayonet for the M1 Carbine. I used Mahogany stain. mine is still a little to big where the security strap goes around. some pictures in the shade and out in the sun.
And if you have extra discs, use them to see what kind of stain you want.
 

Attachments

· Registered
Joined
·
3,983 Posts
Tony, just thought of another ? On my bayonet , with the new leather disc from Ka-Bar ; the new disc are thicker than what was on my bayonet;. Have you checked the thickness to the leather disc of the Ka-Bar. ??
 

· Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,480 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well, the leather is pressed on, so the thickness is moot since it's a compression fit.

I painted the tang with rust-o-leum before assembling the handle to add some corrosion prevention.


I used the Barge rubber/leather cement and got it all stacked. I mounted and pinned the pommel.




I'll let the glue cure and start sanding the leather, then stain with Fiebling's mohogany die and finish with Resolene.

Tony.
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top