Today I am gonna do an old rigging pocket knife restoration. I came across this pocket knife recently actually. The guy was selling old knives and pocket knives and I spotted this gem among so many old knives.   

Old rigging pocket knife.
Old rigging pocket knife used in this restoration.

I couldn’t read any stamps or markings on the pocket knife until I removed surface rust. On the bigger blade I found letters ¨Sheffield England¨ and on one of the liners number 6.

I believe this is a WW2 made Sailors knife. It is complete with one blade, one can opener and the marlin spike for undoing knots in ropes and lines. Knife’s covers are pressed plastic. 

Check out this old rigging pocket knife restoration video below!

Hope you enjoyed in this restoration video! Thanks a lot for watching!

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Disassembling

This was one of the toughest disassembling experiences I ever had. Knife is built so solid that I managed to bend several pin punchers and I end up drilling old pins, cut them and pulling them out. It took me a while to separate parts from each other.  

Old pocket knife disassembled.
Old pocket knife disassembled.

Let’s dive in

There was surface rust but not as much I thought at first. So I decided to start with a hand cranked steel brush wheel and clean all metal parts. Furthermore this went really well and I was pleased with my previous decision.   

I managed to remove all surface rust with just a hand cranked steel brush wheel.
I managed to remove all surface rust with just a hand cranked steel brush wheel.

After that I wanted to take a better look at plastic covers from this old rigging pocket knife. They generally are in good shape, so I just cleaned them with soft brass brush and rubbed some homemade beeswax polish. That was enough to get them nice and shiny.

Here I start recovering covers.
Here I start recovering covers with a help of brass brush and homemade beeswax polish.

Now I could continue with metal parts. So I started sanding. For that I used sandpaper 120 > 240 > 400 > 800 grit. Also for the blade, to recover it I used a fine file. That worked out well.   

All metal parts after sanding.
All metal parts after sanding.

Old rigging pocket knife assembling

Finally I was ready to start assembling. It was not easy to put all the pieces together as I expected. because this pocket knife has such strong springs…

Parts are shiny and ready to be assembled.
Parts are shiny and ready to be assembled.

Anyway, after a fair fight, resistance and many attempts I successfully assembled this old rigging pocket knife. At the same time I had to be careful to not damage any part but also to use enough force to put pieces together. In this case that is a lot.   

Old rigging pocket knife almost assembled.
Old rigging pocket knife almost assembled.

To assemble this old rigging pocket knife I used new brass pins. If you don’t know where to find them I suggest checking out this two links:
Amazon ➜ Brass pins
Ebay ➜ Brass pins
As an Amazon and Ebay Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Old rigging pocket knife ready for pins hammering as a last step in this restoration.
Old rigging pocket knife ready for pins hammering as a last step in this restoration.

One more thing to do. Now is just to hammer all brass pins. I did that with my ball hammer gently and highly focused.   

Result after restoration

Old rigging pocket knife folded and held in hend.
Old rigging pocket knife folded and held in hend.

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Old rigging pocket knife restored.
Old rigging pocket knife restored.

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32 Comments

  1. Great job man that’s the next night I’m looking for in my collection great job I love the fact that you preserve the original handles

  2. I need to find a knife with a marlin spike one of these days. Great job on the resto!

  3. Another fine restoration. It’s nice to see what can be achieved with a powerless restoration. Better results could be had, and a lot quicker, by using power tools… but when you look at a finished restoration, it would make you wonder how much of it was down to your skill as opposed to the tools you use.

    These video’s make me happy… except for your poor bench. You have an anvil with a hardy hole. Why are you tearing holes into the surface? Please don’t do it any more.

  4. Was i the only one hearing a construction site when he sped things up??😂😂 great vids love your channel btw its very unique compared to other restoration channels i find on here

  5. if you find out the make of the knife please let me know, i have a couple of very similar handled knives i have found metal detecting, sadly all way to far gone to bring back to life, but would love to know what they are called.

  6. Hi Boris! nice work, turned out really great.
    I like the pins. And also I got to see the hand drill in action 😀👍
    Love it!

  7. Wonderful work. I have one of these and a larger two blade earlier non rigging one dated 1939

  8. I like your work and do realize that your gimmick is to do everything by hand with no power tools. However, if you got a nice (powered) bench top drill press, a (powered) grinder and (powered) buffer setup, you could do the same and more with still doing the finesse of hand work as well. It would not only allow you to really polish the different blades to mirror finishes, but you could post even more projects in the same amount of time. And I think you would even gain more viewers too. JMHO

  9. Beautiful restoration, the scales are incredibly tough and flexible acts like delrin, but don’t think the had that material in the 50’s Great presentation also… Keep up the great work!!!

  10. British Army Jack knife dating to after WW2, likely 1950’s, got one exactly the same

  11. Nice one mate!
    That’s a ww2 British army clasp folder with a marlin spike.
    Excellent job

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