NYKC Hammer Brand 2-blade Jack knife


Recently i bought this old Hammer Brand 2 bladed jackknife, made by the New York Knife Company in Walden, New York.
The company was operational from 1856 until 1931, when it closed it's doors.
The main blade seems to have an early version of the arm holding a forging hammer, and this is how the knife looked when i got it.

The blades on these knives were forged from crucible steel:

Old image of the New York Knife Company situated on the Walkill River.



On most period Hammer Brand knives the tang stamp shows a shorter upper arm section with a bulging bicep, while on mine the upper arm is more elongated and without that pronound bicep.
Speculating i would think that the bulging bicep could be seen as an improvement from a marketing point of view, making the tang stamp on my knife an older version.

Picture from the tang stamp with the more commonly seen muscular arm:

The stamp on my knife:

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As i intend to carry & use this well made old knife for a while i'm treating it to some TLC.
Already cleaned everything thoroughly using toothpicks, an old toothbrush, an ultrasonic cleaner, and also electrolytically.
Then removed the bladeplay in the pivot and gave the old wood panels a few coats of IKEA mineral oil and a topcoat of Granger's wax.

Currently in the process of reshaping & regrinding both blades, the points of which now don't stick out of the handle in the closed position anymore.
This is the smaller blade after hand regrinding it ever so slightly convex on 400 grit wet & dry SiC paper clamped on a piece of hardened glass using WD40 as a lubricant.
There's a visible burr all along the edge, so it's now ready for one or more refining steps.
The single sided swedge was redone with a small diamond file.

And the larger blade.
It's double sided swedge was also redone with the small diamond file.

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How the main blade currently looks.
It's surfaces have for now been finished on 1000 grit wet & dry on a semi-hard rubber backing using WD40 oil as a lubricant.
A microbevel has been applied on the white sticks of a Spyderco Sharpmaker at the ~30 degrees inclusive setting, again using some WD40.

And the smaller blade:



The finished knife.
Both blades can now shave armhair above the skin, the joints have had a few drops of 5-weight Nano-Oil, and the knife is fully usable again.


Maximum length opened: 17.0 cm
Maximum length closed: 10.0 cm
Blade length main blade: 7.1 cm
Maximum thickness main blade (ricasso): 3.2 mm
Blade length secondary blade: 4.6 cm
Maximum thickness secondary blade (ricasso): 1.96 mm
Steel: Crucible steel
Handle materials: Cocobolo wood, solid nickel silver bolsters & shield inlay on brass liners.
Pocket pouch: blue leather
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Wow - just wow.

I've read most of your threads, and though fixed blade knives aren't really my point of interest, I've always appreciated what you did and the way you described it.

This knife is more what I'd buy, too, and you did a great job! Thank you for showing & explaining!


You're welcome, :)

Also found this interesting background information about the American pocketknife industry, by Walden village historian Mary Ellen Matise: