Imperial USA 1964 army utility knife

Discussion in 'Multi-tools & Multi-purpose Knives' started by pocketlama, Jun 18, 2020.

  1. pocketlama

    pocketlama

    11
    Jun 16, 2020
    Below is a knife I saved from my father's stuff when he died. He carried this in Vietnam, I think. It's stamped with the year of my birth, too.

    I don't know how to grade knives as far as how good a condition they're in. What do you think? It's got a few small patches of rust at the base of the knife, and on the knife and tools. It's not much but it is there. (It is not corroded as much as it might look in the pictures. Most of the surfaces are clean from rust.)







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  2. GIRLYmann

    GIRLYmann

    Nov 7, 2005
    thanks for sharing!
    nice heirloom :)
    rust spots especially if its rust pores
    can never be polished out with abrasive creams effectively.
    it can be chemically removed though,
    but you have to decide if it worth the risk
    using corrosive solvents like naval gel.

    the trick is timing of when to wash it off
    the stainless steel before it leaves a matt stain. though one could slighly buff it up with flitz cream after.
    so can't say much about the folder.
    some have called it demo knife
    Mil-K folder...etc
    http://www.donrearic.com/demoknife1.html
    https://www.usmilitariaforum.com/fo...2-milk-utility-pocket-knives/?view=getnewpost
     
  3. jackknife

    jackknife Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    That knife is in very good shape and serviceable for another lifetime. As far as those tiny specs of rust, a stiff toothbrush and some Bar Keepers friend and some cleaning will do. Then after, a nice warm bath of warm water and Dawn Dish soap. Dry well and oil the joints the next day and it will be ready to go. :thumbsup:
     
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  4. pocketlama

    pocketlama

    11
    Jun 16, 2020
    Thanks for taking the time to explain some options. I wouldn't risk the naval gel, I think. And also, thanks for the links!


     
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  5. pocketlama

    pocketlama

    11
    Jun 16, 2020
    Thanks for the information, jackknife. I'll try your plan. I appreciate it.

     
  6. jackknife

    jackknife Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    No problemo. But those rust specks are so small, they may just come off with some rubbing of a rag and some oil. Try that first as the least invasive. If it were mine, I don't think I would even worry about them. Just sharpen up and lightly oil it and use.
     
  7. pocketlama

    pocketlama

    11
    Jun 16, 2020
    I just finished reading both the links you gave me. I'll be honest, I was considering cleaning it up and selling it but after reading them and yours and jackknife's responses, I now have the motivation to keep it. I liked learning about the history. I didn't realize it was (is?) so prized but after reading about it I understand more. Thank you for your help. I'm keeping it now.

     
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  8. pocketlama

    pocketlama

    11
    Jun 16, 2020
    I just replied to GIRLYmann and mentioned that I had been considering selling it but after learning of its history, and of course that fact that it was my father's, I've now decided to oil it up and keep it. There's too much history to let go of it. I got to thinking of my father carrying this as he flew reconnaissance flights over Vietnam in a tiny single-engine plane. That alone should have been enough but you two pushed me over into keeping it finally. Thank you!

     
    jackknife likes this.
  9. allenC

    allenC

    Jun 18, 2000
    It's rather telling that they had to label what the can-opener was for, but they didn't have label the bottle-opener. ;)
     
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  10. GIRLYmann

    GIRLYmann

    Nov 7, 2005
    well, that's an excellence choice !
    history and the personal connection
    through objects such as what you own,
    is what drives the collectables hobby.
    most folks don't know what they have
    until they take the time to do the research.
    and if you get caught by the lore of
    a specific object of interest
    there simply isn't going to be a way of
    turning back the clock of ignorance.
    the correct way forward in a hobby
    is to be armed
    with the right knowledge.
    and not to stop looking up on
    everything there is to know.
    at this point i would suggest
    you consider procuring a book
    for your future reference.
    who knows it might spur you on
    and what you could possible stumble upon..
    also, some books even get to become rare and valuable in collector circles
    so you'll never know!
    and best of luck out there :)
     
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  11. jackknife

    jackknife Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    Those knives were so highly prized that in downtown Saigon in 1967, you could trade one for a iced down case of "33", (beer) and some other things I won't go into here. I was in Combat Engineers, and our supply room handed out those knives like lollypops at the doctors office. Toss in a large can of coffee from the px and you'd have a very nice night on pass.

    I started my knife life with a scout knife my dad gave me when I was 12. When I enlisted in the army, I left the scout knife home as I didn't want it stolen in the barracks. To my joy, while still in engineer school at Ft. Leonard Wood Missouri, we were issued the MIL-k-818D. An all steel scout knife. I carried one for several years until I got into SAK's.

    The MIL=K-818D is a great every day pocket knife. You could carry it and have your dad with you every day. Those guys who flew the recons, and artillery spotting, and air strike spotting in those little planes had some very large cajones!

    I would definitely carry it and celebrate your dad every day. When my dad passed, I carried his little Case peanut for a long time before I retired it and got my own. So many times I'd be confronted with something, and I'd slid a hand in the pocket and feel the knife and wonder WWDD. (What would dad do?) Somehow I'd figure it out.

    That knife is a treasure. Don't send it down the road. You'd regret it years from now.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2020
  12. jmh33

    jmh33 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 16, 2003
    :thumbsup::thumbsup::D:thumbsup::thumbsup:
    John
     
  13. pocketlama

    pocketlama

    11
    Jun 16, 2020
    I've experienced that in other circumstances as well. Knowledge is the way forward, not back, it seems to me. I appreciate your response. Thanks! I'll check out that book too!
     
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  14. pocketlama

    pocketlama

    11
    Jun 16, 2020
    Wonderful story about WWDD. :) I think of my dad often but I've not done that. I may start, though, because I have respect for him and even though he died many years ago he is still very much a part of me.|

    I'm glad he, and you, came back from that place. Thanks for your personal reply, I love your attitude.


     

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