1893 Grand Exhibition. The world's intro to PBR, hot dogs, ice cream cones and the Ferris Wheel.

1893 Grand Exhibition. The world's intro to PBR, hot dogs, ice cream cones and the Ferris Wheel.
A view through the wheel. The black, horizontal line is the axle, the single largest forging to that time.
"I don't make hell for nobody. I'm only the instrument of a laughing providence. Sometimes I don't like it myself, but I couldn't help it if I was born smart."

1st Sgt. Milton Anthony Warden.
"From here to Eternity"

Paul Valery

"You are in love with intelligence, until it frightens you. For your ideas are terrifying and your hearts are faint. Your acts of pity and cruelty are absurd, committed with no calm, as if they were irresistible. Finally, you fear blood more and more. Blood and time."

The Wisdom of the Ages

"When a young man, I read somewhere the following: God the Almighty said, 'All that is too complex is unnecessary, and it is simple that is needed',"

Mikhail Kalashnikov
"Here lies the bravest soldier I've seen since my mirror got grease on it."

Zapp Brannigan

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

ANOTHER @#%!&^% KNUCKLE KNIFE!

No...
...this is more like a D-guard Bowie.

But still, another cast-aluminum-wonder-from-down-under (Hey, I made a rhyme - yo).
Although conceived in the South pacific with the intention meeting - mostly - the same need as the historically misnamed - but ubiquitous - V44, the "Ranger Knife" existed as the mall-ninja, knock-off version.
Although nearly identical in blade length (at least on the useful ones. More about that later on) it was wicked-bad in ways those pussy bail-out knives (Utilitarian tools) could never have known.
It sported a knuckle bow.
I've touched on Ranger Knives previously but will reiterate;
No one knows where the name came from but it's got nothing to do with any group, military or otherwise, designated by the name; "Ranger".
As far as I know, the first ones so called were the pieces of crap known as "cog-wheel ranger knives" - for obvious reasons.

These brass-hilted beauties are known to have come from Australia and seem to have been "tourist items".
Everything I've read seems to say that they were uncomfortable to hold (another version, in a smaller size has a loop that won't even let four normal, adult-sized fingers through) and had blades made of questionable steel.
They were crap but some are available here although the small ones are running around nine-hundred per unit.
They were made to be wall-hangers.
I feel better toward them if I think that way.
We'll now take our leave of these shameful wastes of a valuable, strategic metal and look at the "useful" Ranger knives, alluded to earlier.

That is to say; the so-called "Three-Point Ranger Knives" (Where did that name come from?) which are believed to have been made in New Zealand.
They came in two flavors, the one pictured above, which is the original of one of the first, cast-aluminum knives I ever attempted (I found that I'd made my pattern too big so the handle was far too chunky for the size of the blade).
The other was the one that this whole, "product roll-out" post is about (Betcha didn't see that coming).

This is the more low-tech version as there's no sculpting of the grip necessary in making the casting pattern. I made mine by simply gluing two pieces of 5/16" fiberboard, roughly the shape of the handle, to either side of a piece of 1/4", Luann plywood (The blade). Then I cut the whole thing out on the band-saw and rounded the edges. Some strategic Bondo and I was golden.
Funky, I know but poor folks got poor ways.
This is what I love about these home-built, sell-to-the-GI's knives.
If someone like me can make them, any half-handy Kiwi with a decent shop could, given access to blades, have made some nice change giving the American soldiers and Marines passing through things that their government hadn't yet sensed a need for.
Small scale war profiteering. I may start a movement.
Okay, before I Glenn Beck out, I'll wrap this up.
They, the three-point-ranger-kinves, are thought to have come from New Zealand, circa WW2;

But, nobody actually knows anything anymore.
To the left, from "Fighting Knives" by Frederick Stephens.
If you can't read it, it'll blow-up if you click on it.
But nobody knows a thing.
We're screwed.

Updated 6/17
A British museum dedicated to WW2 has a cog-wheel knife as part of its "...used to storm the beaches at Normandy" exhibit. Scroll down about 2/3rds.
Curiouser and curiouser said Alice.

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