By now these pumpkins are probably all jack o’ lanterns waiting for night to fall!
Recently I was talking about knives to a friend of mine who is a knife collector and the subject of R P (Robert Parrish) hollow handle survival knives came up. To the best of my knowledge these knives were made in the 1980s at Mr. Parrish’s shop in Hendersonville, NC. I remarked that I was sorry that I had not purchased one when they were available especially since I knew Mr. Parrish and had visited his shop in the 80s. Over the years I have lost touch with him and I don’t think that he has made knives and offered them for sale in quite a few years.
Several days later I stopped by to see the same friend and he said that he had something he wanted to give me. Opening a bag he took out a R P hollow handle knife and handed it to me! He said that he had two and saw no reason that I shouldn’t have one of them. It was a very generous and unexpected gift from an old friend that took me completely unaware. It is something that I will remember.
At my age it is extremely unlikely that I will ever have any practical use for a hollow handled survival knife but this R P knife now holds a special place in my collection. As far as I know these knives were made in 5”, 6”, and 8” blade lengths. This knife is the 8”X1½”X ¼” blade version and is made from 440C I believe. The metal handle is knurled under the neoprene sleeve and the knurled, threaded butt cap is fitted with an O-ring and lanyard hole. The knife has a bead-blasted finish and the serial number and maker’s mark are on the front of the guard. The serial number indicates that the knife was made in August of 1986 and it was the 628th 8 inch knife made. In addition to the maker’s mark on the front of the guard the ricasso is also marked “RP”. The nylon sheath has a liner of hard plastic that protects the sheath from being torn by the very sharp saw teeth on the spine of the knife. The knife is 13 3/16” overall in length and weighs 20.4 oz.
This is a very well-made knife by an excellent craftsman made during the 1980s “Rambo” hollow handle survival knife era.
Postscript: Amazingly after all these years, I was able to track down Robert Parrish while he was on a road trip, and he told me how to decipher the date and serial number. He also mentioned that he was glad that I was not dead. I’m glad that he’s not dead either. Text and photos copyright Bill North 2013
Today’s blog post is about a beautiful damascus, clip point Bowie knife by ABS Mastersmith Kevin Cashen. I am sad to say that it is not mine, but it does belong to a friend of mine and it did get to stay with me for a while. I considered keeping the knife long enough that he might forget about it which by the way has almost worked in the past, but realizing that was unlikely to work in this instance, I returned it.
The knife is just over 15 ½” overall in length and the 10 ½” blade is 1 ¾” wide at the widest point. The blade, guard, and pommel cap are made from O1 and L6 damascus. To me the steel has a more restrained and refined look than many of the bright and flashy Damascus steels being made today. The handle is made from what I believe is African Blackwood, but since I am for the greatest part uninformed when it comes wood species, I may be wrong about that. The handle is very comfortable in the hand and each side has a panel of carved texturing.
The distally tapered blade and comfortable handle give the knife a light, well balanced, fast feeling in the hand. The owner described the feeling this way, “If you absolutely had to be in a Bowie knife fight this feels like the kind of knife you would want”. He’s right, this knife feels really great in the hand and it cuts just as well as it feels.
More of Kevin Cashen’s work can be seen at: http://www.cashenblades.com/