Restore and Reprofile Old Knife

My Al Mar Airborne was my only folder for the longest time. It’s a 440C Steel blade in a lockback configuration. In it’s life, it withstood countless cardboard boxes, rope, hundreds of crabs* and most of all, neglect.

I’ve never been good at maintaining my blades in good condition – but hey they are meant to be used; and I’ve always been a klutz at sharpening them. I’m no good freehand on a stone and own a Wusthof 2-Stage Pocket Knife Sharpener from Amazon. The Wusthof got it sharp, but never scary sharp.

As a weekend project, and inspired by Nick Wheeler’s Damascus WIP and ewerstruly on Youtube, I decided to dig her out and give her some long overdue love.

Being a good 18 years old, there’s very little play on the mechanism. The red markings on the logo were long gone, and there were some deep scratches on it that I wanted removed. Making use of what I had around the house I clamped the blade to my desk and started sanding.

Dry Sanding

Then I realised that wet sanding was just as effective and didn’t have dust blowing around everywhere…

Wet Sanding

The “magic maker trick” I learnt from ewerstruly. It’ll help identify where the low spots are.

Magic Marker Trick

At some point, I realised I was going to grind off the Al Mar Logo before I got that deep mark out. It’s about 1cm to the left of the top of the “A” in the Al Mar word…. so there you go, leave it be… the worst of it is out.

120 Grit

Finished with the 120 grit, I moved on to 220 and then to 600… to achieve a matt look.

220 Grit

600 Grit

Next step: Sharpening. A jerry-rigged setup with 12° incline would give me about 24° – 25° inclusive.

And there we go. An amateur job complete. It slices through cardboard and is sharper than my new Kershaw Zing Tanto!

* Yes. Crabs. Killed by lifting the abdominal flap and delivering a stab. A male crab has a small triangular flap. A female crab’s flap, or markings, are less phallic and are shaped by a broad oval. The blade is then used to pry off the carapace, half the abdomen and remove the gills. Ready for cleaning and cooking. Yum.

2 thoughts on “Restore and Reprofile Old Knife

  1. Eric C. Friedman

    I bought this same Al Mar knife about 20 years ago, and have been trying to identify it’s model and get info about it for a few years now. So far, this page is the only source I have for identifying it! Any further info you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you;

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