MEMBER ITEMS FOR SALE
Custom Knives | Other Knives | General Items
-------------------------------------------
New Posts | New PhotosAll Photos



Go Back   The Knife Network Forums : Knife Making Discussions > Factory Knife Customization & Mid-Tech Boards > Randall Knives Forum

Randall Knives Forum Discuss Randall Knives

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-02-2012, 07:09 PM
BoBlade BoBlade is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 938
"Leschorn"!

After 10 years, there are still some gaps in my Model 3 collection! Until recently, one of those gaps was a Tom Leschorn embellished example. For any of you not familiar with Tom, he was an artist in the pure sense of the word who embarked on his engraving career after meeting Bo in 1964 and continued on to become a master engraver. Bob Gaddis has a section on Tom in his book as well as a number of photographs of his wonderful work on Randall Made knives. Other Randall book authors such as Pete Hamilton and Bob Gaddis also have photographs of Tom's work.

Unfortunately, Tom was taken from us in 1992 at the young age of 60, but his legacy lives on in the form of the masterful renderings he left behind here on earth. Following is an exerpt from his obit in the Orlando Sentinel which gives us an brief overview of his life:

THOMAS L. LESCHORN, 60, 2420 State Road 44 West, Eustis, died Tuesday, April 28, 1992. He was a retired mechanical engineer for the U.S. Civil Service. He was a custom wildlife engraver with Randall Knives in Orlando for 30 years. Born in Cleveland, he moved to Eustis in 1986. He was a member of the Firearms Engravers Guild Association and a life member of the National Rifle Association. He served in the Navy.

About five years ago, I had an opportunity to acquire a Model 3-6 engraved by Tom at the Blade Show in Atlanta. Photo courtesy of Mitchell (Tunefink):



Unfortunately, the horn handle was badly cracked in multiple places and the seller had it priced out as if it was flawless, and as much as I desired it, I just couldn't pull the trigger! Interestingly enough, our own Moosehead was at a Blade show several years earlier and photographed a Leschorn 12-6 that was on exhibition which he posted here:

http://knifenetwork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=31115

Well, five long years later another opportunity presented itself and now a small piece of Tom now resides in my collection:



As if it wasn't enough to have two carved ivory inserts in the Brazilian Rosewood handle, this knife also sports a double hilt and a low S stamp! Both the low S stamp and Tom's initials "TWL" in the lower portion of the carvings indicate very early work in Tom's career. To say I'm overjoyed is an understatement. Priviledged and honored are more appropriate descriptions of how I feel.

Please let other members know if you've had any experiences or exposure to Tom's work.

Thanks,

Last edited by BoBlade; 02-03-2012 at 12:31 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-02-2012, 10:08 PM
Jacknola's Avatar
Jacknola Jacknola is offline
Skilled
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 631
Just the knife by itself is extrodinary... I like the model-1 looking guard. But with the engravings, what a knife. I am impressed. Interesting spacers...handle is rosewood? That is a rare item these days with UScustoms raiding guitar manufacturers over indian rosewood and brazilian rosewood a protected species. There is a Randall world way over the horizon from where I stand. Beautiful ... and congratulations.

Jack

Last edited by Jacknola; 02-02-2012 at 10:13 PM. Reason: spelling
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-03-2012, 11:50 AM
BoBlade BoBlade is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 938
Thanks, Jack! Tom used that spacer set on many, if not the majority of his knives. I'm no wood expert, but I have it on good authority that the handle is of Brazilian rosewood. The photo doesn't do it justice. I lived in Hong Kong in the early eighties and bought a dining room set over there made from (some kind) of Rosewood. This wood is similar in grain, but much darker.

Best,

Ron
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-04-2012, 10:39 AM
Jacknola's Avatar
Jacknola Jacknola is offline
Skilled
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 631
From memory, Brazalian rosewood ceased to be imported in the 1970s. It became a protected species because of its desirabilty for decorative wood work. All raw Brazalian rosewood in the US today is supposed to have documentation as to its origin. It is highly prized especially for repair or construction of very high end stringed instrurments. Indian rosewood was subsequently substituted for Brazilian, but has different density and qualities. Today, the US customs have suddenly decided to enforce some obscure 1950s law to inhibit importation of Indian rosewood... they raided Gibson guitars and a big stink ensued.

If you have dining room furniture of Brazilian rosewood, you have a treasure, as is this knife. If you will send me some high-res pictures of the handle of your knife, I'll ask Sal (world known repairer of classical stringed instirments) to confirm rosewood. Better, yet, you could send me the knife and I'll have him look at the handle for about... oh ... a couple of years or so! LOL. Here is a Wiki article about rosewood... note the reference to use as knife handles and furniture... regards.. Add the real ivory and your knife has some additional material qualities that just can't be replicated today.

"Dalbergia nigra, commonly known as the Bahia Rosewood, Jacarand? da Bahia, Brazilian Rosewood, Rio Rosewood, Jacarand? De Brasil, Pianowood, Caviuna, or Obuina, is a species of legume in the Fabaceae family. It is found only in Brazil, from the eastern forests of Bahia to Rio de Janeiro. It is threatened by habitat loss, since most of its habitat has been converted to farmland. Due to its endangered status, it was CITES-listed on Nov. 6 1992 in Appendix I[1] (the most protected), and illegal to trade.

"Dalbergia nigra produces a very hard and heavy wood, characteristically varied in colour from brick red through various shades of light chocolate brown to very dark violet brown with veins of black creating random lines and a highly prized figure called 'spider webbing' or 'landscape'. The odour of Brazilian rosewood is unmistakeable, having a floral fragrance reminiscent of roses with a distinctive sweetness and at its strongest in very colourful old growth wood. Another distinguishing feature is its outstanding resonance. When tapped it emits a bright metallic ring that sustains. This property combined with its beauty has made Brazilian rosewood a favourite of musical instrument makers for centuries.

"The wood of this species has been much sought after since it was first introduced to the European and subsequently the world market hundreds of years ago. It was put to both utilitarian and decorative uses in its native Brazil including structural beams, flooring, wall lining and furniture. Outside its native country, Dalbergia nigra predominantly found favour in high grade furniture such as that produced during the Regency period of late 18th and early 19th centuries and more recently by Scandinavian makers under the 'Danish Modern' style. Various types of musical instruments, decorative woodware, knife handles and turnery have also made use of this species. Much of the most highly figured material was sliced into veneers which decorated items such as domestic and office furniture, wall panels, piano cases and it was also a favourite of marquetry artists.

"Old growth Brazilian rosewood harvested before 1992 continues to be highly prized by makers of both classical and steel string guitars. It has been regarded as the premier wood for backs and sides of guitars and its use can be traced back to late Renaissance and Baroque times when it was used for making lute backs (ribs) and various other parts of other stringed musical instruments and also woodwind instruments such as flutes and recorders. Wood obtained from stumps left after previous harvesting of trunks decades ago is also being offered for sale. This material is often very colourful but not as stable or even grained as the wood available prior to the CITES embargo
"

Last edited by Jacknola; 02-04-2012 at 10:47 AM. Reason: spellling
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-04-2012, 11:45 AM
BoBlade BoBlade is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 938
Both facinating and educational, Jack! Thanks. I think I'll be shipping you my dining room set before I send you the Leschorn, though.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-04-2012, 11:47 AM
Rick Bowles Rick Bowles is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 179
Jack hit the nail on the head with respect to Brazilian Rosewood. Randall used BRW for quite some time but then everyone did, that's why it's endangered. Brazilian Rosewood is acknowledged as the premier tonewood for musical instruments. C.F. Martin used BRW exclusively on it's rosewood guitars until 1969. Generally speaking the old growth BRW is much darker than younger trees.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-04-2012, 12:15 PM
Jacknola's Avatar
Jacknola Jacknola is offline
Skilled
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 631
By the way... Sal thinks that old, cracked, horn, ivory etc. handles can be restored to almost pristene conditions similar to the repair of the Randall model-1 ebony handle I posted on Sheldon's site (I specifically asked him NOT to restore that handle to original look, just mend the cracks etc... didn't want to have an aspect of that knife be anomolous to the rest of the components).

He does this type thing when repairing old classical insturments. Something to keep in mind when considering condition of old, damaged handles. Hummmmm some good things can come from cross-referencing fields of interest. Looking for something from the tribal oriental rug world I can apply to Randalls.

Regards...
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-04-2012, 01:45 PM
BoBlade BoBlade is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 938
Jack,

I saw the before and after photos of your 1-7 with cracked ebony handle on the thread you refer to (That thread was on Knifeforums, and Sheldon moderates the Randall forum on both Knifeforum and Bladeforum). The improvement was pretty amazing! It would be great if you could start a thread here about that knife so people have a visual reference.

I owned a circa '47-'48 Model 4-5 for a number of years that had an ivory handle with a number of rather significant cracks:



I did some research and there were a number of people recommending to seal the cracks with dental filling. I thought about trying this, but decided against it because there was no evidence the cracks were propagating or growing larger after ~ 60 years. The conclusion I came to was that as long as the knife saw no environment (Temperature / humidity / barometric pressure) that was more harsh than what it had previously been exposed to, then it would remain stabilized. It doesn't hurt to live in California as far as extremes go.


Best,

Ron
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-04-2012, 04:41 PM
Moosehead's Avatar
Moosehead Moosehead is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,351
Congrats! Ron,

That's quite the knife! Outstanding engravings on an exceptional "Hunter", you can't get a Randall any better.

Thanks for "dredging up" my old post with the Leschorn I drooled on at the Blade Show way back in '05. I had forgotten I had even posted those photos.

Jack, let me take this opportunity to officially welcome you to the Knife Network!
I hope you'll find it a friendly place for civilized discussion.

Cheers!

David


__________________
It takes less effort to smile than to frown !
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-05-2012, 07:25 PM
Rick Bowles Rick Bowles is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 179
This is a piece Tom did for me in the mid-1980s. This model #14 was one of the very first CTD 14s and carried a dealer supplied nickel silver butt cap (before NS was an option). Though this striped ivory is striking and beautiful, it is more prone to cracking than most. After 25 years this ivory is perfect and it's my conviction that Tom's carving, adjacent to the spacers, inhibited any cracks...... so far.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 02-06-2012, 02:52 AM
jeepster jeepster is offline
Steel Addict
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Northwest Mississippi just south of Memphis and close to God's Country...Ole Miss.
Posts: 266
You've done it again Ron. You have some exceptional knives in your collection. You never cease to amaze me with the ones you turn up. Congratulations on the Leschorn.
Ronnie RKS#2166
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 02-06-2012, 10:06 AM
BoBlade BoBlade is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 938
Thanks, David. I agree!

Rick: There aren't enough superlatives for that 14!

Thanks, Ronnie. Have you picked up anything recently?

Best,

Ron
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 02-06-2012, 01:16 PM
jeepster jeepster is offline
Steel Addict
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Northwest Mississippi just south of Memphis and close to God's Country...Ole Miss.
Posts: 266
Most recent purchase was a mod.1 seven spacer with brown micarta handle. It's a beauty. I bought it at the MAX Military Show back in October in Pittsburgh and it was a total sleeper. I did find a USMC Parachutist's knife a couple of months back. It is bad rare. One recently sold on beat for 5 grand. I'm gonna shoot for that at the up coming SOS Military Show in Louisville.
Are you going to the Blade Show this year?
Nice talking to you.
Best Regards
Ronnie
RKS #2166
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 02-06-2012, 01:39 PM
BoBlade BoBlade is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 938
I'd love to see a photo of that brown 1-7, Ronnie. Got one handy? Blade for me is about a 50-50 right now: Two other trips have come up this year and I'm not sure if I'll have enough vacation time left on the books. How about you?
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 07-17-2013, 09:59 AM
Rick Bowles Rick Bowles is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 179
Tom Leschorn's engraving is iconic in the Randall community. It is easily recognizable due in part to Tom's strong execution and deep relief. Because of this Tom referred to his later work as "carving" rather than engraving. Today Tom's work is much sought after but rarely offered for sale as the majority of his art resides in private collections.

Tom Leschorn and I collaborated only on a few big projects before his untimely passing in 1992 but each one was special to me. Recently I was sent a knife to sell for a customer. I was ecstatic to discover that the Randall was an early model #12-9/14 grind in stainless. The stainless version of the #12-9"/14 was first offered only on knives that were to be scrimshawed or engraved. This example has both Tom's classic oak leaf and acorn pattern and I did a one-off Indian scrimshaw on the "Old Yeller" micarta handle. The brass carries a 22 year patina and has not been cleaned while the ivorite handle has yellowed beautifully.


Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
acid, art, blade, blades, boot, bowie, brass, carving, custom, engraving, etched, for sale, grind in, guard, handle, horn, hunter, ivory, knife, knives, material, military, pattern, post, randall


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
1st randall "hunter" building project: delivering the "keys" The "Captain" Randall Knives Forum 13 01-13-2006 10:30 AM
"Topping off": Randall "fighter" buildong project, stage #4 The "Captain" Randall Knives Forum 40 10-30-2005 09:07 PM
Let's "build" a Randall "camp" knife The "Captain" Randall Knives Forum 22 07-24-2005 05:11 PM
"Wounded In Action": Randall Model 15 "Airman" knife Buddy Thomason Randall Knives Forum 4 04-26-2005 03:52 PM
Currie Smith "CS" Scrimshaw "Cheetah Eyes" aggie-05 The Display Case 2 10-05-2004 12:34 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:07 AM.




KNIFENETWORK.COM
Copyright © 2000
? CKK Industries, Inc. ? All Rights Reserved
Powered by ...

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
The Knife Network : All Rights Reserved