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WWII KA-BAR 1219C2 Blade Finishes


mikedon

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A group of six WWII KA-BAR 1219C2 knives showing the three different blade finishes used during the war. All six knives are a different variation of the many variations of the WWII KA-BAR USMC 1219C2 knife. The first two knives have a blued blade finish. The second two knives have the light grey Parkerized, (Bonderized), blade finish. The last two knives have the dark Parkerized blade finish.

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nice examples

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Catfishcraig

Great Post!

 

Can it be added to the reference section?

 

Thanks Mike

 

Thank you to all that have served our country and to your families that have sacrificed without your presence at home. Thank you to all that have given their lives for my freedom and to their families that suffer. May God bless you!

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Nice group of beautiful examples of 1219C2s.  Noticed that you might need to add a light coat of oil, photos show what looks like surface rust developing.   Thanks for showing!  SKIP

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Pardon my ignorance, but isn't the tone or shade of the blade finish merely the strength of the parkerization?

 

After a time, the park loses strength, hence light and dark finishes. Those that got dipped first were dark and as the process continues, the park weekends and weekends to lighter finishes. But also the strength of the actual batch itself may have a lighter tone or shade. 

So I've never considered the shade of the blade to be an actual variation. You see the same thing in rifle finishes as well.  

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24 minutes ago, dustin said:

Pardon my ignorance, but isn't the tone or shade of the blade finish merely the strength of the parkerization?

 

After a time, the park loses strength, hence light and dark finishes. Those that got dipped first were dark and as the process continues, the park weekends and weekends to lighter finishes. But also the strength of the actual batch itself may have a lighter tone or shade. 

So I've never considered the shade of the blade to be an actual variation. You see the same thing in rifle finishes as well.  

There are differences in the shades Parkerization but the light grey Parkerization, (Bonderization), and dark Parkerization are indeed two different variations. The three different finishes are shown in Bill Walters new book. I believe the Bonderized blade finish uses a zinc phosphate process and the Parkerized blade finish uses an iron or manganese process. The Bonderized blade finish KA-BAR knives were only made for a short time. Blued was the first blade finish, then Bonderized, and last Parkerized.
Below is a 2015 Forum post by Frank Trzaska:

 

      

         

    Member ID: 4,426

         369 posts

Posted 27 April 2015 - 04:38 PM

"Blue Washed" is a term that Silvey and Boyd came up with in their first book.

 

Kabar used three processes in the WW II era Mk2 knives they made.

 

Blued = Typical gun bluing, color varies from a beautiful deep dark blue to a very light plum colored. Varies with amount of knives blued in the tank prior and temperature of the bluing solution. The early knives typically very well finished.

 

Parkerized = Parker Rust Proofing solution purchased from the Parker company. Iron based process producing a dark to black color. Used mid to late war.

 

Bonderized = Much like parkerizing but uses a zinc based solution, color is a dark to very light gray. This is what most folks term "blue washed" in the collector market. The Parker company was making as much as they could but it was not enough so an alternative process was approved for use on the knives finish. Mid war use only, as the Parker process chemicals became more available they went back to it or perhaps they used it alongside each other when available. 

 

All the best

Frank Trzaska

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Then there is Camillus's parkerizing during the War that was known for its exceptional darkness.  Parkerizing can vary for a lot of reasons, different batches of the same type steel and suspected variances in the tempering process have both been credited for differences in final appearance as well as the preparation of the steels surface.

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