The USS California (BB-44) SOLD OUT
One of two battleships completed shortly after World War I. Nicknamed "The Prune Barge" was the fifth ship of the United States Navy named in honor of the 31st state. She was the last American battleship built on the West Coast, and the only one to be a dreadnought type. She served in the Pacific her entire career, and for twenty years was the flagship of the Pacific Fleet. She was sunk in the attack on Pearl Harbor at her moorings in Battleship Row, but was salvaged and reconstructed. She served again for the remainder of World War II before being decommissioned in 1947.
The handle was hand-touched sculpting the grips from the original USS California’s reclaimed teak left in its original state. Each grip is unique varying in thickness, size, color and sculpting. Over time age, sun damage, extreme temperatures and other factors have changed the original color of the teakwood grips.
The blade steel is PD1, alloy that hardening cold work die steel. The alloy possesses a fine, uniform microstructure with fine carbide distribution for wear resistance and toughness.
Single figures are nominal except where noted.
- Carbon 10 % Manganese 0.25 %
- Silicon 20 % Chromium 7.75 %
- Molybdenum 60 % Vanadium 2.35 %
- Tungsten 10 % Iron Balance
- Density 2770 lb/in³
- Modulus of Elasticity (E) 0 x 103 ksi
Heat Treatment - Decarburization
Micro-Melt PD #1 alloy, like all carbon-bearing tool steels, is subject to decarburization during thermal processing. However, taking proper precautions should insure that there is no decarburization during heat treatment. Salt bath, controlled atmosphere, or vacuum furnaces are acceptable for heat treating this alloy.
Suitable precautions should be taken to prevent excessive decarburization or carburization. Heat slowly to 1550/1600°F (843/871°C), hold until the entire mass is heated through, and cool slowly (do not exceed 30°F [15°C] per hour) in the furnace to about 1000°F (538°C), after which the cooling rate may be increased. The annealed hardness should be maximum BHN 241 (HRC 22).
Micro-Melt PD #1 alloy can be heat treated in salt, vacuum, or controlled atmosphere furnaces, with precautions being taken to avoid decarburization during the heat treatment operation. Preheat to 1550/1600°F (843/871°C), then transfer to 1850/2050°F (1010/1121°C). Hold 45 minutes at temperature. Following austenitizing, parts may be air cooled to room temperature. For vacuum furnace treating, a minimum 2 bar backfill with inert gas is desired for the quench.
To relieve the stresses of machining, heat slowly to 1200/1250°F (649/677°C), hold for a minimum of 1 hour at temperature, cool slowly and uniformly to about 800°F (427°C), then cool in still air.
Tools should be tempered immediately after the completion of the quench. Triple tempering at 2 hours per temper is suggested, using a minimum tempering temperature of 950°F (510°C). Tools should be cooled to room temperature between tempers.
The relative wear resistance of Micro-Melt PD #1 Alloy compared to other tool steels which have been used for cold work applications is shown in the figure entitled “Relative Wear Resistance of Tool Steels Used for Cold Work Applications.” Wear resistance was measured using a Dry Sand/Rubber Wheel abrasion test, ASTM G65. Results were normalized, with a higher value indicating better wear resistance.
Care and Maintenance
Each Tommy Knife is hand made, with the best-suited materials. Tommy Knife uses the USS California Knife has the original teak and the PD1 Steel will require minor care.
Sculpted Teakwood Grips
Teakwood is some of the most beautiful vintage types of knife handles combined with the origin of the USS California knife collectors can have. Teak trees from southern Asia can grow as high as 40 meters tall and offer rugged knife grips that are worked into finely crafted pieces. By nature, teakwood is resistant to termites and water damage.
Teakwood Care: NOTHING! Please enjoy your original USS California Teakwood handles unique characteristics. Unfinished, untouched.
PD1 Steel Blade Steel
PD-1 is supposed to be very comparable to the CPM 3V with the difference being the carbides. However it is not a stainless, so corrosion resistance is also on par with CPM 3V.
Knife Blade Care: The PD1 steel will periodically require minor gun oil.
*Please read more on the USS California - Tommy Knife history in the images below, pages 1-3.