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The Folding Knife (& Switchblade) Forum The materials, techniques and the designing of folding knives.

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  #1  
Old 08-26-2005, 06:59 AM
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Brett Holmes Brett Holmes is offline
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need help with my first folder

well ive decided that its time i built myself a folder, at first i was going to build a framelock to go with that thread started by don but i think it might be a little bit out of my grasp and have instead decided to try a lock back like in the tutorial in the workshop area, and what i was hopeing was for someone to help me out by telling me what i need to make it as i want to get everything ordered at once and i think i will probably forget something. at the moment my shopping list includes a peice of stainless for the blade spacer and spine some n/s sheet for liners, some n/s rod for pinsand a couple of nylatron washers but im not sure what size. i was also going to get a tap so that i could screw the scales on ad i was wondering what size i would normally use, also how do i make sure the blade will pivot on the pin instead of being stuckand the same for the spine.
so is there anything else i need
thanks in advance
Brett Holmes
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Old 08-26-2005, 09:18 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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I can't really help you with all those questions mostly because I've never built a lock back folder. But, you said a couple of things that I would like to comment on.

First, you mention pinning the knife together and this is normally the way lock backs are built - and then you want to use screws for the scales and this is not common. Just because it normally isn't done that way doesn't mean you can do it but it is strange. Normally, the scales would also be pinned.

The difficulty in learning to properly pin a knife together without binding up the blade is one of the main reasons I started making liner locks and using screws. Much easier to take apart, make small adjustments, and re-assemble. In hind sight, I would say whether you learn to pin a knife together or whether you learn to use screws to assemble the knife the two methods are equally complicated. You say you may not be up to building Don's frame lock and seem to be choosing the lock back as an easier way to get your first folder built but it won't turn out that way. Both are very difficult projects the first time you do them. At least with the frame lock project you'll have someone with you every step of the way.

Finally, if you are hesitant to spend the money for the more expensive materials because you think the first knife won't be good enough to justify the expense then consider building a prototype as I do in my liner lock tutorial. Follow along with Don on the frame lock but build the whole thing out of nothing but aluminum. It's cheap and easy to work and you'll learn all the steps and processes. When you eventually get a working aluminum knife the parts of that knife can be used as a pattern to build the real deal. No one ever learned to build liner locks or lock back knives without building a few that weren't quite right to start with and this is an easy way to get past that point.....


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  #3  
Old 08-26-2005, 07:43 PM
neil charity neil charity is offline
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need help with my first folder

G'day Folks,

Yes I'm still alive and reasonably well. Building lock backs are what seperates the men from the boys, they are a bit more difficult to make. Everything must be flat and of the correct dimensions, and in my opinion I would not use washers or spacers. If the rear spacer and lockbar are ot the correct thickness everything should function OK. I suggest you read my tutorial on how I build mine.

Regards from Australia


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  #4  
Old 08-26-2005, 08:30 PM
Frank Niro Frank Niro is offline
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The very best to you in all of your life, Neil! I know you have been through a critical health problem. I still love to see your lock backs even though I only make liner locks. Frank


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  #5  
Old 08-26-2005, 09:20 PM
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Brett Holmes Brett Holmes is offline
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thanks for your help ray, i didnt realise that lockbacks didnt usually use screws, well that probably a good thing because now i dont need to spend cash on taps. neil, good to hear from you, i just finished reading your tutorial after days of trying to get my slow computer to download the pages, i was just wondering why is it that you use a thick peice of frame material and then mill it down to have the bolsters built in, would it work just as well if i add bolsters on and if so what thickness material do most people use for their liners? and what diameter pins would i normally use? finally neil do you buy many of your materials in australia and if so where from, because ive been looking and have been strugling to find some.(im in melbourne)
thanks Brett
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  #6  
Old 08-26-2005, 10:21 PM
neil charity neil charity is offline
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need help with my first folder

G'day Folks,

I live in Melbourne also Brett, however I buy most of my materials from the States. I use 1/8" for the blade pivot and 3/32" for the bar pivot and spacer pins. If you want to add the bolsters to the liners instead of an integral I would suggest 1/16" liners and 3/32" or 1/8" bolsters with 1/16" or 3/32" pins to hold them on.

Regards from Australia


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  #7  
Old 08-27-2005, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Rogers
The difficulty in learning to properly pin a knife together without binding up the blade is one of the main reasons I started making liner locks and using screws. Much easier to take apart, make small adjustments, and re-assemble. In hind sight, I would say whether you learn to pin a knife together or whether you learn to use screws to assemble the knife the two methods are equally complicated. You say you may not be up to building Don's frame lock and seem to be choosing the lock back as an easier way to get your first folder built but it won't turn out that way. Both are very difficult projects the first time you do them. At least with the frame lock project you'll have someone with you every step of the way.
Ray, I hope you won't mind my snipping some of your message out.

Brett, Ray has given you very good advise. Making a lockback certainly isn't easier than making a framelock. The precision fitup between the lock bar and the two places on the heel of the blade where the lockbar rides have to be precise in order for the lock bar to be flush with the handle spine when the blade is open and closed, and to have proper tension and alignment on the blade.

I made lots of slip joints and lockbacks before making my linerlock and framelocks.

In my opinion, a linerlock/framelock is easier to make , and if you make a mistake, it's much easier to correct the mistake.

Neil, welcome back. I'm glad you're well enough to participate again.
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  #8  
Old 08-27-2005, 08:48 AM
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Brett,

I didn't mean to be critical of your decision to try a lockback first.

If that's what you want to do, then do it. We're all here to help either way.
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  #9  
Old 08-27-2005, 07:12 PM
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Brett Holmes Brett Holmes is offline
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well it sounds from the replys that i'm getting that i maybe should start off with a liner lock, the main reasons i was going to build a lock back was because theyre the knives i've owned previously,i've never had a liner lock, and also because of neil charity's great tutorial.
but if it means i have a greater chance of success on the first try i think i will give the liner lock a try, so now i guess my question is do the liners have to be made from anything in particular, do they have to be titanium, will stainless be ok, and how thick do they need to be? also are liner locks always screwed together and what size screws/tap do i need to buy for that? also does anyone have an email address for jantz supply because i can't find one and their online form won't work.
thanks, Brett Holmes

Last edited by Brett Holmes; 08-27-2005 at 07:24 PM.
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  #10  
Old 08-27-2005, 07:49 PM
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titaniumdoctor titaniumdoctor is offline
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Get on a knife supplier website ie. Texas knifemakers, Koval, ect. Pick up a bar of stainless for your blade and back bar. You'll need some titanium sheet for the liners; I normally use .050 for a liner lock or .100 for a framelock. You can use steel for liners too, but I prefer ti. You're gonna need 2-4 depending on the size of the knife, flathead capscrews in 2-56 for holding everything together. order at least eight button head capscrews in 2-56 for handle and bolster attachment. (I use 2-56 buttons and turn the heads down to an 1/8 inch so they look like smaller screws instead of tapping for my handles in 1-72 or 0-80.) You'll need a pivot, I use 3/16 and two washers. I prefer bronze washers for their lubricity and also they make for a very smooth action with minimal blade slop. And you'll be needing a stop pin of some sort. I use an 1/8 inch dowell, but I'm sure you can buy premade stop pins. That should get you going minus the handle and bolster material of your choice. Order a 2-56 tap..................order 2 you may very well break one. And a 3/16 ream for your pivot hole.
Ya know second thaught, you may as well multiply your whole order by three, cause when you finish your first one yer gonna want to build another one!.....or two......or three.....it never ends. Good luck have fun!!


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  #11  
Old 08-27-2005, 09:02 PM
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Brett Holmes Brett Holmes is offline
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so, why is it that everyone uses titanium for the liners when you can buy stainless sheet for 1/3 the price? will the lock not work as well?
also how come the lock doesnt scratch the blade when your opening the knife. and also what holds the detent ball in its place?
brett
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  #12  
Old 08-28-2005, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holmsy2000
so, why is it that everyone uses titanium for the liners when you can buy stainless sheet for 1/3 the price? will the lock not work as well?
also how come the lock doesnt scratch the blade when your opening the knife. and also what holds the detent ball in its place?
brett
6al/4v titanium makes a natural spring when the lock bar is bent. Requires no heat treat. Lighter than steel. Reqires no heat treating.

Heat treatable stainless must be heat treated after all drilling and tapping is done and the lock bar has been bent, and the ball detent has been drilled. Then the stainless must be cleaned up to remove heat treat scale, and it may be warped.

Stainless must be heat treated in order to use it as a spring.

Some custom knifemakers use stainless for liners, but they have the experience to deal with it.

I suggest you follow one of the tutorials or get a copy of "My Way", either will answer all your questions.

The lock bar doesn't scratch the blade because the blade is harder, and if the knife is made correctly, the detent ball rides on the blade when opening and closing. In any case if the knife is made right, any scratches are covered by the liners.

The detent ball is press fitted into its hole in the lock bar.
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  #13  
Old 08-29-2005, 03:19 AM
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Brett Holmes Brett Holmes is offline
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well i've finally come to a decision on the lock back Vs liner lock and the winer is..........lock back. so basically i had an idea then i changed it and now im changing back. the reason is, i spent the last three hours making a plastic prototype and it came out great, the lock is a little sloppy but besides that it works great, ill just have to remember on the real one to leave plenty of spare steel around the lock area and work a little slower at removing it.
i think making a plastic version first is the smartest thing i've ever done and i have Rays tutorial to thank for that, although his is a liner lock the idea of a trial run was good.

so i plan on placing an order with texas knife as soon as they tell me what postage will cost me. im getting some stainless sheet for liners some brass for pins and bolsters, some stainless for a blade and spineand some of their spring material. i think thats all i need isn't it. i dont need any fancy pivots or something like that do I? do lock backs normaly have thumb bobs??

Brett

Last edited by Brett Holmes; 08-29-2005 at 03:24 AM.
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  #14  
Old 08-29-2005, 08:35 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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I'm glad the prototype concept was useful to you (glad, but not surprised). It can be very helpful on most any knife, even fixed blades.

Looks like you have everything on your supplies list except scale material but you may already have that. As for thumb bobs, lock backs don't normally use them but I've seen a few that did. This is YOUR knife so if you want a thumb bob you can have one.

Aside from that, don't be surprised if you have to place more than one order. You'll probably discover that you need some little tool or something and it's just part of the game....


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Old 09-06-2005, 05:41 AM
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Brett Holmes Brett Holmes is offline
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does anyone know where i can get some of that leaf spring material, other than texas knife, ive waited over a week for a simple postge quote and am getting a little anoyed at their slow service
brett
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