Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hawkbill He Man"RIL" Wharncliffe Handmade Folder in 1095 blade steel

I really like this one!. I have named this one my RIL model. RIL stands for Reeve Integral Lock and is in honor and respect of Chris Reeve who invented the slab style frame lock folder you see me making a lot of. He took the idea of the frame lock to the next level and as a result the tactical folding knife was never the same again. You can see it here showing the lock up contact, the open build, and the slabs of titanium to get an idea of the thickness. These are .110 thickness which is my favorite all around thickness for a nice beefy yet thin folder in the pocket. This folder has a final completed weight of 3.9 ounces, has a 4 and 3/8" closed length and a 2 and 7/8" blade length. I've always liked curved hawkbill style blades for looks but if they are too aggresively curved they can be problematic for sharpening and versatility. I made this one so its not quite so dramatic but enough to see thats what it is. I have always loved 1095 carbon steel which is basically the steel I grew up with. Its one of the most versatile old time user steels around and anything worthy of being used in cutlery for coming up on 200 years holds a lot of weight with me. I most often gun blue the blades in this steel. I may still do that with this one but for now I am leaning towards letting it grow that patina that comes with age. Nothing like a folder that ages with its owner as they get to know each other. This one is in my pocket to stay. It will be my own show piece for my work when anyone asks me. For added grippiness I added a first to this one. Its got an overscale of .060 thickness black textured G10 on the non lock side to give the thumb just a bit better purchase to pull the folder out to use it. I really like it and feel it will for sure be added to future work in various textured man made materials. I may even do one or more in some checkered wood if I can talk a friend of mine that does gun stocks into doing a knife scale for me.

Thanks for looking.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

STR's Large "BushCraft" Survival folder in ATS34 blade steel

Here we see some various shots of all angles showing the traction grooves, titanium slab thickness, blade shape, open build of the folder, my signiture low rider pocket clip, and the lock up as it sits new fresh out of the milling machine after bead blasting the surface of everything including the Bos heat treated ATS34 blade.

This folder is a Sherman tank with lots of handle for leverage and lots of strength in the lock with extra thick .140 thickness ti slabs. I like these folders because the handle is comfortable in all grips, and is straight forward by design with no funky space age gadgets or odd trendy bells and whitles. Just your basic bare bones get after it heavy duty survival folder that epitimizes the keep it simple philosophy. As mentioned I added some location specific traction grooves cut in the handles for a hint of added grip for the thumb and fingers during use combined with a nice blade shape that still offers plenty of straight edge with enough up sweep to make it capable of some food prep or field dressing chores in the outback also. It all came together to really make for a nice tight package in the end and it sure is a lot of knife! Lock cuts to spring the lock at the bend are extra stout at .074" thickness each plus or minus and the final weight of this one with the low rider clip I made for it installed is 5 ounces even up making it the heaviest Ouparator style folder I've made to date. (see past posts in Sept. for more on the Ouparator)  Its also the longest with a 5" closed length for the handle and an 8 and 3/8" overall length open.
I really like this folder. Its one I'd actually buy back myself if the customer ever had to get rid of it for whatever reason. 

Thanks for looking.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Kershaw SG2 Blade Blur Frame Lock Conversion

Seen here in these three shots is a brown SG2 blade Blur from Kershaw. Click any of the three pictures to see full size. This folder was sent to me to evaluate for Kershaw by Thomas Welk. I ran it through the paces and wrote a review on this one that was quite lengthy that can be found in the knife review section of blade forums. To be perfectly honest this blade was the best edge keeping blade I have ever tested on various materials. I used this blade on everything from hemp rope slicing it until my hand and fingers hurt. Then moved to cardboard, old carpet remnants, plant stock from weeds and milkweed plants in the yard, and I forget now what else. It was an amazing blade steel that has me really missing it since I sold it a few months later after finishing the testing for Kershaw. Its one of those you once owned that you wish you could get back. It was a great knife. I liked everything about it but the lock that came with it from the factory which is a very thin liner lock inlayed into the brown aluminum side. I beefed that up to my satisfaction shown here in .140" thickness titanium anodized as close to the same warm brown color that the factory scale on the non lock side is. It was built like others so that it can always be put back together as a liner lock just as it came from the factory. I don't know why anyone would do that but nevertheless, I did it so it can be reassembled. It is still quite nice as an assisted opener also but I did finally eliminate that original factory thumb stud to open the blade because it was a skin peeler on my thumb and I hated it! So, I put an aftermarket store bought fancy stud on the blade in its place. Then I recut grooves in the handle for traction marks matching the opposite side and made it brown. It is seen here as it was right after cleaning it all up for these shots. SG2 is a fantastic steel. If you happen to get one of these its a wonderful knife to snag since they were only made in limited numbers.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

BenchMade Dejavoo frame lock conversions

Seen here are three different models of the BenchMade Dejavoo model folder, one full size model and two mini Dejavoo models. All of these come from the factory as a liner lock. As you can see from the pics I've beefed them up to heavy duty levels with thick titanium frame lock sides. All three folders were done without permanent modification; as the folders can be put right back together just as they came from the factory. I try to do all that I can without making permanent modification but of course its not always possible. You can click the pictures with your mouse and view these full size.