Saturday, December 5, 2009

Lignum Vitae Spyderco Stretch w/ ti liners.

This is one I did a long time ago and should have loaded up here on my blog a long time ago as well. I am really surprised this Spyderco Stretch was not added because the lignum vitae handle scales I did for it and the ti liners for a complete rebuild of the body really added a lot of class to this folder. Its probably one of the better Spyderco models that left my shop after completing the job. The gentle feathering pattern of this particular slab of wood I had when this was done really came out so nice it surprised everyone. With age the handles have darkened some with exposure to sunlight which is a typical reaction for this wood once it is aged.

It is normally the case that when you add lignum to a folder the knife gains some weight but since this one was all stainless before it really equaled out quite well in the end. As is shown here the knife was not equipped with a pocket clip. The owner, the Deacon on blade forums and the Spyderco forums didn't want one and does not use one at all. The R2 model I did that is posted in another thread in older posts from 09 below belongs to the the Deacon and the Atlantic Salt in stabalized birds eye maple scales with titanium liners in a 2008 post belongs to him as well.

Thanks for looking


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Low Rider Pocket Clips For Folding Knives

Update: Jan, 2016. see here for clip info. See below for updates. Older but current clip info.
See here for Prybar info.  Mini Ti Pry order info

 I like doing the clips on some models for folks when people call for them. I recently found some blanks I had cut out that I may as well use. Those include Para 2, Military and Para Military original, JYDII, Leek and Southard patterns that I have which I can still do. These are 35 each via check or money order or 40 for the first and 35 for each additional clip after that first via pay pal at

 As I have always said I'll do them as long as they are called for.. In this case I will do them until the bags found are used up. After that we'll go from there. Thanks

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mini Titanium Prybars

Seen here are some .090 thickness 6Al-4V grade 5 titanium prybars I started making a few years ago. Call these the first generation. See my newest posting on these for the current ones being made.

All my new ones are being done withe V nail pull in the end now and since doing this they are $30 shipped. These started out as a smart way to use up some scrap left over end cuts of titanium sheets I had from folding knifemaking but that were too small to use for folders. It didn't take me long to realize there was a market for them albeit a small one. I don't make that many these days like I did when I first started offering them but when I do make a batch they don't last long usually. I'm down to six remaining from this batch at this writing, most of which sold before I even got the pictures loaded everywhere I wanted to put them. Go figure.

Anyway, these are great stocking stuffers for Christmas and make great gifts for other times. These are usually just as fast getting there first class and its cheaper than Priority so that is how I mail them unless you wish to pay for Priority mail. If so just advise of this when you order.. International shipping is a case by case basis and you need to contact me first to work out how that will be done and the cost.

These are available in a variety of colors as you can see and each one is slightly different as I do still do these up from base raw materials all by hand from scratch. While the video below shows me grinding one it does not show the steps involved just to get to that step where I can now grind. Before that I have to drill progressive holes, finish the holes with a 83 degree drill and then cut that bar in half which is also one of my public videos showing me cutting the strips that give me two bars each to grind. I wrap them either in para cord or some other decorative nylon cord wrap which you can pick for yours should you buy one. This cord helps to aid grip and looks, as well as, allow one to carry them on key rings.

I have been told my pry bar is quite handy. They have been popular with a niche group most often popular with folks working in 'non knife' office environments or where "sheeple" friendly attire is needed like a public job where they are seen a lot. Also, some people like having a tool on them besides their knife and don't particularly want to use their knife for jobs that will ding the edge all up or break the tip so this little tool here fits the bill and can actually open boxes and pop tape to separate it from the roll or lift a tab, as well as, pry staples and other things doing the stuff folks want done. I've also sold some of these prybars to police officers that use them as PI (private investigation) probes for evidence gathering and investigation work at crime scenes to dig around in places they don't necessarily want to touch with their fingers. Apparently titanium is preferred because it is an inert metal and will not contaminate the crime scene. The way I make these they are actually equipped with a flat head screwdriver on one end and a pry bar on the other. Many folks that carry Emerson folding knives like these for the flat head screwdriver; as they can use their pry bar to adjust their pivot screw tension. If you are familiar with Emerson knives you are surely aware that the pivot tends to loosen over time so these can be quite handy to have around on your key ring if you happen to carry an Emerson folding knife.

These pry bars, while not what I'd call extreme heavy duty are still plenty thick titanium so they do hold up quite well and you can actually get rough with them. Believe me people have done so and then told me about it. I have customers that use them from all over the world at this point and while they are certainly not what I'd call a hot seller they do seem to serve a purpose for some so if one interests you here let me know. I had one email recently from a Dept. of Defense Col. just back from Afghanistan and he told me a story of how one of these little simple tools likely saved lives opening up stubborn wooden ammo crate lids when they could not force it otherwise allowing ammo to get to hands just in time according to him. I tell ya, it kind of choked me up a bit to think that this simple tool could have that kind of a profound effect on someone but apparently that is the case. If you like the idea but wanted a heavier one or one longer maybe, well, I may have some thicker scraps of titanium in the shop from folding knife making and other things I'm into so just ask. I'm easy to reach by email and that seems to work best for me.

Thanks for looking. Oh and for anyone curious see the video below on how I do theses. Sorry my help hit the button to shut it off before even showing the pry bar I just completed grinding. Other than this and some last footage jerkin around when I was hitting my signature punch she did a stand up job on the video. Enjoy. 

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Custom Anodizing For A BenchMade Mini Skirmish

I had thought that for this blogger I'd just post the bigger more challenging jobs I do for folks but this turned out so well and really turned the folder around image wise so much that I thought it was worth showing here. Its not something I've posted here before but one of many other smaller jobs I do still offer that I have reserved for my forum posting in the past.

Anyway, shown here are before and after pictures of a BenchMade Mini Skirmish that came to visit me from Hawaii the other day. You can see that as the knife ships it has a neat swirl pattern in the handle non lock side but is a plain jane bead blast finish. Nothing at all wrong with that but the owner of this wonderful folder wanted a bit more and gave me creative license to have my way with it.

First is a re-blast of the handles after disassembly. Once I sat all my hardware aside in a zip lock bag for safe keeping I taped off the detent ball to keep from blasting or anodizing that. Once that was done I took it inside and dipped it at 28 volts for the first base color of blue.

After the blue I went back to my drill press and loaded it with a super fine 3M Cratex Cylinder to put some swirls of my own on the handle in the form of some free hand jeweling of the outer surface in select areas on the non lock side and the whole slab on the lock side. Then I went back to my anodizer and re-anodized only this time at 18 volts for a purple color to blend with the blue. So in the end this is what I got. Honestly my wife wanted it and said to me when seeing it, "for me?" I had to burst her bubble though and tell her it was someone's knife but again quite honestly we were both stunned at how it turned the appeal up on this particular folder. Trust me pictures do not do it justice like sunlight does!


Saturday, August 15, 2009

CQC8 HD Conversion

This was one of those folder lock sides sold off to a repeat customer getting ready to go serve his country that needed something faster than the standard turn around time. Some time back I had attempted to make a HD 8 lock side and had it all but done only to discover that the lock side I used as my template was unique in that for some odd reason either the owner of the knife or whomever owned it before him drilled a 'third' hole in it. As a result of course it was copied and I ended up with a second I could not really sell as my best work.

He gladly accepted that offer to get this lock side at a discount but by the time it all played out I ended up having to not just make the lock side for his one. I ended up having to remake the non lock side liner, and another textured black G10 scale to match up to it as well since none of the holes in the back including the lanyard matched up to the originals. Turns out that hole lock side I copied is different than the one sent to replace the side on.

Anyway, as usual I stubbornly baby stepped my way through each step and knocked it out. You can see it here. I did of course have to activate the lock side detent ball since in the rebuild we lost that secondary detent system incorporated into all Emerson liner locks. Also, I tried best I could to camo the third hole so it looks like it is just another threaded hole. I actually did partially thread it for appearance sake only.

Lock side is .160 thickness 6Al-4V titanium and non lock side liner is also the same alloy of titanium only .058 thickness. All the extra parts will be going back with the folder and even though I did have to activate the detent in the lock and drill a small starter hole in the blade for that ball to fall and catch in when the blade closes it can still be put back together just as it shipped from Emerson.

Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

CQC14 HD upgrade for Chris

Seen here is yet another 14 frame lock conversion. As usual no permanent changes were made to any factory parts and the knife can be assembled just as it came from EKI with no more effort than breaking down the parts to clean it takes. It weighs in at 5.7 ounces, feels really great in the hand and once worked in and the washers smooth and polish down the bead blasted surfaces on the inside I'm sure it will be a great user for a long time.

I noted that this model unlike all the others I've seen had a different look to the G10 scales. Its seems flatter or squared off more also. Its hard to put my finger on what all is different from this G10 vs what I usually see and compared to my own model but the color for one is lighter, and it kind of sparkles in the sunlight more. Maybe it has more glass fill than what they used to use. I'm not sure at this writing if this is a change at Emerson or just unique to this later model of the 14. I'm not sure if you can see the serial number in these pictures or not but its up at like 1200 something now and the scales on this one are noticeably different than my early number (under 100) model or any of the other models shown here in my blog or my forum. I do admit its more readily apparent side by side and in person than these pictures show though. Anyway, thanks for stopping by.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Emerson CQC7A HD Conversion

Update and Edit: As a final touch to this folder I did find a single Emerson Skull pocket clip I did not realize I had hiding in my bag of extra clips accumulated over the years. Actually I found some other extra things I had forgotten I still had along with that. One of which was a little pocket hook I had been making a while back to function as an 'add on Wave' for knives equipped with thumb discs but no Wave built into the blade design.

Contrary to popular belief on other forums I do not particularly like permanently modifying a folder I work on as you may know from reading here and on my forum by how I point out the ones that are not permanently modified. I work quite hard to avoid making permanent changes to a knife whenever possible whether its utilizing existing hole patterns drilled and threaded already for one of my pocket clips or a complete rebuild. Perhaps it is the collector in me always in conflict with the pimper in me, I don't know. Anyway, this add on Wave was a 'non invasive' way for me to come up with a Wave that worked and worked well for folks wanting a Wave added to their knife. This comes up quite often with the 7 model from Emerson as of late because a lot of guys like the A spear shaped blade but want the Wave. The latest run which again is limited in number are all non Waved factory blades. If you want the 7 with a Wave and don't particularly like tanto blades or a chisel grind unfortunately you have to buy the tanto chisel grind blade to get it.

Some have sent me blades with the raised areas in the spine for the thumb to rest such as the BenchMade HK 14200, 205 and 210, the 420 Resistor when it was made and of course older 7 A models of Emerson folders all wanting me to cut a hook into the blade permanently modifying the blade. I recall after getting a rather nice and rather collectible green handled 7A here a few years back (those green ones are very rare and discontinued) that I sat down to come up with a pocket hook Wave add on. Also as many visting here may already know, Ernest Emerson, patent holder for the Wave, gave me his OK in writing some years ago to Wave production folding knives for folks asking me to do this for their knives. When I first came up with this add on I had not heard of Andrew Demko but then when Cold Steel ran a production version of their AK47 folder that had something similar I was motivated to contact him about that patent and ask him if it was ok for me to continue to offer the pocket hook pointing out that I had already been selling them albeit just a few. Andy is a class act and gave me his ok. I really like his work. He makes some very stout lock designs too.

I have only done a few of my add on pocket hooks because they are very labor intensive and wasteful the way I had to do them cutting out the shapes on my band saw. The ti has to be longer than what you actually need to allow it to bend easily enough to manipulate and give your tools something big enough to hold onto so you end up having to cut off or grind off some waste after you heat it up to form it to a hook and you waste quite a bit just to get one of the shapes out of a sheet of titanium. I have not been taking orders for these for the last year or more due to this but now that I have made friends with Dave over at Great Lakes Waterjet who cuts out my pocket clip blanks perhaps he can cut these out for me from my sheets of titanium also. I did not have the pattern anymore for thesee or so I thought. I just figured I had sold them all but found this one laying in a box with the skull clip so it got added to this folder as a break in helper. Its worked quite well too and been fun.

These removable Wave hook/thumb discs do work quite well and I've found they are very gentle on pockets compared to other Waves so I feel they would be appreciated for that. There are other minor advantages to having a removable Wave for traveling also, particularly through certain states in the US. Some of the folks that bought these add on Wave hooks from me also bought low rider pocket clips so when they removed the Wave they could at the same time install the pocket clip and reinstall the original thumb disc. When combined with a khaki color or blue jean color anodized pocket clip this offered them some comfort in providing some perceived 'urban camo' for their carry knife in those not so not so knife friendly areas.

This Emerson model is 4 and 5/8" closed. What you are looking at is a CQC7A shown here with a factory non Waved blade. This A model is one of the limited run of Emersons just produced recently as I recall. This one is done in .140 thickness titanium for the new lock side. I've taken the lock cut relief in the back of the lock down to .060 on this one to spring the lock compared to .033 for the lock cut relief on my Emerson Comrade 12 model. Again here with this one, no permanent modifications were done to any of the factory parts and it can be reverted right back to the factory liner lock.

I do have a puzzle with this one I'm still scratchin' my head over. All the .160 plus thickness slab models of the Horseman folders I posted earlier weighed in at 5 ounces plus or minus each. This folder done thinner than those by .020 for total titanium thickness weighs 5.1 ounces as shown here. I'm not sure why or how but that is the case. This titanium slab was more difficult to thread compared to the thicker models although the Tapmatic didn't listen or care much about all the whining though so maybe its just denser or something. Not sure.

Lock up is early and secure. The feel of the action is smooth as silk already even though its only been used a few times at this writing. You may also notice this one was not ordered with the replacement stop pin conversion like others I've posted recently. These Emersons are great knives folks! Every knife nut should own at least one CQC7 from Emerson or at least an early BenchMade model from when Ernie worked there. This model, much like the maker are both a legend in their own time.

This is the model that perhaps single handedly revolutionized the tactical folder world. Of course it did that with the Tanto blade shape and forever put tanto blades on the map for good in my opinion. Emerson makes a Waved version of this same folder which I've rebuilt the same way on an earlier post some months back. That model comes with the Tanto blade but both come with the same handle choices in three sizes. One in Mini, this model here and a Super which is the larger of the three.

Oh and for you knife nuts out there, yes I recognize that the late great Bob Lum cannot be forgotten when it comes to the tanto blade and introducing that to America but what Ernest R. Emerson did for it is beyond measure with this model.

Thanks for looking.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Khin's Horseman HD

Ok last post of the completed folder upgrade to a slab lock side. Note there are three sets of pictures loaded at different times in this post and three postings even though they are hard to discern. First four pictures are one post. Then we have the one off picture smaller than the others done with my scanner showing the original stop pin in the folder. After that is the last post which is the one that shows the folder before I even took it apart.

In this picture show of the folder before and after you can see the original factory liners pictured along with the original stop pin and the new lock side and sometimes other parts that I add to the folders I work on, parts which I've now replaced with some custom made ones at times which as you have seen before can be spacers to replace the black original one shown in this knife, or pocket clips custom made or even new non locking liners and scales. So, I hope this helps some of those that weren't following what is going on when you see me posting like this showing a lock side of a folding knife you can now get a better idea of what it all adds up to.

You can see here that just as I had hoped it would the folder went together this morning no problem. Now all I have left on this one is to create my custom replacement stop pin to replace the original placed in the slab temporarily to test fire the lock and once thats done I'll take a couple better digitals and ship it home. This folder got a new lock slab of .160 thickness and as you may recall, it weighed in at 4.7 ounces before starting. It now weighs 5.1 ounces on the same digital postal scale I use for weighing packages before mailing them.
I've also activated lock side detent ball on this knife per the request of the owner. A request that comes quite often from New Yorkers.

Some of the non knife nut folks have asked me in email some questions that prompted this before and after of what I am actually doing here. I guess I take it for granted that most folks just know but some say while it looks great they are not exactly following some of the work with no reference to see the folder before I start whatever I do.

So, with that in mind here are some before pictures of the next folder up on my bench. This is yet another Horseman. Four in a row now which is a record even the CQC14 has never matched. The 14 is still the most frequently requested folder that I get asked to convert with upwards of some 20 plus for just that model by itself but I can't recall ever having four back to back orders of the same model before no matter what manufacturer it is.

Well, to the point of this post here, I took a few shots of the folder before disassembly to install the lock slab shown here beside it. I made this slab side by side to fit today as I made the one posted just below it. They are basically twins so I left the one together so as to not mix up parts. Tomorrow when I can get back to the shop fresh if I did all my homework correctly this slab should simply screw down and be ready to roll. We'll see. :-)

Shown on all sides is the factory folder belonging to Khin. This Horseman here weighs in at 4.7 ounces as shown here. As you may recall most of these are weighing in at 4.9 to 5 ounces once I add the new slab so there is a nominal weight gain but is negligible considering the advantages the slab side brings to the table. Heavier duty, and higher reliability being just two. Lets not forget the 'cool' factor besides that. Maybe these shots here of various angles of the slab I have shown here to fit and the original can give you some better reference to gauge the actual work being done. Thats my hope anyway.

By the way. You may notice the slight depression on the non locking/non pocket clip side near the thumb ramp to access the opening disc on the blade. This is a modification done by the owner of the knife not factory done. Just so you know. I assume he did this to help his thumb out so it hits the thumb disc square instead of skipping over it, since the disc is not centered in the hole area when the blade is closed. I've noted this on other Emerson models and can't say I know why that is the case but my Specwar folders from 1998 and 1999 are both this way also. If you scroll below to the ivory Horseman you can get a good shot of the folder closed on the ivory side to see how the thumb disc sits on the blade with the blade closed. Many makers would put that disc dead center in the half moon recess cut out on that side of the folder for the thumb to access the lock but Emerson moved his slightly off. Knowing Ernest there is probably good reason for this. Perhaps something to do with the disc cactching on pockets instead of the Wave or otherwise interfering with how it is designed to work. I really can't say I know the answer on this one. Personally its never been off enough to bother me much but I know other Emerson owners have mentioned it to me in the past.

Thanks for looking.


Friday, July 17, 2009

One Sweet Emerson Horseman Frame Lock Conversion

UPDATE: My bad on this last part. I forgot totally that one of my signature low rider pocket clips was ordered on this one but thankfully the owner looked at the photos and caught me before packing this beauty up to mail it off. For the record I always caution folks with Waved knives against a low rider because it does cause a shift in the hand position for how you extract the knife making it such that you'll have to choke up on the handle after getting it out but in this case the owner weighed the pros and cons and made a choice to go with better concealment and a smaller looking clip than what you'd expect on the folder so as to not make it such an advertisement that he had a bigger folder on him. I agree that most would still consider this Mini 8 to be a bigger knife because of the blade length so in this case after he cleared his throat at me confirming he knew what he wanted...:-) I said, "sir yes sir" and hopped to it! I know one active duty Marine that will have a second love in his life here soon besides his wife and this here knife is it! At least thats my guess.

Ok, details. On this one I rebuilt the lock side in .160 ti and the non lock side in .050 ti and then used a scale material the owner of this knife sent me as well. I guess it would be more accurate to say five times sweet though. As a final touch I added a custom back spacer with the same jimping as the lock got for grip. As you can also see from my update I have added a low rider clip of my own making also of titanium. Final weight is 4.9 ounces. This one is going back from leave of absence to come visit me to active duty Marine life once again. All the old parts are going back home including the old pocket clip. This folder can still be put right back together just the way it came from Emerson knives so nothing was really permanently changed on the folder parts. Even the hardware is all still stock lengths and finishes.

I must say when I first opened the box and saw this imitation ivory my thoughts were not pleasant at all. I just hate the stuff I've used like this in the past. I mean it gums up my belts and drum sanders even if brand spankin' new just terribly, melts and heats up cutting it on the band saw and has even caused a blade or two to snap on me while cutting and in my experience it is just flat aweful to work so, my heart kind of dropped a little when I saw it but after working with this particular imitation ivory from Macecraft Supply that all changed. I can say now it was a joy to work and machine this stuff. I'm not sure how strong it is or even what its actually composed of to make it but one other thing I also liked about it was that it didn't stink up my shop real bad at all.

I mean to tell you I was dreading having to work it at first but I knew the minute I drilled the first hole that something was different about this stuff than the stuff I'd used in the past. Once I cut it I was sure of it and after sanding it well, that was just surprising as all get out! I took this down from .175 thickness to a thickness closer to the .105 that I needed to match up to the original G10 scale thickness so the original hardware would work and in record time so if there is a draw back that could come up working this material its that a fast moving sharp belt will possibly get ahead of you right quick before you know what ya done and next thing you know yer startin' over! Other than this it was just shear pleasure to work with compared to any other ivory micarta or linier paper antique micarta or otherwise similar stuff that this maker has ever used. Thanks for looking. Be sure to hit refresh once you get here or you may not get the most recent stuff I'm posting. Click any pic to go full size. Also, feel free to comment. There is a way to post here if you want to guys.

Next up? Another Horseman. :-) I know I know some of these are gettin' redundant but hey man. Its all in good fun. I just take em in the order they get here is all and there is no rhyme or reason to that sometimes.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Jon's Emerson Horesman HD

Update: Be sure to click refresh once the page loads because sometimes new posts do not load up until you do that manually. On this folder shown here, I've loaded some new pictures after hearing back from the owner of this fine folder and addressing the pocket clip question I had which is solved nicely by bead blasting it. Then I corrected the overhang and reblasted the slab and since I unfortunately did end up having to permanently modify the non lock side liner to make this all go together as smoothly as possible I bead blasted that to match the new slab lock and pocket clip in effort to prepare this one for shipment home this morning. Its now completed. As most of you guys probably know I hate modifying these permanently if I can prevent it even to the point of not even bead blasting the original non lock side liner usually so its still original but this one being a first was one that messed with me a little bit. What I learned doing it will improve the next ones though so its all good and nothing that keeps this one from going together and working reliably or anything like that. You can see that the phillips head of that stop pin barrel I have made up for doing these which I cover in detail in the Waveless CQC14 thread in older posts is so close to the bevel on the edge of the slab that if it was off by the slightest amount it would be a slab I'd just have to cut over again and scrap this one. In the new one I'd have to use the original Emerson stop pin rather than install my 'rattle cure' I have used on several now. Its this area and one other place in how to get these just right that messed with me for a bit here and for a time there I was a bit scared I just wasted a nice slab of ti. Fortunately it worked out in the end to a nice working folder that looks decent too.

Seen here is an Emerson Horseman combo edge that I have rebuilt the lock side on. Its now a beef cake frame lock folder compared to the thin liner lock folder it was from the factory. The new slab lock sides like you see done here and by other guys building them similarly to convert them from the original thinner liner locks steps these folders up so much more than a mere notch it ain't funny! From all indications this is nothing other than a mini CQC8 true hard use folder now which is why I used the HD after the listing (heavy duty) and what a sweet heart model! I find that I have really taken to this particular model from Emerson and see one in my future. I've always liked the 8 model but the size kept me from getting one. The general styling is quite nice on this model and the 8 and I really like the sleek lines.

As shown here the folder weighs in at a nice round 5 ounces. I still see a couple things I need to touch up on this one in some overhang in one spot so I'll be taking it apart one more time to fix that up and I want to check with the owner about the scratches on the clip to see if it was like this when it arrived here or if I did that. If I did it I'll swap it out with one of my models or perhaps he'll decide that I should just bead blast this one. Otherwise this guys ready to travel tomorrow.

Action is nice. It Waves out wonderfully and the lock up is like a bank vault. Sometimes first models of any of the folders I work on can bring surprises. This one was no exception. I learned a lot on this one and that will improve future models for anyone else and its a good thing because I have two more coming up right behind it. Thanks for looking.