Sunday, March 8, 2009

Emerson Trio of Frame Lock Conversions Just Up

These just finished. Normally I post these one at a time but to save time I'm doing all three in one post. Not as close up as some I've done to zero in on the details but these are all .145 thickness slabs used on the new lock sides. You can see how thick the locks were on the originals by looking at the non lock side liner. These are beefed up quite a bit now. Each one gained a little weight but not bad at all for the trade off in reliability, looks and strength. I think they kick butt personally.
Seen here is a CQC14 Emerson model far left, and two of the M-Waves made by Emerson for MD Tactical. 

As is usually the case with my work all three of these can be put right back together the way they were shipped when new. None of the original factory parts have been changed one iota.
What is different is the way I did my stop pin replacment on these. I got rid of the somewhat famous Emerson rattle that does seem to be noticed by some users and I did this by screwing all the blade stops down in my conversions. On the non locking G10 side is a hidden button head screw under the G10 handle scale on each model shown here. On the visible side is a matching black finished screw in a phillips head 4-40 thread size to fit the hardened stainless barrel which is the same diameter as the original pin was. All the lock cuts to spring the locks are my signiture 'beefy' cuts left plenty thick by taking only what is needed out to make the locks easy to manipulate and no more. I personally believe that leaving the lock relief area thicker makes it harder to hyper extend the locks out the wrong way in a heated moment or a rush like you'd be going through in an emergency or other situation of high energy. In combination with the pocket clip locations the pocket clip on each folder also adds a bit of a stop or at least a resistance to over travel of the lock the wrong way causing the spring tension to weaken or completely disappear altogether. 

I think that between both of these things that my technique really does add some to the locks resistance to overtravel and at least the thicker cut relief makes it harder to cause the lock to lose spring for proper connection to the blade contact to secure the blade properly when out for use.  I see many frame locks and own quite a few both in custom and production folders and one of my pet peves with this style of lock is the ultra thin lock relief cuts makers create to spring the lock. These thicker slabs are not very giving so these cuts are a necessary evil but I don't believe it is really necessary to take them to the extremes I have seen. I've measured some of these cuts that were so thin they really were,  at least in my eyes,  a liability.  I can't help but think of the old saying that a chain is only as strong as it's weakest link. If there is a weak link in some frame locks it would have to be in this area and another would have to be in pocket clip positioning because some clips are mounted in such a way as to actually block the hand from physical contact with the lock to keep it connected to and properly behind the blade even under great load and stresses including 'white knuckle grip types'.

As a result, no forethought to clip mounting or a clip too large and too wide for the folder can take away from the reliabilty this style of folder is supposed to provide the end line user for harder use than it's lighter duty cousin the liner lock. I would say that some folders whether they be frame lock or liner lock type that have excessively large access points cut out into the non lock sides of the folder body for the thumb to release the lock also can make it too easy to release the lock by accident. If your carrying a frame lock where the releif cut is thinned down so much that its already weak and allows the lock to move as easy as a flimsy liner lock well, you get the picture. That extra big  accss to get your thumb on the lock to release it to close the blade, and that really thin area where the lock was carved out to make the bend in the lock to give it spring could both come back to haunt you by making it twice as easy to release the lock during use which is not the time you want it to release on you.  Anyway, thats my take on that for whatever its worth. 

 Thanks for looking. STR

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