Tuesday, March 24, 2009

M-Wave Frame Lock number 3

Another M-Wave just up. This one is the same as the last two. .145 titanium. These pictures offer a little better detail for viewing all around the new lock side. Click on any picture to enlarge full size and zoom in. Thanks for looking.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

BUSSTR with Koyote (Christof Harper) blade

Seen here is my original BUSSTR folder using the Cobbler blade that used to be sold by Ragnar's Ragweed forge. Its the darker folder. The lighter one is fresh out of the bead blast cabinet and is equipped with a thicker blade made by my friend Christof Harper in one of his signiture Scandi grinds. This is a nice folder and sports one tough hard use blade in it.

Seeing both together can give a perspective to the blade thickness difference between .064 for the original and .095 for the new one. Both weigh in at 3.4 ounces ironically. 

Both are brown or what is also called natural micarta. The light color will soon change with use and it will eventually become as dark as my first one. Thanks for looking. Click on any picture to see it full size. 


Emerson CQC7B Frame Lock Conversion

Seen here is another in a long line of Emerson folders I've converted from the thin liner lock shipped out of the factory to a beef cake frame lock.  As usual no permanent modifications were done to any of the factory parts so once again this folder can easily be put back together to make it all factory again. Even the non lock side is still the same finish on this one with no bead blasting to blend it with the new lock side. You can actually put this one back together and not even know it was once this beefy heavy duty package. I just made a new lock side that will work on it and take it up a notch to HD7 type performance and since the HD7 frame lock from Emerson has been discontinued I have had a couple folks ask about them. Actually truth be told most of the HD7 models I've seen and the one I owned had .122 to .125 lock sides so compared to this one at .145 I'd say this one is probably technically heavier duty although its probably not something anyone would notice.

This folder here happens to be one of my own Emersons and it is ready ready for some serious work! Weight gain was nil since it started out at 4.9 ounces before adding the slab side to it and ended up at 5.1 ounces with the new lock side installed. When holding my other non converted new in the box 7A model still in liner lock factory fresh form in my left hand I can't tell the weight difference between a stock one and this one in the hand so I doubt its going to be noticed in the pocket either. The real difference for me comes in the sense of strength, and particularly reliability from holding one like this compared to one with a thin liner lock that barely engages the blade to secure it. To me that added assurance that you can rely on the lock to hold and actually physically keep the lock from moving toward release in a serious white knuckle hard grip really makes all the difference in the world. There is also some visual sense looking over a folder made this way that its just all around a step up in all the right ways from the factory version. 

This is the second Emerson CQC 7 model I've converted in the last few months and as is usual with  each one I do I improve on and correct for what I learned in previous models. Such is the case here. I think the next one will be even nicer than this one when the time comes that I decide to do another. 

Thanks for looking. 


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

Friday, March 6, 2009

BUSSTR in Teal Canvas w/Low Rider

Yet another in line of the BUSSTR folders utilizing the wonderful now discontinued Cobbler blades that Ragweed Forge used to offer. 

I really like this teal personally and pics don't do it justice at all. This one weighs in at 3.1 ounces. Sports a nice low rider clip of my own making, this one for tip up right hand carry. This BUSSTR is all set for some cutting tasks. 

Thanks for looking. 


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

BUSSTR in Red Linen

This is another of the BUSSTR folders using the Cobbler blades like the one just below this one. Its a rather sweet looker if I do say so myself. Unlike the next one, this one has a standard style pocket clip. I've given myself artistic license with the pocket clips on each of these. They are the same other than the clip configurations which will all be different and unique.

Measurements are the same on this as below with the exception of the weight which for some reason is different. This folder shown here weighs in at 3.1 ounces. Thanks for looking. 


Sunday, March 1, 2009

BUSSTR (Basic Urban Survival) in green linen

This year (09) I came out with a folder I had been working on for, oh I guess I had the body designed for about 8 months and had not decided on a blade style. Then through a fluke I found a mention on the internet forums of a blade being offered for very few dollars called simply 'the Cobbler blade' that struck my fancy to try. Its a $7 blade before shipping and offered from Ragnar's Ragweed Forge website along with other various blades you can buy to put your own handles on. 

The reviews from the people buying this little blade were raves about it and how much performance you got or bang for the buck so to speak. The blade is thin. Think of a favorite paring knife in your kitchen and thicken it just a bit and you have the idea because its .064" thin. To get an idea of that the lock on this model is .070 or a little thicker but not much. Its not really all that flexible of a blade either even though its a thin blade akin to fillet knife thinness. Its hardness is 60 RC on the Rockwell scale and its hard clear through to all parts of the blade not just the edge and boy is it a pocket full of razor! Its one of those knives you just use the living daylights out of. I love it! Unfortunately the blade was discontinued and Ragnar has sold out of this high carbon true "Scandi grind" blade but if you happen to find one, because there are still a few out there floating around, well, I'm sure you'll be amazed as I was. 

I bought all 25 of those remaining to close out Ragnar's inventory on the item. So far all but a few are spoken for for this folder that has turned out to be a nice economy custom knife just about any working man can afford. Trust me its that good though even if you spent a lot. I know I've spent four times the price and not had a knife that worked as effortlessly! As mentioned, I turned the blades I bought into a folder rather than leave it a sheath knife. I'm just showing this one in green linen for my blog. I carry and use one just like this that is brown canvas micarta and has a standard non low rider style tip up pocket clip. Otherwise they are the same thing down to the weight. I'm not sure what I'll do once these blades run out, which will be soon, but I am working on a collaboration with another well known Scandi grind maker that does excellent work. I have six of his blades coming and will post one of those when its all done. 

I call this one my BUSSTR folder. This stands for "basic urban survival, and followed by my initials. This name was the creation of a friend of mine. My thoughts on a basic urban survival folder was that it should function as a good pocket companion in both city and some deep woods uses as a back up to a good sheath knife to do whatever lighter duty cutting can be done around the camp or during a hike or while just on a picnic. It should be light weight so you can easily have it on you all the time, it should be comfortable to use in all grips that could come up in the field or around the house, and it should be of a blade steel that can easily be sharpened on a flat sand stone rock if that is all you have.  Lastly, it had to be something with 'real edge geometry geared for use' not something that looked all big and bad but ended up being essentially all bark with no bite. I don't know about you folks but one way I've always used to determine the 'usability' of a knife is how quickly I can use it to make 'fuzz sticks' in the field to start a fire with right quick if the need arises. This little blade does that effortlessly even on hard black jack oak wood! Granted being thin and a great slicer the edge can ding easier but I think most folks appreciate and know how to use and care for a thin blade with some real edge geometry by not trying to cut out a knot in a tree branch all in one cut but to whittle it down. Fuzz sticks are just like making small broom sweeper type sticks with a bunch of whittled fuzz on the end that will light quick and burn hot and fast. With the right tool it does not have to be a big chore. With the wrong tool you can wear a blister on a bare hand right quick trying to make it slice much to even sharpen a pencil let alone do a bigger job like this. 

Also, with the economy the way its been for us here in late 2008 and into 2009 I thought using this blade would allow me to come up with something that knife enthusiasts could still afford and at the same time still get a custom level knife. Apparently I was right! Soon as I posted my own and showed it off others took interest. BUSSTR fits the bill and many survivalists and outdoorsman can attest to the merits of the scandi grind in the field and even this little blade called the "COBBLER" because they are familiar with it. Its been around and known about in their circles for some time. I just found out too late about it I guess or I'd have a bigger inventory of these little user blades. It is my sincere hope that the same company making these carbon blades comes up with a replacement similar to it in a 12C27 stainless steel because that is about the only thing I can think of that would probably be better. 

The BUSSTR folders measure 4 and 5/8" closed and they have a 3.125" blade length open. These weigh in at between 3 ounces on the light side to 3.4 ounces on the heavy side and sport .070 thickness titanium locks and liners, micarta scales of various colors and a low rider or standard style pocket clip of titanium along with thumb studs, stainless hardware, a lanyard hole big enough for para cord to slide right through easily and nylatron washers in the pivot for what breaks in to become a real nice smooth action when opening and closing the blade.  This is the definition of " real world user heaven" right here! In my opinion, it doesn't get much better than this. The profile of a scandi grind is such as to make it slice and perform well anyway, but when you combine it with a hardness equal or greater to this blade and a thin stock you end up with something that will absolutely amaze you in the field. The first time you use one on any job you'll probably say the same thing I did. "WOW that cuts great!" 

I know people that have bought expensive knives and then paid various custom knife makers to grind their blades down thinner to achieve this level of performance. No need to spend that extra with something like this available I can tell you that. These come that thin to begin with and they work very well.  This blade is better than anything I could have made up myself using 1/8" stock and it makes shorter work and less effort to get a job done than anything else I have. Its a first choice in the safe for me most everyday to my surprise, beating out many higher dollar knives in my collection.  All this at a discount! Amazing! Thanks for looking guys. Just wanted to show another of one of the various things I get myself into. I expect in the future to have some other various offerings using scandi grinds and we are even toying with some Wharncliffe shapes to see what we can come up with so stay tuned.