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.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Nick's Emerson HD14 Conversion

Wow! Another in a super long line now of these CQC14s mailed to me to convert into as close an example of an HD folder by Emerson that I can muster. This one turned out right nice and is ready to ship back to its home.

This is another one done with no permanent modifications to it so it can be reverted back to factory condition if the owner so decides. Original liner, this one a purple anodized one tweaked a little by the owner and scale, and the original stop pin are in a separate baggy to ship home with it tomorrow morning when it heads out.

You may notice another upgrade the owner did to this model before I got it here and that shows quite well in the spine shot on the rear spacer with the glow in the dark inserts to give a personal touch. Thanks for looking.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

South Paw Frame Lock Conversion Emerson Mini A100

Update. Be sure to click on refresh once the page loads to be sure you are viewing the current postings. It sometimes does not show you the new posts or at least it has done this to me. I guess for most coming to visit here it goes without saying but for those that don't know, these Emersons most always come with the lock set up for a right handed person. Many lefties carry Emersons of course and just flip the clip or buy one of the factory lefties set up that way, and quite a few don't even change it at all but just use it as is. Being left handed myself for so many things in life I learned at an early age that I just had to put up with certain things in a right handed world. One of those things of course has been in folding knives and how they come from manufacturers. Some manufacturers offer a true lefty set up for a premium or by a special order and many south paws out there chose lockback style folders just for the ambidextrous nature of the lock. The owner of this right handed Mini A100 decided to go a different route and contacted me about changing his to a true south paw.

What I've done here is take the folder apart first to take some close measurements. Then I reground a new 8 degree contact on the blade where the lock comes out to meet it only this time the contact is angled for a true lefty. After this is done its not just a matter of simply rebuilding everything in a mirror image to put it all back together. As a result of the blade regrind on the contact I had to custom make the lock side washer so it would work with the new lock, which also had to be cut longer than a stock lock from the factory since the contact for the blade is now further away with me grinding some of it away and getting into the washer space, at least on the one side closest to the lock. Things got a bit tight there near that washer/pivot area but on the outside of the folder with the 3/8" recess that has to be engineered into the design for the pivot barrel but I pulled it off flawlessly. Its actually not as tight inside with plenty of titanium between the lock and body cut but for that recessed part of the pivot it sure got tight. You can see just how close it is and how the set up has to be to be spot on and still work in the picture coming up next as you scroll down. Its the one showing the folder closed on the pocket clip side. Just click the picture and once it zooms to full size look to the left of the non screw side of the black pivot barrel. Thats some tight tolerance there to get this one right. I must admit I thought for a bit there that I was going to run into a problem in that spot. Fortunately it worked out.

Also requested by the owner of this folder was a titanium back spacer with some jimping, and a glass breaker/flat head screwdriver combo built into it. I was a bit nervous on this part too since I had never done anything like this before. I've incorporated that best I could and feel it will certainly do the job. The screwdriver will work quite well in all his other Emerson pivots also. So that should be good for all but this one anyway. I wish I could have refined that a bit more to make it better looking but I must admit I was shooting from the hip with that particular part. Anyway, its all done now.

Final weight on this folder shown here in a bead blasted finish on .110 slab side construction for the lock side and non lock side of 6Al-4V titanium is 3.2 ounces. Also done is my replacement stop pin using a screw type hardened barrel construction. It all went together quite well. You may also notice no thinned down lock cut to spring the lock. I've always called my locks a 'he man's lock' because they are made to be tough, strong and reliable. Most of you that know me know I have always hated the way so many otherwise massive and impressive frame locks in the industry are wimped out terribly in this one spot to bend the lock. Those really thin ones just always bugged the crap out of me, almost as much as folder makers going to so much work and trouble to design and built a flawless artistictally done folder from scratch spending countless hours on it only to slap a generic $3 pocket clip on it in the end almost as an after thought really and one that usually takes away from the whole and doesn't even look like it goes there or all that good sometimes! Arrrgh! Don't get me started.

Back to topic. :-) This one has a lock cut but I didn't bring it all the way down to the bottom or go in all that deep really. Its does go in to about .095 total thickness for 3/4 of the width of the lock and then I left it solid across the bottom so I didn't even have to interfere with the jimping for some better grip. As a result I feel this maximizes the potential of this little giant .110 ti slab side folder shown here. Oh, and if you are thinking something like, 'yeah but I bet the lock is super hard to work', well think again. I believe you'd be surprised just how easy it is to manage. Go over to my forum and ask one of the guys carrying one done like this and see if you hear a complaint. I still contend that there is no reason for a maker to take the lock cuts so thin. My other contention is that most folks that chose a 'hard use folder' for their carry knife should expect a hard use lock and so what if its a bit stiffer but the truth is my lock is the result of several years of experimentation and testing getting it to where it is now. I think I've found something that is working and working quite well. My own EDC (the orange RIL folder shown in older posts below) is one done in .095 thickness slabs and it has no lock cut whatsoever. Well, enough rambling on that.

You can see the baggy full of the original parts in some of these pictures although none of those will ever work for this folder again now that I've permanently modified the blade. Perhaps the owner can donate these or sell them to someone wanting extra parts for their mini or keep them for himself in the event he gets another one down the road. I did something on this folder I've only done a couple of times and that is I told the owner that should he ever decide to sell this or trade it off that I would like first refusal on it. Its one that turned out quite well and surprised me for the way I took to it. Its kind of funny really, because at first when this little folder arrived I thought it was fugly ugly! :-) Its one of those that just grows on you though.

Thanks for stopping by. Comments welcome.