Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Lockback from a fixed blade

After building that folder for Dirk (Oupa) I got the itch to do another for myself. So speaking with Bob on the phone I bought me a blank from him as well and decided to do my folder in a lockback instead of a frame or liner lock like I did for Dirk. It was a lot of grinding to do this with a blade already hardened let me tell you and I don't recommend it for just anyone particularly if you have to grind out a small part like this rocker arm/lockbar shown in the drawing before I got started. I'm a glutton for punishment at times but it was doable, just not something I'd make a habit of doing a lot you know? Hardened steel work is so time consuming.

Knowing what I know now, if I could pick between working hardened steel and unhardened I'd go unhardened every time! Looking back on this since it took place years ago, I'd have to say that it was really not the smartest way to build a folder. I stick this and these other older jobs here as a memento of past jobs to have a place to store them only. Anyway, its much easier to grind your own blade from bar stock that is not heat treated yet and its far easier to drill holes to install thumb studs or add traction grooves before hardening and thats the way I'd suggest doing it instead of attempting to do this type project with a blank already hardened. Still, many manufacturers grind their blades hard and some do prefer that so its not impossible to work already hardened stock. If I had any sense at all I'd stick with doing things easier but as I always said I never did do things by the book so this here project was no exception. In the end it still put a 'Dozier' folder in my pocket for a lot less money than if I had bought one from Bob that he made so in that respect it was a good thing.

Again, you can follow progress on this old project from start to finish albeit a summarized visual of the actual events that led to this folder in the final picture. The green G10 started out on a sheet and of course I had to design my handle, trace those and cut them out, then mark my holes in the proper spots to drill them out, cut the hardware to size and fit it all together so the lockbar and blade mated together properly and after making a custom titanium spring holder and titanium spring for the locbar/rocker arm assembly, which had to be properly bent to spring it, I had to then make all that come together to work. Obviously I've left all that out or we'd be here all day.

Once I got those parts fitted though, the lock up was rock solid, and it is still like that to this day. The lockbar sinks nice and deep also and in the end the folder was a nice mid type locking folder with good snap to the blade. I stuck some very very thin PB washers in the pivot but not before using my flat platten and a super fine belt to take some of the thickness of the blade down about .005 in thickness. This allowed my washers (snagged from a rebuilt Spyderco I did years ago) to fit better by making the blade slightly thinner than my lock bar. Then I made a custom titanium low rider clip to fit it for tip up carry to complete the package. After carrying this one for a few I finally gave it to my brother in law who has always had a fondness for Bob's D2 blades. He still carries it to this day and truly loves it based on the feedback I've received from him. My guess is that this folder has seen its fair share of white tail deer now that its been out there hunting in West Virginia with my Brother in law. Thanks for looking.

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