Sunday, April 11, 2010

He Man Folder in Leather and 12C27 Blade Steel

I was playing around in the shop some today and yesterday finishing up one of my custom folders I build. Call it a proto-type if you like, at least regarding the leather overscale but I think it turned out pretty classy. I'm still trying to clean up around the edges of the leather some because I'm not familiar with what works or how to properly trim it yet but I'm working on it. Its still a bit wet yet but starting to dry now finally.

As some of you know I've occasionally used some textured G10 or CF to make a small overscale for some grippiness on the handle of my He Man folder model. What I did with this one was slightly different which is what I wanted. I took a scrap piece of tanned bull hide out and cut that to the shape I wanted for this folder. This piece of leather is one that is approximately .080 thickness plus or minus. I soaked it some under the faucet to get it wet on both sides. Not sopping wet or anything but just wet and then I put it in a plastic bag overnight. Today I got it out of the plastic for a bit until it was just starting to get that dry look again on top where I could see the lighter color starting to show again and then I used one of the textured titanium slabs Dave at Great Lakes Waterjet had done for me a while back (what he refers to as his "Tac Ti", which is wonderful stuff if you don't have any) and pressed it into the leather nice and evenly all over using my half ton arbor press. The result was surprising and it came out pretty frickin' great I must say! This gave the leather some nice texturing for a slightly better thumb purchase when reaching to extract the folder from my pocket and in my opinion it really added something to the folder. I hope the pics do it justice.

Currently I'm letting it dry some before I use it and the jury is still out on how well it will hold up but based on the fact that I have holsters and saddles with texturing of some kind and some other tooling done to them I suspect its going to be something that works out pretty good.

Anyway, thanks for looking. Oh yeah. Blade steel on this puppy is 12C27 which I had Brad at Peters Heat treat bring up to 60 Rockwell. This steel is surprising me at how clean it comes back from Peters and also its holding a great edge for quite a while and has proven to be quite nice. This folder weighs in at 3.4 ounces and is 4.25" closed with a 3.125" blade length. As you can see I made this one with a Wharncliffe blade shape. (my fave!)