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Thread: balisong building help needed

  1. #1
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    balisong building help needed


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    I am looking try something a bit different this year in the way of building a balisong. If I can get the level of quality I am looking for it will be a gift to one of my Lts that is deploying to Kuwait for a second tour. With this in mind I don't really want to make traditional balisong shaped knife but want to try some different shaped handles.

    I made a couple paper models and will start on the wood models next week but the bottom line is I have never made one and don't know what to consider or the pin sizes needed nor the spacing. Actually I have many more questions too and hope someone that has made several of the balisong will chime in here.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Do you own a balisong? Maybe model off a pre-existing model for ideas. Maybe a mayhem

  3. #3
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    Yes I have several but they are very old and none are what I would call great. I do understand what you are saying though. My questions are more about installing the bushings and size holes for press fitting as well as tang length in relation to overall strength of the blade.

    The blade will be 1084 and I am not yet certain of the handle materials. If I can swing it, no pun there, I would like to use ti. but I may be able to just harden and temper some 1084 strips for handles after I drill them out. By hardening them I may be able to make them thinner to equal the weight saving of the ti. Again I don't know. I do plan on having the knife cerakoted in desert sand.

    Other questions relating to magnetic locks, bearings, blade length am overall balance.

    I know my LT used his folder more than any other tool but he wanted something he could openwith one hand but not an auto as most of their autos were trashed due to the sand and the ability not to be able to preform maintenance other than sharpening.

  4. #4
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    Working out a design when the knife will look like one of my cudas or a terzuola. Spearpoint included.

  5. #5
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    Bearings are bad news around sand. Stick with bushings. The bushings should "slip fit" into the tang holes allowing free movement and should only be slightly thicker than the blade. Carbon steel would definitely make it heavier/slower which might compromise the owner's desire to carry it. Titanium with magnetic latch would appear ideal for basic no nonsense opening. Equal blade/handle ratio tends to also make a balisong faster.

  6. #6
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    Is there an average size for the tang pin and should there be two or will one be suitable?

    Is there an outlet for the rare earth magnets for making a magnetic latch or a kit?

    I see knifekits.com carries the bushing but is there any other place that you would suggest?

  7. #7
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    Here is what I have in mind to try and build. I made a couple paper models and they match up well with the blade. I will make several wood models to tweak it a bit and to get the blade and handles matched. It kinda loosely based off the nessmunk but still has an aggressive look to it. This should be a nice little challenge and looking forward to starting.

    Sand tiger.jpg

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by shane wink View Post
    Is there an average size for the tang pin and should there be two or will one be suitable?

    Is there an outlet for the rare earth magnets for making a magnetic latch or a kit?

    I see knifekits.com carries the bushing but is there any other place that you would suggest?
    1/8" ss pin stock is pretty much standard.
    Should be easy enough to find, look it up.
    Knifekits should be adequate. Be sure you double check all the dimentions and know how thick the blade stock will be. Bushings also can double as barrel spacers which means tighter tolerances(the handle slabs should be as parallel as possible.

  9. #9
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    Also, if the bushing doesn't feed through the drilled hole, widen it with a reamer, don't try to wiggle the hole bigger with the drill.

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    I did see several tutorials suggesting to ream size the holes. Looks like I will need to add a few new bits. Thanks for all the info the far.

  11. #11
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    I only made one. I found that liner locking pivot pins worked well since they are accurately made. Would these help? Frank

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    Quote Originally Posted by shane wink View Post
    I did see several tutorials suggesting to ream size the holes. Looks like I will need to add a few new bits. Thanks for all the info the far.
    If you do ream the pin holes to size, look for reamers that are over and under the pin by .000 5 or .001

    They often call them dowel pin undersize and oversize reamers

    The undersize pins you can press fit, the oversize as nice pivots.


    Try it in scrap before the actual work.

  13. #13
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    All good replies and thanks. I had thought the same on the reamers as the tutorials mention pressing the tang pins and pivot bushings in. Working on the mock up right now and was shooting for a handle thickness of .150 per slab but i have not used Titanium before and wonder if this is too thin to be strong. I know about cutting it and such just not a lot about how much it can take before it will give.

    Like a said earlier its being made for toughness and will be plenty stressed while in kuwait so going with a 5/32 spine and shooting for a blade length around 3.5 - 3.75 so from pivot to base of the handles around 4 - 4.25 in length not counting the tang when closed. After I get the mock handles fashioned I will add the 5/32 flat stock and align the pivot holes, mark them then trace the handle profile on to the blade stock. This will give me a pattern to match the handles when closed. This is what I am thinking anyway.
    Last edited by shane wink; 10-27-2012 at 08:21 PM.

  14. #14
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    In any knife that has moving parts, I feel making a working pattern is essential before starting. Frank

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    I have the wood scaled model working just fine but have decided that to see if how cost effective it would be to have the handles and blade shape water jet cut or at the least the handles. This blade is important to me and finishing it before my buddies deployment gives me the time to get it right!

    Any recommendations on scale thickness when using 316 ss? I am guessing .200 would be thick enough and allow for shaping. I want to use .125 -.150 ti but I am not yet sure of the cost of the water jet cutting on a 12x 12 sheet of .150 ti and can only imagine that using 316 ss instead would be much more cost effective but offset by weight.

  16. #16
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    When I built mine, I used 1/8 pins, brass for the handles, and stainless for the blade pivots and stop pins. .150 titanium should be plenty strong, however it is a costly material. I'm not sure about costs, but you may want to consider using g10 for the handles. There might be a weight problem though. Mine's a tiny one, since I'm in CA, and I ended up putting weights in the ends of the handles.

  17. #17
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    Titanium is only expensive when buying large amounts. I now almost exclusively use 6242 for back bars in my liner locks. It does finish very different from 6AL4V., Anyway go to Alpha knife supply and see all the pieces and sizes they have. I'll just bet they have something for you at a very reasonable cost. On the other hand I expect water jet cutting for one knife in SS or titanium will be expensive. For many the same that could be a great plan. Frank

  18. #18
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    Yup a 12x12 sheet of .125 ti runs around 105 bucks plus whatever it will cost for the water jetting to cut the handles. Same stock in 410 ss is 20 bucks. I have never tried to heat and bend ti but if there is a way to consistently heat and bend it then I could just buy the kit with the ti handles and bend them myself. I had planned to cut the kit handles down anyway so bending them would be great.
    Last edited by shane wink; 10-28-2012 at 02:23 PM.

  19. #19
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    Frank you posted while I was typing so I did not see the good info you posted, sry

  20. #20
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    Also, make sure you leave enough space between the handles/round the corners enough so the handles don't bite the meat of your hand when flipping around.
    Glad to help,
    Nate

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