During the past few years I have been looking for a heavy duty utility folder which can stand up to a variety of tasks whilst offering a comfortable grip, locking blade and adjustable pivot. I was recently drawn to knives made by a knifemaker from South Africa, his knives look to have everything I'm after so I contacted him and he agreed to work with me to develop a new knife. I started by letting him know which of his existing designs I liked and running through the likely tasks the knife would see. I work as a Ranger in one of the UK's National Parks and the knife will be put through its paces from time to time, working green wood, cutting strop's for helicopter lifts and shaping hessian matting being just a few of the tasks it will face. I wanted a locking blade and he suggested combining the positives of a friction folder (simplicity/extended tang for easy opening, additional safety when tang is in hand, adjustable pivot) with the security of a liner lock. I haven't come across this design anywhere else but it makes sense to me. The knifemaker has mentioned to me that once this project is complete, he'd consider offering the knife in different formats, like a pure friction folder, a lock back folder, etc
After some further discussions around blade shape we settled on the top drawing of the designs below.
I preferred the cleaner lines and felt it would offer comfort in a variety of holds. The knife will have 3mm brass liners, Black Chacate scales and a 4mm blade in O1 steel. The blade will be full height convex, my favoured grind and hard to find on a folding knife.
Overall length: 215mm
Cutting edge: 85mm
I'm really enjoying watching things take shape, the knifemaker has been keen to work together on this and I really appreciate that.
Thought you'd like to see some pic's of the design process, will update as things progress.......
The drawing table where it all starts....
Here detail has been added to get an idea of the blade design, including the elongated tang.
Initial/prelim blade design.
Traced onto tracing paper and overlaid on the design, to get an idea of how it will move and fit.
This also gives a good indication of where the pivot point should be. Halfway through the travel.
Blade template overlay drawing shows fit. Looks promising - it fits and allows for a lanyard hole.
Card template, alternating tang design and lock layout.
Chosen blade tang design.
Half way in travel.
I'm really impressed with how well everything fits together and how much of the blade has been lost in the handle when closed.
Paper templates to be glued to the brass and steel, so that cutting can start.
First pic's showing initial grind done prior to heat treat.
Next pic's showing how the stop pin works in both positions whilst the knife benefits from the added security of the end of the extended tang resting against the back spacer.
Note how the angle of the back of the tang ensures that, even if worn and in the unlikely event that the pin failed the tang would not push past the back spacer.
Linerlock being cut.
All under the watchful eye of the Workshop Manager.....
Thanks for looking, I'll add more as they come