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Mutilate Your Buck

Discussion in 'Buck Knives' started by Pug-butter, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. Pug-butter

    Pug-butter Banned BANNED

    743
    Jan 25, 2012
    Being eager to use my new 119 recently, I've been looking for excuses to wear it on my belt and whip it out whenever applicable. However, in doing so I have found it is not as nimble as I would like. So I decided to commit knife heresy, possibly voiding my warranty in the process.

    To be honest, I did not notice it at first. But as I read a review of the knife online the words became more and more true to me. I realized the discomfort with which I choked up on the knife to whittle. This person had performed a specific mod to remedy his dilemma, and I have followed his example. I have taken a good slice off the aluminum guard of the Buck 119.

    http://www.cliffstamp.com/knives/reviews/buck_119.html

    First and foremost I had to find the tools I needed. Finding a hacksaw was easy. The file was on our back deck; it's rusty but still works like a charm. It's the sandpaper that did me in; I could only find grits as high as 150 (my dad works with wood more often than metal), and the polish of my knife has definitely suffered as a result. On to the process.

    With the hacksaw I placed the knife flat on the table. Using my thumb as a guide, I made some long scratches into the guard, aligning the cuts I would make. When this groove held the saw adequately I began to grind away. The aluminum is easy to cut at. Unfortunately, I miscalculated very early on; either the saw was too wide or my cut too low, as I began to tear away at the phenolic handle. I analyzed the damage and, indeed, much of the smooth sheen at the top of the handle would be ground away when I was finished.

    I broke the piece off after several minutes of cutting, and looked over the damage. There was a clear, conspicuous line running from the guard, at least an inch long and about a millimeter deep. I was surprised to find the phenolic has a musty green color beneath its black surface. I worried myself over this for a time, but decided I would deal with it later.

    The cut was rough, looking much like the blade of the saw itself. I clamped the knife in a vice, working at the sharp corners of the guard. I tried to make it symmetrical, since the saw had done its job at a slight angle. It's crude—a bit "wavy," as it were— but the angles are at equal heights now and I'm satisfied in the crude, almost barbaric look the guard has been given.

    When filing became redundant I began to saw away with 80-grit sandpaper, smoothing down the edges of the cut. It's at this point that I decided to protect the blade from the scratches that were becoming increasingly rampant across the knife, so I lined it with electrician's tape. Whenever I found the sandpaper impotent I would return to the file, eyeing angles and doing fairly well smoothing them off.

    I became satisfied with the guard when it was at its original smoothness; that is, when the marriage from phenolic to aluminum glided as well as it did when I first bought it. By the time I was done accomplishing this, however, the handle looked honestly horrible. The shiny black and rough, tough olive-green were not very attractive. I decided I would put sandpaper to the entire handle in an effort to make it more uniform. This is the one regret I have with the project, wishing I had done better math as to leave the knife looking more dark and mysterious. (;)) Still, it's not too bad-looking as a rough-and-tumble Green Beret among Bucks.

    I'm sorry for neglecting to take pictures during the process, but here is the result. Mind you, this is the first mod I've ever performed on any piece of cutlery. Pardon the atrocious camera.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, the handle is now a dull, slated grey color. You can also see the scratch that started it all. The result is patchy (à la the space nearer the pommel) and made of scratches rather than smears, but I hope to find finer grits of paper and even it out very soon. It actually provides a chalky sort of grip now, much more secure than the slick surface of the original phenolic.

    [​IMG]

    You decide which of us is uglier. :D

    [​IMG]

    The new space makes for a good reverse grip. A project for some self-defense enthusiasts?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2012
  2. sitflyer

    sitflyer Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 10, 2011
    A little time with a buffing wheel and some compound and that one will be "right as rain" again...
     
  3. Vanguard41xx

    Vanguard41xx

    Dec 29, 2010
    I like the modification. Do you plan on adding some jimping?
     
  4. mbjannusch

    mbjannusch

    Apr 1, 2010
    The guy is much uglier than the knife. The knife can be fixed, ugly is forever...:D
     
  5. Pug-butter

    Pug-butter Banned BANNED

    743
    Jan 25, 2012
    [​IMG]

    Yeah, well, well... I like your dog! And what you've done with your fur is wonderful too! HAH!

    :D

    I've never worked with a wheel, but during my expedition across the house to find the sandpaper I did find one in papa's old workshop. Will working on the spine heat the knife enough to jeopardize the treat of the blade?
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012
  6. mbjannusch

    mbjannusch

    Apr 1, 2010
    I doubt it just let it cool off if it gets to hot. The mod is cool and on occasion you see that others have done the same thing in the past.
     
  7. Plumberdv

    Plumberdv

    Sep 26, 2008
    :D I recall seeing a police video that showed a guy in a stance just about identical to yours. A few frames later it showed the same guy with a very neat 9MM sized hole right between the eyes. ;)
     
  8. 110 Dave

    110 Dave

    May 6, 2004
    yes have seen that mod before ..
    the frosted grip may be easer to hold but they look better buffed out..
    all in the eye of the beholder ... or owner !
     
  9. RAZORBLADES

    RAZORBLADES

    Aug 14, 2006
    Yeah,all i see is a ruined knife,lol,why n ot buy nthe knife you wanted instead of ruin your warranty and ruining your knife?You ain't one of them there mall ninjas are ya?>
     
  10. Pug-butter

    Pug-butter Banned BANNED

    743
    Jan 25, 2012
    I'm confused. How is the blade ruined if I've only (debatably) ruined the handle? You're not one of those otakus who think their spirits are connected to their swords, "are ya"?

    110 Dave is right, though. It's ugly now. What will it take to get the handle smoother? Finer sandpaper? A cotton wheel?
     
  11. sitflyer

    sitflyer Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 10, 2011
    As stated earlier, perhaps moving up through finer grades of paper( visit your local hardware store) say, up to 320 grit or so... Then buffed with a wheel and rouge... Or you could send it to me and I'll give it a good home:D
    All kidding aside... If you decide to buff it PLEASE tape up the blade with plenty of masking tape... Fingers don't grow back!
     
  12. Pug-butter

    Pug-butter Banned BANNED

    743
    Jan 25, 2012
    The blade is no reason to worry, as it is still in pristine condition. The only marks it has are on the spine, from throwing magnesium sparks. I'm referring only to cosmetics from this point on.

    Should I be progressing up to finer grits, or will moving right on to 320-grit be OK?
     
  13. sitflyer

    sitflyer Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 10, 2011
    taping the blade up is to protect you from the edge while working on it...especially if using a power tool when buffing...they can suddenly grab and fling what you are working on...if you are working on something sharp it WILL BITE you!!! buffing will be a necessary step at this point to restore what's left of this knife. progressing up through the grits is a good idea...at each step you should sand till all the scratches are uniform, then move up...
    as my dad once said to me about a knife I messed up: You broke it, You fix it...good luck...this knife is far from ruined...but it does need some TLC now...
     
  14. RAZORBLADES

    RAZORBLADES

    Aug 14, 2006
    Just the response i expected from a mall ninja.LOL,You voided the lifetime warranty by modifying the knife,your picture of younand the knife in reverse grip is telling a story,the factory guard would actually be much more safe in a grip like that,you'll notice most military knives have a full guard,check out the ka-bar knives you'll see what i mean.Of course,you thought you could take a proven design and make it better,i understand ninjasLOL
     
  15. Pug-butter

    Pug-butter Banned BANNED

    743
    Jan 25, 2012
    I got around to sanding the knife down a bit more yesterday. Other than the largest scratch in the second picture it looks quite good now, but I'm still looking to tone the "frosting" down a bit more so I'll be heading out to get a finer grit of sandpaper soon.
    I actually like to call that the "I couldn't get someone else to hold the camera so I had to extend one arm all the way out and hold the knife as close to my face as possible while getting both within the frame simultaneously" pose. But, you know, pigeonholing like an ignorant who-knows-what works too.

    One should not have to explain the purpose of a question mark—nor the logical fallacy of association, seeing as how I never claimed affiliation with self-defense activism of any sort—to a person who opines with such self-assurance. It's rather ironic, therefore, that you forsake mall-ninjas while claiming to "understand ninjas." Just some food for thoughts that are apparently quite few and far-between.
     
  16. Stubai

    Stubai

    Mar 16, 2007
    As it stands, your modifications might draw a lot of ire from Buck if you decided (for some off the wall reason) to post the blade back for a warranty issue. I have a 124 that I snagged in a trade a few years back that has nearly the same mods. I also have another 124 where the guard has been totally removed and the blade made more like a dagger. There are a LOT of mods out there on the secondary market. Making changes to a knife is a bunch of fun and somewhat of a journey. Of course, there are some risks involved. I saw a neat conversion of an older 119 where the owner had removed the old handle and placed a substitute that was fashioned out of one of those horse mat products. The grip was very secure. I think Buck could consider some options like that on their 119 model for those of us who favor a more positive/sticky grip.

    And, the picture does not bother me. Long hair and all, another youth full of energy, vigor and questions. We've all been there at one point in time! Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. Good luck in your ventures.
     
  17. Pug-butter

    Pug-butter Banned BANNED

    743
    Jan 25, 2012
    Thanks for the post.

    I would understand where Buck's anger is coming from if I tried to get them to replace the guard, or anything like that. That would be honestly stupid. But I should not expect it to be a problem if something happens with the blade, should I? This knife is actually going to me to Ghana in a few weeks, and I would not see how a "ruined" hilt (still a moot description) could bring the integrity of the blade into question. At the very least I would have to pay for any repairs I need.
     
  18. sitflyer

    sitflyer Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 10, 2011
    Sounds like you picked a good knife for such a trip. Use it as a cutting tool and you should never have any issues with the blade... Take some pics of your 119 while traveling and share them when you get back!
     
  19. Plumberdv

    Plumberdv

    Sep 26, 2008
    What do you plan to use the knife for when you get there? Is it a hunting trip?
     
  20. Pug-butter

    Pug-butter Banned BANNED

    743
    Jan 25, 2012
    Construction. Among other things we'll be expanding a library, and building a hut basically from scratch. But since it's a rural area wedged right between a desert and a tropical rainforest, any number of uses could arise. For example, the last time I went there were mango trees right outside the dorm. They were not ripe, unfortunately, but the green fruits were still hanging on the trees.
     

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