Bolster lock design?

Have they posted a picture or diagram somewhere? I'd like to see how it differs from the Axis and Rolling locks.
The bolster lock is Allen Elishewitz's new design and may be seen at his website. It looks pretty sturdy to me. Allen can add more.
If I am not mistaken this is the frame, integral or sebenza lock by another name.

The Sebenza by Chris Reeve, the Apogee by Darrell Ralph, the Pinnacle by Benchmade, and the S-2 by CRKT all have this lock ar a variation thereof.

But don't get me wrong very cool, thought sometimes a bit uncomfortable since it sits in your index finger area.

Marion David Poff aka Eye, one can msg me at

Check out my review of the Kasper AFCK by Kevin Gentile and interview of Bob Kasper. And please tell me what you think.

"I'm just an advertisement for a version of myself." David Byrne

That url doesn't work. Here are two pics; go to for more.

-Cougar Allen :{)



Hmmm... seems like a lot of folks want to put a name on Mr. Reeve's idea (or a variation thereof) and call it their own. I suppose his lock is just a variation on Mr. Walker's original design, anyhow, and virtually no-one gives credit for that. We all borrow ideas from one-another, and that is a positive force for everyone's work... but credit should still be given.

Incidentally, look at the shoulders on the knife in the second picture. Not the piece I would have chosen for a closeup.


(Why else would a bear want a pocket?)
I would like to answer some of your comments about the Bolster-Lock. I came up with the idea some time last year after seeing a lot of makers improving on locks and making up new locks. For some reasons the liner lock has gotten a bad rep, which it doesn't deserve. It has served us well and no matter how much you complain about it, makers are going to continue to use it. At the same time last year, Pat Crawford and myself were talking about a collaboration to utilize this lock. All I have done, in my opinion, is make a better mouse trap. Using the Bolster-Lock allows the maker to put whatever handle material he/she feels like and still maintain a thin knife with a heavy lock. Also, the handle material prevents the user to overstress the lock when closing the blade. As a matter of fact, making this type of frame is more time consuming and difficult than a so called integral lock. There is a lot more milling and removal of titanium than on ordinary knives. Anyone that has worked with titanium how much of a headache this is.
As for Michael Walker, I have always given him credit for "improving" the liner lock. As for Chris Reeve I have always given him respect and credit for "popularizing" a heavy liner lock.
And for you Corduroy: What "shoulder" are you talking about? There is nothing wrong with the knife in the picture.
Allen Elishewitz
Sure, it's another variation on the Walker (liner) lock and on the integral/frame lock. But there's nothing wrong with that. It may not be earth-shattering. (IMHO, it's not.) It may or may not be patentable. (I have no clue on that.) It certainly won't be subjected to cheap knock-offs. It's just too much work for the cheapo knock-offers to try to duplicate for $19.95 and that's good for Allen. No doubt about that!

On the other hand, I wouldn't be too surprised to find one of the ambitious, up-and-coming manufacturers approaching Allen with the idea of doing a production version. Somebody like CRKT or Kershaw who are both trying very hard to bring custom collaborations into their product lines could be pretty interested in some of these ideas. I suspect that with an ATS-34 blade and 440A liners/bolsters rather than titanium and G10 scales (or even textured Zytel like on the Mirage), somebody like CRKT could produce a very nice knife on one of Allen's designs at an affordable price point -- something like their S-2 or the M-16 Carson collaborations. Such a knife would not really compete with Allen's customs but would whet some appetites for the real thing. I know I'd like to have $500 or so for one of those little gems, but I don't expect to anytime soon.

Paul Neubauer

Mr. Elishewitz,

By "shoulder" I am referring to the place where the grind begins, or meets the ricasso. I thought this was a common term. In the knife pictured, it appears that the shoulders are not symmetrical in shape to one another and also that the edge does not fall on the centerline of the blade stock.

I realize that that it is difficult to get even, symmetrical shoulders because my own knives frequently suffer the same problem. It is an area where I am concentrating my effort to improve.

For centering the edge, I use a tool to mark a set height as close as possible to the midline of the blade and then run the unground blade along this, creating a scribed mark. I then turn the blade over and do the same thing from the opposite side to ensure that any misjudgment of height is cancelled out by the twin lines produced. I grind to these lines and thus am certain of a centered edge.

I am pleased to hear that you give credit to Mr. Reeve and Mr. Walker. Since you undoubtedly know more history of the subject than I do, who used liner-locks before Mr. Walker and who used an integral lock before Mr. Reeve?


(Why else would a bear want a pocket?)
As a confirmed liner-lock hater, I like the bolster lock a lot. Like the integral lock, the bolster lock has a large lock/tang intersection, and the lack of a scale at the pivot end means white-knuckling should set the lock more strongly rather than cause an accidental unlock. In addition, this design lets the maker still use handle scales for aesthetic reasons. Nice work!

Looks like there's an oversized brass washer on the right side. Any way to slip a bigger washer on the left side also? Maybe asymmetrical since it can't come out too far towards the lock. Big washers seem to counteract any torquing problems at the pivot, which is why I ask.

No problems with the sudden liner transition from thin to thick being a stress riser?

Nice work Allen, can't wait to see one in person.

Yes, I have noticed a lot of different names for the frame, integral lock trademarked just to get around some legal obstructions, but that is probably for the better, as it allows such aspiring knife makers as Allen Elishewitz to utilize the design in an inhanced version. Just my $0,000.02

"All of our knives open with one hand, in case you're busy with the other"
I think the Chris Reeve improvement of the liner lock was a good idea, providing a stronger, more reliable lock. I think Allen Elishewitz's addition of scales to the design is a great idea. I have read many threads about people worried about refurbishing nicks and scratches on their titanium Sebenza handles. Adding scales adds a nice look and prevents the titanium from getting nicked up. What's in a name? Mono-lock, integral lock, bolster lock, liner lock, its all the same to me. I just want a strong lock. Good job Allen.

Thanks for all the kind words and support for the Bolster-lock. I am getting excited about the Crawford/Elishewitz collaboration. After the Guild Show we will have flyers printed, so if you are interested in getting one, just contact one of us.
To answer Corduroy's questions: Your terminology of shoulder is the first I have ever heard for this part of the knife. But anyways, I think you might need to take a closer look at the picture since it clearly shows that the knife is at a slight angle. Therefore it create a shadow on the left hand side which makes the edge and grind look off center.
By the way, to scribe a precision line for your cutting edge you should use a granite plate with a carbide scribe on a height gage. The method you mentionned is fine to get you by but it is quite outdated.
You asked who was the first to use a thick liner for a liner lock: the only two names that come to mind that pre-dated Chris are Melvin Pardue and Randall Gilbreath. Also there were several manufacturing companies in the early 1900's that produced folding knives with brass liners. Some of these knives were made for electricians and if my memory serves me correctly K-Bar and Remington were among the companies that were manufacturing these knives.
I hope to see some of you guys at the Guild Show in New Orleans. Come by the table and say Hi.
Allen Elishewitz
I have an A.G. Russell folder, called an Arkansas Toothpick. It had a Split Bolster lock. Same concept.