Does D2 get a scale or anything on it when its heat treated?

Nov 24, 1999
I'm planning on trying some liner locks and would like to use D2. I need to know what to expect after I get the blade and stop back from heat treat. I'm going to make a square stop/spine out of D2 because I think that set up will be a little more forgiving than trying to line up holes for a stop pin and have everything placed just right. I can get good results with most stuff but I don't think I can work with enough precision to have the stop pin fit nice and tight and be exactly perpendicular to the blade so that they meet up at a flat point. If I space my screw holes correctly,I get one try at each end, or I suppose the stop can be flipped and reset as the knife wears provided the fuck up fairy doesn't attack me on my first try. I really wish that little SOB would leave me alone ;)
Do I work everything up to the final fit, or wait until after heat treat? If I wait, how much extra material do I leave?

Thanks alot for any help. Looks like I'll probably order materials online sometime this week. I tried an industrial tool supply store that I just found out was in town and they had all the tools I'd love to have with at least a 20% mark up per item just for good measure ;), and they only carry 01. :(
Hi Matt,

I wish the little bastid would leave me alone too!

I really like your idea of the stop bar rather than a pin. It simplifies life in many ways for those of us with no milling machine and the constant companionship of the FUF. It also offers the possibility of file work on the spine......

I can't answer the scale question because I've never sent anything out for heat treat. But I've heard that they wrap the stainless steels up in foil and keep the oxygen to a minimum so there shouldn't be a significant amount of scale to clean up. How that theory differs from real life I have no idea. I bet sending it to Paul Bos would increase your odds of success. Still, it seems to me that you should expect a bunch of niggling final fit problems to get through.

Phillip and I use a good bit of D2 steel. We have it all heat treated by Paul Bos. It usually comes back to us looking grayish/black in color. I guess you could call it scale. It can sometimes be difficult to grind off but if you use good, sharp belts then it make sit go quicker.

BTW, Lining up holes for a stop pin isn't difficult at all. You just have to drill all the holes in the right spot. You might want to try and drill both liners at the same time.

The FUF visits us all every now and then. :barf:
Matt, I super glue the liners together and then drill the first holes and tap them and screw them together. I use 2-56 screws for most everything. The stop pin hole can be drilled and the same drill bit can be cutoff and used for the stop pin. I have done this several times. The neat part is if the knife becomes loose the next size drill bit can be used. I use number drills.
Thanks guys. I'll leave the final fitting until after heat treat. These are hopefully going ot be users so a little discoloration in areas like the stop isn't too big a deal. I'll try and clean them up enough that theres no chance of it affection the performance though.
My problem on the stop pin, is that the arbor on my drill press is kind of sloppy. Its tight enough that I can do holes for screws pretty well without it walking on me, and then tapping helps make up for any difference in the roundness of the holes which chould be slight if any. I really doubt that I could get it to do very well with a reamer though, and it seems like you would need to use one to get a really good fit for the stop pin. I know that your supposed to do the same for the pivot pin but theres no way around that, its somehting I have to have. I'd like to avoid any trouble areas like that as much as possible. A smaller drill press for more precise stuff is on the list of things to get right behind a metal cutting bandsaw. Until then I'll battle it out with the FUF :D
I just figured out what you meant on the drill bits bruce. Thats a great idea. Is there any type of bit that works best? ie. cobalt , black oxide, Ti coated etc. Thanks
Matt, On ebay I bought a set of number drills for just a few bucks. No sense cutting a colbalt drill in half but you can drill the stop pin hole with the cobalt and cut the cheap one of the same size .

I'm not getting how the drill bit/pin stays in place. If you've drilled the hole with the same bit then it surely isn't going to be tight enough for a press fit. How does it stay in there? I'd like to do stop pins the way Darrel does it, with blind holes that have been end milled but it's a little beyond my capabilities at the moment.
Peter, I would do it the same way as doing blind holes for pins in scales. It doesn't give you the flat bottom hole that end milling does, but it whould hold the pin in place. I would just cut the stop off short enough that it barely comes through both liners, and then drill a recess in your bolsters or handle material. Its not as good as the milled set up but I think it would work. Thicker liners would help in the strength department.
Hmmm, I suppose if you started drilling the hole but didn't go all the way through the liner you might be able to then chuck up an end mill in your drill press and square up the bottom of the hole. It's probably worth a try on some scrap material. I'm thinking of making a framelock knife next anyway so there's going to be plenty of thickness to play with.
This may sound totally goofy, particularly coming from a non-mechanical non-maker, but I'm curious to know Matt, if you've thought of trying the setup on the Spyderco Wegner. It is the only liner lock I've seen that uses the fore end of the back spacer as the stop. It is as solid a lockup as any liner lock I've seen, superior to most.

They've added -- or not removed an extended section on the underside of the spacer where the appropriate place on the tang rests to keep the edge off the spacer.

This might well be patented, and not available for use. I'd hazard a guess that Spdyerco tried it because of their vast experience in making lock backs.

I also think it might tend to be a part that could be replaced fairly easily should your good fairy show up. Sure as hell better than scrapping handles. Of course, I don't know how those steel spacers are made. They could well require a lather or mill -- I'm just too ignorant to know.

Just a thought . . .
Thats pretty much what I'm talking about when I say I'm making my own stop out of D2. It won't be a full spine, on my first one because that sort of defeats my reason for doing it this way. But it will be a rectangle shaped spacer thats about an inch long and will be utilized as both the stop pin, and as a place for the tang to rest against when the knife is closed. I figure on holding it in with 2 or 3 screws, or maybe 2 screws from each side. If I space the holes evenly, and leave some extra length on the ends. I can fit the knife with one end, and if anything goes wrong, I just flip it around and try again. Or if I don't screw up on the first try, the spacer can be flipped end for end later on to tighten up the lockup again. The rest of the spacer will probably be G10 or aluminum.