First folder, please advise

Feb 16, 2010
Here's the knife so far:

I'm not done with the scales yet, they are .063" 6al4v Titanium. I currently have three issues(that I know of)
1. The nylon washers I have are 3/8" diameter and 3/4" diameter. They are .02" thick. My blade is .07" thick. I really want to replace them with teflon washers that are .01" thick. This would give me a total inside width of .09". With .045" of thread, can I do this with 4-40 standoffs or do I need to use something smaller?

2. My old pivot was .21" diameter. The pivot hole in my blade is set for this, but I can only find pivots either 3/16" or 1/4". My current thoughts are to either make one from scratch, which would be a project in itself since I don't have a lathe, or find something smaller like a 7/32" that I can file down to size. Any suggestions?

3. My scales are 1/16" Titanium. How do I cut the liner lock without using cutoff wheels? I can figure out the short cut, but am uncertain about the long cut.

Also, on the blade, is the black stuff carbon and is there any way to remove it without sanding? I buffed a considerable amount of it off, but what remains wouldn't budge with the rouge I was using.
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You used what you had on hand with no concideration what would be needed. It isn't working for you and that is what happens. I'm suggesting more research and a new start . Sorry, I'm not being mean, you can't create folders with just anything unless you have a huge amount of equipment to make the few parts that must be of a certain size, or are willing to purchase a few items that are needed to get the job done. Concider it part of a learning thing and move ahead. Frank.
Frank, I thought this was research. Researching question 3 tells me to use a dremel and cutoff wheel. I hate cutoff wheels so I am hoping someone will share their experience and tell me an easier way to do it. I think I already know the answer to question 2, I just don't want to hear that I have to make a pivot from scratch. And, it is possible that someone knows where to find 7/32" pivots. Question 1, I have no idea and really need help with.
Ill give it a try.

1, I dont see why not,
2, a 1/8 diamond rotary bitwill carve out the pivot pretty quickly to fit 1/4(very cheap at HF). you can sand by rolling paper around a 1/8 rod but will take a while,
3, jewerls saw should work, drill a small hole for the blade where the two cuts meet prior to cutting. You will need a blade with 24+ tpi
Try vinagar to remove the black??
Patrick, thank you so much. I never considered going up to 1/4" for a pivot. That would make finding teflon washers easier too, I would hope. I have a set of diamond coated bits for my rotozip that should work. I'll give it a try on a piece of scrap first. I think one of the bits is a 1/4" cone shape. Should make centering easy and just slowly work through it.

I will do some research on the jewelers saw. There is a jeweler's supply shop here in town. I will head over there tomorrow.

As for the vinegar, I will give that a try. I was thinking of carbon remover from the gun shop, but I didn't want to ruin my blade.

3. How do I cut the liner lock without using cutoff wheels? I can figure out the short cut, but am uncertain about the long cut.

Slit saw and arbour in your drill press or mill

Slit saw
Screw slotting saw
jewellers saw


You need an arbour that fits your drill press or mill spindle
and you need a saw blade, see the chart after, there are lots to choose from.
I use a 409 dremel cut off wheel to cut my locks.But I do it in the mill with the kiner locked in a vise.A jeweler saw should work to do it by hand.
Ah, my new cross slide vise would come in handy for that. Would anywhere local have something like that, or is it an online ordered item?

PS please consider that the screws holding the scales on in the picture above are VERY temporary, until I get the 4-40 standoffs made.
This may help out a lot. Go to USAKnifemakersupply and go to folder parts. By the way I sure wouldn't use teflon for washers. Every time you tighten down on teflon it gets smaller and won't maintasin the original thickness. You will have that blade in and out a dozen times at least. Frank
So, I don't want teflon? Plastic is not my specialty and a beginner would notice that USAKnifemaker has twice as many teflon as nylatron. This is where someone else's experience is helpful.

Or am I understanding incorrectly. By having the blade out a dozen times you mean disassembled. Therefore, use nylatron while building and at the last assembly install the teflon?
Warning:>> This is not technical advice, only practical input and my view of this project. FOR WHAT ITS WORTH

It's impossible only if you think it is impossible. I am looking forward to seeing your finished folder with the materials you started with.

Good planning is a "Good Idea" but when one did not plan well and is in a bind it only takes a little thought and patience and the advice of the experienced "Like Patrickknives" and you can overcome the issues at hand.

Of course Labor and materials versus cost efectivness comes into play real world production. But this seems to be a home project for you so this should not be the case here.

To the person that said Listen to Frank. That is good advice if you are on a cost to payoff scheduale at work as stated above. No offence to this person for sometimes this is the case in real world production. To Patrickknives input, that is also good advice as well. Anything can be fixed "for the most part" but sometimes impractical cost-wise. If you are on a budget or time constraint and/or do this for a living, then cost/time to "payoff" comes in. But it seems to me you are just makeing this knife for yourself. So my input here, listen to Patrickknives and push on. The experience you gain doing this will help in the future. Even with good planning you run into snags at times, that you could not or did not fore-see. This is where listening to a more experienced person comes in and this is where learning comes in.

I think finishing this project how you started, with the voice of experience helping you, this will be a good learning tool for your good planning on your next project.

None of my experience is in english, grammer, spelling, etc etc etc >> so I do not need that pointed out to me. "Grin"


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I just took a look at Frank's gallery. I figure I can make knives that nice. . . after a few hundred more knives experience under my belt. Well, maybe that wouldn't even be enough. Frank's knives are absolutely beautiful and I hope someday I may make a knife even a fraction as nice as his. However, I won't get that experience if I quit and start over. At this point, as I learned on a different knife, press on and make the mistakes. Learn from those mistakes and try not to make them on the next knife.

Currently, I need to make new scales. When closed the edge touches the far standoff and the holes are too close to the edge to recess. Thunderstorms today so no yard work. Guess I will be in the garage grinding tonight. Good thing I like those white sparks when grinding on the Ti.
This is not an advertisement, but it's the best advice I can give you on folders. If your interested in learning how to build them, the best money you can spend is to take a class with an established maker.

There are so many details and nuances to building folders that you could stumble around for years on your own. Spending a week or so with someone who knows folders will eaisly put you 5+ years ahead of the learning curve.
I too am working on my first folder right now. I am making a midlock, but there is not that much difference with getting tooled up. After reading folder threads and tutorials, the first thing I did after drawing up a design was make a drilling jig. That way you can stack the liners and get all holes to line up. Use the same jig to drill holes in the spacer, you can shape to match the liners after. I also drilled out the top of those holes for the pivots and such so I can mock up the parts on the jig without messing up liner material if something is not right. Spend the money and get the wire size drill bits for the major thread diameter of the screws. This does a lot to remove play so you can take it apart and re assemble it smoothly.

Some folks do not like teflon, if you are concerned about squeezing the teflon, get UHMW. it is the same thing as teflon, only harder. Can be had in .005 thicknesses. You can also not crank on the pivot screws when fitting so you do not squeeze the teflon.

Your problem with the blade hitting? That is time for blade V1.5, this time leave material on the backside of the blade for the stop pin to hit before it hits your spacer. Are you using a stop pin?
another pic with one liner removed so we can see what is going on inside would help out the others trying to help.
Zaph1 , I have written a guide to building a liner lock knife. It gives step by step instructions to making one. If you send me your address I'll stick one in the mail for you. This should clear up most of the questions and frustrations your experiencing. As Ed rightly pointed out, time spent with someone who makes the type of knife your intrested in can greatly reduce your learning curve and enhance your knife making experiance.

Wow, this knife got ugly real quick as soon as I starting working on the stop pin. I like gixxer's idea of a template/jig. I just learned to drill all the holes in the scale BEFORE grinding on it. That way I don't waste time grinding if a hole is out of place.


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zaph1, I really recommend Michael Vagnino's guide. It is very easy to follow and if you do exactly what it says, you should get a nice working knife. I used it to make my first linerlock. I also recommend taking a linerlock class with someone who is a good teacher. Luckily I live near Mike so I was able to a lot of tips and guidance from him.. Here's the first linerlock I made using his guide.

If you don't have a maker nearby,Get Don Robinson's "How to make a LinerLock Folder" It's about 50 bucks but will save you more than that in materials and frustration.