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Just removed the coating on my Cold Steel American Lawman - it was not easy

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by EZ Bake, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. EZ Bake

    EZ Bake

    Mar 5, 2009
    I've removed the coating on several pocket-clips (Spyderco, Benchmade, Kershaw, etc.) and I thought this coating on the American Lawman was going to come off easily since it scratched so easily, but apparently they've either improved their coating or I way over estimated how easy it was going to be based on reading about how others had removed it from theirs.

    I tried several different chemicals, and still had to take some 800 grit (and in some places, 600 grit) to it. Since it's going to be a user, it doesn't really bother me that it now has sanding lines on it (I don't want it polished), but I may try the home-made stone-wash now just to do it and see how it looks.

    Also, interestingly enough - I have an issue with mine where it (every now and then - not consistently) is really hard to depress the lock-bar (like it's catching on something). Upon taking it apart, I figured out that the back-spacer is aluminum and the spring was digging into it a little bit and getting stuck and "jumping" out of the spot it dug. I sanded/smoothed up the spring-bar and where it was making contact and it fixed this issue.

    Also - my knife has both (what appears to be) phosphorous-bronze washers as well as a paper-thin set of what I'm guessing is Teflon washers up against the steel. This struck me as almost opposite of what you would want (phosphorous-bronze should be up against steel right? And Teflon would make a good layer against the G10 since there are no liners).

    It's a good little knife and I'll say that if the coating has been improved over the older coating, it was done well enough that I would advise caution before tackling the job of removing the coating.

    If it's the same old coating, then maybe I'm just a huge wuss :D
  2. tikkidaddy


    Jan 1, 2012
    I took the coating off of a beat to CRAP SRK.

    Now, the knifes great..its carbon 5...dont get the wrong impression...but I paid $40 for it and thought--ok WTH HERE WE GO---THIS WONT TAKE LONG.

    I was wrong. I dont know what kinda epoxy death black goo was used on those knives, but it definately chips/hammers off easier than it abrades.

    You could reverse the washers and test function I guess...Those Triad Loks are sticky...thanks for the heads up...mark
  3. EZ Bake

    EZ Bake

    Mar 5, 2009
    You know... I was in the process of taking it apart as I posted that and I think I realized that it's actually the lock-bar contact-point with the tang that is sticking. I lubed and that made it worse, so I cleaned it and it seems to be better.

    I know the Tri-Ad lock is self-adjusting, but I'm afraid to polish the surface of either the lock-bar or the tang where they contact each other, so I guess I'll just have to live with it for now.
  4. azyrah

    azyrah Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 16, 2012
    i did the same thing on my recon 1 and my co workers Lawman as well.. :)
    i also had the same issue on all the knives..but it doesnt bother me though..it is a little bit sticky..
  5. Jimbo75


    Dec 10, 2007
    The coating may be resistant to chemicals and fine grit sandpaper but it is certainly no match for a 6" metal ruler(Toledo, hardened) used like a cabinet scraper. With this method the coating flew off and I was left with a nice stone washed finish.....yep, it's stone washed underneath, on my version at least and it looks great.

    It took maybe 15-20 minutes to remove the coating this way, hope this helps anyone considering doing this.:)
  6. Franciscomv


    Feb 7, 2005
    I'm surprised to read this, I stripped the coating off of my American Lawman and it was very easy work. I covered the blade with paint thinner (not the liquid one, a stronger gel type) and waitted for an hour or so, then I just scrapped the coating off with a plastic spatula. It came off quite easily, revealing a sort of stonewashed blade.


    Mine is the older AL with steel liners, maybe the coating has changed in the new ones.
  7. azyrah

    azyrah Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 16, 2012
    here's mine
    also did a touch up with my
    lansky after taking off the coating..
  8. banana-clip


    Jun 7, 2007
    It looks really good without the coating
  9. azyrah

    azyrah Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 16, 2012
    yes sir it does..
  10. ginaz


    Apr 19, 2001
    i used a wire wheel on my bench grinder as stripper was not touching it
  11. MikeC


    Sep 16, 2005
    I have the new one, actually several of the new ones and no problems here. I used an old craftsman flat head screw driver and a paper clip for the crevices and about 15 to 20 minutes whamo, no problem and no chemical or sand paper nothing.
  12. Urban Dweller

    Urban Dweller

    Jun 5, 2012
    Ahhh that looks awesome, I'm gonna get some Jasco real soon and get that coating off! In case your wondering, Jasco is a gel type paint remover and not a thinner. It takes car paint off to metal so I'm sure it will work like a charm on CS' coatings.
  13. azyrah

    azyrah Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 16, 2012
    thank you sir..
  14. Jaiofspam


    Apr 24, 2006
    ive stripped the coating off of several of cold steels offerings all with a copper scrubber pad thingy and some wd40. never had to use any harsh chemicals at all.

    hmmmm, how recent is your lawman? i heard cs is experimenting with a new coating...
  15. tikkidaddy


    Jan 1, 2012
    Yep, theyve changed coatings alright, since the carbon 5 cammilus made days. I tried gel thinner on that old srk coating...it laughed at me!! I had to DREMEL IT OFF w/ the silver wheel and 600 grit paper and a 3M GREENIE PAD!!
  16. PropThePolecat


    Jan 31, 2009
    That stripped blade looks stonewashed. Or is it just scratched from removing the paint?
  17. tikkidaddy


    Jan 1, 2012
    stonewashed--those thing look better w/out the tactical goo to me--how do you rig a homade stonewash system?
  18. EZ Bake

    EZ Bake

    Mar 5, 2009
    Hate to bump an old post, but I finally broke down and stone-washed mine (a-la the Ghetto stone-washing with a bottle of rocks in the dryer) and I'm not unhappy with the results (I only left it in the dryer for about 15-20 mins - I will probably do the pocket-clip longer as it still looks a bit rough).

    Here it is after I stripped it (don't have great pics, but you can see it's been sanded on):



    And here it is after my Ghetto-Stonewashing attempt:




    All said and done, I'm pretty happy with it - the camera picks up a lot more scratches from sanding than you can see in person. I'd like to do the pocket-clip for about another 30 mins, but the lock-bar and blade turned out pretty well. I'm thinking of picking up a tumbler so I can do this more often. I hate black-coated blades except where they're needed in specific applications (i.e. not my EDC), and I'm not crazy about black pocket-clips either.

    If I get brave enough, I'll take apart my ZT 0780 and do the liners, blade, and pocket-clip.
  19. Spudly94


    Jan 12, 2013
    If cold steel would actually listen to people and use better coating this wouldn't be a problem , and it's bullshit when they say if we use different coating it will raise the price cause we all know these knives are made a whole lot cheaper then what we pay for them
  20. monger4142


    Jan 30, 2010
    why get mad about it? do what so many before you have done - and don't buy them.

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