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Tired of liner locks on Waved Emersons failing?

Jul 19, 1999
Then don't use an Emerson!! Try THIS instead!

I was concerned by all that talk about the liner locks on Emersons failing, yet I liked his Wave design for the deployment speed that it allows. Unfortunately, Emerson doesn't offer any knives utilising the locks which are, today, being touted as one of the strongest and safest: The Arc/Axis style of locks.

So in a moment of pure madness, I created the SOG Waved Vision. I used a bit of kydex that I had lying around to mould the initial shape. I was aiming for a small triangular tab of plastic sticking out from the area around the thumbstuds. The plastic would be held in position by the thumbstuds and the spine of the blade (thumb ramp portion). By not gluing it on to the knife, I allowed myself the option of removing it if it didn't quite work out, or replacing it if it broke.

The hook of the wave was shaped using my Dremel and holes were drilled to fit the thumbstuds (5mm dia.). I thought that would be strong enough, but after some initial testing, decided to stiffen it.

Fortunately, I had some woven glass fibre mats lying around too.
Didn't have the styrene that is typically used with glass fibre, so I used 24hour Selley's epoxy. Laid 5 layers of fibre and epoxy, then pulled the mess tight around the kydex. Didn't do it quite right as you can see. The fibreglass didn't quite conform to the kydex shape and I ended up with a squarish tab rather than the triangle I started out with.

When it hardened, the tab was extremely stiff. More shaping with the dremel to remove the excess fibreglass and re-drill the holes to accomodate the thumbstuds, then a final layer of epoxy to seal the lot up and give it a nice smooth finish. Then the tab was assembled on to the knife and the thumbstuds screwed back in to place.

Initial tests show that it works quite well, though it looks very ugly. It might actually be better for the knife to be opened this way as the blade is pulled open via both sides of the thumbstud, thus eliminating any lateral torque on the pivots.

BTW, the screw thread on the thumbstud needs to be heated before it can be disassembled.
Hmmm... Thought this would generate some interest. Either it has been done before, and more successfully than mine, or this thread just got totally buried in the weekend flood.

Oh well, doesn't really matter, though I would like to hear some thoughts on this modification. Perhaps something to improve on?
It has its charm I must say...

Does the new wave piece allow you to open with the thumb stud (does it cover the thumbstud up?) or can it only openly by snagging onto your pocket and waving itself open?

Until now my favorite modification was making a spyder hole in the blade...

Looks like a new fashion is coming...

GR8 work - even if somewhat ugly...

An aftermarket wave feature. Not a bad idea. You may consider getting a patent for the idea though before someone else starts producing them.

Dennis Bible

Try www.smallparts.com for some alternative materials from which you can make the piece. Conceivably, you could use thin, flat stainless pieces cut to form the sides of the wave that the thumbstuds could screw down on, and then fill the sides with pretty much anything you wanted. It would look a lot more finished and a lot less booger-like
. Good idea, nonetheless!

Good idea. I would not call it a "wave" of any type, since the "Wave" is patented by Mr. Emerson. Think of some other name for it.
I like it. I was thinking of doing something like that on my BM 940.

Thanks for all the feedback and comments. Booger like? That is, I think, too kind. The cleaning lady actually took it out with the trash. You should have seen me digging for it like I was searching for a gold nugget.
In her defense, it did look even worse before I trimed it down.

Dennis, how does one go about getting a patent? Anyway, I thought that the Wave has already been patented. Is a hard to make, custom produced, after-market add-on going to be worth patenting? And can I really believe that no one has done this before?

Comrade Chang, The thickness of the add-on almost totally covers the stud. It makes it a little harder, but not impossible to open using the stud.

Professor, thanks for the link. I'll be checking it out. I was originally going to do this with a metal piece, as I can machine it a little more precisely (not by much, though!). However, all I had on hand were a few brass and aluminum bars, and some left-over mild steel from a different project. I'll probably try the aluminum next while I wait for some stainless steel to become available.

If you want ot really check into getting a patent on something, see a Patent Attorney. They specialize in doing the research to see if your idea is patentable and if your invention does not violate someone else's patent.

Warning - The good Patent Attorneys are expensive!


ps: This kind of reminds me of "The One-Armed Bandit" SMKW had a while back.

Tom Anderson
Hand Crafted Knives

[This message has been edited by Tom Anderson (edited 02-20-2001).]
You stole my idea

I figured that it would be easier to attach it to a spydie-hole but never got around to trying to make one.

I doubt you'll be able to patent it since it's just an aftermarket version of an already patented feature.

"I can promise you a day of reckoning that you will not live long enough to never forget"

[This message has been edited by ThinkOfTheChildren (edited 02-20-2001).]
Steelwolf, it might be worth making out of steel. You could make it a little thinner by using steel and so you can still use the thumb stud.
It's a shame to see so many BFC members willing to advocate ripping off a designer's intellectual property.

We all sit around and bemoan the cheap Taiwan knockoffs, (see current thread about S&W ripping off the Dyad) and yet for some reason, if it's Ernie Emerson, it's okay to rip off what is undoubtedly the BEST opening system ever designed for one handed opening.

To take a swing at his QC and the infamous liner lock "scandal" in the same breath is less than impressive also.
There's been a LOT of bandwidth chewed up over the linerlock QC already, so I won't rehash it here.

If Steelwolf wants to make one of these for his own use, cool and more power to him, but to come into the forums and say, (paraphrased) "Hey guys! Here's how to get the Emerson Wave without paying Emerson for his work!" is pretty tacky.

The idea of applying for a patent for it implies a desire to "make a buck" off of that work. Ernest Emerson's work that is. That's VERY tacky.

I'm not flaming you, and I don't think you're a bad guy, but you're really pretty much over the edge coming into the forums and saying,
"Tired of liner locks on Waved Emersons failing? Then don't use an Emerson!!" Try THIS instead!
You're not saying, "Hey this is so cool we want it on ALL our knives." you're saying "It's a cool idea, but Emerson sucks so steal the idea and screw Emerson."
Not cool.

Am I biased in favor of Emersons? Yeah.
Does that mean I'm wrong? Probably not.

Just in case, IMHO, YMMV, all that crap and I'm willing to politely discuss opposing views, but I'm not trolling or looking for a flame war in any way, if I'm wrong, please calmly explain why, and if I agree, I'll apologize.


Tráceme no sin la razón, envoltura mi no sin honor
Usual Suspect
"If you want to really check into getting a patent on something, see a Patent Attorney. They specialize in doing the research to see if your idea is patentable and if your invention does not violate someone else's patent."

Sorry if this was too subtle.

You need to get a liscence from Spyderco to put a thumb opening hole in the blade, also.


Tom Anderson
Hand Crafted Knives

[This message has been edited by Tom Anderson (edited 02-20-2001).]

as long as he uses it for his self and doesn't sell of profit off of any of this I don't think it's a problem.

I do have a problem with knockoffs because people rip-off ideas to make money for themselves. I don't have a problem with a forumite sharing his improvements on a knife. Just like Sal said it was perfectly OK for a forumite to drill a spydie-hole in his CRKT Crawford Kasper for his personal use.

Maybe Sal lost money because people went out and bought Kaspers and then drilled their own holes but I doubt it.

While the title of this thread might be inflammatory I think that the idea is alright as long as no money changes hands in this process.

"I can promise you a day of reckoning that you will not live long enough to never forget"
I agree!
Any of us can LEGALLY make this little doohickey and there's not a thing anyone can do about it in a court of law.
I don't even see an ethical problem with doing that, or, for that matter if I want to chuck my Commander up in a drill and poke my own little "spydie hole" in it, I don't see anything wrong with that either.

I don't even have a problem with telling my friends that I did it and showing them how.

I do think though, that the way things were said sounded tacky. I didn't mean to imply anything more than that, and perhaps as usual, my tendancy to "run off at the fingers" made that sound more vehement than it was.

The idea of applying for a patent however...
Nah. Not good.

And yes, I'm getting tired of hearing people trash a good company, a good man, and good products on hearsay, because when asked for evidence to back their claims, the detractors suddenly evaporate.
I'm not saying Emerson QC is perfect, no one's perfect, but I don't believe it's anywhere near as bad as all the trash talk would lead us to believe.
I can't help but wonder how many people who are NEW knife knuts have come in here wanting to buy an Emerson, read some of the sillier threads, and been scared out of buying a GREAT knife. Sad for them, sad for Emerson.

This place can do as much harm as good and people need to realize that their words can directly affect a maker or manufacturer for better or worse.
Talking trash for the sake of talking trash may not cost the poster anything, but it can kill a company.
NOTHING spreads faster than evil gossip, ya know?

I said I wasn't going to discuss the QC issue in this thread, and now I see just how difficult it is to avoid, sorry.

When all is said and done, all I'm asking of you is to put yourself in Mr. Emerson's position for a moment and think about how your post would make HIM feel.
Does he deserve that?
I don't think so, do you?

Tráceme no sin la razón, envoltura mi no sin honor
Usual Suspect
Wow, you know... I never thought that it would be interpreted that way. I just thought with all that talk on the Emerson forum about bad QC and liner locks failing, that I would show that an after-market add-on could be done successfully. I guess I should have spent more time thinking about the title. But, you know... in the enthusiasm of the moment with trying to show off, ("Hey look guys! This is soooo cooool!") I guess I made a statement that could be misinterpreted.

My apologies to anyone I may have offended. Like I said, I really like Ernie's designs, especially the Wave. I just wished that he would try using some of the newer, stronger locks, or something. I still believe that those locks have something incredible to offer, especially in a knife meant for CQB.

As for the patent thing, I understand that even if the concept has been done before, one can still get a patent if one can improve on the design, or something like that. However, royalties must be paid on the old patent if one collects royalties on the new patent. Which brings me, in a roundabout way, to the reason I was thinking of getting a patent on it. I wouldn't bother to make a buck on this, but neither would I want to let others profit from it by turning it into an exclusive item. Therefore, I would have two choices after getting the patent. 1. Just hold on to it and let anybody use it for personal benefit. If someone uses it to make a profit and I find out about it, then I have legal recourse to make them stop. 2. Pass the patent back to Ernie. As the "inventor", I think I have to be the one to register it. Or at least pass the design on to Ernie and let him deal with all the legal boondogle.

Full Tang, I think I did read that thread about the REKAT Sifu before, and realised that the SOG Vision had the correct tip-up carry and a good, smooth locking system that would make the whole concept work.