ZT-0200 Goes Into A Bar, Meets Spydie Hole, ....And Well You Know The Rest :-)

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Jan 27, 2006
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.....or DO You? ;)

If you've ever wished a certain knife of your dreams might result from a collaboration between two Knife Manufacturers, in my case Kershaw/Zero Tolerance and Spyderco, I'm about to give you a peek into one of mine.

Ken Onion should be mentioned here too, for without his wonderfully designed ZT-0200 "canvas" from which to work, .......I would never have been able to start, let alone finish,... one of my favorite "hard use" and frequent EDC knives!
Every knife is a compromise in some areas, and the intended use dictates overall design priorities. In this case, my intended use priorities varied a little, and the changes I made got me a little closer. I still have a few wants with this design, and a plain un-coated blade chief among them. I missed the first offering of an uncoated ZT-0200, but if I find a used one or it reissues, I get to do this all over again! ;)

I've owned many ZT-0200 knives over the last TEN years, about a dozen initially before I gave several away on a knife forum. The knife forum recipients were chosen as most deserving through their contributions to the forum. I was fairly new there so I let the more seasoned forum members vote on the 3 or 4 winners. (I forget which? :) Some were given away as gifts over the years too, and I sold some on the bay also. But I always kept two in my permanent collection. This is a good thing too, because it allows me to show the changes I made in side by side comparison photos, some of which are subtle.

Anyway, I've been meaning to post about this for several years, and the recent Kershaw/ZT Post Your Photo Thread reminded me again.

Both of my remaining TWO ZT-0200 knives are fairly early (under 1000 serial number made in 2007). I've always thought it had a very comfortable grip, and would make a great backup to a fixed blade Woodcraft or Bushcraft use knife.

The 1/4" Solid Steel Pivot BOLT & NUT, Phosphor Bronze washers, Steel Liners, and very grippy G10 Scales on both sides told me there was a lot more potential than what most folks would use it for.

As much as I loved the ZT-0200 solid construction, I've always hated having to sharpen the recurve blade, especially since I still use flat stones (old school, like me). MANY a Kudzu Vine has fallen to it's edge over the years in my back yard, but thought removing the recurve would make it better suited for that use over extended cutting, and for more usual wood processing tasks. Frankly, I also have much more experience with straighter edged blades, so pot bellied blade went on a diet!

This is where I ended up...but there are details incorporated that might not be obvious that I'll detail below.

xPo8fCP.jpg


As you can see, the flipper is no longer there. I decided early on it had to go, because in a strong grip, especially over extended time periods, the flipper would often dig into my index finger.

The Photo below shows a stock ZT-0200 on top, with my modded example below.

uGQZJqJ.jpg


I had seen a youtube video where someone had sent theirs out and had the recurve removed. and had also left the one piece thumbstud OUT, using the opening like a very small Spyderco Spydie Hole.

He complained a little that the scales in front of the hole somewhat interfered with opening, and he never enlarged the previous thumb stud hole either. I addressed BOTH of those issues by substantially enlarging the opening hole, and pulled the scales and liners back to allow easier access to the hole to deploy the knife easier, and without liner/scale interference.

Here's a close up. In case you didn't notice, the Spydie Hole had to be enlarged mostly down and forward, using a 1/2" diameter Diamond grinding bur. Can't go UP, as it's not thick enough to take much of anything away. So if I wanted a decent sized hole, with the least interference of your thumb hitting the area just behind where the thumbstud was previously, then the hole enlargement HAD to go down and forward.


PXMxNvt.jpg

I stopped enlarging the hole when it got near the start of the blade grind taper. Just getting the hole enlarged and re-positioned took about 3-1/2 to 4 hours alone, as building heat had to be stopped with frequent dips in water. The 154CM steel in pretty hard too, and the diamond bur was not very course,....maybe 200 grit or so, ....so it's a slow go to get it done.

In case you're wondering just HOW much the hole was enlarged, this photo gives a pretty good idea. The thumbstud that was originally a TIGHT press fit into the blade is now resting within the hole.

By the way, use of a Spydie Hole makes a lot of sense for a knife used for wood processing in the outdoors, or even the more usual slicing veggies, cheese, meats, and breads. Thumbstuds can interfere with a cut in that area of the blade,....the hole won't!
ZLjW6um.jpg


With the flipper removed, I noticed there was a hooked/hollow spot in the previous blade tang and flipper area where I could incorporate the use of a hardened steel pin to serve as a strong wedge. This would block the blade from falling and serve as a backup to the lockbar under VERY hard use, such as light batoning over extended time periods perhaps.

I will probably never baton with it,.... did it more to see if the idea had merit. I think somewhere down the line someone will incorporate the idea into a knife design,....but you saw it first here! :)

I fitted a 1/8" pin initially, but there is just a hint of play if I release the lockbar so the pin is the sole way of keeping the blade open. A #39 drill bit is slightly larger and should be a tighter fit to eliminate all play.

I might only use a pin if I needed to baton some lighter wood for kindling, and normally I would have a fixed blade for that. But if I'm caught in desperate circumstances with just this knife on me, it wouldn't hurt to have as strong a lockup possible with redundant backup safeguards. And OK,.. I WAS curious IF this would work too! It works well, BTW..... :cool:

I still need to pick up a #39 Drill bit and fabricate it to fit, with a notch on each end that will hold a hard version O-Ring to keep it in place. But a better way to fabricate this would be to have a machinist make me a tight pin with one end having a small knob, and the other end a groove for the O-Ring. (I don't have a lathe, unfortunately, or would do it myself)

XnKgrxN.jpg


You can see the hole I made to back up the lockbar at the bottom, below the pivot nut. The hole goes straight through, with a matching hole on the other side.

fgan7mU.jpg


One other small change I made was to round out the bottom of the liners and scales just to the right of the finger choil area. I found the slight "hump" there cramped my hand a little, so I tapered it out a little and also took a little off the top hump at the center of the spine. It's a small change visually, but my hand feels the difference.

0XoeWvI.jpg


...here's a little better view of the re-contouring of the "humps" on top and bottom center of the grip. Notice also the entire outer G10 edges have been smoothly beveled, which were a hot spot to my hand previously,...but no more :)

kljLfuz.jpg


I also found the top edges and corners of the scales to be a bit rough for extended use, so I sanded and beveled the sharpness off to where it feels pretty smooth to the hand. Its is a much more ergonomic fit to my hand now. It's hard to see here but all the way around the G10 edges, the pattern of G10 jimping CNC cuts were sanded, and then burnished fairly smooth.

u7Hvc0R.jpg


The grip feels great in my hand! I'm actually right handed, but needed that to hold the camera :) The "action" is super smooth too, and was helped by adding a very smooth and tapered detent ball ramp on the blade tang. That feature is starting to catch on today, at Spyderco for sure and probably other makers also.

iX7rKxW.jpg


The original thumbstud was surprisingly heavy, and with it gone and the other blade changes, the knife lightened almost 1/2 ounce. Still a "beefy" folder for sure, ....but then "Strong Don't Come Light" (you can quote me on that :) , and as Nutnfancy once said (paraphrased)... "I'll take the weight if I get something for it!" So true!
Oh, this photo shows the smoothed up outer scale edges fairly well at the bottom curve area.
NYj1ssb.jpg


I've found this is a very efficient wood processing tool in this configuration, and I feel confident it will hold up for a long time. As long as reasonable tasks are assigned it can do them well and safely. As a backup to a fixed blade it excels!

For several years I even carried it regularly as my main EDC for self defense if ever needed. I usually carried in my waistband (IWB), where my belt covered the clip very well. I pulled my (tucked in) shirt UP about an inch, creating a small flap,....and the top of the knife exiting the waistband is completely hidden also!

Worn far to my far right side IWB, it is surprisingly comfortable, and less likely to ever be lost. My belt locks against the "up bend" in the clip, and stops it from accidentally falling away.

Who knows,....maybe we'll see a similar Factory version someday? ;)
 
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skyhorse

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Nice work, since the hole is the Spyderco trademark I'm not sure if it could be done on a ZT knife .
 
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There was a Kershaw/Spyderco collaboration called the Spyker.

Yes, the round hole is a Spyderco trademark. It was originally patented but that has expired and now it is just trademarked.

Your work is clean looking.
 

lieferung

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But the blade profile is really nothing like a Spyderco. Did they really manage to trademark a hole?
Yes I believe in terms of knife opening mechanisms, this hole is trademarked. It's pretty fair IMO, nobody else had done it at the time and we all know how useful it can be.

This is a really cool mod! The design just screams spyderco, the 'brow' on the blade and the drop point reminds me of the Michael Walker.
 
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Why not? It is not like the guy is selling bubch of ZT 0200 in this modification for a living.

I don't think he was referring to joejeweler making this mod for his own personal use (i.e., not for profit), rather to ZT themselves being able to release a knife like this. They'd have to have an agreement with Spyderco to use the hole. At least that's how I read it. :thumbsup:
 
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Nice work, since the hole is the Spyderco trademark I'm not sure if it could be done on a ZT knife .
Yes, that is a consideration and if a Manufacturer wished to make use of an ROUND hole opening they would have to license it to be fair minded. However, it is my understanding that as long as someone was NOT manufacturing a knife line using round hole opening for resale and profit, that it was OK and not showing disrespect for Spyderco's round hole Trademark. I would hope that would be the case anyway, unless I'm missing something? o_O

BTW, having filed a US Utility Patent, I never even knew a design trait having a mechanical function could even be Trademarked. Most like me probably consider trademarks more often written terms or symbols identifying a maker.

But hey, I don't claim to know everything, and it was really smart for Spyderco to file for this design feature incorporated into product as an actual Trademark,....protecting this design element infinitely longer than the Patent did! :)

My use of it here is to let folks know that this combination is a winner, and hopefully might be considered in a collaboration in the future. I'd love to see a 2nd re-issue of the ZT-0200 with the uncoated blade, as I missed the first one. A non-recurved blade and Spydie Hole would save me a lot of work too.

The ZT-0200 basic grip is one of the most comfortable and secure design in my entire stable of folders. Even though I tweaked it a bit to my preferences, had I been unable to have done that I could happily lived with the stock grip shape. (except for the the flipper removal, I would have sent it out to someone for that)

Lot's of time and effort invested here, maybe 15 hours or so, because hand working a hardened steel blade is lot's more fun than machinery cranking out softer steel blanks,....YEAH it is,....NOT! :eek:

Why not? It is not like the guy is selling bunch of ZT 0200 in this modification for a living.

........EXACTLY! BTW, I give full credit to Spyderco for it's design of the simple yet highly effective method of opening a folder! Just a HOLE,...who woulda thunk it,.......Sal DID! :thumbsup: :)
 
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skyhorse

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Why not? It is not like the guy is selling bubch of ZT 0200 in this modification for a living.
I believe you may have misunderstood my statement. Since the hole is a Spyderco trademark and not a patent it would be like Chevy selling cars with a Toyota trademark emblem. I don't claim to be a Lawyer, I'm better than that. :)
This has nothing to do with one guy modding his personal knife.
Many previous threads on this interesting subject. No offense intended to the OP in any way , shape or form.
https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/spider-hole-trademarked.536110/
 
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I believe you may have misunderstood my statement. Since the hole is a Spyderco trademark and not a patent it would be like Chevy selling cars with a Toyota trademark emblem. I don't claim to be a Lawyer, I'm better than that. :)
This has nothing to do with one guy modding his personal knife.
Many previous threads on this interesting subject. No offense intended to the OP in any way , shape or form.
https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/spider-hole-trademarked.536110/

None taken skyhorse,....and thanks for sayin :)

I most definitely respect Spydero's right to protect it's Trademark when competing commercial interests are infringing,...that's what collaboration and licensing fee agreements are for. :cool:

(Or in cases where 2 upstanding folks can simply agree with a handshake,...such as Sal and Gayle Bradley,...no formal agreement is necessary. :thumbsup: :)
 
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skyhorse

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Nice work joejeweler. Yeah drilling heat treated steel is not easy, been there and done that myself.:eek:
 
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