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GAK Autopsy

There isn't too much new to see here, this model is very basic in design. The backsprings are the same thickness and profile; they are in fact interchangeable with each other. The center liner is full profile, providing an extra margin of strength to the knife. The blade layer shown is a B&H contract knife that had a broken spring. It has been fitted with a spare ICAR backspring in order to repair the knife.

This was no drop-in fit, as there were slight dimensional differences. The blade angled too far down in the open position, so I had to file the front end of the spring to move the rest position up. The kick also needed to be lowered a bit on this knife, as the tip of the blade was showing above the liners. Notice that the kick rests on the forward hump of the spring, while the saw rests on the tip of the combo tool in the closed position. If the combo tool is altered or broken at that point, access to the nail nick may be impaired.



It would be worth the time to polish bearing surfaces and round sharp corners (where they cam against the springs) while the knife is apart. It depends on the GAK contractor, some exhibit rougher finish than others. Those made by V�nox seem to show the same high degree of polish as found in their commercial products. Compare the two backsprings in the photo, the upper one is an ICAR and the lower one a Victorinox.

I am not saying to avoid certain contract brands here, just tune up the fit if you get a chance (I happen to like the ICARs). Even some of the Victorinoxes I have could benefit from a polish job due to wear and tear.

To make new pins, I found that 2.5mm rod fits perfectly without alteration; otherwise they must be turned down from 1/8" diameter stock (3/32" is undersized).

The scales are from the same B&H contract knife. Notice the spot of adhesive on the inside of the scale; so far I have encountered this on ICAR brand knives also. If you intend on reusing the scales, make sure to run a thin blade along the entire length of the scale to break the bond before attempting to pry the scales off (there was a lot more adhesive on the ICARs than you see here). The plastic material is also not as resilient as Cellidor or nylon scales, and seems easier to crack.



Thanks to Tim for providing the GAK cadavers used for this autopsy.