- Category: April 2009
- Published: Thursday, 02 April 2009 02:00
- Written by Gareth
First thing to do is to pop off the scales from your donor knives. I use an old SAK with a fairly blunt small blade and slip it under the scale. Move it up to just behind the pin and pop the scale up. Repeat for the other two pins.
Next you are going to drill out the pins. You can see here that I start with a centre mark on the pin head to act as a guide for the drill. After taking the pic I realised the mark was a bit off and so did it again.
Now all you need to do is drill out the pin. I use a 2.5mm bit. Take care not to drill too much and damage the bushes. For the pin holding the back tools I do a very little drilling and then file the rest of the head off. All you need do then is punch through the pins to release the tools and backsprings. Remember and take note of which is the centre bush as it is smaller than the other two.
Now you will have a pile of bits and there is no going back. Take this opportunity to give all the tools, liners etc a good clean. Most of the time a bit of a scrub with a scour pad will do the trick.
A quick shot here to show the new and old liners next to the blades. On the new liner (top) you can see an indent that will sit next to the blade tang. This is to compensate for the slimmer tang that can be seen on the newer blade next to it. The most important thing you need to keep in mind is not to mix up old and new parts. They won’t work and the blade will sit wrong in the finished knife, striking the top of the small blade. Ask me how I know. Roll Eyes
The next thing I do is to prep up the new pins. If you can get pin stock that is 2.5mm for the outside pins and 2.2mm for the centre ones (2.25mm is the Vic standard but I don’t think anyone has yet found a supplier). I always give myself plenty of extra length to work with. If you look at the pin sitting on the vice you can see the “peak” left after having cut it to size with a pair of snips. You need to file this flat to give a nice even surface to work on.
Take a small hammer and peen over the edge to give a nice, flattened, mushroom shaped top. Repeat the filing and peening for all four pins. The last part is to lightly file the other ends of the pins to a slight point. This will help in getting the tools and liners to slip over the ends.
You can now put the bushings on the peened end of the pins (make sure the bushes are sitting the right way up) and put them through the full liner. I always start from the opener side and work up to the blades. This lets the SAK sit flat without rocking on the corkscrew that sits out quite a bit. You can also keep a made up SAK near to hand as a reference, just to make sure you are putting things in the right place.
As I don’t use a jig of any kind you will almost inevitably come across the problem of getting the tool to sit well with the spring. Don’t worry; get all but one of the tools sitting where they should be. One of the tools will end up sitting like the saw below, that's OK just drop on the next liner.
I have had to do the next bit with two pics, simply because I don’t have an extra hand to hold the camera. Hold everything together with one hand as seen in the first pic. You can see the tool sitting beside the spring instead of on top of it.
With the other hand put a fine screwdriver or similar between the pin and the spring. Leaver the spring away from the pin and keep strong pressure on with the other hand. When you remove the screwdriver everything should pop into place. Repeat this for all the layers. You may find this tricky at first but with just a little practice this takes no time at all.
We are now on the home straight. Smiley When you have the blade layer in place (don’t forget the spacer next to the small blade), along with the last liner, we need to look at the final peening. Drop the bushes onto the pins. You will now need to cut the pins to length. Try not to make the pin to long, you only need 1-1.5mm to work with. Once cut you will have the same nasty tool marks as you did when prepping the pin. As before you will need to file the top flat for a good surface to work on. Once you have it ready then give it a couple of strong taps while holding the SAK on a flat metal surface. I use one of the flats on my vice as an improvised anvil. Use the ball-peen to help work the edges of the pin out to fill the bushing. You can see the three stages here: the far right pin has just been cut, the one next to it has been filed and the one on the far left has mostly been peened.
The MOST important thing is not to over do it. Keep checking the tools for any side play, once it has gone stop hitting the pin! If you still have any metal sitting proud of the bushing then file it down (the scales won’t go on it you have to much there). Once you have cut, filed and peened all the pins give the tools a last check over for any play and pop the scales on. Job done, you are now the proud owner of your first mod.
As I said at the start there are certainly other ways of doing this. This way works for me, but if I have made any glaring errors (either in the modding or the writing) please jump in and say so. Thanks for reading.