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At the Victorinox booth we learned that making a Swiss Army Knife is not nearly as difficult as it may seem- Of course it helps when you have access to a several-thousand-dollar SAK making machine and the associated tooling!

The Infamous SAK Making Machine

To begin with, pick out three of the bigger brass pins and one of the smaller ones and slip them into their respective brass bushings.

A kid in a candy store- making his own candy!

Be careful not to drop the bushings, as they are quite small and can be a real devil to fish out from underneath the counter!

Brass Bushings

Then install the brass pivot pins into the little jig holes in SAK making machine.

Pull the lever!

Pulling the lever forward causes the machine to clamp each pin/bushing combo like a vise, holding them rigidly so the liners and blades can be added.

Add a part, pull a lever

Next install the bottom liner, the first backspring, then the can opener, bottle opener, and awl.

Trying to fit the first backspring

At this point your SAK should look like this:

SAK Guts

Clamping down with the top lever of the SAK machine holds everything in place while you use the side lever to preload the backspring.

Twice as complex!

Now repeat the assembly for the second layer, installing the middle liner, both knives, other backspring, and corkscrew. Try to avoid grabbing extra components from the bins and accidentally putting them in your pockets while doing this.

Modder's Dream!

When this step is complete, add the top liner.

Almost there

Carefully remove your knife and place it on the peening fixture. Snip the extra length off each of the brass pivot pins.

Simple?  NOT!

Now use the spring loaded forming punch to peen the tops of the pins. Go easy here! Not enough peen and your blades will have "play" in them, too much peen and they won't fold smoothly. Test each blade, do additional peening as necessary.


Lastly, use a padded vise to clamp the scales into place, then install toothpick, tweezer, and key ring.


Congratulations! See, that wasn't so hard now was it?


Now please be sure to tune in next week when we begin our two-part series: Building your own Victorinox Camp Trailer.