View Full Version : Heat treating liners

01-31-2003, 05:58 AM
Hello everyone!

Hello, my name is Mark, and I'm addicted to making kit knives. ;-)

I think I'm ready to try the "hard" stuff. I know, I know. Everyone kept saying it. Kit knives are just a gateway knife to harder stuff. Next thing you know, they're grinding their own fixed blades, then making their own folding knife patterns, and eventualy they're using titanium full time. I just can't stop myself!

Anyway, I love making the 605 and 605 mini. Really cool kits. So, now I'd like to try my hand at making my own folder from scratch and I ran into a question...

Do stainless steel liners get heat treated?

Thanks for all your help!

Mark Henry

Jamey Saunders
01-31-2003, 08:05 AM
If you use stainless for your liners, they will have to be heat treated. When tempered, they will have to be drawn back to a spring temper. (This is for liner locks. Slipjoints and lockbacks don't need HT for the liners.)

I believe most of the custom liner-lock makers now use titanium for the liners, as it does not need heat treat. Titanium can also be anodized to give a broad range of colors, if that's a feature you would like to incorporate into your knives.

Ray Rogers
01-31-2003, 10:15 AM
There are some who will say that a stainless liner lock does not have to be heat treated. In a sense, I agree with that because there is a certain amount of 'spring' to annealed stainless. But, not heat treating a stainless liner is similar to making a coil spring and not heat treating that. It will be springy but it won't be nearly as strong and it is much easier for it to get bent out of shape. If you're going to use a stainless liner for a spring, use 416 and heat treat it.

On the other hand, it's just as easy to make a titanium liner and no heat treat is needed....

01-31-2003, 12:56 PM
I posted a question about stainless liners a couple of weeks ago. I got several suggestions for titanium. I've started using it and it works great. It seems to work as easy as the stainless I've used and no heat treat. The only thing I needed to do different was change the taps I was using. I'd give it a try.

Jamey Saunders
01-31-2003, 01:26 PM
That's encouraging. I've been contemplating getting some titanium to have a go at making folders, but I've heard a lot of people say that it was very hard to cut and work. Some have said that it wasn't that hard to work, but I've heard no comparisons to other metals.

What tooling adjustments did you have to make? (Changing taps, speed of grinding, cutting, etc.)

01-31-2003, 02:05 PM
All I've done is change taps to carbide and put a variable speed controler on my drill press. It was multi speed anyway but this slows it down a little more and I get a more uniform cut. I don't have a variable speed controler for my grinder so it's business as usual there. If I try to remove too much too fast the ti will "smear" for lack of a better word. But other than that this stuff is no problem. Grinding my small ats-34 blades after heat treat is a bigger problem than the ti, and the ats grinds pretty easy.

I've been intimidated for some time by ti, because of an earlier experience I had. I wish I had started using it earlier. now for the S30V..............


01-31-2003, 02:46 PM
jamey -
i suggest you go here ( and check out peter's video - it should contain all you need to know

Jamey Saunders
01-31-2003, 07:32 PM
Thanks, Wayne. When I do get to that point, I'll have to order that video.