View Full Version : bushings, bearings and washers! oh my!


nybble
03-14-2003, 12:13 PM
Ok, what are people's thoughts on the importance/effect of diff't pivot systems in the balisongs? I've seen bearing systems (the IKBS by ikoma/korth), bushings (like the tachyon and ddr's latest), washers of various sorts and nothing.

Personally, I really like the IKBS - it's main downfall is it's fragility - there's lots of independent little ball bearings waiting to get lost, etc..For fumble fingered guys like me, taking apart such a knife is fraught with peril. But when it's all in there, it does give a very nice smooth ride.

What's your all opinions?

sjtinkerer
03-14-2003, 01:22 PM
Although I've never actually handled one of Korth's IKBS knives, I'm impressed with the thought and engineering behind it. As far as fragility, for what reasons would you take it apart in the first place? An occasional check for proper pivot tightness would be the only reason to take a tool to it. And if you lock-tited it the first time, you probably wouldn't have to do anything else. Maybe just a spot of miltech now and then. I understand your concern with all those little bearings, but if it ain't broke don't fix it! Hope that didn't come off too harsh!

P.S. Don't you have an IKBS knife? If you're that worried about those little bearings, I'd be happy to babysit for you!;)

tonyccw
03-14-2003, 01:34 PM
The Korth system is highly sensitive to dust and foreign particles, so a regular cleaning and replacing of the lubricant would be in order.

That said. The most critical element I've seen with sandwich construction type bali's is that the pivot stays at the proper tension. I've had great success with using 3M's Micro abrasives (thanks to DDR for the hint) to polish both the blade flat and the washers (both SS and Phos Bronze) smooth, before I apply a coating of Miltec. This makes the action so much smoother and thus faster.

Channel style bali's require proper gapping of the blade to tang fork, keeping the blade centered, to achieve maximum effeciency.

ExamonLyf
03-15-2003, 09:04 PM
Yeah, I agree the IKBS should be maintainced if it's a "user".., and especially if carried in the pocket, but it really isn't a big deal to take them apart and do that in my opinion, and I'm not convinced that bearing system will need much if it's Militec'd several times intially????

Of course that remains to be seen since they are relatively new and not many out there.., so we'll see.. :)

wrathlord
03-17-2003, 11:08 AM
Best pivot I've seen on Bali's are sealed roller bearings,They are not used in production pieces because of the cost.But some custom and collaborators are willing to spend the extra time to engineer them into their designs.They don't get dirty,never need lube,and work very smoothly with little play.

tonyccw
03-17-2003, 11:45 AM
Originally posted by wrathlord
Best pivot I've seen on Bali's are sealed roller bearings,I've spoken to Larry Davidson about adapting the Voodoo bearing system into the balisong, but he doesn't think he can scale the system down to fit into the thin bali handles. On those that I've seen with sealed bearings, like John Salley's designs, they tend to bind after some level of play. Modern balisongs has generated the art of manipulation, and while the sealed bearing works extremely well in providing friction control, it doesn't work well when there's no provision for reducing the heat that gets generated when it's heavily used.

ExamonLyf
03-17-2003, 09:10 PM
Originally posted by tonyccw
I've spoken to Larry Davidson about adapting the Voodoo bearing system into the balisong, but he doesn't think he can scale the system down to fit into the thin bali handles.

Yeah that's what I was thinking about a few months back :(.., too bad it's not a viable strategy presently.., but maybe at some point.. :)

I do think that would be neat.., and fairly bullet-proof...

wrathlord
03-17-2003, 10:41 PM
I flipped many a knife in my years,and heat from manipulation was the last thing on my mind,not getting cut,and not letting go at the wrong time are the 2 Really important things that stay in my mind,I flipped for hours sometimes and never built up enough heat to damage a bearing,I have used them for many years and never had a problem.That's absurd to generate enough heat to damage a bearing,you'd burn your fingers first.And if you flipped one of Salleys and it had play as you had described then the knife was abused with lateral stress at the pivot.His knives would never do that as a result of manipulation.

wrathlord
03-17-2003, 10:50 PM
And one more thing Son,The Art of manipulating Bali's is nothing new,Dan Innosanto had introduced most what is considered "modern" manipulation techniques back in the late 60's.And there is even more in escrimma/kali styles than most western schools know of.

nybble
03-17-2003, 10:50 PM
Hey wrathlord - what balisongs have you been playing with that had the sealed roller bearings? Just curious, as I haven't seen too many (or any) around. Anyhow, I don't know nuttin about generating heat or not.

tonyccw
03-18-2003, 07:46 AM
Originally posted by wrathlord
And if you flipped one of Salleys and it had play as you had described then the knife was abused with lateral stress at the pivot.His knives would never do that as a result of manipulation. First off, I never mentioned my Salley's had play. What I said was the only sealed bearing system I ever saw was on a Salley. Secondly, that lateral stress is what caused the bearing to overheat. It was not designed to handle that duration of manipulation. The bearing got warm and started to do the opposite of what it was designed to do; it started to bind. My inspection showed it was from the tight tolerances built into those sealed bearings.

Also, for those long durations, whether for practise or joy of manipulation, which bali did you use. I'm interested because I never had that problem with any of my old Bali-Song USA customs. And those were of a simple compressed pin design. Maybe modern engineering has been able to resolve the heat issue with the new sealed bearings, but I haven't seen one effectively meet the demands of heavy manipulation.

As for modern manipulation, I was referring to the "Modern Age" which was ushered in by Bali-Song USA (late 1970's). They got into the business when Les De'Asis realized that the old channel construction of the old Filipino Hand Mades would never hold up to that new style of manipulation. I'm not referring to the rapid openings and closing, but to the use of the balisong as a hand-eye coordination tool.

Edite to add: With no disregard to what Mr. Innosanto's immense contribution to introducing the FMA's to the US, the level of manipultion you mentioned in that book has pretty much been relegated to Basic Opening in today's standards. If you would take the time to go to http://www.balisongxtreme.com/, or to http://digilander.libero.it/balisong and click on the video's, you will see the level of manipulation that is currently in vogue, and you'll see where my baseline comes from. Today's balisongs in the US not only has to maintain it's Martial Art's heritage, it also must be mechanically strong, and smooth, enough to sustain the level of manipulation. It's no longer just about how fast you draw and open the blade.

wrathlord
03-18-2003, 02:42 PM
ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh:eek: My brain is jello I think I'll just view the posts from now on.

tonyccw
03-18-2003, 03:10 PM
Originally posted by wrathlord
ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh:eek: My brain is jello I think I'll just view the posts from now on. Not necessary. You just have to understand that some of us have studied this aspect for quite a bit... Maybe a little too much. And any experience to share with those that haven't started the learning is most appreciated. And there are more "balisong newbies" than the old guards..... :cool:

OOHYAVette
03-24-2003, 02:03 AM
I am one of the newbies. I used to know a person that worked with Pacific in the late 70 early 80 and had a chance to see some profoundly interesting knives. About 6 months ago someone asked me what i wanted for my birthday and I told them I would really like a butterfly knife. I was checking on the internet and came accross Balisongxtream, I looked at the videos and and was hooked, so far up to 5 knives with 2 more in the mail on the way and looking at buying the whole Boss Chetah line for my shop. I own 3 of Clays kydex sheaths and am now carrying a BM42a daily. (I live in Portland Oregon where I can) I have also been talking with a local knifemaker about a custom knife. Pabu Cutlery Here in Portland does some wonderful work with Deven Thomas Stainless stock. www.balisongcollector.com showes some of his work.

Bustard
03-24-2003, 04:23 AM
Wow... I am flattered Tony suggested my site... :D Thanks

To get back to the topic, I don't have many different stiles of bushings bearing and washers in my balis. I tried some with washers (Bms and the Arc Angel) and one without anything.
I have to say that the one without any kind of washers (the monarch) is not bad at all. The only problem you can verify is that the handle forks swinging in contact with the blade leave a mark on the tang, just around the pin (hope I explained myself).
I don't know if this problem comes with B-S and PC and BM customs, but to me it is not nice...

Anyone knows what is used on 29s?