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The Newbies Arena Are you new to knife making? Here is all the help you will need.

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Old 04-15-2022, 03:09 PM
Bradley Bradley is offline
Join Date: Apr 2022
Location: Mooresville, NC
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Folders : washers, relief milling, and bearing)s ... oh, my!

Once again, I am getting myself confused by inputting too much information from divers sources.

In some circumstances I am seeing people milling some relief on folders around where the tang would be. In others I see a bigger hole put in the pivot and a bushing put in it. And in yet some others, I am seeing 0.005 washers put in on either side of the blade. Yet others may even suggest combining these things. And even others suggesting that these things make no difference.

Is it just adding specific specific value to the final product? I saw something that suggested it prevented scratches from appearing on the ricasso or some such thing.

So the question is, is this necessary? If so, which is the best bang for the buck?

Any clarification or suggestions.
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Old 04-16-2022, 12:05 AM
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M&J M&J is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: So. Cal
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Many ways to accomplish an end result so knowing what type of folder helps to suggest some options. What type of folder are you building up?

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Old 04-16-2022, 08:14 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Sometimes it can depend on the tools you have. For instance, on my folders I drilled an over sized hole in the tang and then pressed in an oilite bearing. This allowed me to easily ream the pivot hole to fit the pivot precisely and provided a permanently lubricated bearing for the blade to turn on. It also--and here's the tooling part--gave me a second chance to get the pivot hole exactly 90 degrees to the plane of the tang. And, if for any reason the pivot hole was unsatisfactory I could pop the bearing out and put in a fresh one instead of scrapping the blade.

All those methods you mentioned work just fine. Pick the ones that allow you to build a solid, smoothly functioning folder...


Your question may already have been answered - try the Search button first!

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Old 04-19-2022, 07:49 AM
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Ed Caffrey Ed Caffrey is offline
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All are viable methods for building folders. What each individual specifically use generally depends on not only personal preferences, but also on the tools/tooling one has available in their shop(s).

Probably the biggest stumble that newer folder makers make.... is trying to design a folder, then go out looking for the hardware to make it work. Along with that, they try to buy the absolute cheapest hardware they can find...which is a fatal mistake.

First, look around and find the "best" folder hardware you can. What is that? Screws, pivots, bearings, washer, etc that have the absolute tightest tolerances there is. Right now, there is only one source for for that level of hardware...... TiConnector
Once you source your hardware.... design your folder(s) to work with that particular hardware.

Individuals who try to start out knifemaking at the folder level, are seriously handicapping themselves. I have taught Bladesmithing/knifemaking for a lot of years..... and can say first hand, that those who start out making straight knives, have an infinitely easier time transitioning into building folders. Why? I believe it's because most have a difficult time thinking in the tight tolerances necessary for building folders.... and building straight knives first, which is less demanding from a tolerance standpoint, prepares individuals to train themselves to think in the tighter tolerances. Example: When we build straight knives, we typically think in fractions of an inch, which most folks can easily adapt to doing. When building folding knives, it is necessary to think if fractions of a THOUSANDTH of an inch. It's that critical with folders.

OK.... all that being said, ask 10 different folder makers how to accomplish the same task building a folder, and you will like get 7 different answers. However, ask those same folks what type of tolerances must be maintained, and I have no doubt that all will say "as absolutely tight as possible!"
It all boils down to what works best FOR YOU, with the tools and equipment YOU have/use.


"Every CHOICE has a CONSEQUENCE, and all your CONSEQUENCES are a result of your CHOICES."
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