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Gliden07 07-19-2021 09:00 PM

Folder reference book
Ed any suggestions on a good reference book for building folding knives? Was looking for something to help with a first build and hopefully something that will let me grow also. Was thinking of trying a friction folder first. Thanks!!

M&J 07-20-2021 02:16 PM

This is the book I was given back in the day:

One other suggestion is to buy some budget folders and take them apart.

billyO 07-20-2021 02:45 PM

Seeing as how you're already at Amazon, here's one I got a few years ago and will probably follow if I ever do one.

The Lockback Folding Knife - From Design to Completion by Peter Fronteddu and Stefan Steigerwald

Ed Caffrey 07-21-2021 08:27 AM


Originally Posted by Gliden07 (Post 501788)
Ed any suggestions on a good reference book for building folding knives? Was looking for something to help with a first build and hopefully something that will let me grow also. Was thinking of trying a friction folder first. Thanks!!

First, you need to decide what type of folder you wish to produce? Lockbacks or LinerLocks?

I made several Lockback folders, but found they have a serious inherent problem. That being, IF a lockback folder ever fails, it fails all at once, and usually with catastrophic results. On the other hand, IF a LinerLock folder fails, it fails slowly, and rarely causes injury should it fail.
This is the reason that I do not make Lockbacks, and choose to produce LinerLock. That's just my personal choice as a Bladesmith, and I'm not dogging anyone who builds LockBacks..... I just don't. YOU MILEAGE MAY VARY. ;)

OK, all that being said, the best reference I have found/seen for LinerLocks is "The Tactical Folding Knife" by Bob Terzuola. It is out of print, and VERY expensive, but it explains things in a very easy to understand manner, and actually has very valuable information that I have never seen in any other text on the subject.

The book that I did not like is/was: w+to+make+folding+knives&qid=1626872732&sprefix=ho w+to+make+fold%2Caps%2C237&sr=8-2

Why don't I like it? Because it infers that you have to own a specific brand/type of tool to do whatever task was being explained, and that whatever task was being discussed could only be done that way, with that specific tool. At my current knowledge level I know that's all nonsense, but as a rank beginner it was just confusing and frustrating.

As always, when I talk about folks learning folders, I speak to the necessary mindset. When someone has only built straight knives, they typically think in terms of fractions of an inch. However, the best advantage you can give yourself when stepping into folders is to train yourself to think in Fractions of a thousandth of an inch. Once you do that, folder become "easy", and your straight knives improve dramatically. As with anything new, it takes some time, but is well worth the efforts.

Finally, if you build folder, PLEASE DO NOT HANDICAP YOURSELF BY USING CHEAP CHINA HARDWARE! Plus/Minus .005" is what this hardware is speced at.... and that's as good a a mile when it comes to folders. The only hardware I use comes from Yes, it is pricey, but for a lack of a better way to explain it, this stuff is "dead on" in every aspect. If you use the cheap China stuff, you WILL struggle with each and every folder you use it on. If yo use TiConnector hardware, you're folder will more or less just "fall" together the same way, every time, without ever having to fiddle around with everything.

Welcome to the maddness! :)

Gliden07 07-21-2021 09:04 AM

Thank you guys for the information. Gonna start getting my Ducks in a row!

jimmontg 07-23-2021 07:06 PM

Ed Is Right On The Money.
I've worked in the aerospace field literally since the 1970s. I've done precision sheetmetal and precision T.I.G. welding, welding to tolerances that many welders think are impossible. I've made folders in my time and like Ed I just the liner lock when done right. No looseness allowed, no loose blade in any direction.

I also avoid Chinesium parts like the plague. Even their sheetmetal sucks, 16 gauge is .061, US made 16 ga. will run .058-060 and Chinesium is .055-.056, the .056 is at the bottom of the tolerance with the .055 out of tolerance. All of their hardware is like that, barely in tolerance in areas of it.

I have made a few folders, but they are expensive and not being well known are a hard sale. I like utility knives, hunting and fishing, with a big fondness for kitchen cutlery. I made a filet knife for a backpacker once out of .093 D2 and a liner of .050 aluminum glued to Micarta with a titanium locking liner. All drilled with lightening holes, including part of the blade. Weighed just under 4 oz and the blade was 5 inches and handle 5.5 inches. Cost $250 in 1990's dollars, but he got what he ordered. Oh, it came with a 4oz belt sheath too, he didn't even want thicker leather. 4oz is 4/64ths of an inch or .063=1/16th. Leather is measured in an old English antiquated measurement, one square foot of leather weighing one ounce is 1/64th of an inch thick, .015625, or most just say sixteen thousandths of an inch.

M&J 07-23-2021 10:25 PM

+1 on sourcing good spec parts with the builds. Same with using quality drill bits and taps.

Ed Caffrey 07-24-2021 08:00 AM

JUST A WARNING! EVERYBODY, and I mean Everybody who sells folder hardware is chasing TiConnector! There are a few, like the owners of these forums ( who are distributors for TiConnector, but most who are advertising "Titanium Folder Hardware" are simply trying to sell cheap knock-offs.

I just got an email this morning, from one of the popular knife supply outfits..... now offering "Titanium Folder Pivots"! Yeah right! :puke: Typically, China made titanium hardware is even worse tolerance than their steel hardware.

The big difference is the tolerance/accuracy of the part. I have sat in Steve Kelly's shop (Steve is the creator/owner of TiConnector), and watched him mic every part that comes out of his screw machine. He is one picky son of a gun... I'd guess that only about 75% of what the screw machine puts out, every leaves his shop. He's told me time and time again, that if it's not "dead on" he doesn't want it leaving the shop. He's about making the kind of hardware that he wants to use in his own folders.

Gliden07 07-24-2021 02:03 PM

Thanks Ed ordered book and have Ti in my short cuts! Still gonna fry a friction folder to get my feet wet. I just like the simplicity of them and actually bought one to try and copy! I liked it so much I made a molded sheath for it and carry it all the time!!

cdent 07-24-2021 06:45 PM

Hey Ed,

Back when Steve was doing his hammerins, I donated a copy of that Terzuola book to his raffle. It was more than pricey back then. I had bought it off the shelf at the time at C Sharps, new, for the cover price. It was probably under thirty bucks.

Another book to consider might be Don Robinson's, "My Way" for liner locks, and he also has a slip joint book. Don was a long time member here with endless help to offer folks. I decided to check his member page, hasn't been active for a bit, hope all is well with him.

Ed Caffrey 07-26-2021 08:55 PM

OK folks..... I have to be fair and redact what I said about a certain knife supply outfit and titanium folder hardware. The hardware IS NOT China made. Fact is, said company actually wanted to be a distributor, which was not possible, and purchased the hardware at retail price.... and are so confident that they can sell it, that it is now on their site. (oh, and by the way, they have it priced at nearly DOUBLE of the actual retail price that it can be had for, from the source's website)..... just saying.
While I completely understand that the knife supply outfits have to make a living, but the problem is.... this particular one, has a history of, let's just say, being less than honorable, in their dealings with those who supply them with products. And I know this how? Because I was, and am, one of those on the receiving end of it. Said company purchased a supply of my own videos, then refused to sell them for the contract price, and for the past 10+ years, has refused to pay any royalties on the sale of those videos. Again...just sayin. :rolleyes:

M&J 07-29-2021 04:29 PM

There will be those that will pay that price. Hopefully they find out soon that they didn't have to pay that much.

During this pandemic rush some suppliers up-charged 2-3X of normal for PPE. I'd bought P100 cartridges at 5 pairs for $45. Now they remain at $135. On another forum we're discussing the inflation rates and what a hit many goods have taken since January.:eek:

Ed Caffrey 07-30-2021 08:15 AM

No doubt prices have spiked up on many things. I was surprised to find that knife steel had taken over 100% price increase since I last ordered. Just two days ago I went to Sams Club to pick up ribs for smoking, and found baby back ribs, that a week ago were $2.18 per pound, where now $5.98 per pound. Beef has been sky high for a long time, and there is no other explanation than packers are gouging....because I know MANY ranchers... and the prices they receive for cattle have stayed the same.

Just yesterday I put gas in my truck... $3.52 per gallon! That is the highest in over 5 years around here! Folks around here are angry because of Biden killing the Keystone pipeline.....which was suppose to run through Montana, and was projected to produce big dollars for those towns/areas near it.

As I type this, I'm watching our local AM news, and just saw that Nestle, is raising prices by 2% on EVERYTHING they make/sell.

And finally, there was a report on the new that Millennials were/are willing to go into debt to "celebrate" the end of the Pandemic (which I don't think has happened yet), and that on average, that debt was expected to be anywhere from $5-20K! WOW!

Getting uglier by the day.

Here's a little something that I feel very strongly about, as truth....and we are living it.

cdent 08-01-2021 10:58 PM


Originally Posted by Ed Caffrey (Post 501815)
....Just yesterday I put gas in my truck... $3.52 per gallon! That is the highest in over 5 years around here! Folks around here are angry because of Biden killing the Keystone pipeline.....which was suppose to run through Montana, and was projected to produce big dollars for those towns/areas near it....

This is one of "his"enviro projects, that was locked-n-loaded for day one. Of course, he has been a little sleepy since day one.

Stories floating around might be worse than him plain old killing the pipeline. Supposedly, the BN rail brass were owed a favor for some off the charts campaign donations. Seems they prefered moving crude on their tracks, not through someone else's pipeline. Who knows, but is anything not for sale.

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