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How to Make a Slip Joint Pocket Knife
Page 2 of 12

After I finish grinding with the 36 grit belt, I move to up to an 80 grit and bring the grind down to the scribed lines. You will notice that there are going to be a few places that will be hard to reach with the 2x72 grinder. I move down to the 1x30 grinder when I get to these places. I use files to clean up places that I can not get with the 1x30.


Clamp up the blade into the vice. Put a piece of leather between the vice jaws and blade to keep the blade protected. Using safe edge files, file away the areas on the top and bottom of the tang to the scribed lines. (See the area that I’m pointing to in the photo.) Use the same method to clean up the spring if there are areas that you could not get to with the grinder.


Throughout the process of making the knife, the knife pieces will need to be flat sanded to keep them smooth. Take a folded piece of tape and stick it to one side of the blade. Place a piece of sandpaper on a very flat surface, and rub the blade back and forth by holding on to the tab of tape. The goal here is to remove the burs left from grinding. I will refer to this process as “flat sanding” through out the rest of this tutorial. Flat sand both sides of the blade and the spring.


Using the old knife blade, mark the place where the pivot hole should go on the new blade. Note that the new blade will be slightly larger than the original. This is OK because we will have to make adjustments in the action of the knife by grinding areas away. You can always grind metal off, but you can never put it back. Use a center punch to pop an indention where the hole should be drilled. Go through these same steps with the spring.


Drill the pivot hole out with a 3/32 inch drill bit. If you don’t have a drill press, a hand drill will work. Just be careful to drill as slow and as vertical as you can. It is very important that the pivot hole is square with the sides of the blade. Follow these same steps with the spring. The two holes in the spring will also be drilled with the 3/32 inch bit.


The end of the blade tang should be rounded to give the knife smooth action when opening and closing. Drill a 3/32 inch hole in the corner of a small piece of wood. Place a pin through the blade and into the piece of wood so that the blade can pivot on the pin. Using a disc grinder, grind the end of the tang smooth by placing its edge against the disc and slowly pivoting the blade on the pin. If done right, you will be left with nice rounded end on your tang. Be careful not to remove too much from the tang. In order for the knife to work correctly, there must be slightly more distance between the pivot hole and the end of the tang that there is between the pivot hole and top or bottom of the tang. This helps give the knife its snap when opening and closing.


Grind a slight angle at the end of the spring. The angle should slope from the outside of the spring to the inside. (See the photo.) Only grind off enough of the spring to make a slight angle. Too much grinding will leave you with a short spring.


Flat sand the blade and spring to remove the burs. Now I have the new blade and spring profiled. The new parts closely match the old parts but they are slightly larger. This is ok. We can now put away the old blade and spring because we are done with them.

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