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How to Make a Slip Joint Pocket Knife
Page 7 of 12

In order for the blade to open and close more smoothly, the width of the tang needs to be slightly smaller than the width of the spring. Measure the end of the spring with a micrometer or a caliper. If you don't have a measuring device, you can lay the pieces on a flat surface and just eyeball it. A piece of 3/32 inch steel will measure to just under .094 inches. I usually try to bring the sides of the tang down to around .085 inches or so.


This is the only time that I use a grinder on the sides of the tang or spring. Hold the blade and press the tang lightly against the disk grinder. Do this for each side of the tang and measure it again. If you don't want to use the grinder for this step, you can bring the sides down with sandpaper as seen in the second photo.


Place the blade between the liners and check to make sure that it lies evenly in the center. Make the necessary corrections if it doesn't. Put the pins back into the knife and work a drop of oil between the blade tang and the spring. The knife should now snap open and shut nicely.


Now that we have the mechanical workings of the knife finished, it's time to turn our attention to making the sides. First decide how long the bolsters should be and draw them off on the liner. Color enough of the 1/8 inch Nickel Silver with the magic marker to allow you to scribe out four bolsters. Cut the bolsters out with a band saw or a hacksaw. Be sure to leave a little extra room around the scribed line. Don't worry about rounding them off at this point.


We now want to grind the inside ends of the bolsters flat so they will fit well against the bone scales when we put the knife together. Start off my making sure that the disk grinder's support table is square with the disk. Adjust the table if needed. Grind just enough from the inside edges of the bolsters to make them flat and smooth. Set these aside for now.


Take the shin bone and slice off enough from one side to make the two scales. The scales should be a little longer than the distance between the bolster lines drawn on the liner, and a little wider than the liner. The thickness is not important at this point as long as it's at least 1/8 inch thick.

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