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Easiest lock blade folding knife


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Hi guys,

I was thinking on the way home from work today about various types of lock blade folding knives and wondered about which type is the easiest to make. I decided the best thing to do would be ask you guys. Now, I don't make folding knives, only fixed blades so I have no idea, but since some of you do you are the best source.

Which type of LOCKING blade folding knife is the easiest to make? Lock back, liner lock, frame lock, etc...

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Thomas, my equipment is as follows: Forge, anvil, hammers, belt grinders (2x72, 4x36, & 1x30), band saw, drill press, metal lathe/mill, surface grinder, bench grinder, arbor press, etc. As far as skill level, I have been making knives for about a year and a half now but have always been good with my hands and always work on my own stuff.

My motivation behind this post is not because I am looking to make a folding knife right now. Actually I was looking to buy a spyderco persistence and because I am incredibly cheap I was toying with the idea of making one of my own and just wanted to know how challenging folding knives are, since this is something I've never attempted. If I ever do attempt one, I will definitely post WIP pics. :)

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Get a couple really cheap folders, with different mechanisms. Take them apart and study the lock, should give you a real good idea of what is needed to make each type. Most will take a fair bit of fiddling, filing, fitting, and time to get it just right.

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I made a liner lock a while back with pretty good results. All I have is a belt grinder, small drill press, and dremel. Making the lock is as simple as cutting a section of the liner free and bending it into a spring. If you google locking liner tutorials you will find at least three or four good ones, Ray Rodgers stands out in my memory as one of the better ones. His tutorial discusses design, construction, and materials with simple to follow steps. Though it is helpful to have a disk grinder and surface grinder it is very doable without if you are careful.
This is the one I made, also by the way the first knife I finished.


There are also good tutorials on lock backs and others but the designs seems much harder to excecute. Definately give it a try though, I had a lot of fun and will be doing another in the near future. Good luck -Justin

I just reread your equipment list, I missed you have a surface grinder. That will make keeping everything flat and true much easier. Definately give it a try, the hardest part for me was tapping those little holes without breaking the taps. Funny how being cheap works out, I started out making knives because I didn't want to spend $300 for a new knife for work. Well I did end up making the knife I wanted but I've also spent a couple thousand getting there :lol: again good luck and keep us posted, -Justin

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Thanks guys for all of the good info,

I just might have to try making a folder after all, that is as soon as I get time. I just started a cable Damascus project that I will be working on for a little while, probably the rest of the week, but after that it's fair game....

ps. by rest of the week I meant next week. I just started long break so I consider friday to friday this week, which means I'll probably have to wait until next long break. :)

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