Framelock hardware for hard use knife

Discussion in 'Knife Dogs Main Forum' started by Self Made Knives, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. Self Made Knives

    Self Made Knives Well-Known Member

    I'm starting to see light at the end of my shop redo tunnel, so I'm ordering some parts for folders. I've got 2 original designs that I'm going to do next and one is more of a general use pocket knife with bearings that the average Joe would carry. The other, is a beefier hard use knife with washers that could stand up to some serious field work. At least that that's the plan:)

    I was thinking about using the Beta Titanium screws from Alpha based on the claims of toughness. Supposed to be way better than regular Ti screws. But, they only have them in 2-56 size. Also, pivot size, does it really make much difference? So here's some questions.

    Would you use 2-56 Ti screws in a hard use framelock? I'm sure they're great for my general use design, but the hard use? Or, should I look for Ti 4-40's?

    Would it be easier to find a counterbore bit for the 4-40 screws possibly? The first folder I made I couldn't find a counterbore for 2-56 as best as I remember.

    Would it make a framelock significantly tougher to have a 0.25" pivot over a 0.125" or 0.187"?

    Pretty much, you guys that make hard use framelocks, what hardware do you recommend?
  2. EdCaffreyMS

    EdCaffreyMS Forum Owner - Moderator

    I think 2-56 are fine. I use 1/8" pivots and 2-56 screws, and being the worst abuser of my own knives, I've been carrying/using a large framelock for 3 years now, with no dis-functions or problems. Seems that most use 3/16" pivots on "heavy duty" folders, but personally I've never seen the need.... in the short length that's between scales/liners, it would take a sledge hammer blow to tweak a 1/8" pivot.

    That being said, the fad these days in folders is "bigger is better" when it comes to hardware. Last year at the Blade Show I handled some Ti framelocks that used 6-32 screws, and 5/16" pivots..... I had to literally laugh at them.... even in Ti they needed a set of wheels... they were so heavy, and the 7/16" pivot screw heads were just comical. To me the knives looked like some kid had gotten loose with a mismatched set of legos! :) I guess "different strokes"...... but I think there's a fine line between "heavy duty" and just plain dumb. :)
  3. Self Made Knives

    Self Made Knives Well-Known Member

    Yeah, Ed, I guess that's why I was asking. Seems like a lot of guys are building with bigger hardware to me too. I was kind of wanting Ti screws so I could anodize them and I thought 2-56 would probably be ok. Just keep seeing the bigger stuff and started thinking maybe those guys new better. I used a 1/8" pivot on both my friction folder and my liner lock and they seem fine, although the hardest use they ever see is opening a box. I wonder if part of the popularity of the larger pivots is so there's more real estate on the head of it for engraving or customizing?
  4. EdCaffreyMS

    EdCaffreyMS Forum Owner - Moderator

    That MIGHT apply in some cases, but for the most part, I have to believe it's the "Mall Ninja" attitude of many buyers...... Bigger has got to be better. :) There has been a trend within the "tactical" arena of clients buying/ordering folders, then seeing how much abuse they can take before they fail....then the individual tries to return it to the maker for "repair" or a refund. I know of several makers who've experienced this, including myself. It's pretty easy to spot how the knife was abused, and when I have a situation like that, I tell the client so, and tell them that they have two choices.... the knife is either theirs "as is", or they can pay my hourly shop repair rate for me to fix it.
  5. Self Made Knives

    Self Made Knives Well-Known Member

    Ok, one more strength question if I may. I've been looking online for folder strength tests and found a few framelocks being pushed to failure. Seems that the milled lock bar relief is the weak point in the design, which leads me to the question. Does putting the pocket on the outside of the frame make it stronger? I had thought maybe it was just cosmetic. Now, I'm wondering if putting the pocket on the outside, keeps the spring portion more in line with the lock face, thereby, making it a little stiffer against buckling. Or does it even matter?
  6. EdCaffreyMS

    EdCaffreyMS Forum Owner - Moderator

    In my experience the answer is no. I've experimented with each (relief on the inside and the outside). In general in order to achieve a good "lock up" and still be able to comfortably disengage the lock by hand, the lock relief is going to have to .060" or less. The biggest issue with having the lock relief on the inside is that IF you contour the handles any at all. It will result in a "cut out" showing up if the relief is cut on the inside. This is another example of what I often speak of.... the "Give-n-Take" we always deal with in knifemaking. :)

    There's a fine line between trying to build a "strong" folder, and easily slipping into the realm of absurd. If someone is doing something to a framelock that would cause a .050" web/relief to deform/fail, there's no question, they are abusing it. The reason we got ourselves into a spot where folders are being abused to see where they will fail, is because of Makers who do the "overbuild" thing, in hopes of gaining some type of sales advantage, when all that's really been done is encouraging people to abuse knives.
    Be careful before you go down the path of "overbuilding" a folder, then advertising it as such. It will often backfire into people buying a folder from you, pushing it until they find the failure point, and when it does fail, they will want a refund, or expect you to repair it for free. As I mentioned previously, it happens more then most realize, and I know a lot of folder makers who wish they'd not gone down that path. My advice is..... if you want to create an "overbuilt" folder design, simple do it, and don't make any claims or advertise anything about how overbuilt it is...... if you do, then don't be surprised when a client wants a failed knife replaced or repaired for free.
  7. Self Made Knives

    Self Made Knives Well-Known Member

    Good advice, thanks. I don't think I'd say I'm trying to over-build, just want to be sure I don't put any obvious weak points in my design. Like the relief for example, it's got to be there regardless, so if it's stronger on one side or the other, I want take advantage of it. I hadn't thought about the effects of chamfering or countouring though, glad I asked before I found out the hard way!
  8. BossDog

    BossDog & Owner

    The vast majority of frame locks I see use a 3/16" pivot. When 1/8" and 1/4" sizes are used, it seems to depend on the size of the knife. Keep in mind that a 3/16" (outer diameter) pivot can use several different size internal threads as can a 1/4" pivot. Internal thread pitch can matter. A 3/16" pivot can be tapped in #2, #4 and #6 size. This usually means 2-56, 4-40 and 6-40 or 6-64. The finer the thread pitches 56 and 64 allows you more precision to adjust friction tension than say a 4-40 screw. You wouldn't think a 56 and 64 pitch thread would be a big difference in adjusting tension but it's noticeable.

    2-56 screws are maybe 90% of the screw sizes used. Finding a counter bore that fits a typical 2-56 button head is a challenge, especially since button head cap diameters range from .156" to .162" but they are out there. A #2 cap screw counterbore is made for socket cap screw heads which are slightly smaller than a button head cap diameter. This is where CNC milling (or manual milling) on frame locks in thick Ti gives guys an advantage to use end mills for the slightly larger typical button head screw diameters.

    4-40 screws often get used on larger "oversized" frame locks. It's rare to see 1-72 screws on anything and 0-80 screws only seem to get used on small dressy folders.
  9. Self Made Knives

    Self Made Knives Well-Known Member

    Thanks Boss. After talking to Ed, and now you, I will stick to 2-56 screws and I think I'll go 1/8" pivot for the lighter duty model and 3/16" for the hard use version. Now time to get out the wallet! :)
  10. EdCaffreyMS

    EdCaffreyMS Forum Owner - Moderator

    :) That's always the tough part when it comes to folders! I remember when I started making them.... I got a little 3"x5" padded envelope in the mail with folder "stuff" in it..... over $300! UGH!!!
  11. Sleestack

    Sleestack Well-Known Member

    Haha. Too true.

    These came in the mail today...$120!! [​IMG]

    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
  12. EdCaffreyMS

    EdCaffreyMS Forum Owner - Moderator

    Looks like TiConnector stuff? If so, it's pricey, but it's so well worth it! Steve is one of my best pals, and it took him nearly two years to get me to try his hardware.....but once I did, I realized just how much grief I was putting myself through with the "import" stuff. With the cheaper import folder parts, I always had to struggle with each knife, tweaking this or that to make everything work right. When I used/use Steve's hardware, for a lack of a better way to say it, things just "fall together", each and every time. Now I call him my "pusher" friend.....he's got me hooked! :)
  13. J. Doyle

    J. Doyle Dealer - Purveyor

    On the size of pins and thread pitches of screws.....

    The mindset that is rampant these days about what is necessary on a knife, much less a folding knife, is really mind blowing. The vast majority of people are COMPLETELY UNEDUCATED on the subject....and I don't mean that as an insult...they're not stupid....just uneducated about the facts.

    They take someone's word who took someone else's word who took another person's word who just made assumptions about what is 'needed' or necessary and it just spiraled out of control.

    If some of the makers would actually do REAL in shop testing, first hand, they would be AMAZED at how strong some of these small pins and screws are. Do you know how extremely difficult it is to break a 3/32" stop pin? Or break an 1/8" pivot pin? Or how much force it actually requires to pull a 2-56 screw out of a few tiny threads of contact? Out of WOOD no less!!?? I DO......because I tested all that stuff for myself. I was surprised and I knew all that stuff would be fine before I tested.

    I'll safely go out on a limb and say that ANYTHING you do with a folder that would cause an 1/8" pivot to fail, break a 3/32" stop pin, or pull a 2-56 screw out of it's threads would definitely be considered major abuse and would likely damage the blade and/or lock LONG before any of the other stuff happened.

    But I'll qualify those remarks with this: I try to give the uneducated masses what they want. It's hard to sell a folder without some of that heavy duty hardware. But I keep it within reason. I have my limits on stuff I simply won't do.
  14. Smallshop

    Smallshop KNIFE MAKER

    "They take someone's word who took someone else's word who took another person's word who just made assumptions about what is 'needed' or necessary and it just spiraled out of control."

    VERY well said. I call this the "parrot syndrome" uncontested information being parroted until it is common "truth"...had a young guy explain about a "blood groove" recently.....But this problem is in every trade and probably endemic to the human race....

    This is one reason I try to test EVERYTHING...and when I find truthful experts in a field I am interested in I "stick close" have much less "testing" of knowledge around these type of folk....

    Just my $.02.

    On mechanical overkill:
    Look at the forces being generated in a combustion engine....then look at the relatively tiny size of the fasteners holding that continuous explosion together....they do not "overkill"...they properly engineer
  15. Sleestack

    Sleestack Well-Known Member

    Yes. Good eye. All of it is from TiConnector.

    Being new I'm trying different stuff and before I even opened the little bags I could tell that this is quality hardware. I could immediately see the finish is better than anything else I have.

    When I took the pivots out and fumbled them around a bit, it was obvious that these were of a higher standard.

    Not that the other stuff is bad necessarily but these are definitely better. More expensive but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

    Before I made a knife I was a lifelong knife user and later a knife collector. I have always carried a knife and always used them hard.

    I have had knives fail on me BUT that was long before I started carrying decent quality knives. Mostly cheap (sub $25) garbage. But even then the pivot wasn't the point of failure.

    It was usually because of crummy materials or engineering. The screws would strip out of the handle or the blade would break or the lock would slide around on the lock face and close unexpectedly. The kind of problems you get when you use the absolute bottom of the barrel materials and nonexistent quality control.

    I don't think anybody here is making $25 knives. :1:

    As a collector I've seen the trend of bigger and chunkyer knives. I even bought one. I quickly decided it was not for me. I want a pocket knife not a pocket filler.
  16. Self Made Knives

    Self Made Knives Well-Known Member

    New question, phosphor bronze washers. Why are there so many thickness options? I guess I can't see why you would prefer a 0.020" gap when you could have a 0.005" gap. Am I missing something here?
  17. J. Doyle

    J. Doyle Dealer - Purveyor

    .005 is a pretty small gap too. Everything better be exactly right or the blade will rub somewhere. The blade would need to be PERFECTLY centered and the pivot tension exactly right.

    .010" is a pretty nice dimension for washers IMO. It's what I use most often.

    Rember too, unless you're making a framelock, you need to think about how much of your detent ball is going to stick out of your liner, which means you need to think about what kind of action the detent will have, which means you need to think about your washer thickness, which means you need to think about how much clearance you'll need for your lockbar to not mash against your scales when the blade is closed, which will throw off your blade center, which could bring you back to full circle at the begging of my comment. :D ;)

    Messing with one TINY detail on a folder could change, and at least makes you think about, 10 other things.

    The thinner your washers are, the more you'll have to relieve the backside of your lockbar AND/OR mess with the depth of your detent ball in order to allow proper clearance.........unless it's a framelock.
  18. Self Made Knives

    Self Made Knives Well-Known Member

    Thanks John, it's coming back to me now. I made one liner lock when I first started, my 4th knife actually. I remember know discovering the lock bar hit the bolsters and I had to go back and put a relief under there. Amazing, I'd forgotten all about that. I'm working on a framelock design now, so that's what I had on my brain. Not really an issue so much with this one. Dumb question looking back now! :)

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