starters guide to making a folder

Discussion in 'Folding Knives Forum' started by Oze, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. Oze

    Oze Active Member

    Loving being a new member of the forum from down under in Australia.
    Can someone advise the best way to learn how to make a simple folder? Patterns, directions etc. Thank you. Oze
  2. John Wilson

    John Wilson Well-Known Member

    A wonderful book is "Slipjoints My Way" by Don Robinson. It has step by step details and includes patterns and detailed CAD drawings in the back of the book.
    Don Robinson likes this.
  3. Sticks

    Sticks Well-Known Member

    Hello! I haven't made a slipjoint in a while. But here's a link to a WIP I did years ago. If the link doesn't post correctly you should be able to find it by searching my posts. I would add two comments. First, if you don't have a surface grinder make sure you use "precision" or flat-ground steel for the blade and back spring. A2 is good and inexpensive. Second, avoid using 304 stainless. It is not free machining, meaning it is tough to work with and you don't need to make this project anymore difficult than necessary. The 400 series stainless steel sheets are better for the liners, bolsters and pins.

  4. C Craft

    C Craft Well-Known Member

    I've been here a while and I must have missed that one, great WIP. Photobucket wiped out most of the photos on the good ones!!
  5. Sticks

    Sticks Well-Known Member

    Thanks C Craft! I noticed, when I read the WIP that I re-posted, above, I said I would post a picture of liners that were relieved using an electro etcher rather than a mill. But, I didn't.

    Here's some pictures of the next slipjoint that I made using the method described in the WIP. However, here the liners were relieved using the etcher rather than a mill. I used a variable speed grinder, drill press, files and a ton of sandpaper, solder, flux and an electro etcher, the kind used to mark your knife.

    One thing I forgot to mention. Try using 3/32" flat ground for the blade and back spring. The 1/8" that I used for the knife in the WIP is thicker than necessary. I used 3/32 nd A2 for the knife pictured below. Also, as I noted, I never use any thing thicker that 1/8 inch stock for the bolsters and scales.

    [​IMG][/url]Lanny's Clip Parts by Stickles James, on Flickr[/IMG] 23167487554_f6288f4933_z.jpg 23713204721_66fef57ea3_z.jpg 23974258327_47edd391df_z.jpg 23167510284_965f0d707a_z.jpg 23974288577_6ea6c6bbec_z.jpg 27063048809_6ef1047ca1_z.jpg
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
  6. Oze

    Oze Active Member

    Thankyou for your input. I do have some good grinding gear and been making some knives for a couple of years as a hobby. Been badly sucked into this though, it has become a mild obsession now. Do not have a milling machine. Don Robinson's name keeps coming up, so I will try to get hold of some of his works. I will post a photo of a few things I have made. Handles I enjoy and seem to come up ok but I know the blades are still poor. Only made about 12 knives. IMG_1149.JPG IMG_1033 (2).JPG The kitchen knife is made of beefwood and holder from gidgee (Oze type of wattle tree). The two 17 inch monsters below were inspired by all Bill Luckett's works. Seeing what he does really inspired me to kick on a bit. The steel in both is CPM154. The middle handle is brass with gidgee handle. Bottom on is mulga (Oze wattle too). Both woods rank in the top few for hardness. I have a supplier from in the outback who can supply when needed. The black is buff horn. Cheers Oze. IMG_1149.JPG IMG_1033 (2).JPG
  7. Sticks

    Sticks Well-Known Member

    Oze, if you are able to make those fine knives, you should have no trouble making a slipjoint!
  8. Oze

    Oze Active Member

    Cheers Sticks.
  9. Oze

    Oze Active Member

    Sticks. What do you mean when you say 'However, here the liners were relieved using the etcher rather than a mill. .........................and ................ solder, flux and an electro etcher, the kind used to mark your knife'.?
    Are the bolsters pinned to the sides or is it one piece with the handle space ground out?
    Cheers Oze.
  10. Sticks

    Sticks Well-Known Member

    Oze, on both slipjoints that I posted the bolsters are silver soldered on to the liners. After they are soldered and shaped to the liners the scales are added and shaped. After many try fittings, the liners with bolsters and scales (bone, wood micarta, whatever) are hammered on to opposing sides of the spring and blade using pin stock. If I had a mill I would mill out the area where the handle scales attach. If you aren't experienced soldering the bolsters, search this forum for an old, I mean 5-6 year old, post by Bill Vining where he provides instruction. Frankly, the process is a pain in the arse. Stainless steel is hard to solder and you must use the correct flux. Here we use 'Sta-Brite", I think its called. Later, if I got the name wrong I'll correct it. Dinner time now!
  11. Oze

    Oze Active Member

    Thankyou. It sounds like a bit of work goes in to these little sucks.
  12. mike miller

    mike miller KNIFE MAKER

    Look for the book by Steve CulverMS. He goes into great detail about Slipjoints. Unfortunately I have not seen the Robinson book.
  13. Oze

    Oze Active Member

    Will chase it up too. Cheers.
    Just looked at your knives Mike, very nice. Great job.
  14. Dennis Morland

    Dennis Morland KNIFE MAKER

  15. Don Robinson

    Don Robinson Well-Known Member

    As John Wilson mentioned above, my books are available right here from Knife Dogs, or can be ordered from
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017 at 10:10 AM
  16. Justin Presson

    Justin Presson Well-Known Member

    If you are into the more tactical folding knives like frame lock and linerlocks. Google search Bob Terzuola tactical folder he has a very good step by step on making that style knives. I did a step by step work in progress on making a frame lock but unfourtuntely Photobucket screwed that up and all of the photos are no longer avaliable.
  17. Oze

    Oze Active Member

    thankyou for that will follow up on both suggestions.
  18. Oze

    Oze Active Member

    Thankyou Denise, Culver has a great site and generous, useful information.
  19. Craig


  20. Oze

    Oze Active Member

    Thanks Craig, that looks fantastic too. Will have a read through all that.

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