Monday, February 25, 2013

Promotional knives

Some collect these knives, but for me it's more a nice extra when I buy multiple knives at once. A lot of them look real nice, but sometimes they're Elinox (enonomy-series) knives without the tweezers and toothpick. Often it's a real surprise to see what companies invest in a valuable promo-item...One caught my attention... the Crypto AG. This Swiss company works under contract with the NSA and provides (for as far as I could find) secured software and network access, even for the army. The Swiss companies lead, but that's no surprise. A Victorinox knife for them is a national pride and a company-symbol in one... The larger American companies often use the 58mm model (for example- Apple - Google - Microsoft). It surprised me to see that even Belgian companies invest in a "pricy" promotional item like a 91mm. This is a small selection of my promotional stockpile...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Alox Electrician plus marlinspike

Happy birthday to meeeee...This Electrician plus Marlinspike limited edition was the present I received today from my wife. She ordered it at the Felinevet shop. It's a limited edition with only 50 pieces made worldwide and the electrician blade's numbered 43/50. Not much to say about this knife, but a nice feature is the lightning-symbol on the back and the rare Marlinspike. This knife looks real nice, has all the tools you would need in my line of work, but misses a more attractive color. The bright orange is a real dirt-magnet.... No, I'm not gonna use it.... ;) It's a standard 93mm design with marlinspike, main blade, electrician blade, caplifter and woodsaw. A nice addition to my collection! Thanks schatteke.....

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Victorinox Mod display cabinet

The cabinet was a real bargain (5,95 Euro), but didn't had any lighting, so after a few minutes I installed small LED strips on each level of the cabinet. I used a soldering iron to burn the Victorinox logo in the door. All my mods are now nicely displayed in a well illuminated cabinet...

Custom aluminum scales

Building your own scales in wood or plastic isn't the most difficult thing to do, but when it comes to metal scales it becomes hard labour and requires a lot of patience... I used a piece of hardened aluminum of 4mm thickness. Drawing the outlines is perhaps the easiest part, because soon after, I started sanding and slicing (with the Dremel-tool) the larger pieces away. Once you reach the outlines you need to carefully start grinding with the metal-file till you have a nice straight edge. I wanted a clear mirror finish and started sanding the scales with a 150 grid paper and ended with a 600 grid paper. Afterwards I used steelwool to even the surface up. To get the mirror finish you can use a polishing tool (Dremel) or a liquid polishing paste and cloth. I used them both, just to be sure... The result is amazing! It has the same bright shine as silver. This is a very labour intensive job, but extremely rewarding when you reach the end! You can always grind your name or some drawing in the aluminum, but I went for the "less is more" design....

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Build your own Vic

Finally... I was able to build up a stockpile of used Vic parts and make a brand new one of it. It wasn't easy and you need patience, but believe me.... It was worth every minute! The first obstacle you'll bump against are the Victorinox rivets. Maybe you can buy them brand new or others that look alike, but I looked for an easier approach. I changed them with small screws of 2,50 mm. They're hard to find because most shops start with M3. The only change you need to do, in order to keep it simple, is drilling the two center holes in a slightly larger diameter of 2,50 mm. You can use screws of 2,50 mm and 2,25mm, but in my opinion it's far to difficult to obtain them. I changed everything to 2,50mm. When you start, you need to place the first spacer (the one with the corkscrew opening) and start building the construction you want... Start with the spring, back-tool and then the two/one tool(s) on the sides. 

UPDATE 09/2013 : My first mods were constructed with screws, as you can see, but I changed to the original rivets, which in my opinion are far more secure and give the knife that genuine feel and look. If you try to make an exposed rivet design, you'll have to change to the brass rivets. Keep that in mind! 

The scales are another story... You can always buy brand new ones and glue them on, but where's the fun with that? Buy some small pieces of tropical wood and  start cutting them in the same shape as the outer spacers.I use Brazilian Cambarawood. It's a tropical hardwood with a natural dark shade, but without the nice lines you would have with oak or other local wood... I clamp the outer spacers on the rectangular wooden plates and start from there. I use a Dremel-tool and follow the spacer shape with a small sanding tool on the Dremel. After the scales have the same shape as the spacers, you can use the same tool to make a nice edge. You can decorate the scales with a soldering iron or a small grinder. I kept it simple, after some failures... There are so many ways to build the scales. The easiest way is to use the right tools, and in my case it was a Dremel...

This "lucite design" is an idea from Michael M. Young, or better said an idea I stole from his book. It gives you a nice idea how the knife actually works. It was very hard to manipulate the lucite without scratching it, but everything turned out fine, as you can see...

...less is more...

Custom knife with my initials...

Here are the failures... The checkered design is a possible "next one", but the right one was an attempt to clone the Vic logo... BAD IDEA!

Custom job for my father in law.... Leon...

Back to basics... Large blade, small blade and reamer. The lanyard is made of 550 paracord strains in the shape of a square knot. The scales are made, as usual, from Brazilian Cambarawood.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Michel Jordi Spartan

This is one over the top knife with a rather old scale design. The Edelweiss print is used over and over again and doesn't give the knife the credit it deserves. The corkscrew, keychain and scale logo are gold plated. The name "Michel Jordi" is laser-etched in the main blade and stamped in the main logo on the scale. The scales are dented and the main blade was surface scratched, but I was able to clean it up... Michel Jordi was born in 1948 at Canton de Souleure, but lives and works in Nyon. He's a Swiss watchmaker and became famous with the watch "CLIP" in 1986 and is known for his folklore designs. These knives are made in 1995/96 and came in red, blue, green and black. It was designed exclusively for Michel Jordi and all the tools were manufactured in Ibach except for the scale emblem and edelweiss design.They come normally with a nice design leather sheath. The sheath contains the same Edelweiss print as on the scales. A nice addition to my collection... There was a small amount released with a solid gold corkscrew. Unfortunately this one hasn't the solid gold one. More info follows... UPDATE : A few days ago (30/10/2013) I saw the red one in the factory shop in Ibach for 35 CHF sold as a liquidation item, so without the leather pouch. 

How to strip a 91mm Victorinox

A few days ago I bought a lot (15pcs) of old "retired" 91mm models going from a Spartan to a Handyman. I wanted to start a spare parts kit and it's always easy to have some spare parts at hand. I tought it would be the perfect time to make some pictures to show you how to disassemble a 91mm knife without destroying the tools, spacers or scales. It takes a bit of practice, but once you've done a few, it goes faster and faster. I want to build a custom 91mm but still need to buy the rivets. Disassembling gives you the chance to see how effective, yet simple this design actually is. Good luck! Questions? Try the reply feature below or my mail address

Here's the lucky bastard! Take out the tweezers and toothpick and leave it a few hours in a small bowl with soap and water. Take out of the water, and start prying the damn thing...

You can use another knife or something thin enough to get between the narrow space next to the scales. If you wiggle it enough you'll hear a "pop" and the scale comes off fairly easy.

The rivets now become visible and these are the ones you're gonna cut off afterwards. 

Once both scales are removed, you need to clamp the knife, preferably in a vice to make a clean cut on the rivets.

I use a Dremel with a small cutting blade attached. This works very accurate and leaves nearly no damage on the outer spacer.

Try to cut sideways. Pretend to make a flathead screw and when you reach the spacer, the rivet head pops of.

Clean the remaining rivet and make sure the spacer comes loose easy... Repeat this with the other two large rivets. The smaller rivet in the middle needs a bit of grinding till you reach the spacer. This one doesn't have the small ring on top.

Now, try to make the same move you did with the scales. The outer spacer needs to come loose now and the first tools show up.

The first tool to disassemble is the corkscrew. After the corkscrew, the backspring will come loose and the two blades will follow instantly.

Right now, you'll have a piece of the rivets sticking out. Just enough to hit it with a hammer. Use something with a hole in it,under the knife, to protect the other spacer when you hit the knife. I use a watch-tool.

Use a plier to pull out the rivets, one by one. Do this without damaging the spacers.

Et voila.... The knife falls apart!

This is the result after 15 times this tutorial... ;)