Monday, March 25, 2013

New wood batch

A few years ago my colleague tried a course to become a forest guard. He passed, but changed his mind on the last minute and stayed with his old job. One part of the course was memorising different types of wood...local and indigenous... He received a small cardboard box with small pieces of wood, just big enough to make 4 scales for a 91mm Victorinox... Do you see where this is going? :) He told me about this box a week ago and after a big smile and explanation why he should give it to me, I received 15 different pieces of quality wood that I can use... Some of the pieces, like the pinewood, isn't strong enough, but the rest looks stunning! I can't wait to start...

Friday, March 22, 2013

Custom scaled Swisschamp

This Swisschamp had the standard red cellidor scales. The previous owner had his name engraved in the front scale and I wanted to change the scales with custom ones. I ordered gold leaf and wanted to combine this on a Cambara hardwood scale. Gold leaf was something new for me and I must admit that I underestimated this process. My guess was that I could glue this sheet of gold on the engravement I made.... Man, what a mistake... It took me 10-15 tries to come close to what it should be. I'm not there yet, but for a first time... it looks ok. :) I used 24 ct gold leaf inside the swiss cross engravement and made an outline with black acrylic paint. I finished with 3 layers of yacht varnish... I love the fact that this could be done so much easier, but I chose for the hard way, and this gives it a bit more character... This is my opinion... I can assume that some people hate the design or finish of the cross, but I'm proud of what I've achieved...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Victorinox Electronics (3) : Electronic scales and LED "lite"

I'm a real gadget-freak. Everything from an Ipod to robotics have an addictive effect on me. When I first heard of the small electronics, integrated in my beloved knives, I went a bit over-excited... ;) First off... The LED...It isn't the most bright one, but when you need a flashlight and you just can't find one, this is probably the next best thing! It's sufficient to  illuminate small surfaces on a distance of max a meter. Last year, during my visit at the Victorinox museum in Brunnen, I saw the flashlight-integration prototype and I laughed... They tried to slide a small AAA Maglite with lightbulb, inside a wide Spartan. It just looked funny. If you look at the evolution from bulb to LED, it was obvious that Victorinox used this technology in their knives. The design looks incredible. Thin,small, yet powerful enough to help in the smaller tasks. It uses two CR1225 Li-Ion batterys and has one flaw.. It isn't waterproof.... The electronic scales are perfect, a great example of Swiss ingenuity. One button, disguised as the Victorinox shield, scrolls, selects, resets and even activates all the integrated features. Some models have the clock in combination with the timer, alarm clock and temperature sensor. Others like the Voyager have the full package... The clock, altimeter, barometer, alarm clock, alarm, timer and temperature sensor. Even with this impressive list of features, Victorinox still managed to add an illumination feature and a loud alarm sound. Victorinox, welcome in the Electronic era, you've earned your place!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Gold Alox Wilderness

This limited run of 50 pcs worldwide is a 93mm model with woodsaw, pruning blade and main blade. The color isn't what I expected. It's not the lighter shade gold like the alox Elektrician solo, but more a darker, beige-coloured gold. I like the tool-setup, especially the pruning blade. This blade is extremely usefull in a survival situation and in combination with the woodsaw this one might be actually used, altough I have my doubts. ;) It was for sale for a very long time at the Felinevet shop and that's unusual for a limited run of 50pcs. My guess is that the color held some people back from buying it...  Hopefully the next one is in blue or black. Two colors I love to add to my Alox collection.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Custom display boxes

I did some final adjustments on the knives and made a second box for the red copper one. It took me a lot of effort to get the inlay right, but it was worth the trouble. I got a bit carried away and even made a small booklet with some basic info. Made the wife laugh when she saw that I tried to "copy" a real Victorinox limited edition, but hey... what can I say... It's a hobby... out of control... ;)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

DIY blade replacement

Here's a nice step by step guide to show you how to change a broken blade in a way that's very similar to how Victorinox assembles the knives.I already discussed assembling a custom knife, but with screws instead of the original brass pins. This time I use the brass pins. This question was asked a few months ago by one of the visitors here and I made some pictures while doing a repair on one of the Spartans I received yesterday. The main blade and small blade had a broken tip. 

UPDATE : Victorinox gives a lifetime warranty, but normally only for the first owner, who actually bought the knife. Therefor they ask a POP (Proof Of Purchase) when you send in the knife. Some add the box, as they don't have the ticket anymore. If you bought a knife secondhand or received it as a gift from a company (Ad-knife) or just can't wait till Victorinox fixes it for you, you could try this tutorial! You should always try to send it to Victorinox if possible! They keep the knife intact!

Taking off the scales is discussed on another topic and once done you gain access to the rivets wich we're going te reuse afterwards...

Use a small clamp to secure the knife. This helps when you center drill the rivets. These rivet-heads are unique and very hard to find. Try to reuse them! I use a paper towel to keep the knife's side from scratching up.

Center-drilling the small rivets can be done by a 2mm drill for the small rivets and a 2,5mm drill for the larger ones. Use a center-point to keep the drill from "running".

Once drilled deep enough (till you reach the liner) , the heads pop loose and you can start disassembling the knife...

This is the ideal moment to clean all the tools and liners. Here are the damaged blades placed next to the donor-parts. Keep in mind that the donor-blades are used parts. Small scratches can be removed...

Start with peening the pins on one side and lock the rivet-heads in place. Insert the pins in the liner and use a piece of tape to keep 'm from falling out. Now you can start assembling layer by layer. Maybe a smart thing to do before you start disassembling is making a layout so you know afterwards how to put it back together. For me it's a habbit, but my first one was a disaster! ;)

Once the knife's assembled, you need to grind away any excess brass in the rivet-heads. I use some glue to secure the rivets. Not how it should be done, but it assures you that the rivets hold, even when the knife endures some rougher work. 

Put the scales back on. If everything went as described, the scales should snap on and your knife should look as new! 

New knife lot

Went to Mme Canif yesterday to buy some donor-knives, but ended up with some real beauties... She has the most beautiful advertising-Vics for sale and I ended up with some nice ones. I found a Vagabond (discontinued 58mm), a few spartans with nice ad-scales, a swisschamp to use for a custom scale swap, a Voyager and a Spartan lite (I wanted to use these two as a donor knife, but just can't do it. They're in near new state and it would be a shame to wreck 'm) and two others to actually use as a donor knife. The pouch was a nice addition, since I don't own any... 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Denmark Alox Bantam

A few weeks ago I read a topic on the site about a Danish knifeshop. Everyone was surprised to see that the shop had some exclusive Vics. They had dark-green and black Bantams, Cadets and Classics, all with the red shield. They looked gorgeous and pretty soon the shop was whelmed with orders from all over the world. I couldn't resist and ordered the green Bantam. Shipping costed me half the value of the knife, but it was worth it! The reason they have these knives is that Denmark has a law against larger sized pocketknives (UPDATE: They have a limited pocket knife size of 91mm. That's why they can't import the alox series of 93mm and the 111mm-line). Therefor Denmark can't import the 111mm line and misses out a lot of models. Victorinox made on demand of Danish shops a special Alox line... Thank God they did! ;) They all come in the classic cardboard box, but with a nice print on top. Here's a link to the shop's Alox division : THE GOODSTUFF SHOP