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Trapper with Curly Koa


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I've had a bit of an obsession with slip joints lately and this is the most recent manifestation. I previously made a single bladed version with each of the blades individually, and then used what I learned when I put them together. Things when pretty well, but the pins ended up a bit close to the edge which had me nervous when I was putting the whole thing together. Also, I think the springs are a bit light. What is the spring temper for O1? I researched it a bit and have been heating it through all the colors and up to a grey with a torch.

 

Blades are 3.5" handle is 4.125". Blades/springs are 0.125" precision ground O1, liners and pins are brass, bolsters are nickel silver, and the handle scales are book-matched curly koa cut from a board I bought from an ukulele maker while on a trip to Hanapepe. No light comes through the seams on the spine, but I think the burr from sanding it flush filled up the small gaps :blink:. Like I said, springs are a bit on the light side, but the walk and talk is good (thinning the spring arms to be ~0.001" thinner than the blade helps), and they have a nice "snappy" close, unlike the softer one of the other three of these I've made.

 

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Thanks for looking!

Aiden CC

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Man that is sweeeeeeeeeeet! It would be almost, too purdy to carry!!

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Man that is sweeeeeeeeeeet! It would be almost, too purdy to carry!!

Thank you very much! I have a 30 day back packing trip coming up, so I think this one will end up getting quite a bit of carrying. If someone else made it I would definitely hesitate to ever use it but for some reason I don't feel the same way with my own knives (I like to think of it as tough love :P).

 

 

I've heard that a blue between peacock and sky are good for springs. Sweet looking knife. That's something that a grandpa would hand down to his grandson!

I went to about "sky" on this one (though maybe more Seattle than Albuquerque). I made the back springs a bit too narrow by messing up my layout pretty early on, so I think that's a factor as well as the heat treat. Also, thanks! This knife was actually inspired by my grandpa's 1975 Case trapper.

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Excellent work, I've always considered multiblade folders and patternwelded swords the pinnacles of bladesmithery.

 

Concerning the spring not being stiff enough, this is more a factor of spring geometry than temper. Geometry determines stiffness, heat-treat determines how long it remains stiff.

Edited by GEzell
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Excellent work, I've always considered multiblade folders and patternwelded swords the pinnacles of bladesmithery.

 

Concerning the spring not being stiff enough, this is more a factor of spring geometry than temper. Geometry determines stiffness, heat-treat determines how long it remains stiff.

Thanks George! I've gotten a bit obsessed with these folders, I already started another one (did the heat treat this morning). That's an interesting way to think about the springs (I suppose an un-tempered Spring would be very stiff but only once). I think I didn't leave enough meat around the middle pin hole on these springs, so I added more for my next one.

 

What George said! And I would like to say THANK YOU for using pins and not those ugly torx screws! That is a sweet knife.

I really like the look of pins over screws too, especially on more traditional patterns. The screws do have advantages though (less fear of splitting, you can disassemble to clean/repair, you can easily get everything nice and tight), but I think they belong more so on the CPM, black micarta, one hand open kind of knife (though Austin Lyles has made some very nice looking folders with torx screws).

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that does look great. I am with Alan. I just love well-done pins. They look so much better and just seem more appropriate.

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I've always loved how Koa wood looks. Very nice looking knife.

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The whole piece strikes a really good balance between rugged and refined. That koa is beautiful. Never worked with it when I was building stringed instruments, but always wanted to. It's funny how much overlap there is between tone woods for luthiers and handle woods for knife makers.

 

My two cents on the spring thing: I had to fabricate a new indexing spring for a cap-and-ball revolver once--I made it out of O1 and tempered to what I would call a cobalt blue. I made it a little thicker than the original and the action is a tad on the stiff side now, but shows no sign of getting softer. It sounds like you're in the right temper range, so I'd bet your suspicion that the back springs are a bit thin hits the nail on the head.

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The whole piece strikes a really good balance between rugged and refined. That koa is beautiful. Never worked with it when I was building stringed instruments, but always wanted to. It's funny how much overlap there is between tone woods for luthiers and handle woods for knife makers.

 

My two cents on the spring thing: I had to fabricate a new indexing spring for a cap-and-ball revolver once--I made it out of O1 and tempered to what I would call a cobalt blue. I made it a little thicker than the original and the action is a tad on the stiff side now, but shows no sign of getting softer. It sounds like you're in the right temper range, so I'd bet your suspicion that the back springs are a bit thin hits the nail on the head.

 

Thanks! I tried to make it look nice but also be something I wouldn't be afraid to use. So far I've been using the spey blade on food to develop a patina and got some good use out of the clip untangling knots/doing some makeshift repairs on snowshoes in Rocky Mountain National Park.

 

I've noticed the crossover between instrument and handle materials as well. Some of the prettiest curly maple I've seen is on violins. I also once saw an ukulele made from quilted maple shaped to look like a pineapple. The koa was fairly nice to work with. Pretty hard, so the rip cuts took a while, but not chippy at all. Also, it looks porous at first, but it's just different colors in the wood.

 

As far as the backsprings, I think the problem was not enough material around the hole for the middle pin, resulting in that thin part of the spring being part of the section that bends. I started a little folder and paid more attention to that part of the spring:

 

new spring.JPG

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