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Pieter-Paul Derks

Friction folder KITH

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It seems like it is about time to start my folder for this kith.


I initially wanted to do one of those cool slipjoints, but after some testing and broken drill bits I decided to stick to a friction folder, that will be hard enough for me.

I have been working on a prototype, and it is now good enough to show here.

This one is 1095 with copper scales, and I´ve done some carving on the handle.

The hinge pin is steel, and the rest of the pins are copper, that didn’t blend in as nicely as I wanted.


I’m thinking of going for brass pins on the “real’’ version, brass might also be a bit more durable.


The knotwork is hand (hammer and chisel) engraved, something I really need to practise more.

I think I will keep this one for myself, and I took the opportunity to test some belt finishes, I just got some of the trizact gator belts and I don´t know how I lived so long without them.

I did some antiquing on the copper, this makes the engraving stand out, and also just adds some character, I think this little knife will look a lot better after some months in my pocket.

The actual kith knife will be Damascus, as a stock removal monosteel blade just doesn´t compare to those awesome slipjoints people are building.

So here Is a little teaser of how my Kith will look:IMG_20190707_142647.jpgIMG_20190707_142708.jpg

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NIce :)  I admire you people with the artistic talent necessary to do the carving. 

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I think that carving looks great. Way better than the misshapen things I have done anyway. I like that Warncliff style blade too. Extremely useful in the garden.

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Thanks guys!

A big part of my "artistic" carving is stealing designs from our viking forefathers, anyone can learn to do it.

The hardest thing for me is sharpening the gravers.

Joshua: I think the warncliffe is my favourite for edc, you get a nice sharp point for cutting boxes, garden stuff and picking out splinters.(the things I use a knife most for.)

Warncliffe blades also look non-threatening, something that is becoming more important in western Europe where I live.

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Alright with the knife done, I think the time has come to post some WIP pictures :)

I actually made two similar knives because I want to have one extra to sell and making two is almost as fast as making one. The carving is different because making two exactly the same is boring in my opinion.

The person who draws my name will get to choose his favourite.


I started by making a layout file in autocad, this made it a lot easier to get the pin placement right. Normally I design all my stuff freehand, but here some extra accuracy was beneficial.

For the blades I made a san-mai (maybe ‘’go-mai’’because of the five layers?) billet  with a 1095 core, 15n20 strips on either side and wrought iron sides. The wrought came from the wall anchors from a early 19th century farm.

After surface grinding the steel I cut the blades and backspacers from this material. I chose not forge closer to shape because it is a lot easier, but also because the pattern looks better when ground deeply. They were heat treated and ground normally. Grinding such small blades was a lot more difficult as I expected, I burned my fingertips a lot.

After the steel parts were done the real work was about to begin.

The copper needed to be flattened, and because copper doesn’t stick to my surface grinder magnet it had to be done with sandpaper on a granite plate. I think this was the most time consuming part of the whole build.

The flat copper gets super glued together and holes are drilled. I made some brass washers for the pivot  and decorated them with a tiny hammer. I assembled the handle without the blade and shaped and polished it, after buffing most of the copper pins disappeared. The blade is etched and the pivot pin riveted.



With everything assembled I could move on to the best part: engraving the handles.

I mount the knife in pine rosin pitch and tap away with a tiny hammer and homemade engravers.

After some testing of different ways to layout the design I eventually settled on using regular old whiteout, it sticks really good to metal, you can draw on it directly with a pencil and even erase pencil lines when careful. So now I could freehand the knotwork with pencil and just follow the lines with chisel.


After carving and removing of very sticky pitch I patinated the handles with liver of sulphur. And Most of the patina rubbed from the high spots. With handling these knives are only getting prettier each day. Even scratches add to the antique look.

I just got a new camera, so I made some high resolution pictures for you all to enjoy.


Thanks for watching

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