Whew, this was quite the project. I had a scrap of Alabama Damascus that was too short for a fixed blade knife. My thought was to turn it into a simple folding knife. I would name it “Lil’ Scrappy.” Sounded easy. It was not.
A friction folder has no locking mechanism. The blade is held by, well, friction in any position. When opened, the knife cannot close because your thumb is atop the spine of the blade. The blade rides on a pivot and stops at both ends of its rotation viaa stop pin.
On paper, I drew up some plans based upon what little steel would make up the blade. Next, I mocked up the blade and handle in cardboard. A pushpin served as the pivot. I ground out Lil Scrappy and a second as-yet unnamed blank.
There was some black G-10 in my handle material bin. After a few agonizing sessions on Knifekits.com to choose a pivot, pivot bushings, hardened stop pin, screws, and a tap for the screws, I ordered two of everything, since I figured I would mess something up along the way to my first folder.
Youtube has some videos of guys making friction folders, so I watched a few. In the end, you have to start somewhere, so I began making a jig to work out the fitting of the pivot and stop pin in relation to the blade.
This was much more difficult than making a fixed blade–and I was making the easiest of pocket knives. I goofed up the first set of handle scales, but they came in handy as stand-ins for certain operations. I made a backspacer of blue G-10, hmmm, another scrap of material. The spacer was held in place by four tiny screws that I thought would be larger.
After getting the handles drilled, tapped, countersunk, chamfered, and sanded to 1500 grit, I moved to the blade. It got a flat grind resembling a scandi, but there would be a secondary bevel. Ploop, into the ferric chloride.
For this blade, I left the black oxides on and gave it several coats of matte clear spray paint for a different look than my previous efforts. I thought it looked pretty cool against the black G-10.
Today, I finished final assembly. Because it has no locking mechanism, it will need a sheath for carry. I have the pivot tightened down so the blade moves with only a small amount of effort, but I would not trust it for pocket carry by its lonesome.
This was a fun build that took me months at my hobbyist pace. Hope you enjoyed getting a look at Lil’ Scrappy.