Making a Thin Blue Line Folding Knife

Although I am now mostly an administrator, I still serve as a sworn police officer. As a hobbyist knife maker, I wanted to build myself a Thin Blue Line folding knife to represent my profession.

Contrary to some misguided opinions, the Thin Blue Line refers to those who stand to separate order from chaos. Lawfulness from lawlessness. Good from evil. You know, nice folk from criminals.

After Blade Show 2018 was over, I decided I would attempt to make a liner lock folder. As you have seen, the only other folding knife I had made was a friction folder I named Lil’ Scrappy. So I was dreaming big.

I found a really great tutorial on for making a liner lock. Using that information and other research, I bought some titanium sheet and roughed out the liner material. Difficult chores included cutting the liners precisely, drilling and reaming the holes, setting the detent ball, and getting a perfect 8-degree angle on the tang of the blade where it engages the liner.

I do not have an end mill or any other precision equipment. My two power tools include a 1″ x 42″ grinder and a table top drill press. Everything else is done by hand.

The blade material is Alabama Damascus and the handle scales are blue and black G-10 with a black G-10 backspacer. I used a hardened stop pin and pivot and bronze bushings.

It is a truism that to make a folder you have to put it together and take it apart a hundred times. Yessir. Each operation requires precision fitting and that has to be done very methodically. The only way to check your progress is to get the Torx bits out and assemble and unassemble everything in a seemingly endless cycle.

When finished, I had a clip point folder with the Thin Blue Line symbolism for which I was looking. It has been carried on duty. The journey had definitely pushed the limits of my meager skills and tools. I think I’ll retreat back to making fixed blade knives again. Building this guy taxed my hands, brain, and patience.

by Wilson


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6 Responses to Making a Thin Blue Line Folding Knife

  1. gunlawyerforyou says:

    Looks great. Nice work.


  2. Lew Evans says:

    Very nice. I have some factory knives that don’t look that good.
    I am a big fan of the Thin Blue Line.
    Very nice work.


  3. Richard says:

    It looks awesome. You work is excellent!


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