I love that feeling that comes with the start of every new knife project. This new adventure that I'm about to embark on brings with it all of those same feelings as well as some trepidation. I'm about to try something that I've never done before. I'm about to make a button lock automatic knife. I've never made a button lock, and I've never made an automatic. I'm not really sure that I can actually pull this off, but I'm going to give it my best. I have a well-thought-out plan and design, I have all the required tools, and most importantly, I have a will to succeed. I'm sure there will be some bumps and curves in the road ahead, but I'm ready for the challenge. Let's get this show on the road.
We start off this build just like any other, with the gathering of the raw materials. I have CPM154 for the blade, titanium for the liners, and 416 for the front bolsters and the spacer. I'm not worried at this point about handle scales and rear bolsters. I'll tackle that if I can get the mechanics of the auto mechanisms worked out. No use spending time on something that might be a failure. You might recognize this design as my Pride design. It actually lent itself to this type of a project really well.
The parts have been roughed out on the band saw and are ready for some shaping. The blade and spacer will get precision ground to the exact thicknesses that I determined with the design.
Here are the parts after being profiled and surface ground. I have also drilled and reamed the pivot in the blade and liners in preparations of spotting the button lock holes.
I didn't get a picture of it, but I spot drilled the button lock holes through the liners and into the blade tang. These holes will be enlarged in order to accept the button lock.
Here's the blade with the button holes drilled.
And the blade again with the tang shaped to the final profile.
Most of my time in the shop was spent trying to figure out the proper steps to follow to get the build order correct and everything in precise alignment. Here is the left front bolster being drilled and counter sunk in order to accept the button lock. I was really concentrating on not making any epic mistakes, so I missed taking a few pics. I did also manage to get the bolsters attached to the liners so I could keep things aligned properly.
I'm in the middle of some big home improvement projects at the moment, so my shop time is limited. I hope to be able to squeeze in a few more hours next weekend. I'd like to get the bolsters and liners drilled and maybe even the button lock turned on the lathe by next week. I also need to cut the hole for the spring in the blade, liner, and bolster. I'm really anxious to get the progress far enough along to see if this is going to actually work. Check back next week and we'll see how much further we can get.
- Brandant Robinson