• Linerlock Tutorial

    I thought Iíd do a pictorial of a linerlock Iím making, might be useful to some, so here we go:

    Here are the basic parts, roughly cut out. Theyíre all a little oversized so I can grind them all down together for a tight fit.


    Step 1 is drilling all the holes in one of the liners; Iím using UNF-080 screw so I drill with a 1.25mm drillbit:


    Step 2 is transferring those holes into the opposite liner. I clamp them together with a piece of G10 underneath for rigidity and also something for the drill to pop out the titanium into, that way I wonít drill into my clamps.



    Step 3 is enlarging the holes in one scale to allow the screws to pass though easily, I used a 1.5mm drillbit here. I also countersunk the holes to accommodate the heads of the screws.


    Now you can tap the liner with the smaller holes. This is a brilliant tapping jig that keeps everything absolutely perpendicular and stable, UNF-080 taps break very easily, this tool makes them last for ages. Only tap the holes you need for the next step (pivot and backstrap holes in this case) you'll need to pass a drillbit through the bolster and handle material holes later and if they were tapped you might ruin the threads.



    Now that the holes are tapped, I screw the two liners together and sand them down so they match.



    Next I grind a bevel on the titanium bolsters and a matching angle on the micarta. This creates a dovetail which helps keep the handle material down and looks great when you radius the handle later on. I set the rest on my disc sander to 45 degrees and grind the parts to a blade edge. I step the grits up to 600 so the parts fit tightly.



    Here are the dovetailed parts; you can see how theyíll fit.


    Now that the parts are dovetailed, I use a clamp to set where the bolster will end, the metal faces are parallel so both sides will be the same and give a super accurate look. Dead simple to make, took me about half an hour but itís worth its weight in gold



    I then clamp one of the bolsters to the liner with the blade edge of the dovetail pressed right up against it.


    Drill through the screw holes. I plan to have a hidden pivot pin on this knife so I only drill a short way into the titanium through the pivot hole. Once you drill one side, flip it over and do the other bolster.


    Here are the bolsters, you can see the half depth hole in line with the pivot, Iíll size this up later to accommodate the pivot head.


    I then tap the bolster screw holes and screw the bolsters onto the liners. Youíre now ready to drill the handle material.


    I push the micarta dovetail into the angle under the bolster and clamp it in place. Make sure the parts are clean, you donít want some stray grit to cause a gap between the parts. Drill through just like the bolsters.


    I then counterbore the holes to fit the screw heads.


    Screw the handle material down tightly and check fit. If youíre happy you can flatten the materials down to the same level. I also grind the protruding screws flush with each liner.


    I then screw the liners together, grind the screws flush again and attach the bolsters and micarta again. Now itís all one piece you can grind all the way around the profile to make everything match. If all goes well you should end up with tight a fitting dovetail thatís pretty easy on the eye



    Next I enlarged the hole to accommodate the pivot head, I did this by sharpening a drillbit the same size as the pivot head to a flat angle.


    Hereís how it fits Ė you want it to drop just under the surface of the bolster material.


    Now that thereís space for the pivot, you can radius the handle material. Hereís the rough shape, you can see how the dovetail creates a curved join between the bolster and the micarta.


    Both sides domed and polished up to 1200 grit.


    Next I cut the lock. I covered this in how I make my framelocks but Iíll go over it here to be concise.
    I drill two holes at locations where I want the long cut to start and end. I like using holes as when you join up the two cuts that free the lock, it just comes out neater. I scribe two lines between the holes as a guide so I can line up the cutting disc. I clamp the lock-side liner in my drill vice and use a Dremmel cut-off wheel (0.8mm thick), spinning at full speed to cut through the titanium.



    Here you can see the long cut, it causes a pretty sharp burr on the opposite side so be careful.


    Do the short cut the same way.

    Here Iím drilling the hole that I will later press the ball into. I drill using a 1.5mm drillbit and press fit a 1.6mm ball into the hole, the tight fit keeps the ball in place. You want to drill all the way through, you'll need do do this so you can drill into the blade, through the lock so that the ball detent works correctly.


    Here are the parts so far.


    Here Iíve stuck the spacer material onto one of the liners (the one with the countersunk holes)


    Drill through the spacer material


    Assemble! Next step is to sand those protruding screws down.


    Once theyíre flush you can attach the handle materials again and sand everything down. Looking good so far, I want to blast the bolsters later on to contrast the polished micarta.


    Spine shot


    Here you can see the lock cut, nice and thin


    The liners I'm using are 1.2mm thick.

    On a linerlock the bolster covers the hole anyway so hiding it isn't vital.
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