Making The Metal Pocket Knife Fun & Interesting

The basic procedures for making this version are the same as the wooden pocket knife, except the parts are metal and need to be worked with metal cutting tools. I did everything with hand tools (angle grinder, files, coping saw to cut the aluminum and a hand drill), but if you have access to more sophisticated machines, they would greatly speed up the time it takes.
Here’s the knife with all of the parts assembled to check the fit:

checking the fit

Two tricky areas in the build are the spring for the spine lock and peening the pins that hold the handle scales on. I used razor blades as shims before peening to leave enough space for the blade and spine lock to rotate freely:

the steel spring
razor blade shims

The spring was cut from the saw blade and didn’t require any special treatment, other than to smooth it. It has just the right springiness to push on the spine lock.

All of the shaping done and some sanding on the handle scales makes it look a lot better. I went further and polished the handle on the buffing wheel, but that’s not a finish that will last on the soft aluminum. Better to go with this matte finish, which is easy to do on the random orbit sander:

the matte finish

The glamour shots. I took the knife out and put it on top of a chunk of maple. It was snowing at the time, so that added to the effect (click images to view larger):

the finished knife
the finished knife

I made this video showing the build from beginning to end:

I’ve started a forum thread dedicated to this wooden folding knife project. You can post pictures of yours, ask questions and get more details to help when making your own.