This is something I got into a while ago because I kinda like the idea of personalizing my knives and I like how certain colors look in the light. It's turned into a hobby. I don't know that there's a deeper meaning to it than that - I try to do things I like :)
There's lots of resources available if you want to learn about dyeing things online, and considerably fewer out there about dyeing knife scales. There's walkthroughs for doing this on the stove, and you can try that if you want. Some of the methods I have seen are... well, dangerous, and not in a good way. Others work but have little room for error. so I ended up experimenting and drawing on background information a bit to come up with a process to do it. I use a microwave! In a lot of ways, it's much easier, and you aren't staining up a metal cookpot, and especially once you get used to it, it's a lot easier to get just the effect you want, no darker or lighter.
The first and arguably most important step is the...
Looking around Drop I see some love and rather more hate for Chinese knives.
It's one of those things where everyone's coming to the table from a slightly different direction and has their own reasons for feeling how they do. Not too many people are neutral on the topic. Sparks fly.
Me? I'm a big white Midwesterner, born in a small-ass flyspeck of a town 20 miles south of the edge of nowhere. I've traveled some, but never to China; I've worked for Chinese businessmen, but only in the US; I don't speak the language beyond ordering food and I have about as many natural connections to the Chinese knife industry as I do to the man in the moon. I grew up seeing the cheapest things stamped 'Made in China' and knowing people who had fought, when they were younger, in the Korean War against Chinese 'volunteers'. (Which most of us learned about watching MASH.)
To us, China was shady, an enemy, a punchline, a place where cheap BS got made, and if you would have asked me...
How it started: a FRN Dragonfly 2 with British Racing Green scales and ZDP-189 steel.
This is a Seki City build. They fuse the two scales together, I didn't bother separating them -- I just extracted the contents.
I picked up some Allen Putmans in jade G-10, and goosed the color with a little neon green dye.
So, quite like the Delica/Endura/Native. Well, if it ain't broke, don't fix it I suppose. This setup does work. Unlike the Delica and Endura but like the Native this is another washerless knife, which explains why it can't be easily flipped open one handed in the traditional manner.
ZDP-189 is a super steel with extreme high hardness, made by Hitachi, with no Western equivalents. Takes an unholy edge. It's brittle, is the issue -- so not a work steel unless you clad it with something more rugged. But for something like a Dragonfly, a little scalpel of a knife, it's an excellent choice, which is why I...
For reference: on the left is the Benchmade Greg Thompson SOCP. From the top down are the Fox 479TK, the Benchmade 551T, a Kershaw Emerson 6034 trainer with aftermarket modifications, and a Boker Plus Balisong Trainer.
Why the Swiss Cheese look? Trainer knives, when properly made, have the exact same shape and weight as the regular knife, but the blade can't have an edge, even an unsharpened one. Because blade blanks that haven't been ground down or sharpened weigh more than ones that have, manufacturers mill speed holes in the blade to give the blade the proper weight and distribution. Often a different steel is used, particularly for knives with high end steel -- good ol' 420 stainless will do you just fine for a training knife, so long as it's milled to have the correct weighting and edge dimensions. The overall idea is to make the training knife exactly the same in the hand as the edged version. Not close, but dead on. Most are red, the better to identify them as...
Delica Rebuild: Copper, HAP40/SUS410, Signet and Fang
Starting with a nonstandard Delica.
In this case, nonstandard in two ways: it's got HAP40 cored SUS410 clad steel, and a Wharncliffe blade:
That faint line you can see running parallel to the edge is where the SUS410 ends and the HAP40 begins. SUS410 is very stainless and HAP40 is very strong -- it's a Hitachi steel with the same formula as CPM Rex 45. It will patina with light use, unlike the SUS410, which is pretty much just there to be stainless and to keep the core layer from cracking from stress. You can try and stop it if you like, the patina, but most people just let it go -- once a patina forms oxidation of the base steel stops.
To break any knife down I usually start with the clip.
Clip fasteners are nearly always T6. Grab a Torx T6 and undo the clip screws. One of them will probably have some threadlocker on it and will take additional grunt. Not much, tho. Spyderco's generally cool about not daubing on threadlocker like they're...
We've got some makers in this forum.
Get your maker on and post a pic of your latest EDC build, whatever it is. Dyeing some scales, regrinding a profile, filework, lanyard work, applying some patina, aftermarket parts or full on steampunk rebuilding , whatever you're doing to your knife, your flashlight, your phone case, your necklace, your key fob, post it here and give the rest of us some ideas. Or, hell, maybe just give us something to look at while we're trapped indoors. That works too.
I'll go first: my Rike F1, quarantine rebuild:
That's the tan handle dyed emerald green and hand weathered with 1000 grit and leather, and an 850 pound test paracord lanyard with a titanium slide (for cinching against your wrist).
Between the dyeing and the weathering I ended up with a look a bit like old, weathered bronze.
I like the look, will have to remember it for other projects. Almost went with a copper slide instead of the green Ti but I've been putting copper...
QSP Pelican review
Just received the Pelican yesterday 3/27. Initial impressions:
-Fairly substantial knife at 4.5 oz with good ergonomics. Fits nicely in my large hands. Nicely milled and finished micarta.scales. Deep carry pocket clip that allows about 1/2 inch to protrude from pocket. No hot spots for me. Gorgeous bowhead wharncliff blade shape. Thick blade stock with a fairly thin edge and even grind. Perfectly centered and extremely sharp.
An excellent slicer. Jumping on blade is excellent and extends 1.25 inches. along the spine. The jumping and flipper tab are not to sharp. However…
-Stiffest detent I have ever experienced. Tore a piece of my right index finder off the first time I tried to flip it. It was even difficult to open with 2 hands. I tried backing off the pivot screw a bit but it didn’t help and caused some blade rock. There was also a distinct grinding when swinging the blade open and closed.
So rather than send it back I decided to disassemble it and see...