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Thread: Do it yourself Maintenance-DONT!

  1. #1

    Lubrication Confusion

    Ok-there seems to be some confusion on what, if any, lubricant to use on my folders with roller thrust bearings.

    The answer is: NONE

    When I finish a knife, I spray it (drench it) with WD-40. This removes the buffing compound residue left from sharpening and seals the logo etch, as well as washing away any grit that might be present (Grit in a knifemaker's shop? NAAAAAA....)

    The knife is then blasted with compressed air until virtually all the oil is removed and then it is wiped down with a nice, soft paper towel. The tang is cleaned with a Q-tip and acetone, and the action is checked one last time to make sure it is perfect. This involves applying a touch of sharpie marker on the tang where the lock engages. Then, into the zipper pouch it goes.

    Some customers just can't resist lubing, tweaking and tinkering. The problem with lube is that it goes places where it actually hurts the knife. Want to screw up a fast flipper? Put lube all over the lockbar and slam it open. It will probably lock up REAL TIGHT. If it doesn't, the lock was probably unreliable to start with, and will almost certainly not pass even a mild spine whack. If it locks up so tight that you can't disengage it w/o prying the locking bar out, then there is too much flex in the knife, which can be caused by many, many factors, and all of them indicate problems with the basic knife, either in the design or the adjustment.

    "clean" is much more important than "lubed" if you want optimal function in a flipper.




    Stay Sharp,

    RJ Martin

  2. #2

    Do it yourself Maintenance-DONT!

    Hi Everyone: Lately, I am getting emails about "do-it-yourself" knife work that customers are performing on knives I made. There is nothing I like more than a hands-on customer who has the tools and the ability to maintain his own knives. However, I am not particularly fond of working on knives that were already "worked on", if you know what I mean. It takes longer, costs more and is generally much less fun.

    Now, I am absolutely NOT bailing on any customer with a problem. I am here to support you and my knives in whatever way is necessary. But, if you have a minor issue like blade-play, lock sticking, etc. it is preferred that you contact me about it before taking action yourself. Before you do, you can try a few simple things yourself that will probably get you fixed up, simply and safely:

    Keep your knife clean and a lot of minor stuff goes away. Compressed air is your friend.

    Oil or lube of any kind WILL NOT HELP any problem

    Vertical Blade play? Clean the tang with Acetone and a Q-tip. The DEVASTATOR tends to develop vertical blade play more frequently than my newer models-The massive blade slamming into the pivot (especially with a wrist snap!) takes it's toll eventually.

    Lock sticking? Clean the tang, then mark it with a black Sharpie where the lock engages the tang. Open it a few times and see the difference. Don't be tempted to bend that lock......

    Side-to side-blade play? GENTLY tighten the pivot screw-Usually 1/10 of a turn is too much. If the action feels sluggish, back off until the screw just starts to turn. This is always a good place to start, as side-to-side play often contributes to other issues. Always check side-to-side play with the lock disengaged.

    I take incredible pains to make sure that every knife I build is made right. I know this is so, because only about 1 in 100 customers ever has an issue, and a lot of those are simply from wear, which (unfortunately) I cannot eliminate.

    Lastly, as my father taught me "If it's not broken, DON'T fix it"
    But if it needs fixing, contact me, send it in and I'll turn it around quickly.


    RJ Martin
    Last edited by RJ Martin; 05-25-2010 at 03:36 PM.


    Stay Sharp,

    RJ Martin

  3. #3
    best post ever

  4. #4
    Hey thanks Martin. I was actually a little curious on a couple of these on how I should approach. Great post!

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