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Hom Bas-R: flipped washers around and handles SEIZE!

TriChrome Jul 22, 2021

  1. TriChrome

    TriChrome Little member

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    Like my other tuning topic (which I still haven't figured that out either), I'm now having similar issues with a different brand of knife which STILL deals with these washers...

    In the other topic when I use brand new washers the handles won't freely swing and seize. I switch back in the original worn washers and it's fine... TWO different members said I might be deforming the new washers when I tighten the knife, then they might be rubbing on the blade causing this issue (I had 6x new washers to try fyi, and didn't tighten the pivot much at all either...).

    I just got a lightly used Hom Basilisk-R Titanium. The pivot was super tightly screwed in on both handles, and the handles dropped and swung nice and free, with nearly zero play (i.e. PERFECT). Took it apart to clean and lube, saw the washers were slightly more worn on the side that pinches the bushing so I flipped them around - the handles then seized up. Flipped the washers back around how it was before and it's perfect again!

    Why would this happen? I can't figure it out...

    Technically, once assembled, each handle is one unmoving piece. It's all sandwiched together. The handles squeeze the washers which squeeze the bushing in the middle - NOTHING here moves or rotates. The knife blade is able to spin freely on the bushing because the bushing sticks out ~0.0005" past each side of the blade. This is also why you're able to tighten the pivot all the way, because of that 0.0005" of space. With this in mind, it should NOT matter which way the washers are flipped...

    In fact, since the ONLY gap in this entire assembly is where the bushing sticks out that 0.0005", if the washer was in any way deformed it could ONLY deform inwards towards the blade side... but when I flip those original washers around, (if they were in fact bent at all) they would then be bent AWAY from the blade, thus LESS LIKELY to rub on the blade and cause this issue I'm experiencing!!! Yet they knife still seized when I flipped them...

    Can anybody help? This is like $700+ worth of knives that I can't install new washers in, which defy all logic, and it's driving me nuts not being able to figure this out!
     
    Pinoy Knife likes this.
  2. AnthonyTheAbyss

    AnthonyTheAbyss Godzilla Size Member JDBA Official Member

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    My advice...maybe stop flipping washers around.

    ***You're welcome
     
    Shawnjohn999999 likes this.
  3. TriChrome

    TriChrome Little member

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    Thank you for the free bump, I guess, but you are aware that washers (along with bushings) are wear items in a Balisong, right? And how they wear out a crapton faster than those in a regular folding knife? So they WILL need to be replaced, and I made this topic to find out how to replace them since on TWO balisongs now, from TWO different companies, I have NOT been able to switch in new washers (or even flip them around to even out the wear).... and am simply asking the community for help in finding out why, and how to fix this issue.

    Since this has happened to me twice now, and these mechanisms really aren't rocket science (although this in particular has baffled me), I'm assuming somebody knows the how, the why, and the fix for things like this which HAVE to be SUPER common issues when doing normal maintenance of these popular knives.
     
  4. twirl

    twirl Hom Designs JDBA Official Member Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    The knife, even when used, had zero play. Don't often get washers that are so worn down that they have to be replaced. It happens, but not terribly often. With a microscope, you could probably see the differences on each washer side. Looking at them with them in your hand, probably not. It's not easy to create a minimal play balisong, the whole assembly is tuned and massaged all together.

    The majority of warranties and work requests are knives that have been taken apart and "reconfigured". Sometimes people attempt to sand the bushings on their own and that really screws it up.
     
  5. AnthonyTheAbyss

    AnthonyTheAbyss Godzilla Size Member JDBA Official Member

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    Additional advice...don't fllip/use your balisongs. I own a couple of balisongs that have never needed to make any adjustments, replacements or fixing. They're as good as the day I bought them.

    ***Except my BM51...I beat the hell out of it and still good as new (except cosmetically)
     
  6. TriChrome

    TriChrome Little member

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    Thank you for the reply and I totally get it. But even on knives that come to me with great tolerances (like 2x Hom's have been so far... BRS not so much...), they still need some TLC.

    Below is an example of how I've been getting knives which are otherwise cosmetically PERFECT (no dings, scratches, original edge, etc). Even when people tell me "I just cleaned and lubed it" (direct quote from more than one person lately lol), I get them looking like this:

    [​IMG]

    (sorry, didn't take a pic of the Hom disassembled but it was pretty much the same, with the same blackened washers which I couldn't wash/scrub that black color off of and everything)

    So like everything I get, from a computer keyboard with funk over all the keys, to folding knives like these with gunk in the pivot area, I clean and lube them as a matter of course, and usually reassembly the same exact way and they're noticeable BETTER. Like better than just adding some lube and having not cleaned them. Not a super huge difference, but definitely something.

    On the Hom in particular you could CLEARLY see with the naked eye scratches on the side of the washers that were pressed against the bushing, so I flipped them (otherwise I always keep everything EXACTLY how it was). At some point they probably had a loose pivot screw which let the washers rotate and scratch a little bit over time (but who knows, just guessing here).

    Since flipping them caused the handles to become way stiffer, I flipped the washers back to their original orientation the knife was PERFECT again. So no harm, no foul. But at least the knife is clean, and flips a little bit better being clean than dirty so I'm happy.

    BUT, my question isn't should I, or why did I, but why can't I flip these washers around? Why can't I switch in brand new washers into another knife and have that work? I'm trying to learn what is going on that would cause this weirdness with the washers (because I can't logically explain it) and so far nobody else has explained why either... so I'm asking the experts here.
     
    shinyblades likes this.
  7. VashHash

    VashHash JDBA4L JDBA Official Member

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    You can do it. You're just not doing it right. If you want to completely tune a bali from the ground up you would need to tune the bushings and washers together. Honestly I've adjusted some balis action a few times and it wasn't as difficult as what is happening to you. I don't take them apart and try to polish anything. Just lube and adjust the tension. They make special tools for sanding down bushings. If I want to clean a knife I usually just oil and blow it out with compressed air. Unless I suspect rust.

    There are 2 different types of bushings. The ones that press against the washers and the ones that pass through the washers and touch the frame/handles. You have to tune both of them differently.

    Some people like to tune a bali a little tight so when it breaks in it has zero play and perfect action. I've done this with regular pocket knives as well. The surfaces polished each other and work very well. There's a fine balance though between just right and too tight. I recommend using Teflon tape for pivot screws. You can adjust them better than loctite with no set time.

    As far as the bali seizing up you might be going too tight or someone else over tightened it and deformed a washer because steel bushings will smash bronze washers.
     
  8. Shawnjohn999999

    Shawnjohn999999 Huge Member

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    His knives are perfect. Why mess with them. Oil and go.
     
  9. spookyse7en

    spookyse7en Huge member

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    If you figure it out yourself and give us the answer we will consider you a genius and you will earn your seat at the table in Valhalla.
     
    Shawnjohn999999 likes this.
  10. Shawnjohn999999

    Shawnjohn999999 Huge Member

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    Taking them apart as a novice is always scary. Especially springers.
     
  11. Redd Nekker

    Redd Nekker JDBA OFFICIAL Member JDBA Official Member

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    I've got a Squidtrainer that does this. (please don't laugh) lol I'm just becoming more familiar with balisongs in the past few months but I've noticed that almost half of the washers I've come across seem to be cupped ever so slightly. Maybe when you flip the washers, it's changing how it sits between the blade and handle and causing it to bind. I've disassembled and reassembled and examined mine so many times that this is the only thing I can think of that would be causing the issue.
     
    Shawnjohn999999 likes this.

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