Saturday, April 19, 2014
Like a lot of people who enjoy Swiss Army Knives, I have an ongoing quest to compact as many useful tools (for me) into the smallest, lightest space possible. Often this involves rolling your own from off-the-shelf parts, then modifying them and assembling them into the "perfect" package. Perfection has a habit of shifting under one's feet as time goes on, so this is my latest attempt at perfection. The scales are made from aluminum plate about 3/32 inch thick. All riveting is with 2.2 and 2.5mm diameter brass. No keyring attachment. Most knife components are from 91mm Victorinox models. Opener/screwdriver layer: A new-version Philips driver ground down to the thickness of the Vic cap lifter. The cap lifter has had the cut-out modified so it will open both bottles and cans, and is aided in the latter by grinding a sharp edge at roughly 45 degrees along the can-cutting edge. It'll still work as a large screwdriver blade too, and retains the "wire-bending, cable-stripping notch. Scissors layer: stock 91mm Vic scissors. All I did to them was grind the end of the center screw flat, so they's slip into the scales with minimum width. Saw and Metal file layer: 91mm Vic parts again. The only non-standard issue here is they are running with no liner between them for maximum thinness. There is a 5 thou thick brass washer between them. Blade layer: a 91mm Vic main blade with the thick tang, and a 84mm nailfile (from a cadet). They both ride on a backspring that has been ground to fit and tweaked slightly, as has the spacer. I had to carve a nail-nick relief for the nailfile. As you may know, the nailfile point also does a decent job on #1 Phips screws. Backtools: a modern Vic 91mm awl with sewing eye, and a corkscrew. I intend to add the mini eyeglass screwdriver to the corkscrew. A number of backsprings were mixed and matched, and sometimes tweaked, from various sources. So, after construction, the thickness of this 5-layer knife is about 1 layer thinner than a 4 layer Explorer with Vic Scales. I can live without the toothpick and tweezers as I often have those in a small Vic on my keyring. All in all, a good marriage of tools, utility, and space.