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first time poster, first mod -- Charge XTi + Rebar 7860

No Life Club Posts: 2,026
first time poster, first mod -- Charge XTi + Rebar
« on: August 01, 2012, 08:15:21 AM »
I have been a Leatherman owner/fan for 15+ years, and have been collecting them for the past 3-4 years.  I recently discovered Metropolicity's Black Tide thread (http://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,37770.0.html).  Not only did it inspire me to try my first mod after collecting 50+ Leathermans, it also inspired me to take a few pictures and post the results here.   :)

Disclaimer: this mod is nowhere near as impressive as the Black Tide, and I've still got work left to do, but I wanted to share what I've done so far.

The mod itself is really quite simple -- Metropolicity even mentioned dropping the Rebar plier head into a Charge ALX in his Black Tide thread.  The Charge Ti has been my favorite Leatherman since I got it in 2004, and it was my EDC for years, so I decided to use a Charge XTi for this mod.  I was able to find one in good shape on ebay fairly quickly, then headed down to the Leatherman retail store to pick up another Rebar and a MOLLE sheath for the tool I was trying to create.

I was ready to start working on the mod, but with my limited equipment, it turned out to be more difficult than I thought it would be.  I used a couple C-clamps, a Zippo lighter (to heat the Rebar screws), the security Torx drivers, and a couple other Leathermans to do this.  when I took this shot, I had one side of the Rebar removed from the plier head and was working on getting the other side removed.

The Charge was much easier to take apart (no surprise there), and finally, I was ready to attach the plier head to the Charge.  This part was also tougher than I anticipated, but once I had one side attached, the second one was much easier.  And the finished product sure looks nice.  :)

I have been using the tool as my EDC for about a week now, and I was able to give it a good workout while camping last weekend.  one of the dogs that was with our group managed to break the clasp on the cable that was keeping her tethered. we figured out a way to use the loops on the cable to improvise a solution, but the other half of the broken metal clasp was in the way. someone thought we needed a hacksaw, but I had other ideas with my newly modded Leatherman.  the 154CM cutters of the Rebar pliers sliced through this clasp like butter -- it took very little effort on my part, and there's not even a scratch on the replaceable cutters.

That being said, I don't think I'm finished with this tool yet.  There is an issue with the locking pin that prevents the serrated blade from opening when the tool is open -- the serrated blade only opens properly if I loosen the Torx screw at the pivot joint by about a quarter turn.  The main blade works perfectly, so I'm not sure what the difference is, but needless to say, I'd like to keep tinkering with it until I can get it fixed.  I'd also like to replace one of the large bit drivers with other tools (perhaps a large flat driver from a Wave and the awl from the Rebar -- don't think my skills are quite up to the challenge presented by the scissors!), but I'll need to pick up a Wave that can be sacrificed for that purpose first.

I'd love to hear any ideas/suggestions/comments, but remember, it's my first time -- be gentle.  ;)
Keeper Of The PowerCut Admin Team Zombie Apprentice Posts: 16,894 - Allan

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Re: first time poster, first mod -- Charge XTi + Rebar
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2012, 08:55:37 AM »
Impressive first post mate..  :o :tu: :tu:
Good to have you here Breezy and we would love to see some pics of your collection..  :pok: :D   


"Don't mistake lack of talent for genius."
Hero Member Posts: 911
first time poster, first mod -- Charge XTi + Rebar
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2012, 09:41:43 AM »
I arrive in the states in two days time. Waiting for me (among others) are a charge and a blast awaiting surgery. This will be my first go at modding and I will let you know how I get on.
Your mod is great and I look forward to hearing how you solved the problems.
In Memoriam Full Member Posts: 157
Re: first time poster, first mod -- Charge XTi + Rebar
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2012, 10:42:11 AM »
That's a nice looking mod there  :multi: :tu:

Welcome to MTO and keep us updated how this works out  :cheers:

Oh, and   :drool: :gimme:
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,723 The MTO handshake.
Re: first time poster, first mod -- Charge XTi + Rebar
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2012, 11:16:22 AM »
G'day & welcome Breezy  :D :D

Nice first post mate  :salute: :salute: congrats on your ReCharge  :D :D.
Keen to hear how you get along with your pimped Xti & I hope you sort out the the blade issues mate  :think: :think:. Top stuff mate  8)


"Downunder Mod (that sounds dirty, doesn't it?)"
Yeh Baby :P >:D >:D
Sr. Member Posts: 297
Re: first time poster, first mod -- Charge XTi + Rebar
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2012, 11:50:01 AM »
Nice job on the mod, and welcome.  :cheers:
Ambidangerous Mistress of Mod Admin Team Zombie Apprentice Posts: 15,072 I'm not all bad, I'm just drawn that way.
Re: first time poster, first mod -- Charge XTi + Rebar
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2012, 02:38:49 PM »
Very cool intro! :cheers:

I love the idea of the Rebar/Charge hybrid - such a good toolset :)

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Zombie Apprentice Posts: 18,717 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over.
Re: first time poster, first mod -- Charge XTi + Rebar
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2012, 03:51:23 PM »
hello and welcome to MTO. Nice mod! :tu:

Nate

Foxtrot Foxtrot Sierra
No Life Club Posts: 2,026
Re: first time poster, first mod -- Charge XTi + Rebar
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2012, 06:42:47 PM »
thanks for the warm welcome, everyone!  :)  I think I'm overdue for some updated collection pics anyway, so I'll try to get those up soon.  and I'll definitely keep this thread going with any updates to my ReCharge. (love that name!)  getting the serrated blade issue sorted out is at the top of the list for sure.
In Memoriam Full Member Posts: 157
Re: first time poster, first mod -- Charge XTi + Rebar
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2012, 06:56:44 PM »
Breezy, check out this vid with regards the locking pin issue, it might give you some ideas what is happening



Hope it helps  :tu:
Wielder of the Bow of Banishment. Admin Team Point Of No Return Posts: 30,891 El Presidente del Fan Club Micky D
Re: first time poster, first mod -- Charge XTi + Rebar
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2012, 07:19:05 PM »
Excellent opening thread Breezy, I think you'll fit right in here. :cheers:

No Life Club Posts: 2,026
Re: first time poster, first mod -- Charge XTi + Rebar
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2012, 07:34:40 PM »
Breezy, check out this vid with regards the locking pin issue, it might give you some ideas what is happening



Hope it helps  :tu:

thanks, 3in1!  :cheers:  I thought about filing down the locking pin (or removing them completely like he did in the vid), but it seems unnecessary in my case since the mechanism works perfectly on one side, and only has the issue on the side with the serrated blade.  I'm hoping to have some time this weekend to tinker with it some more and see if I can figure it out.
No Life Club Posts: 3,737 Hack Virtuoso
first time poster, first mod -- Charge XTi + Rebar
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2012, 09:17:02 PM »
Great work!

I actually run into that over extended pin problem a lot, it's sticks up just enough to snag and get in the way of either blade. What you can do is take apart the plier again and you can push the pin and whole assembly over a bit to close
Up the gap between the wish bone.

This not only tightens up the grip on te pliers (very minor) but usually frees up the binding blade.

I that doesn't work, you can slowly and carefully grind off the pin's height and check often if it's got enough clearance.

Glad I got some modding spirits rustling!

Why stop now?

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No Life Club Posts: 3,737 Hack Virtuoso
first time poster, first mod -- Charge XTi + Rebar
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2012, 09:19:31 PM »
Also!

I am totally going to make a ReCharge too!


Why stop now?

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No Life Club Posts: 2,026
Re: first time poster, first mod -- Charge XTi + Rebar
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2012, 10:10:39 PM »
Great work!

I actually run into that over extended pin problem a lot, it's sticks up just enough to snag and get in the way of either blade. What you can do is take apart the plier again and you can push the pin and whole assembly over a bit to close
Up the gap between the wish bone.

This not only tightens up the grip on te pliers (very minor) but usually frees up the binding blade.

I that doesn't work, you can slowly and carefully grind off the pin's height and check often if it's got enough clearance.

Glad I got some modding spirits rustling!

thanks Metropolicity -- glad to hear it's not just me!  :D  I'll try taking the plier apart again this weekend, and if that doesn't work, I'll probably just grind the pin down, since it's just barely blocking the serrated blade from opening.

Can't wait to see your ReCharge...   ;)
No Life Club Posts: 2,634
Re: first time poster, first mod -- Charge XTi + Rebar
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2012, 10:12:53 PM »
Great mod.
Welcome aboard  :tu:

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No Life Club Posts: 1,024

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Re: first time poster, first mod -- Charge XTi + Rebar
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2012, 11:10:04 PM »
Awesome mod sir!  :tu:

What great way to start at MTO, be very welcome!! :salute:

 And I must say that replaceable wire cutters always make an impressive mod!
No Life Club Posts: 2,901
Re: first time poster, first mod -- Charge XTi + Rebar
« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2012, 06:00:27 AM »
Awesome mod sir!  :tu:

What great way to start at MTO, be very welcome!! :salute:

 And I must say that replaceable wire cutters always make an impressive mod!
Likewise!   :tu:

The first Noble Truth: life is suffering.  Only by accepting that fact can we transcend it.
No Life Club Posts: 2,026
Re: first time poster, first mod -- Charge XTi + Rebar
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2012, 12:53:44 AM »
Great work!

I actually run into that over extended pin problem a lot, it's sticks up just enough to snag and get in the way of either blade. What you can do is take apart the plier again and you can push the pin and whole assembly over a bit to close
Up the gap between the wish bone.

This not only tightens up the grip on te pliers (very minor) but usually frees up the binding blade.

I that doesn't work, you can slowly and carefully grind off the pin's height and check often if it's got enough clearance.

Glad I got some modding spirits rustling!

thanks Metropolicity -- glad to hear it's not just me!  :D  I'll try taking the plier apart again this weekend, and if that doesn't work, I'll probably just grind the pin down, since it's just barely blocking the serrated blade from opening.

Can't wait to see your ReCharge...   ;)

finally got around to taking the plier apart again to push the pin assembly bit over again... but unfortunately, no luck with solving the issue of the overextending pin.  :-\  looks like it's time to start carefully grinding/filing that guy down.

interesting side note: the two handles of the XTi that I started with have different date stamps -- one is 12/04, and the other is 08/08, so this one was obviously refurbished at some point.  the pin assembly is just slightly different on the two sides, and the only one having problems is the older side (12/04).

thanks again for the advice, Metropolicity!
No Life Club Posts: 2,026
Re: first time poster, first mod -- Charge XTi + Rebar
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2012, 01:16:13 AM »
interesting side note: the two handles of the XTi that I started with have different date stamps -- one is 12/04, and the other is 08/08, so this one was obviously refurbished at some point.  the pin assembly is just slightly different on the two sides, and the only one having problems is the older side (12/04).

...and a quick check on the Leatherman timeline reveals that these date stamps indicate that the tool I started with was actually half XTi, half TTi, since the TTi production started in 2006.  :)
No Life Club Posts: 2,026
Re: first time poster, first mod -- Charge XTi + Rebar
« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2012, 06:44:32 AM »
another update: broke in my brother's new Dremel tonight by grinding down the pin mechanism just a hair, and now the serrated blade operates nice and smoothly.  :D

prior to this, I was able to open the serrated blade by opening the handles just a little bit (maybe 1/4 of the way), then opening the blade... but I much prefer the nice smooth opening that it now has.

as far as next steps go, I can't decide if I want to steal the scissors from a Wave to add to the interior of my ReCharge, or if I want to try adding the Wingman scissors on the outside of the tool.

I have to admit -- for years, I never saw the appeal of the XTi/ALX with the dual bit drivers, but they have come in handy lately.  my original plan was to replace one of the bit drivers, but now I'm considering keeping them both...
In Memoriam Full Member Posts: 157
Re: first time poster, first mod -- Charge XTi + Rebar
« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2012, 12:29:32 PM »
If you are gonna play around with the external tools, how about trying the blade exchanger from a surge as well as the scissors from the wingman? You can keep both the saw and file that way, although you may loose about a 1/4" off the length of the saw/file blades to make them fit when closed.
Just a thought, see what you think - it would be a pretty unique tool if it works though  :D :D
 :cheers:
No Life Club Posts: 2,026
Re: first time poster, first mod -- Charge XTi + Rebar
« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2012, 09:10:31 AM »
If you are gonna play around with the external tools, how about trying the blade exchanger from a surge as well as the scissors from the wingman? You can keep both the saw and file that way, although you may loose about a 1/4" off the length of the saw/file blades to make them fit when closed.
Just a thought, see what you think - it would be a pretty unique tool if it works though  :D :D
 :cheers:

this mod is getting expensive enough as it is -- I just got a Wave on ebay to scrap for parts.  but the blade exchanger from the Surge is something I hadn't even thought of... so many choices.  ???

thanks for adding fuel to the (expensive) fire, 3in1.  ;)
In Memoriam Full Member Posts: 157
Re: first time poster, first mod -- Charge XTi + Rebar
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2012, 11:14:59 AM »
Always happy to help  >:D
No Life Club Posts: 3,737 Hack Virtuoso
Re: first time poster, first mod -- Charge XTi + Rebar
« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2012, 04:33:23 PM »
If you are gonna play around with the external tools, how about trying the blade exchanger from a surge as well as the scissors from the wingman? You can keep both the saw and file that way, although you may loose about a 1/4" off the length of the saw/file blades to make them fit when closed.
Just a thought, see what you think - it would be a pretty unique tool if it works though  :D :D
 :cheers:

this mod is getting expensive enough as it is -- I just got a Wave on ebay to scrap for parts.  but the blade exchanger from the Surge is something I hadn't even thought of... so many choices.  ???

thanks for adding fuel to the (expensive) fire, 3in1.  ;)

You actually loose quite a bit more than 1/4", also the locking tab needs to be reground, but I don't know if there is enough clearance for it. I tried for fun oen day and I think it didn't want to rotate due to the oversized blade exchanger and a smaller Wave tool.

Why stop now?

Visit the whole Skinth family here: http://www.skinthsolutions.com

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In Memoriam Full Member Posts: 157
Re: first time poster, first mod -- Charge XTi + Rebar
« Reply #25 on: August 20, 2012, 04:57:33 PM »
If you are gonna play around with the external tools, how about trying the blade exchanger from a surge as well as the scissors from the wingman? You can keep both the saw and file that way, although you may loose about a 1/4" off the length of the saw/file blades to make them fit when closed.
Just a thought, see what you think - it would be a pretty unique tool if it works though  :D :D
 :cheers:

this mod is getting expensive enough as it is -- I just got a Wave on ebay to scrap for parts.  but the blade exchanger from the Surge is something I hadn't even thought of... so many choices.  ???

thanks for adding fuel to the (expensive) fire, 3in1.  ;)

You actually loose quite a bit more than 1/4", also the locking tab needs to be reground, but I don't know if there is enough clearance for it. I tried for fun oen day and I think it didn't want to rotate due to the oversized blade exchanger and a smaller Wave tool.

You had the same thought then Metro, just took it a bit further... shame it wont fit though.
At least you cleared it up before anyone killed a perfectly good surge  :cheers:
No Life Club Posts: 2,026
Re: first time poster, first mod -- Charge XTi + Rebar
« Reply #26 on: August 20, 2012, 07:30:08 PM »

You actually loose quite a bit more than 1/4", also the locking tab needs to be reground, but I don't know if there is enough clearance for it. I tried for fun oen day and I think it didn't want to rotate due to the oversized blade exchanger and a smaller Wave tool.

You had the same thought then Metro, just took it a bit further... shame it wont fit though.
At least you cleared it up before anyone killed a perfectly good surge  :cheers:

agreed... thanks for clearing that up, Metro!  :tu:

so now I'm back to the question of internal vs. external scissors.  luckily, the Wave that I have coming wasn't too expensive on ebay, and a spare Wingman should be fairly cheap as well. 

looks like I've come down with a case of mod-itis... thanks Metro!  ;)  to be continued...
No Life Club Posts: 2,026
Re: first time poster, first mod -- Charge XTi + Rebar
« Reply #27 on: September 23, 2012, 08:16:41 PM »
ReCharge update: I got my hands on a new Wave that was recently built (date stamp is 0312), and Delta10 actually noticed a difference in the thumb pad on the scissors.  In this image, his "Rave" is on the top (date stamp: 0809), and my Wave is on the bottom:



With the reduced size of the thumb pad, I was really hoping they would fit into my ReCharge without needing any grinding (and still allow the tool to fully close).  It looks like it should fit, right??



I looked at it closely, took some measurements... and decided the only way to know for sure was to try it out, so I replaced one of the large bit drivers with the scissors + large flat driver from the Wave...

Unfortunately, the result was pretty much the same.  :-[  the tools closes a little bit further than Delta's Rave, but still doesn't close completely.  oh well, it was worth a shot... hopefully the smaller thumb pad will at least make the dremel work a little easier.  :)  I'm also planning on replacing the large flat driver with an awl, so the large flat driver is basically a placeholder at this point.

 

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