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Disintegrating a Leatherman

J-sews · 12 · 5911

us Offline J-sews

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Disintegrating a Leatherman
on: December 04, 2006, 01:18:12 AM
Sure, I should know better, but I'm a slow learner. I saw this "really good deal" for a used Leatherman PST on eBay. It had a different (newer) style plier head than my old PST, so I decided to buy it in order to compare the differences. I won the auction for about $14, then had to pay another $5 shipping charges. The seller advertised the tool as being in "great shape, hardly used." I believed them.

Hah! The thing arrived last week, in almost unusable condition! None of the blades or pliers were damaged, other than light scratches, but the whole tool was covered in some kind of sticky gunk. It was sort of like pine tar, or roofing tar, or something. Horrible stuff. I tried soaking it in mineral spirits. The tar stuff kinda got soft, but wouldn't come off unless I scraped it and wiped it hard. No way was I going to get all the gunk out from in between the blades. 

So with no choice, I took the whole darn tool apart today, cleaned it up right, and put it back together. It wasn't that difficult! Not as easy as a SOG or a Gerber (I imagine) but not all that bad.

I used two pair of ordinary pliers, one on each end of a knurled pivot screw. The screws are lock-tited in place, and so take a bit to get them started. If you try it, be sure to grip both heads as tightly as possible. You don't want the pliers to slip off (but they will anyway, until you get the hang of it) and booger up the knurls on the screw heads. Using pliers that are in good shape, without jaw edges that are rounded off, is the key.

Oops, back up a step! Before I quite got the first pivot screw out, I had a moment of genius. I took several digital photos of the PST, from different angles, so that I would know how to put it back together correctly. Good thing I did, too! (There are dozens of ways to put it back together wrong, but only one way to put it back together right.)

Anyhow, a little cleaning solvent and elbow grease, and she's as good as new!

* Disintegrated PST.jpg (Filesize: 57.21 KB)

* Rebuilt.jpg (Filesize: 80 KB)
In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Disintegrating a Leatherman
Reply #1 on: December 04, 2006, 01:43:04 AM
I always thought those were rivets or something!  I tried and tried and tried in the past to unscrew them and the only thing I ever got as a result were stitches and scars!

Great find though!

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


us Offline BIG-TARGET

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Re: Disintegrating a Leatherman
Reply #2 on: December 04, 2006, 02:38:10 AM
Your first mulitool is like your first woman.  You'll never forget!! ::)
"Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall;
 Some run from breaks of ice, and answer none:
 And some condemned for a fault alone." -William Shakespeare, King Lear (1608), Act IV, scene 6, line 169


Offline spunkyruss

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Re: Disintegrating a Leatherman
Reply #3 on: December 04, 2006, 05:25:49 AM
.....The screws are lock-tited in place, and so take a bit to get them started.....

Heating the fasteners will loosen loctite's grip on them, but you have to remove them while they're still hot.  Regular loctite loosens up at 350° F (177° C), and high-temp loctite loosens up at 500° F (260° C).  I would speculate that leatherman doesn't use the high-temp stuff.  Heat can be precisely delivered to the fasteners by using a soldering iron.  The whole tool will still get a little hot, but it's better than hitting the fasteners with a torch.

Alternatively, loctite can be broken down with a nasty solvent, such as methylene chloride.   Carburetor cleaners typically contain methylene chloride, but it's a very nasty solvent.  All of the warnings on the can of carb cleaner should be followed. 

It's OK to wipe the residual loctite off of the fasteners after they have cooled, but for the love of god, don't use the carburetor cleaner and the heat at the same time!


Offline spunkyruss

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Re: Disintegrating a Leatherman
Reply #4 on: December 04, 2006, 05:32:38 AM
... and nice job on the leatherman.  Taking pictures was a very good idea.  It's better than trying to deduce the proper reassembly sequence by going through every wrong combination.

You're right that we all should know better than to buy used tools off of ebay.  I'll have to post some pics of a "like new" leatherman wave before I send it back.  At the very least, I've lost the cost of shipping the thing both ways.


Offline bobofish

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Re: Disintegrating a Leatherman
Reply #5 on: December 04, 2006, 10:41:47 AM
Won't heating the tool to 350 destroy the temper and soften the steel?


Offline damota

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Re: Disintegrating a Leatherman
Reply #6 on: December 04, 2006, 11:36:54 AM
.....The screws are lock-tited in place, and so take a bit to get them started.....

Heating the fasteners will loosen loctite's grip on them, but you have to remove them while they're still hot.  Regular loctite loosens up at 350° F (177° C), and high-temp loctite loosens up at 500° F (260° C).  I would speculate that leatherman doesn't use the high-temp stuff.  Heat can be precisely delivered to the fasteners by using a soldering iron.  The whole tool will still get a little hot, but it's better than hitting the fasteners with a torch.

Alternatively, loctite can be broken down with a nasty solvent, such as methylene chloride.   Carburetor cleaners typically contain methylene chloride, but it's a very nasty solvent.  All of the warnings on the can of carb cleaner should be followed. 

It's OK to wipe the residual loctite off of the fasteners after they have cooled, but for the love of god, don't use the carburetor cleaner and the heat at the same time!
I may be wrong but I think you are thinking of something like Super 3 glue also made by Loctite. The Loctite used for holding threads is not a glue as such. It is available in green or blue and those just need a bit of 'brute force and ignorance' to loosen them. Their is a one made to use with things that get hot but I forget what colour that is. The stuff to ask for is Locktite Threadlock (green or blue will do for what we need) and it dries in a gummy state that bind the threads. Hand tools easily force them apart it just stops vibration and friction from doing it. No solvent is needed.

Dave
« Last Edit: December 04, 2006, 11:40:19 AM by damota »


us Offline parnass

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Re: Disintegrating a Leatherman
Reply #7 on: December 05, 2006, 04:00:26 AM

Heating the fasteners will loosen loctite's grip on them, but you have to remove them while they're still hot. ...

I used a heat (hot air) gun to soften the thread locker in a few Leatherman Micra fasteners before unscrewing them.  Worked well.
Retired engineer, author.

A man with one multitool always knows exactly which to use. A man with many multitools is never quite sure. - parnass


us Offline J-sews

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Re: Disintegrating a Leatherman
Reply #8 on: December 08, 2006, 03:22:26 AM

Heating the fasteners will loosen loctite's grip on them, but you have to remove them while they're still hot. ...

I used a heat (hot air) gun to soften the thread locker in a few Leatherman Micra fasteners before unscrewing them.  Worked well.

That sounds like a great idea. I'll have to try that next time.
In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools


us Offline Poncho65

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Re: Disintegrating a Leatherman
Reply #9 on: June 15, 2016, 02:18:56 AM
Wow the first LM Bob took apart :ahhh Just wish the pics were still there :facepalm: Still an awesome historical moment in MTO history :D


au Offline gregozedobe

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Re: Disintegrating a Leatherman
Reply #10 on: June 15, 2016, 02:42:53 AM
Still an awesome historical moment in MTO history :D

I see what you are doing (with all these really old threads)   :tu:
babola: "Enjoy your tools and don't be afraid to air your opinion and feelings here, but do it in courteous and respectable way toward others, of course."


us Offline Poncho65

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Re: Disintegrating a Leatherman
Reply #11 on: June 15, 2016, 01:53:30 PM
Still an awesome historical moment in MTO history :D

I see what you are doing (with all these really old threads)   :tu:

 :salute:


 

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