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Explorer with pliers - my first mod 1398

Hero Member Posts: 588
Explorer with pliers - my first mod
« on: July 15, 2021, 03:52:25 AM »
Back in May, I proposed an Explorer with pliers mod ( https://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,87409.0.html ). Max Stone built a proof-of-concept and called it the Detective.

I've finally got the parts and the time to build my own so let the modding begin!

Here's a photo of what I'm starting with:
- A post-'91 Explorer with gray-frame mag glass that's in good shape.
- Pliers. (Sourced on eBay from viktryls in Ukraine.)
- Black Plus scales. (Also from viktryls in Ukraine. Isn't eBay great?)

I also have a supply of 2.5 and 2.25mm brass pins and bushings, sourced on eBay from fritzschkg in Germany. (Forgot to include them in the picture.)

My original design had the hook with the nail file from the Compact, but used Compacts are hard to find and I didn't want to buy a new one just to part out, so no nail file on my build. Not really an issue though as I have a nail file on my Mini Champ that I always carry.

I went back and forth for a while about adding a wood saw, but finally decided against it.

More posts and pictures along the way as the build progresses!

Current SAKs:
Champion "c", Bijou (3), Classic SD (5), Cavalier, Mini Champ (2nd gen.) Plus (mod), Swiss Champ (3), Explorer (3), Deluxe Tinker, Climber, Pioneer Alox, Bantam, Delemont Evolution S557, Wenger Serrated Commander, Huntsman, Serrated Spartan/Weekender, Executive, Explorer Plus, Deluxe Explorer Plus (mod), Wenger Traveler, Marlboro Unlimited Outdoorsman, Alox Classic SD, Spartan, Champion "a"
Hero Member Posts: 588
Re: Explorer with pliers - my first mod
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2021, 03:59:59 AM »
Heigh-ho! Heigh-ho! It's off to peen we go!

8 oz. stubby ball peen hammer

Using the wide pliers to hold the pins so they don't bend during the peening. (My vise was not able to hold the pins securely enough to hammer on them.)
Resting the end of the pin on the anvil on my vise.

Yes, the "bottom" end of the pin got very slightly flattened as I peened the top, but I filed that off.

Current SAKs:
Champion "c", Bijou (3), Classic SD (5), Cavalier, Mini Champ (2nd gen.) Plus (mod), Swiss Champ (3), Explorer (3), Deluxe Tinker, Climber, Pioneer Alox, Bantam, Delemont Evolution S557, Wenger Serrated Commander, Huntsman, Serrated Spartan/Weekender, Executive, Explorer Plus, Deluxe Explorer Plus (mod), Wenger Traveler, Marlboro Unlimited Outdoorsman, Alox Classic SD, Spartan, Champion "a"
Hero Member Posts: 588
Re: Explorer with pliers - my first mod
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2021, 04:10:53 AM »
The Explorer's scales are off, following a hot water soak to soften them slightly. The Mini Champ assisted, using the main blade to pop off the scales.

The brass pins are center-punched and I'm ready to start drilling!

I'm using regular drill bits in a Dremel tool.

Everything I read said to use 2.5mm and 2.2mm drill bits. But trying to find those here in metric-challenged US was, ah, difficult.

So a little conversion resulted in using 3/32 inch (equals 2.4mm) and 5/64 inch (equals 2.0mm) drill bits. They worked fine.

In the second photo, both end pins are drilled out and I'm ready to start on the center ones.

I have the Explorer wrapped in a paper towel, held in the vise.


Current SAKs:
Champion "c", Bijou (3), Classic SD (5), Cavalier, Mini Champ (2nd gen.) Plus (mod), Swiss Champ (3), Explorer (3), Deluxe Tinker, Climber, Pioneer Alox, Bantam, Delemont Evolution S557, Wenger Serrated Commander, Huntsman, Serrated Spartan/Weekender, Executive, Explorer Plus, Deluxe Explorer Plus (mod), Wenger Traveler, Marlboro Unlimited Outdoorsman, Alox Classic SD, Spartan, Champion "a"
Hero Member Posts: 588
Re: Explorer with pliers - my first mod
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2021, 04:23:10 AM »
All the pins are drilled out.

The twist-tie is keeping everything together.

Before punching out the pins, I removed the bushings and filed the pin edges so they'd slide out easily. The Swiss Champ assisted here with the metal file.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2021, 04:53:27 AM by SteveP »

Current SAKs:
Champion "c", Bijou (3), Classic SD (5), Cavalier, Mini Champ (2nd gen.) Plus (mod), Swiss Champ (3), Explorer (3), Deluxe Tinker, Climber, Pioneer Alox, Bantam, Delemont Evolution S557, Wenger Serrated Commander, Huntsman, Serrated Spartan/Weekender, Executive, Explorer Plus, Deluxe Explorer Plus (mod), Wenger Traveler, Marlboro Unlimited Outdoorsman, Alox Classic SD, Spartan, Champion "a"
Hero Member Posts: 588
Re: Explorer with pliers - my first mod
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2021, 04:30:22 AM »
Tear down complete!   :woohoo:

About 2 hours to get to this point. This is my first mod ever, so moving slowly and carefully.

I managed to save all of the bushings. I've got a small supply of new bushings so I didn't need to save the old ones, but wanted to see if I could.

Next step is to give everything a good cleaning. I hope to do that tonight so the parts can dry out overnight, then I can assemble tomorrow.

Current SAKs:
Champion "c", Bijou (3), Classic SD (5), Cavalier, Mini Champ (2nd gen.) Plus (mod), Swiss Champ (3), Explorer (3), Deluxe Tinker, Climber, Pioneer Alox, Bantam, Delemont Evolution S557, Wenger Serrated Commander, Huntsman, Serrated Spartan/Weekender, Executive, Explorer Plus, Deluxe Explorer Plus (mod), Wenger Traveler, Marlboro Unlimited Outdoorsman, Alox Classic SD, Spartan, Champion "a"
Hero Member Posts: 771
Re: Explorer with pliers - my first mod
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2021, 04:40:21 AM »
 :popcorn:
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 20,974 Oxygen and magnesium toghether?! OMg!
Re: Explorer with pliers - my first mod
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2021, 11:13:00 AM »

________________________________
It is just a matter of time before they add the word “Syndrome” after my last name.

I don't have OCD, I have OCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ.

Eff the ineffable, scrut the inscrutable.

IYCRTYSWTMTFOT

Full Member Posts: 160
Re: Explorer with pliers - my first mod
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2021, 04:14:33 PM »
 :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

Victorinox | Garant|PX WinterMagic-PioneerApprentice-PioneerPruner|SwissChamp-Champion-MasterCraftsman-Handyman-Huntsman-Ranger-Climber-SuperTinker-Mechanic-Camper-Passenger-TimeKeeper-234|Golfer-Sportsman-Lumberjack-Recruit-Driver-Tourist-Waiter-Gourmet-Sentry|MidniteMiniChamp-Rambler-Rover-Bijou-Escort-Princess-PocketPal
Wenger | RangerEverest|UeliSteckSE-ToolChestPlus-Motorist-Forester-Cyclist-Snowboarder-AlpineBackpacker-Ivanhoe-Football-CigarCutterSlim-710|BottleMate-Esquire-Chairman
No Life Club Posts: 2,552
Re: Explorer with pliers - my first mod
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2021, 05:05:12 PM »
Nice work! :like: :tu:
No Life Club Posts: 3,285
Re: Explorer with pliers - my first mod
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2021, 06:13:31 PM »
Nice work! Looking forward to see the result

[It's not failure if you learn something from it]

Hero Member Posts: 588
Re: Explorer with pliers - my first mod
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2021, 06:25:40 PM »
All clean and shiny!   :D

Well, close enough.   ;)

I didn't get to the cleaning last night, so did it this morning.

The photo also shows the assembly order I'm planning. I've matched it to a pre-hook Explorer and a Deluxe Tinker I have (they overlap with the scissors) so it should work. (2nd photo)

Anyone with more experience have concerns about this order before I put it together later today?

I wanted the pliers no more than one layer in, so I can get a grip on things nearly flush with the surface.

I've got the scissors in the center layer. I don't expect that I'll need to cut anything flush with a surface, but if I really can't get this SAK in, then I'll fall back to the scissors on my Mini Champ (always with me).

I've put the mag glass/inline Phillips off center, next to the knife blade layer.

I've seen a lot of posts from people wishing the inline Phillips was in the center of the SAK, to make it easier to turn.

But I don't think we're giving the Victorinox designers the credit they deserve. With a 5+ layer SAK, with the inline Phillips next to the knife blade layer (or the opener layer), you've got a much better chance of getting to a screw next to a wall or other surface parallel to the screw, but extending out past the screw. You might be able to turn the screwdriver only 90 degrees (through the arc of the blade layer and the backside of the SAK) before having to reposition it, but it will work.

If the Phillips were in the middle of 5 or more layers, there would be a lot more thickness around it, meaning you couldn't get as close to the wall and maybe not be able to grip the screw at all.

Just an observation I had.   :dunno:

« Last Edit: July 15, 2021, 06:31:06 PM by SteveP »

Current SAKs:
Champion "c", Bijou (3), Classic SD (5), Cavalier, Mini Champ (2nd gen.) Plus (mod), Swiss Champ (3), Explorer (3), Deluxe Tinker, Climber, Pioneer Alox, Bantam, Delemont Evolution S557, Wenger Serrated Commander, Huntsman, Serrated Spartan/Weekender, Executive, Explorer Plus, Deluxe Explorer Plus (mod), Wenger Traveler, Marlboro Unlimited Outdoorsman, Alox Classic SD, Spartan, Champion "a"
Sr. Member Posts: 285
Re: Explorer with pliers - my first mod
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2021, 06:26:44 PM »
Nice job SteveP  :hatsoff:

Welcome to the rabbit hole within the rabbit hole…

We take what is offered...
Morituri Nolumus Mori
No Life Club Posts: 3,285
Re: Explorer with pliers - my first mod
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2021, 06:34:27 PM »
Nice work and looking good!

[It's not failure if you learn something from it]

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 5,796
Re: Explorer with pliers - my first mod
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2021, 10:05:27 PM »
Great first build Steve - always the most challenging, but it's the best confidence builder and your build should look great (can we see a pic?)  :salute:  :like:

One suggestion I can make. To help with the initial peening, where you had trouble holding it in a vice, what I do is sandwich the brass rod (already cut) between two layers of hardboard (that thin, highly-compressed stuff). I position the bottom of the pin about halfway down the sandwich, and then put this in my vice really tight so that the hardboard is compressed around the rod. This really locks the rod, stabilizes it from bending, protects it from damage, and you can peen away.  :tu:

Another little tip; add a very small chamfer to the edge of the rod before peening. While this sounds counter-productive (in that the whole objective is to spread the head), this actually helps to direct the force into the head and you get a more stable, neat-looking peen.  :tu:
« Last Edit: July 15, 2021, 10:13:53 PM by Max Stone »

Education is a journey that starts when you realize that knowing a little about something opens the door to the universe.
No Life Club Posts: 2,552
Re: Explorer with pliers - my first mod
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2021, 10:37:53 PM »
Nice tip on the chamfering when peening, Max - I’ll give that a go next time. :hatsoff:
Hero Member Posts: 588
Re: Explorer with pliers - my first mod
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2021, 04:10:26 AM »
Great first build Steve - always the most challenging, but it's the best confidence builder and your build should look great (can we see a pic?)  :salute:  :like:

One suggestion I can make. To help with the initial peening, where you had trouble holding it in a vice, what I do is sandwich the brass rod (already cut) between two layers of hardboard (that thin, highly-compressed stuff). I position the bottom of the pin about halfway down the sandwich, and then put this in my vice really tight so that the hardboard is compressed around the rod. This really locks the rod, stabilizes it from bending, protects it from damage, and you can peen away.  :tu:

Another little tip; add a very small chamfer to the edge of the rod before peening. While this sounds counter-productive (in that the whole objective is to spread the head), this actually helps to direct the force into the head and you get a more stable, neat-looking peen.  :tu:
Thank you for the suggestions, Max. I've added them to my notes for the next mod.   :tu:

Current SAKs:
Champion "c", Bijou (3), Classic SD (5), Cavalier, Mini Champ (2nd gen.) Plus (mod), Swiss Champ (3), Explorer (3), Deluxe Tinker, Climber, Pioneer Alox, Bantam, Delemont Evolution S557, Wenger Serrated Commander, Huntsman, Serrated Spartan/Weekender, Executive, Explorer Plus, Deluxe Explorer Plus (mod), Wenger Traveler, Marlboro Unlimited Outdoorsman, Alox Classic SD, Spartan, Champion "a"
Hero Member Posts: 588
Re: Explorer with pliers - my first mod
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2021, 04:15:38 AM »
And on we go!

Layers assemble!

I've got three layers together here.

The RoboGrip pliers proved invaluable in squeezing the backsprings back so I could insert the tools, see second picture.

Current SAKs:
Champion "c", Bijou (3), Classic SD (5), Cavalier, Mini Champ (2nd gen.) Plus (mod), Swiss Champ (3), Explorer (3), Deluxe Tinker, Climber, Pioneer Alox, Bantam, Delemont Evolution S557, Wenger Serrated Commander, Huntsman, Serrated Spartan/Weekender, Executive, Explorer Plus, Deluxe Explorer Plus (mod), Wenger Traveler, Marlboro Unlimited Outdoorsman, Alox Classic SD, Spartan, Champion "a"
Hero Member Posts: 588
Re: Explorer with pliers - my first mod
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2021, 04:17:52 AM »
All layers assembled.

Ready for bushings and peening.   :D

Current SAKs:
Champion "c", Bijou (3), Classic SD (5), Cavalier, Mini Champ (2nd gen.) Plus (mod), Swiss Champ (3), Explorer (3), Deluxe Tinker, Climber, Pioneer Alox, Bantam, Delemont Evolution S557, Wenger Serrated Commander, Huntsman, Serrated Spartan/Weekender, Executive, Explorer Plus, Deluxe Explorer Plus (mod), Wenger Traveler, Marlboro Unlimited Outdoorsman, Alox Classic SD, Spartan, Champion "a"
Hero Member Posts: 588
Re: Explorer with pliers - my first mod
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2021, 04:23:36 AM »
Peening complete!   :woohoo:

My peening won't win any awards, except maybe at Amateur Hour. But it should work.

I don't know if I got lucky or what, but the layers were nice and tight as I assembled them, no side play with the tools at all. At this point, I have good snap with all tools at open and close, with nothing too tight.

Scales are next, but I've got some modding to do to them first.   ;)

Current SAKs:
Champion "c", Bijou (3), Classic SD (5), Cavalier, Mini Champ (2nd gen.) Plus (mod), Swiss Champ (3), Explorer (3), Deluxe Tinker, Climber, Pioneer Alox, Bantam, Delemont Evolution S557, Wenger Serrated Commander, Huntsman, Serrated Spartan/Weekender, Executive, Explorer Plus, Deluxe Explorer Plus (mod), Wenger Traveler, Marlboro Unlimited Outdoorsman, Alox Classic SD, Spartan, Champion "a"
Hero Member Posts: 588
Re: Explorer with pliers - my first mod
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2021, 06:45:47 AM »
Scales are done.   :)

I made two mods to the back Plus scale:
  • Added a second slot for a second straight pin.
  • Opened and extended the third tool slot. A big thank you to Felix Immler's YouTube video "The secret of the third slot on a Victorinox PLUS Scale /SAK customize & maintenance Workshop(10/15)" for showing me how. In fact, I didn't even know the third slot was there until I watched his video.  :(
I took his idea one step further. I cut off the end of the vertical edges where the pen slot and the original toothpick slot meet. This allows me to slide in a toothpick from a 58mm SAK without having to shorten it. The 58mm toothpick just touches the pen.

I ordered a couple of short, 36mm tweezers on eBay (from ysxrick in Taiwan) that will fit in the third slot. Just waiting for them to arrive. Tracking shows that they've made it to the US, so hopefully soon.

I'm thinking of getting the Firefly fire starter that goes in the main toothpick slot. With the third slot open, I can still have a toothpick or move the tweezers around or just carry two toothpicks or two tweezers. (I may grind one set of tweezers to a point or a slanted tip.) I love options!

Now I just have to clean everything, put the scales on, and load them up!


Current SAKs:
Champion "c", Bijou (3), Classic SD (5), Cavalier, Mini Champ (2nd gen.) Plus (mod), Swiss Champ (3), Explorer (3), Deluxe Tinker, Climber, Pioneer Alox, Bantam, Delemont Evolution S557, Wenger Serrated Commander, Huntsman, Serrated Spartan/Weekender, Executive, Explorer Plus, Deluxe Explorer Plus (mod), Wenger Traveler, Marlboro Unlimited Outdoorsman, Alox Classic SD, Spartan, Champion "a"
Hero Member Posts: 588
Re: Explorer with pliers - my first mod
« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2021, 07:59:01 AM »
And I'm done!   :woohoo:

Scales are on and I've oiled my new SAK.

Introducing ... the Deluxe Explorer!

Max Stone named his the Detective. But I'm liking Deluxe Explorer as that matches Victorinox's naming - the Deluxe Tinker is the Super Tinker + pliers.

Though technically mine is a Deluxe Explorer Plus because of the scales, but that name doesn't really roll off the tongue.  :(

This first mod has been fun and interesting. And not too difficult. I'd almost say the hardest part was getting the parts. Thanks to all the great tips in this forum, particularly in the Mod Squad section, the actual work was pretty easy.

Now I get to enjoy it!

Current SAKs:
Champion "c", Bijou (3), Classic SD (5), Cavalier, Mini Champ (2nd gen.) Plus (mod), Swiss Champ (3), Explorer (3), Deluxe Tinker, Climber, Pioneer Alox, Bantam, Delemont Evolution S557, Wenger Serrated Commander, Huntsman, Serrated Spartan/Weekender, Executive, Explorer Plus, Deluxe Explorer Plus (mod), Wenger Traveler, Marlboro Unlimited Outdoorsman, Alox Classic SD, Spartan, Champion "a"
Sr. Member Posts: 444
Re: Explorer with pliers - my first mod
« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2021, 08:12:32 AM »
And I'm done!   :woohoo:

Scales are on and I've oiled my new SAK.

Introducing ... the Deluxe Explorer!

Max Stone named his the Detective. But I'm liking Deluxe Explorer as that matches Victorinox's naming - the Deluxe Tinker is the Super Tinker + pliers.

Though technically mine is a Deluxe Explorer Plus because of the scales, but that name doesn't really roll off the tongue.  :(

This first mod has been fun and interesting. And not too difficult. I'd almost say the hardest part was getting the parts. Thanks to all the great tips in this forum, particularly in the Mod Squad section, the actual work was pretty easy.

Now I get to enjoy it!

Great job! Thanks for the detailed write-up and photos.  :cheers:

Definitely a great toolset  :tu:
No Life Club Posts: 2,552
Re: Explorer with pliers - my first mod
« Reply #22 on: July 16, 2021, 08:40:40 AM »
Great work, and an interesting read! :like: :like:
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 5,796
Re: Explorer with pliers - my first mod
« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2021, 08:47:21 AM »
Great Build Steve, and sharing your experience.  :like:  I'm sure this post will inspire others to take the plunge. As you say, getting the parts is half the fun/challenge  :cheers:

Education is a journey that starts when you realize that knowing a little about something opens the door to the universe.
Sr. Member Posts: 285
Re: Explorer with pliers - my first mod
« Reply #24 on: July 16, 2021, 10:01:45 AM »
 :like: :salute:
Good work Steve. Now the only question is… What’s next?

We take what is offered...
Morituri Nolumus Mori
Jr. Member Posts: 88
Re: Explorer with pliers - my first mod
« Reply #25 on: July 16, 2021, 10:31:54 AM »
Excellent!

Sent from my SM-G991U using Tapatalk

Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 20,974 Oxygen and magnesium toghether?! OMg!
Re: Explorer with pliers - my first mod
« Reply #26 on: July 16, 2021, 12:35:20 PM »
Great job! Thanks for the detailed write-up and photos.  :cheers:

Definitely a great toolset  :tu:


________________________________
It is just a matter of time before they add the word “Syndrome” after my last name.

I don't have OCD, I have OCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ.

Eff the ineffable, scrut the inscrutable.

IYCRTYSWTMTFOT

Hero Member Posts: 843 MAJ/APA
Re: Explorer with pliers - my first mod
« Reply #27 on: July 16, 2021, 04:00:08 PM »
Sweet mod  :like:

"Every generation has the obligation to free men's minds for a look at new worlds, to look out from a higher plateau than the last generation." Ellison Onizuka
Sr. Member Posts: 350
Re: Explorer with pliers - my first mod
« Reply #28 on: July 16, 2021, 05:07:02 PM »
Explorer with pliers…darn near the perfect edc SAK!


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Hero Member Posts: 588
Re: Explorer with pliers - my first mod
« Reply #29 on: July 16, 2021, 10:29:02 PM »
I have a sunny day here today so got a better picture of the new SAK.   :)

Current SAKs:
Champion "c", Bijou (3), Classic SD (5), Cavalier, Mini Champ (2nd gen.) Plus (mod), Swiss Champ (3), Explorer (3), Deluxe Tinker, Climber, Pioneer Alox, Bantam, Delemont Evolution S557, Wenger Serrated Commander, Huntsman, Serrated Spartan/Weekender, Executive, Explorer Plus, Deluxe Explorer Plus (mod), Wenger Traveler, Marlboro Unlimited Outdoorsman, Alox Classic SD, Spartan, Champion "a"

 

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