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Modding a LM?

us Offline prime77

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Modding a LM?
on: December 02, 2006, 09:00:44 AM
Anyone out there mod there LM in anyway. Taking apart my Surge has got me curious.  I searched the web and found these that other people did. Pretty cool.

* modwave.jpg (Filesize: 89.86 KB)
micra mod.gif
* micra mod.gif (Filesize: 63.07 KB)
"


Offline bobofish

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Re: Modding a LM?
Reply #1 on: December 02, 2006, 12:02:24 PM
That half micra is dope.
Looking at that surge, I just wonder why? It ends up just being a core with one hand opening....well, I guess that's good too though.


us Offline J-sews

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Re: Modding a LM?
Reply #2 on: December 02, 2006, 03:04:41 PM
I must admit, I didn't see it at first either.......

But that first pic is a New Wave, and the guy got rid of the bit driver and the little eyeglass screwdriver, and substituted regular flat head and phillips screwdrivers. Those new adds have a lot better reach than the stubby flattened hex bits.

Neat, but without replacement tool blades available from Leatherman, it has to be pretty expensive. You would have to buy a "sacrificial" multi tool in order to steal the parts you want for your mod.  :(
In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools


us Offline David Bowen

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Re: Modding a LM?
Reply #3 on: December 02, 2006, 05:12:22 PM
I know that modding exists alot in the Swiss Army Catagory and it's great that people are getting into modding multitools, it makes the manufacurers look up and take notice that maybe they can take a hint, that one flavor doesn't always please the public. I personally love the drivers on the Charge and Wave but I do wish they had a further reach, that bit extender someone had on here they got from leatherman would sure be slick.

David


us Offline prime77

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Re: Modding a LM?
Reply #4 on: December 02, 2006, 08:04:26 PM
I must admit, I didn't see it at first either.......

But that first pic is a New Wave, and the guy got rid of the bit driver and the little eyeglass screwdriver, and substituted regular flat head and phillips screwdrivers. Those new adds have a lot better reach than the stubby flattened hex bits.

Neat, but without replacement tool blades available from Leatherman, it has to be pretty expensive. You would have to buy a "sacrificial" multi tool in order to steal the parts you want for your mod.  :(
I agree the Wave mod would be expensive. You would have to get a Wave and a Kick. You could almost get two Spirits for the price of that.
"


us Offline J-sews

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Re: Modding a LM?
Reply #5 on: December 02, 2006, 08:42:49 PM
Hmmm. Too bad a person can't order optional replacement blades for Leatherman tools, like you can for SOG's.

Actually, now that I think of it, this seems like it would be a ripe niche market for a small enterprising knife-making company. Make specialty blades and tools for Leatherman multi-tools, package them individually along with security Torx bits and a set of instructions, and sell them by the millions!

I'll say it again; it seems like there would be a ripe market for some small knife or tool maker to offer after-market implements for Leatherman multi tools.
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: Modding a LM?
Reply #6 on: December 02, 2006, 09:01:18 PM
And other brands as well.

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


Offline Tom Munch

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Re: Modding a LM?
Reply #7 on: December 02, 2006, 09:21:50 PM
So would Peter A or anyone else be interested in this?


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Modding a LM?
Reply #8 on: December 02, 2006, 10:00:53 PM
What about this article about a modded PST II?

http://equipped.com/alterpst.htm

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


us Offline eodtech

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Re: Modding a LM?
Reply #9 on: December 03, 2006, 01:32:41 AM
One economical way to do the mods is to buy a couple of the confiscated lots of MultiTools  that TSA sells on eBay. 

I would bet that LM throws out it's parts in a dumpster ..... I have a friend who works at the local landfill and the USN cleans it's warehouse yeary of tools and parts it does not need ---- a lot of knives, tools, sockets, etc are thrown out....

Why do I carry a 45 ?
Because they don't make a 46 !


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Modding a LM?
Reply #10 on: December 03, 2006, 01:33:56 AM
Who is up for dumpster diving at Leatherman?  :laugh:

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


us Offline J-sews

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Re: Modding a LM?
Reply #11 on: December 03, 2006, 04:55:27 AM
Portland Oregon, tomorrow night, in back of the main plant, midnight.
Be there!
8)
In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools


us Offline parnass

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Re: Modding a LM?
Reply #12 on: December 03, 2006, 07:47:50 PM
Who is up for dumpster diving at Leatherman?  :laugh:


Better wear Kevlar gloves.
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: Modding a LM?
Reply #13 on: December 04, 2006, 01:22:39 AM
What about this article about a modded PST II?

http://equipped.com/alterpst.htm

Def

I was a bit reluctant (i.e. chicken) to take my PST apart until I read this. But I figure, if HE can do it, then I can do it.

No mods though, so I started a different thread: http://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,430.0.html

~Bob
In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools


Offline supratentorial

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Re: Modding a LM?
Reply #14 on: January 01, 2007, 09:58:10 AM
I'd like to replace the small bit driver on a Charge XTi with a scissor.  I think the scissor is just a hair thicker than the small bit driver.  I could use some advice:  Is the scissor on the Fuse the same as the scissor on the Charge Ti?  Would the locking mechanism be compatible with the foreign scissor?  The Fuse doesn't have torx screws so how could I take the Fuse apart neatly?  Thanks!


us Offline J-sews

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Re: Modding a LM?
Reply #15 on: January 01, 2007, 04:45:19 PM
I'd like to replace the small bit driver on a Charge XTi with a scissor.

That sounds like an interesting project. Before you even get started though, check out which torx screws you have on your Charge. Are they 6-star torx, or 5-star torx? (Leatherman started out with the 5-star, but then recently switched to 6-star fasteners.) Bit drivers for the 6-star tamper-resistant screws can be readily purchased, but bits for the 5-star are extremely difficult to obtain.

I think the scissor is just a hair thicker than the small bit driver.  I could use some advice:  Is the scissor on the Fuse the same as the scissor on the Charge Ti?  Would the locking mechanism be compatible with the foreign scissor?

According to my micrometer, the scissor is .098" thick, while the small bit driver is only .075" thick. However, I see there is a thin spacer washer alongside the small bit driver on my Charge. I'm betting the thicker scissor will fit perfectly in the "gap" created by removing both the bit driver and the spacer washer.

The scissor tool on the Fuse appears to be identical to the scissor on the Charge Ti........

.......which makes me quite certain it will be compatible with the locking mechanism if you exchange it to the XTi.

The Fuse doesn't have torx screws so how could I take the Fuse apart neatly?  Thanks!

The Fuse has the old standard Leatherman knurled pivot screws. I took mine apart by grasping both ends tightly with two pairs of pliers and rotating them in opposite directions. (Follow link that Def posted above.) Next time I try it, I will heat the screws up as best I can with a hair dryer though, in hopes of softening up the Loctite a bit.

~Bob
In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools


Offline supratentorial

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Re: Modding a LM?
Reply #16 on: January 01, 2007, 07:41:10 PM
My Charge has the 6-star torx fasteners and I bought a set of Craftsman bits.  Do you think there's loctite on the Charge also?  Thanks for the measurements.  ...I really need to pick up a micrometer.  I haven't bought the Fuse yet.  REI has the Leatherman Charge Ti on sale for $75 and I'm tempted to buy it for parts but those are expensive parts! 
« Last Edit: January 01, 2007, 08:06:46 PM by supratentorial »


us Offline J-sews

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Re: Modding a LM?
Reply #17 on: January 01, 2007, 10:08:15 PM
Yes, there is LocTite on the Charge pivot screws. It's tough, but you can break free of it. Members spunkyruss and parnass recommend using a heat gun to soften the LocTite, which makes for easier disassembly. I haven't tried that trick yet though.

Oh, and don't forget, you need TWO of the 6-star torx drivers, one for each end of the pivot screw. The size is T10, and the bits must have the little hole in the center. (Tamper-resistant style.) 
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: Modding a LM?
Reply #18 on: January 01, 2007, 10:33:47 PM
I would expect that you could look foreward to there being Lock Tite on almost ever screw in just about everything you buy, tools included.

Using a soldering iron and touching the bolt for a moment or two is what I understand to be the most effective method unless you are a big dude like Bob and can just power them things off!

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


Offline supratentorial

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Re: Modding a LM?
Reply #19 on: January 03, 2007, 02:26:46 AM
Oh, and don't forget, you need TWO of the 6-star torx drivers, one for each end of the pivot screw.

I didn't forget.  I didn't even think of it.  My Sears doesn't have individual security bits--just the 32 piece set.   Unfortunately the project will take the back burner until I have more time to shop around for the parts.  I have an easy mod planned for the immediate future.  I know this isn't the SOG forum but... Today I bought a SOG S62 to replace the SOG S60 I sold a while back.  I thought I didn't like the SOG but I started to miss it (and all its quirks) after reading the forums.  I plan on replacing a couple blades on it.  ...btw, the S62 has a V-cutter.  I hope I never need to use such a tool but if I should have an emergency that requires it, I hope I have both hands free so that I can lift open the cover, pull out the tool, push back the other tools that came with it, lock the blade in place, and cut my belt.  ;)

Thanks for all the advice J-sews.  I'll start the Leatherman project up again after I find another security bit.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2007, 02:35:33 AM by supratentorial »


us Offline J-sews

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Re: Modding a LM?
Reply #20 on: January 03, 2007, 03:11:39 AM
........btw, the S62 has a V-cutter.  I hope I never need to use such a tool but if I should have an emergency that requires it, I hope I have both hands free so that I can lift open the cover, pull out the tool, push back the other tools that came with it, lock the blade in place, and cut my belt.  ;)

Hee-hee, Jeez that cracks me up! I'm still laughing as I try to type this!  :laugh:
In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools


Offline supratentorial

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Re: Modding a LM?
Reply #21 on: January 14, 2007, 08:16:29 AM
I found the security torx bit for $1.50 at Ace.  But I just exchanged my XTi for a Ti because I didn't like the crimper taking up so much space on the XTi plier head.  In order to do the mod now I'd need an extra large bit driver.  The cheapest tool with a large bit driver is a Wave and that's too expensive for parts.  :(  I'll probably just leave the Ti as is.  Sorry to disappoint.


Offline supratentorial

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Re: Modding a LM?
Reply #22 on: January 17, 2007, 08:32:23 AM
Well... a couple of modification are in the works now.  I bought a Leatherman Kick and second Leatherman Charge Ti for cheap on SleazEbay.  Once (or if) I receive the newly purchased tools, I intend to convert one Charge Ti into an old-style Wave with parts from the Kick.  On the other Charge, I intend to swap out the large screwdriver and small bit driver for a second large bit driver.  I managed to take apart and reassemble my Charge Ti easily but I'm a little concerned about taking apart the Kick, so any suggestions will be appreciated.  I think the conversion to an old-style Wave should be simple but the other Charge may require some fine tuning with the addition of a spacer to make up for any difference in thickness.


us Offline J-sews

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Re: Modding a LM?
Reply #23 on: January 18, 2007, 02:20:48 AM
My only Leatherman disassembly was an old PST. However, it has the same knurled pivot screw heads as your Kick.

First get the screw as hot as you can, in order to soften up the Lock Tite. (a heat gun or a soldering iron has been recommended)

Using two pairs of pliers, get a tight grip on the knurled head on both ends of the screw. It is critical that both pliers you use have sharp, crisp edges. You want the serrations in your plier jaws to engage the serrations in the screw heads. If you try to use old pliers with rounded off jaw edges, your grip on the screws will slip, boogering up the screw heads on your Kick. 

The pivot screws have a standard right-hand thread.
In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools


Offline supratentorial

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Re: Modding a LM?
Reply #24 on: January 18, 2007, 07:22:55 AM
Thanks!


Offline supratentorial

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Re: Modding a LM?
Reply #25 on: January 23, 2007, 09:26:32 AM
I started the modification of a Charge to an old-style Wave using parts from a Kick.  I followed J-sews instructions and disassembled the tools without much problem.  Although the Kick is not a locking tool, the parts from the kick are identical to the parts of Leatherman's other tools so they lock when transplanted into the Charge.  The width of the replacement parts was a perfect fit in the Charge but there are some other obstacles.  The small driver needs to be shortened a little so that it doesn't bump into the scissor handle.  The added length of the drivers also prevents the tool from closing.  In order for the tool to close sufficiently, it will be necessary to remove or bend the raised stops that keep the pliers head aligned in the center of the tool when the handles are closed.  But unfortunately that won't be sufficient since the pliers head will still bump into the shaft of the Philips and flat driver.  Shortening the drivers or thinning them may fix the problem but I haven't decided if I'm willing to make all of those changes.  I'm not sure how much metal would need to be removed and I don't want to weaken the drivers or lose the utility of long drivers.  I haven't yet attempted to add a second large bit driver to the other tool I intend to modify.  I'll post more information if I do any further modification on this tool or the other one.  I'm not real happy with the outcome thus far but it may improve with further modification and hopefully this experience will be useful to others.

* leatherman-ex-kick.jpg (Filesize: 59.38 KB)


us Offline J-sews

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Re: Modding a LM?
Reply #26 on: January 24, 2007, 04:29:04 AM
Thanks for the update supratentorial. Don't give up! Sorta makes a guy realize there is more to these multitools than it appears at first glance!
In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools


Offline supratentorial

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Re: Modding a LM?
Reply #27 on: January 24, 2007, 04:45:36 PM
Shortening the flat head would allow the tool to almost completely close.   But I'm somewhat of a perfectionist and almost isn't good enough.  From what I've read on the net before I started this project, other people have been happy with similar modifications.  But not much information was provided and I think it's most likely that they just find these problems an acceptable trade off.  Adding a second bit driver to a Charge Ti (in place of the flat driver and small bit driver) or adding scissors to a Charge XTi (in place of the small bit driver) should be less problematic since you are mainly dealing with small changes in thickness.

If anyone else is planning to take apart (or tighten the tools on) their Charge, it is important to note that the pins aren't completely round.  There are reliefs in the handles, pins, and washers which are designed to minimize tool clumping--the pin and washers can't rotate freely with the tools.  Since both ends have a torx head it's difficult to tell which part is the pin and which part is the screw.  During disassembly, if you turn the pin, you could strip the pin and the handle.  Although its possible that some Charges are assembled differently, it may be helpful to know that on both of mine the torx screws were located on the sides with the file and saw.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2007, 05:07:39 PM by supratentorial »


Offline Anthony

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Re: Modding a LM?
Reply #28 on: January 25, 2007, 12:34:55 AM
How about shaving a bit off of the plier tips?
[


Offline supratentorial

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Re: Modding a LM?
Reply #29 on: January 25, 2007, 06:08:26 AM
Thanks for the suggestion but the contact is actually on the sides of the plier.  I shaded the points of contact in the following photo:


* mod.jpg (Filesize: 56.57 KB)


 

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