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SAK Mountaineer mod 458

Newbie Posts: 15
SAK Mountaineer mod
« on: April 07, 2020, 05:49:56 PM »
For several decades I have carried a SAK Executive.  It has close to an ideal set of tools for my EDC needs.  This is assuming that I also have my Leatherman with me as well.  I just want a little longer sharp blade for food, as in when a restaurant has dull knives or no knives at all.

I have ordered a Mountaineer as the start for a mod and a Spartan for a donor.

For years now I have thought that I would like a pocket knife with a long and a short blade for every day tasks. And a long serrated blade for food (serrations to protect sharp edge when cutting on a plate). And a short blade, extra sharp, saved for special needs.

I am planning on starting with a Mountaineer, replacing the two openers with the two sharp blades from the Spartan (along with the spring). The awl on the back side looks like it will operate with the spring (just based on photos that I have looked at) but it is narrower so it will need a spacer to fill the gap.

I believed that I had it all thought through but today I realized that the key ring on both the Mountaineer and Spartan is part of the opener layer spring. So my mod would not have a key ring. It will not be carried with keys but used for a safety lanyard when needed.

My 30 year old 91mm multi-layer Champ(?) has the key ring lug on the sharp blade layer.

Soooo, is there a way of getting a blade spring with a key ring lug that is compatible with the Mountaineer / Spartan?  Or some other way of having a key ring?
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,557
Re: SAK Mountaineer mod
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2020, 06:13:47 PM »
For several decades I have carried a SAK Executive.  It has close to an ideal set of tools for my EDC needs.  This is assuming that I also have my Leatherman with me as well.  I just want a little longer sharp blade for food, as in when a restaurant has dull knives or no knives at all.

I have ordered a Mountaineer as the start for a mod and a Spartan for a donor.

For years now I have thought that I would like a pocket knife with a long and a short blade for every day tasks. And a long serrated blade for food (serrations to protect sharp edge when cutting on a plate). And a short blade, extra sharp, saved for special needs.

I am planning on starting with a Mountaineer, replacing the two openers with the two sharp blades from the Spartan (along with the spring). The awl on the back side looks like it will operate with the spring (just based on photos that I have looked at) but it is narrower so it will need a spacer to fill the gap.

I believed that I had it all thought through but today I realized that the key ring on both the Mountaineer and Spartan is part of the opener layer spring. So my mod would not have a key ring. It will not be carried with keys but used for a safety lanyard when needed.

My 30 year old 91mm multi-layer Champ(?) has the key ring lug on the sharp blade layer.

Soooo, is there a way of getting a blade spring with a key ring lug that is compatible with the Mountaineer / Spartan?  Or some other way of having a key ring?

Craig, were you planning to remove the openers layer, just to have another layer of blades?

I wouldn't recommend to dissemble the vintage 91mm Champ just to get a lanyard hole, one cheaper and easier way probably is to get it from 91mm Compact(and you could still have a combo tool for all the bottle/can opening chores)


Also, I would humbly suggest to look at the dissembled pictures of both mountaineer and compact, visualize how the mod going to be and think thru any potential incompatibility, then dissemble and do a setting out for the layers before putting them back into a new mod.  ;) [size=78%] [/size]

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Newbie Posts: 15
Re: SAK Mountaineer mod
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2020, 07:15:55 PM »
Thanks for the input comis.  For my pocket EDC I do not want the openers.  There is one on my Leatherman.  I do want the two additional blades.

I am not going to take parts from the old Champ.  I was just pointing out that other tools have the key ring attached to other layers than the opener layer.

The Spartan was purchased as a donor for the two additional blades but I was not thinking about the key ring lug.

I have looked at the exploded photos on this forum.  Most helpful.

So the question is where can I get compatible parts to include a key ring lug?  The Compact you mentioned has only one blade, not two so it does not look like it will be of any use. 

From what I can see in the photos on the Victorinox web site, for 91mm, if it has an opener layer that is were the key ring lug is.  If no opener layer it also has only one blade.

Looking at the exploded photos it looks as if it might be possible to reshape the opener spring a little to make it work with the knives while keeping the key ring lug.

I have taken apart and modded several 111mm SAKs so I have a little experience dealing with all the pieces.
Newbie Posts: 15
Re: SAK Mountaineer mod
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2020, 07:49:30 PM »
While looking at the exploded photo of a Mountaineers again, it looks like I just need the spacer for the smaller blade hinge end that includes a key ring lug.

Is this correct?

Where can I get one of those? 
Admin Team Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,863 I brake for cake
Re: SAK Mountaineer mod
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2020, 07:55:35 PM »
Is this correct?

Yes.

Where can I get one of those?

A Compact is the only common source. You could make one yourself fairly easily if you can find brass or aluminium sheet of the correct thickness. Cutting and filing a new spacer shouldn't take too long.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,557
Re: SAK Mountaineer mod
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2020, 08:01:16 PM »
Thanks for the input comis.  For my pocket EDC I do not want the openers.  There is one on my Leatherman.  I do want the two additional blades.

I am not going to take parts from the old Champ.  I was just pointing out that other tools have the key ring attached to other layers than the opener layer.

The Spartan was purchased as a donor for the two additional blades but I was not thinking about the key ring lug.

I have looked at the exploded photos on this forum.  Most helpful.

So the question is where can I get compatible parts to include a key ring lug?  The Compact you mentioned has only one blade, not two so it does not look like it will be of any use. 

From what I can see in the photos on the Victorinox web site, for 91mm, if it has an opener layer that is were the key ring lug is.  If no opener layer it also has only one blade.

Looking at the exploded photos it looks as if it might be possible to reshape the opener spring a little to make it work with the knives while keeping the key ring lug.

I have taken apart and modded several 111mm SAKs so I have a little experience dealing with all the pieces.

Based on my data, the compact lanyard spacer should be a direct drop in 'replacement' for average 91mm Vic blade layer spacer, so if you have already gotten a spartan, maybe a viable option is to look at a 2nd hand compact on ebay or here on BST?  I have even seen people selling Vic parts for mod on ebay, so that could be another option.

Personally, I think the challenge of using the can opener spring as a blade layer spring is there's no 'stopper' to catch the large blade when it's falling shut, and the distance from the pivot hole to spring is quite different for the small blade, since the openers spring bend downward instead of going straight out like the blade layer spring.  I think it maybe potentially possible to make the small blade work, but the large blade could be a different story.  If you have access to the right thickness of Ti material, maybe making a new spring could be an elegant solution to this problem.


Since you have already got the Spartan, maybe to just migrate the whole blade layer over to replace the opener layer, and replace corkscrew with the awl?  The thickness or sizing could be different, but it's worth a try.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2020, 08:19:57 PM by comis »

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Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,557
Re: SAK Mountaineer mod
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2020, 08:03:17 PM »

A Compact is the only common source. You could make one yourself fairly easily if you can find brass or aluminium sheet of the correct thickness. Cutting and filing a new spacer shouldn't take too long.

That's a great and cheaper idea.

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No Life Club Posts: 4,917
Re: SAK Mountaineer mod
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2020, 11:34:18 PM »
I’ve used a Waiter as a donor for the keyring spacer. A lot cheaper than a Compact.  :salute:
Newbie Posts: 15
Re: SAK Mountaineer mod
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2020, 03:31:57 PM »
Thanks for the input.  A key ring spacer is in transit so I believe that is solved.

Now I am looking into covers / handles / scales (what is the most accurate term?).  I would like blue or yellow with a pen slot.  So far I have found only a few sources.  On through Etsy from Switzerland.  One through Amazon from Moscow.

Are there any sources from N. America?
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,557
Re: SAK Mountaineer mod
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2020, 03:41:50 PM »
I think there are some popular ebay sellers that do offer a good variety of plus scales(scales with pen slot) and the shipping shouldn't be too expensive.

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