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Combination Awl/Can Opener

Offline ilikepinkcrayons

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Combination Awl/Can Opener
on: March 16, 2021, 11:33:52 PM
Hi All,
First time poster and first time LM mod'er! I'd like to free up some space in my Signal by converting a can opener to a combo awl/can opener. I've seen some pictures of similar mods, but can't find much detailed information on which openers work best for this. I'd guess that a longer/straighter opener will work better (as far as the awl goes anyway) than a short/boomerang shaped opener. I'd like to prioritize the awl's function over the can opener's since I will use that 100x more than the opener. Goals are to include drilling in wood and thin sheet metal, along with sewing rubber or leather.

I sketched out what I'm thinking of on this Wingman opener (I think?): re-profile the blade and add an edge to the front, drill a whole, and possibly move the hook in order to lengthen the awl. I'm hoping you guys have some thoughts on the best opener to start with. Also, if anyone has tried this with good/bad results, please let me know.

Also, great forum. You all seem super nice, super excited, and super nerdy...my kind of crowd.
Combo Awl_Can Opener.jpg
* Combo Awl_Can Opener.jpg (Filesize: 27.18 KB)


Offline ilikepinkcrayons

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Re: Combination Awl/Can Opener
Reply #1 on: March 26, 2021, 12:20:57 AM
Can anyone tell me if the PST/PST II can opener will fit in my Signal? Based on the shape, this looks like it might be a good candidate for a combo tool.


pt Offline pfrsantos

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Re: Combination Awl/Can Opener
Reply #2 on: March 26, 2021, 01:18:40 PM
Hi All,
First time poster and first time LM mod'er! I'd like to free up some space in my Signal by converting a can opener to a combo awl/can opener. I've seen some pictures of similar mods, but can't find much detailed information on which openers work best for this. I'd guess that a longer/straighter opener will work better (as far as the awl goes anyway) than a short/boomerang shaped opener. I'd like to prioritize the awl's function over the can opener's since I will use that 100x more than the opener. Goals are to include drilling in wood and thin sheet metal, along with sewing rubber or leather.

I sketched out what I'm thinking of on this Wingman opener (I think?): re-profile the blade and add an edge to the front, drill a whole, and possibly move the hook in order to lengthen the awl. I'm hoping you guys have some thoughts on the best opener to start with. Also, if anyone has tried this with good/bad results, please let me know.

Also, great forum. You all seem super nice, super excited, and super nerdy...my kind of crowd.

Welcome aboard, ilikepinkcrayons!

 :cheers: :salute:

Pretty cool idea. If/when you do it, remember:

:worthless:

One tip: drill the awl hole before you start to reprofile the tool. It will lessen the chances of breaking it or having it out of center with the finished tool.

Awlso, make a trial run with the awl/opener before you move the hook. If it's not working the way you want, adjust it bit by bit, not awl at once.

Let us know how it progresses.

 :popcorn: :tu: :tu:
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us Offline King_Gorilla

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Re: Combination Awl/Can Opener
Reply #3 on: March 27, 2021, 01:58:18 PM
Welcome!

I think it's a cool idea to begin with, especially if you don't find yourself opening many cans. 

I hate to be THAT guy, but I am wondering, Of all the Leathermans out there, why do you want to do this on the Signal?  It already has a bottle opener that works really well on the carabiner clip and you don't even have to deploy a tool to use it.  And on the Signal, next to the can opener, is an existing Awl.  It seems like both functions of the new tool already exist. 

 :think: :dunno:


bg Offline DavisNikolov

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Re: Combination Awl/Can Opener
Reply #4 on: March 27, 2021, 02:46:13 PM
That's a good idea. But I think that when you straighten the blade to make it an awl you need to make more hook-like shape on the other end, otherwise it will slip of the edge of the can. Something like this



Offline ilikepinkcrayons

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Re: Combination Awl/Can Opener
Reply #5 on: March 27, 2021, 03:26:46 PM



...I hate to be THAT guy, but I am wondering, Of all the Leathermans out there, why do you want to do this on the Signal?...


Great feedback, guys! I went on ebay to find some parts, and Shopbekizo sent me a few extra openers to practice on. What a nice guy! I hope he's a member here and sees this thread.

King_G, if this works well, I'd like to replace the existing awl with a shorty serrated blade. I used to have a Juice Xe6 which had two blades, and I loved having one that's crazy sharp and another for general abuse (boxes, rope, etc.). I would then consider swapping out the combo blade for a plain s30v.

This is not an important enough mod to sacrifice the awl (VERY handy, awl the time!) or the can opener (handy while backpacking, assuming I have cans), especially since I awlready have a combo blade, but it would be nice to protect that plain edge as much as possible.

Sent from my moto g(6) using Tapatalk



us Offline King_Gorilla

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Re: Combination Awl/Can Opener
Reply #6 on: April 02, 2021, 10:17:58 AM


King_G, if this works well, I'd like to replace the existing awl with a shorty serrated blade. I used to have a Juice Xe6 which had two blades, and I loved having one that's crazy sharp and another for general abuse (boxes, rope, etc.). I would then consider swapping out the combo blade for a plain s30v.

This is not an important enough mod to sacrifice the awl (VERY handy, awl the time!) or the can opener (handy while backpacking, assuming I have cans), especially since I awlready have a combo blade, but it would be nice to protect that plain edge as much as possible.


Ah, I see. 
That makes sense.  I love the design of the blade and awl fitting into the same slot space in the signal.  Although I personally wouldn't want to make those changes to my signal, I have had similar thoughts.  I love the idea of a wave or charge being designed with a small serrated blade similar to the awl on the signal (just like you described).   I love having separate PE and serrated blades on my tools but I use the serrated one far less often and feel like that design could be a good way to open up a spot for another big outside accessible tool. 




us Offline DavZell

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Re: Combination Awl/Can Opener
Reply #7 on: April 27, 2021, 03:55:42 PM
How is this going?
My Mods: 58mm Workshop, 91mm Picnicker, CyberCompact
Some Fav's: long nail file models, vintage unusual stainless
Quirk: I like the metal file more than the wood saw


Offline ilikepinkcrayons

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Re: Combination Awl/Can Opener
Reply #8 on: November 07, 2022, 03:35:06 AM
Wow, the last 2 years have been tough for me, so I haven't had much motivation for projects, but I finally got a bug up my bum and did some Leatherman projects. Ignore the part about me doing this on a half wave, or the weird location on the outside slot, and just focus on the combo/awl and can opener!

Sent from my Pixel 4a using Tapatalk



Offline ilikepinkcrayons

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Re: Combination Awl/Can Opener
Reply #9 on: November 07, 2022, 03:42:57 AM
I don't actually know what kind of opener this is, I just grabbed the one that had the closest thickness to what I needed, and started hacking away to see what happened.

The can opener I started with had a nice long blade to make a good awl with, but not the correct profile for a normal Wave/Signal style lock. So I scribed the profile into some layout fluid (permanent marker), and started filing it to match.

Sent from my Pixel 4a using Tapatalk



Offline ilikepinkcrayons

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Re: Combination Awl/Can Opener
Reply #10 on: November 07, 2022, 09:44:41 PM
Some comments about the modification: 
1. As pfrsantos pointed out in post 2, drill the whole first! Good thing this was just a practice run...I just wanted to see if a straight can opener would work or if the boomerang shape was absolutely critical to function. Turns out, it works okay if it's straight too.
2. Consider the location and whatever tools share neighby spaces before cutting the bevel. If you angle the bevel one way, it might clear up space for the pliers head when the knife is closed, or if you're trying to squeeze this into an external slot like the awl in the factory Signal, then you need the bevel to create clearance for the blade tip of the tool that's in the same slot.
3. Again, if you're trying to squeeze this in an external slot, realize that the hook will force you to shorten the blade that's attached to the opposite pivot in that same slot. This is probably going to be an internal tool, but I haven't quite figured out where I'm heading yet.

Sent from my Pixel 4a using Tapatalk



 

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