I didn't think this project was worth posting about. It was just a scale swap. What could go wrong?
So there aren't any photos from the project in progress, just this final result shot:
By way of preamble, I will say that most of the 'hilarity' that follows is attributable to operator error and not Victorinox or SwissBianco. Just your truely.
So....scale swap. An upgrade from some Celidor scales to some fancy new SwissB pants. In blue G-10. Oooooohhhhhh......ahhhhhhhh.....
I thought that I some G-10 scales might be a bit more hard wearing and a bit different. And they are.
Because they are G-10, they don't just 'pop' on like fresh Celidor. They need to be glued in place, and that is where some of the fun begins.....
First thing I checked that the new scales fit the stripped knife. Check. The fit looked (with a causal glance) good. Next, I degreased the old Super Tinker liners and bushings with acetone and a clean rag ( Mrs Nix later called it one of her 'T-shirts'. I'm assuming that's some kind of euphemism for 'good rag'. ).
I put some masking tape on the exterior side of the new scales to protect them during clamping and mixed up some JB Weld Epoxy.
* A brief word about the JB Weld: it was old. I'm not sure how old.....but old. Perhaps 10 years old. However I had used some the week before for a different project without any problems. I expected it would be super for this project. Yeah, old and opened for a week. But....it seemed to mix up fairly well.
A SMALL amount of epoxy was applied to the appropriate holes in the scales, being careful to keep any stray epoxy out of the T&T channels. The new scales were push fit onto the SAK and clamped in place.
* photo of clamped up Super Tinker with epoxied scales:
I was pleased to see that no epoxy was oozing out of the clamped up SAK. Everything looked great at this point. After 8 hours....clamps removed. Looked OK. But,...after replacing the T&T, I noticed that I couldn't remove either pick or tweezers easily with a finger nail. The scales were slightly thicker than stock and both the T&T were shrouded by the extra height. Both T&T could be removed...using another SAK....which isn't really the point, eh? I figured I'd fix that later....
This morning...I noticed a little gap between one scale and the liner! Where'd that come from? And....there was some play there..... I slid the edge of a utility knife into the gap...and the scale popped right off. So did the other scale.
Upon closer inspection, the epoxy had bonded well to the scale, but not the brass studs and bushings.
* JB Weld is design to be used on metal....and fiberglass.
After having a wee cry...
...and a cup of tea...I used a drill bit by hand to clean the epoxy out of the scales holes. Mostly. I then used multiple grades of sand paper to thin the scales around the T&T slots. Also used a small file to chamfer the lower edge of the T&T slots to make it easier to get a nail under the face of each.
Now...what to use to get the scales back on to the knife....a new epoxy? or Super Glue....? I went for super glue.
Each hole was given a slightly generous application of glue and the scales were re-fitted to the SAK...but I fumbled around a bit and had a hard time getting the scales with their little pockets of runny super glue fitted precisely. After some swearing, hopping, twisting, and removing tape....back into the clamps.
After a few hours.....success!
Except...I had glued the cap lifter shut. And there was a nice super glue thumb print one one of the scales. But the T&T fit and were removable. No problems. Aside from the cap lifter....
After breaking my thumbnail trying to open the cap lifter, I used a plastic scraper tool to pry the cap lifter open. The offending super glue residue was cleaned off the cap lifter and full function was restored. The scales were ( mostly ) cleaned up. Victory was declared and another cup of tea was consumed.
Awl in awl a
hilarious project. The scales seem to be in the right place and firmly affixed. Awl the tool open and close, although the can opener has lost its 'snap'. The T&T work; however--and here I'm a bit sad--a Firefly Ferro rod does not fit. It fits 80% of the way and then meets resistance. I could shave the Firefly down a bit, but I think I'll just live with the toothpick.
I think epoxy is probably a better choice for mounting scales, but the super glue worked really well for me. ( I think. ) Aside from getting it everywhere while fumbling to fit the scales on.
Here are a few lessons learned for me from this project:
1. Slow down. Enjoy. Haste might not make waste, but it will get super glue everywhere.
2. Glue on one scale at a time. I think I would have had less mess if I had done one scale, let it set up, then finished the second scale.
3. Be wary of old epoxy. If a project is worth doing, it is probably worth fresh epoxy.
4. Check the fit of the scales and T&T with scales held in place prior to gluing. Had I done this I would have shaped the scales before first glue-up.
5. G-10 sands very nicely.
You guys may have extra insights and ideas about where I went wrong. I'd be happy to here any and awl suggestions.
So, a trust old SAK now looks like....a trusty old SAK. It ain't perfect, but then again, after a week in my pocket it wouldn't look perfect anyway. The Japanese have a philisophical and descriptive term for SAKs like this: Wabi Sabi