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Modding a Victorinox RangerGrip

Offline Quadrupel

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Modding a Victorinox RangerGrip
on: December 24, 2021, 12:34:56 AM
Hi Multitool enthousiasts,

I have been reading and enjoying the great content on this forum for a while, but now I have a project that requires some advice so I decided to register.

 I really like the RangerGrip as my EDC (although it is big) but the selection of models is very limited. You can either choose a model with oversized scissor or pliers (which offer too little functionality for their size in my opinion) or you can choose a simple model with basically a (one handed) knive and a can opener which lacks most of the great and creative tools of smaller models.  This is a shame because the 130 mm length allows for some pretty interesting combinations such as combining a small scissor with a can opener or a small plier with a bottle opener.

So I decided to make one myself combining a Ranger Grip 178, a budget Ranger Grip 52 and a an Evolution S557, this keeps all the tools ‘wenger style’. The idea is to keep the one handed knife and the nice big woodsaw from the Ranger Grip 178 but replace the third layer. This third layer features a Can opener (which I have no use for) and an oversized bottle opener. I will replace this third layer with the S557 pliers and the smaller can opener. Then I will add a fourth layer with the S556 wrench tool and scissors and the spring and bottle opener of the Ranger Grip 52 on the back side.

Then I will add some parts made out of 3d printed stainless steel or titanium. First of all I want to print a 1/4 inch hex bit holder which fits the S556 wrench tool, it will be very flat only holding the bits at the top and bottom ends. But this way I will have at least an in-line hex tool for light work and a heavy duty hex tool on the side for heavy work.

Next I want to print both scales In metal, but not without a few hidden features. One scale will be printed to fit the tweezers, the toothpick and a Victorinox pen and the locking mechanism shield. The other scale will be featuring a cut-out and magnets to fit up to 4 standard hex bits. Since the scale will be already 4 mm thick the bits will only stick out 3 mm in the middle with the rounded part. I think this is acceptable because the scales will actually be slightly thinner then the original plastic scales, so even with the fourth layer the knife probably will not be thicker then 20 mm, (23 mm at the point where the bits stick out). I think this is an acceptable thickness considering all tools packed inside.

So why I made this topic;
- It seemed fun to keep you guys updated of the build process, because I did not see many Ranger grip mods.
- Also I am not an experienced modder so maybe there is some advice, maybe I am missing things or combining tools that cannot be combined? I’m also happy to hear tricks and tips to improve the mod idea.
- Also I am playing with the idea of adding a metal saw, but unfortunately Victorinox makes no 130 mm models with metal saws and older wenger models which have one are very rare. Tips or ideas on this topic are welcome. Still a bit in doubt because maybe a 5th layer will make the knife too bulky and heavy.

Best Regards,
Quadrupel


us Offline Poncho65

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Re: Modding a Victorinox RangerGrip
Reply #1 on: December 24, 2021, 04:08:26 AM
Welcome to :MTO: glad you decided to join  :woohoo:

I have modded a few SAKs but I mod MTs more and dont know as much about them :salute:

Hopefully someone who is better qualified to answer your questions will be along soon :cheers: :like:


se Offline RF52

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Re: Modding a Victorinox RangerGrip
Reply #2 on: December 24, 2021, 09:07:30 PM
Could you source a metal file from the 111 series of Vic tools?

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pt Offline pfrsantos

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Re: Modding a Victorinox RangerGrip
Reply #3 on: December 27, 2021, 01:43:24 PM
Welcome aboard, Quadrupel! Good luck with your idea, keep us posted!

 :cheers: :tu:

Remember:

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Offline Quadrupel

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Re: Modding a Victorinox RangerGrip
Reply #4 on: December 27, 2021, 10:46:57 PM
Thanks for the warm welcome, I have made the first steps with the project and made some pictures to make this thread less worthless  :D

First I have disassembled the S557 as you can see in below picture
sak1.jpg
* sak1.jpg (Filesize: 78.33 KB)

After that I have dissambled the Ranger Grip 52, and before smashing the third knife I decided to first check if the measurments were okay.
sak2.jpg
* sak2.jpg (Filesize: 101.49 KB)

The pliers did not fit with the bottle opener but they did fit quite nicely with the wrench tool. You do have to fold out the pliers to fold in the wrench tool but I do not mind that since I will not be using it often and this is also something that victorinox does with philips screwdrivers behind pliers/scissors. The only adjustment needed for this layer is filing off the bump of the spring at the wrench side and maybe a little bit of the corner of the wrench tool to make it fit perfectly.

On the other layer the smaller S557 bottle opener is a great match with the S557 scissors, as you can see they fit perfectly with only a few millimeters to spare. Only problem is that the scissors fold too far and you cannot get them out easily. I will solve this simply by putting this layer on the outside of the knife and put a very short bolt and nut through the outer liner behind the 3d printed scales as a stop for the scissors.

I am not dissapointed at all with the measurements, it actually fits great, also it is very convenient that both the small and large 'wenger' models use 2,5 mm pins. Also note the Rangergrip 52 does have a hex tool on the side, it was just hidden behind the scales. I am now going to 3d print plastic prototypes of the scales, main problem will be get the holes in exactly the right spot and to make the insert tools like the tweezers fit tight.

Edit: I am not sure how to avoid the attachment showing up below the message when it's already embedded in the message, is there a way to do that?


us Offline kamakiri

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Re: Modding a Victorinox RangerGrip
Reply #5 on: December 27, 2021, 11:10:58 PM
I’ve just been watching for answers to your questions and good job getting the pics up. My guess was that some tools like the scissors or pliers would have the issue with dropping too low and needing an added rest. One thing I though was that the pliers might be able to use an added nail nick on the side like Victorinox does in the 111mm frames due to a similar issue where the tip cannot be used to pull the tool out. Looks like the wrench could be lowered a bit by grinding the backspring a bit. Did you try swapping sides for those two?  I was also wondering what you’d do for the difference in spring width for that layer if there is any. I only have one Ranger 71 that I use and the spring widths are all over the place. At least you shouldn’t have an issue with pin sizes like many Vic frame conversions need to deal with.

Cool project, best of luck, and welcome to the forum!  :cheers:
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Offline Quadrupel

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Re: Modding a Victorinox RangerGrip
Reply #6 on: December 28, 2021, 11:16:16 PM
I’ve just been watching for answers to your questions and good job getting the pics up. My guess was that some tools like the scissors or pliers would have the issue with dropping too low and needing an added rest. One thing I though was that the pliers might be able to use an added nail nick on the side like Victorinox does in the 111mm frames due to a similar issue where the tip cannot be used to pull the tool out. Looks like the wrench could be lowered a bit by grinding the backspring a bit. Did you try swapping sides for those two?  I was also wondering what you’d do for the difference in spring width for that layer if there is any. I only have one Ranger 71 that I use and the spring widths are all over the place. At least you shouldn’t have an issue with pin sizes like many Vic frame conversions need to deal with.

Cool project, best of luck, and welcome to the forum!  :cheers:
Thanks for your feedback. Regarding the difference in spring width you pointed out a problem I had not realized yet. All 4 tools seem to have a slightly different thickness. Especially the wrench tool is quite thick, even thicker than the knife layer. For now I will solve this with some washers since the difference per layer is small, if this creates a visual unappealing look I will consider 3d printing extra layers of aluminium that can fit between the layers and the backsprings.


us Offline kamakiri

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Re: Modding a Victorinox RangerGrip
Reply #7 on: December 29, 2021, 01:15:20 AM
Thanks for your feedback. Regarding the difference in spring width you pointed out a problem I had not realized yet. All 4 tools seem to have a slightly different thickness. Especially the wrench tool is quite thick, even thicker than the knife layer. For now I will solve this with some washers since the difference per layer is small, if this creates a visual unappealing look I will consider 3d printing extra layers of aluminium that can fit between the layers and the backsprings.

I don’t mind washers at the tool/end pins to make up for thickness differences where the tools are thin. But I generally go to ‘dummy’ liners like you suggest when it’s the spring that is too thin.
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Offline Quadrupel

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Re: Modding a Victorinox RangerGrip
Reply #8 on: December 31, 2021, 01:45:52 AM
I don’t mind washers at the tool/end pins to make up for thickness differences where the tools are thin. But I generally go to ‘dummy’ liners like you suggest when it’s the spring that is too thin.
I agree with your suggestion, it will be better too use dummy liners since the spring is too thin. I am now in the proces of creating an accurate 3d design. I have finished the first version (see picture attached) but it is still off by a few millimeters at some points. It's a really difficult design to replicate to a tenth of a millimeter, even when using calipers and reference pictures. Also I have found that the 3d printing in aluminium or titanium will be more expensive than expected, up to 100 euro per scale. So I am thinking about alternatives but steel is heavy and plastic does not look that nice.

* sak3.jpg (Filesize: 73.62 KB)


us Offline kamakiri

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Re: Modding a Victorinox RangerGrip
Reply #9 on: December 31, 2021, 04:10:27 AM
 :like: looking pretty good there!
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us Offline tattoosteve99

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Re: Modding a Victorinox RangerGrip
Reply #10 on: December 31, 2021, 04:35:41 AM
I think I’ve done one maybe two with those type pins. Just a friendly fyi. Do not change to brass you will be sorry. If you need a cheap alternative to those pins use a stainless welding rod and then thin it down before you use it. Don’t get it to hot as well or it will harden before you can peen it. Go slow on peening to keep it cool. That’s the best advice I have.
If I remember correctly, wait, what was I saying?


Offline Quadrupel

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Re: Modding a Victorinox RangerGrip
Reply #11 on: December 31, 2021, 03:05:33 PM
I think I’ve done one maybe two with those type pins. Just a friendly fyi. Do not change to brass you will be sorry. If you need a cheap alternative to those pins use a stainless welding rod and then thin it down before you use it. Don’t get it to hot as well or it will harden before you can peen it. Go slow on peening to keep it cool. That’s the best advice I have.
May I ask why? Because I have only made a test setup but it seemed bolts with a 2,5 mm thread looked good. Now maybe when I assemble it there will be more tolerance? Is that what you are suggesting? If so, maybe I will consider using 2,5 mm aluminium or brass tubes with a 1,6 mm bolt on the inside since I really want to make it serviceable and the peening process is tricky.


us Offline kamakiri

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Re: Modding a Victorinox RangerGrip
Reply #12 on: January 01, 2022, 03:40:21 AM
May I ask why? Because I have only made a test setup but it seemed bolts with a 2,5 mm thread looked good. Now maybe when I assemble it there will be more tolerance? Is that what you are suggesting? If so, maybe I will consider using 2,5 mm aluminium or brass tubes with a 1,6 mm bolt on the inside since I really want to make it serviceable and the peening process is tricky.

I’m curious about his why too.  :dunno:

When I was trying to figure out what to use for test frames, I got a bunch of brass and stainless. I generally settled with tapping stainless.  Brass works, but for my purposes of reusing the parts for multiple test fits, stainless made more sense.

I’m not sure it would make a big difference for a permanent installation.

I can say I prefer nickel silver over brass for wide mods that need long pins. As drawn temper works for me, but that makes it more difficult to peen nicely.
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Offline Quadrupel

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Re: Modding a Victorinox RangerGrip
Reply #13 on: January 03, 2022, 11:56:24 PM
I have another update since I have the 2nd version printed.

First of all I needed to print the unlocking button more detailed. First I had a flat surface behind the plus cutout but it was difficult to press it in and also it needed a small rod on the bottom to actually push the liner lock. It was quite difficult to get the measurements right but the plus works now. Unfortunately I still have to adjust the scale since you can now push the plus button under the scale a bit when pressing it so it doesn't pop back up, so I need to find a way to avoid that from happening without increasing the thickness of the cross or the scale.
sak4.jpg
* sak4.jpg (Filesize: 20.69 KB)

Secondly I made some minor adjustment to the scale, all the screw holes are now exactly in the right position but the test slot for the accessoires is not good. If fits tweezers all right but the pen is too tight and the toothpick too loose. So I have to make a third version.
sak5.jpg
* sak5.jpg (Filesize: 17.81 KB)


Thirdly I have been thinking about the in-line hex adapter that I wanted to print for the wrench tool. Problem is I need some room at both sides of the wrench tool to clamp it in firmly, but this would mean that I need two layers width for the wrench tool with the same backsprings. This would enable me to put a 93 mm metal saw in the opposite direction besides the pliers, But it would add a fith layer which makes the knife a little bulky I think, also it means I need another two donor knives, one for the 93 metal saw and one for the second backspring or one donor and the trouble at expensive of recreating the backspring in 3d printed metal.

An alternative would be to forget about the wrench tool and use the pliers for small bolts. And then 3d print my own in-line hex tool in metal, something like this;
sak6.jpg
* sak6.jpg (Filesize: 12.07 KB)

The advantage is that it will fit in one 2.5 mm layer, I can even make it the exact same width as the pliers so this layer fits the backspring perfectly. Disadvantage is that it will be less versatile than the wrench tool and probably less solid, although stainless 3d printed metal isn't that bad these days. Also I would be missing the saw, although I have been thinking about if I can somehow fit a replacable leatherman metal saw or a jigsaw metal saw in the scales which I can then somehow connect to this 3d printed tool, but I am not sure how to secure it.






us Offline tattoosteve99

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Re: Modding a Victorinox RangerGrip
Reply #14 on: January 04, 2022, 12:55:57 AM
May I ask why? Because I have only made a test setup but it seemed bolts with a 2,5 mm thread looked good. Now maybe when I assemble it there will be more tolerance? Is that what you are suggesting? If so, maybe I will consider using 2,5 mm aluminium or brass tubes with a 1,6 mm bolt on the inside since I really want to make it serviceable and the peening process is tricky.
Aluminum will not work at all zero. Been there done that, to soft. For the stainless however. I find for some unknown reason wenger knives that big have a very strong snap and spring. I’ve bent brass ones before. Now on the tubing stainless is the only way to go. Aluminum would work but only for testing. Within a few open and close sessions the aluminum will be gone.
If I remember correctly, wait, what was I saying?


Offline Quadrupel

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Re: Modding a Victorinox RangerGrip
Reply #15 on: January 04, 2022, 01:02:47 AM
Aluminum will not work at all zero. Been there done that, to soft. For the stainless however. I find for some unknown reason wenger knives that big have a very strong snap and spring. I’ve bent brass ones before. Now on the tubing stainless is the only way to go. Aluminum would work but only for testing. Within a few open and close sessions the aluminum will be gone.
I understand your reasoning for not choosing aluminium or brass now but why not threaded stainless? Seems M2,5 is a lot easier to come by and also easier for dissambly.


us Offline kamakiri

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Re: Modding a Victorinox RangerGrip
Reply #16 on: January 04, 2022, 06:27:41 AM
Excellent progress! :tu:

I think I’d try some sort of plate or bar or tab somewhere near the liner or lock parts to limit the bottom travel.  :dunno:

I wouldn’t even try aluminum. I don’t think that was the question. But I can easily see a dead soft brass bring a problem too. As-drawn 2.5mm shouldn’t be that bad.  :dunno: tightly peened I would think should still work. But I’d start with nickel silver anyway for anything with high spring pressures.
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Offline Quadrupel

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Re: Modding a Victorinox RangerGrip
Reply #17 on: January 05, 2022, 02:16:11 AM
Excellent progress! :tu:

I think I’d try some sort of plate or bar or tab somewhere near the liner or lock parts to limit the bottom travel.  :dunno:

I wouldn’t even try aluminum. I don’t think that was the question. But I can easily see a dead soft brass bring a problem too. As-drawn 2.5mm shouldn’t be that bad.  :dunno: tightly peened I would think should still work. But I’d start with nickel silver anyway for anything with high spring pressures.
I decided to go for the custom tool option. It is cheaper and more compact. After some tweaking I came up with this design.
 
sak7.jpg
* sak7.jpg (Filesize: 19.41 KB)

It is only 2.8 mm wide and even more compact in length and height than the wrench tool. 1/4 inch hex bits can fit in the green slot, they will be attached at the top and the bottom so I have an in-line bit holder for light work, I can use the hex bit holder on the side for heavy work. The orange cutouts allow for a standard jig saw 'bit' to be placed instead of the hex bits. To avoid it from moving you need to push together the blue colored metal parts when sawing, these are connected at the brown points with iron wire so it is a flexible construction and they can move a bit when putting in a hex bit or the jig saw 'bit'. So this very compact tool will allow me to use both standard hex bits and standard jig saw 'bits', I think that is a very convenient tool.


us Offline kamakiri

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Re: Modding a Victorinox RangerGrip
Reply #18 on: January 05, 2022, 05:33:50 PM
Are you including storage for any bits?

That’s really cool to accept both types of bits. I think you should be able to add a locking mechanism for the spring-clamp parts.
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us Offline tattoosteve99

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Re: Modding a Victorinox RangerGrip
Reply #19 on: January 05, 2022, 06:06:27 PM
Looking good! I can only say what I’ve learned from my experiences. That’s all I offer as to why. Hope that makes sense and glad to see more people modding.
If I remember correctly, wait, what was I saying?


Offline Quadrupel

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Re: Modding a Victorinox RangerGrip
Reply #20 on: January 05, 2022, 10:51:15 PM
Are you including storage for any bits?

That’s really cool to accept both types of bits. I think you should be able to add a locking mechanism for the spring-clamp parts.
I have been thinking about bit storage quite a while, to service my bike or drone on the go or adjust door handles I wanted at least 4 different hex and torx bits,  my original plan was to make a slot over the lenght in one scale and let them stick out a bit, (the scale is 3 mm, the bits would be 6.35 mm). But I do  not think it looks very neath and adds to the thickness while I want to keep the knife 4 layers max. Second idea was to fit two bits in the slot of the corkscrew instead of the corkscrew. But this only gives me two bits and would require a complex replacement tool and a lot of grinding of the backspring to keep the bits in place.

I really do not like proprietary solutions but I concluded there is not really a way of adding regular hex bits without increasing the size/thickness significantly. So after some consideration I decided to go for leatherman bits. This enables me to add up to 8 different bits to one scale without increasing the thickness of the scale. It will be a shame if I lose one because they are proptietary but the knife will still accept normal bits so I can use normal ones in a pinch or add them to a seperate sheath or something.
Looking good! I can only say what I’ve learned from my experiences. That’s all I offer as to why. Hope that makes sense and glad to see more people modding.
Thanks, I will definitly not use brass or aluminium but I will try threaded stainless first to see what happens.


Offline Quadrupel

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Re: Modding a Victorinox RangerGrip
Reply #21 on: January 08, 2022, 07:35:02 PM
Finished another version and ordered some Leatherman bits. The bits actually fit quite nicely, and they do create some sort of stripes pattern on the scale. Unfortunately I could only fit three but I can fit a fourth one within the tool. So I will have a total of 8 bits available within the knife.
sak11a.jpg
* sak11a.jpg (Filesize: 30.9 KB)

The leatherman bits do create another problem unfortunately, because they are double sided they are actually too long to fit in the hex bit holder on the side of the scale, since layers like the woodsaw and the bottle opener do not have the hex bit cutout. I am not sure how to fix this yet.




us Offline kamakiri

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Re: Modding a Victorinox RangerGrip
Reply #22 on: January 08, 2022, 10:11:56 PM
Great solution.  :tu: :like:

Can you make one slot fit two flat bits? That would be cool.
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Offline Quadrupel

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Re: Modding a Victorinox RangerGrip
Reply #23 on: January 13, 2022, 11:36:09 PM
Great solution.  :tu: :like:

Can you make one slot fit two flat bits? That would be cool.
It would be possible but It would make the scales up to 7 mm thick which makes the knife too bulky for me, however I did decide to also fit three bits in the other scale by moving the locking mechanism a bit upwards. I did not have enough room for a full plus sign so it has an oblique cut, however I do like it because it is after all not an original victorinox and now the plus sign hides a bit behind the extra features suggesting it is partly victorinox and partly something new. The real plus side is I can now fit up to 7 leatherman double sided bits in a 4 layer knife without increasing the thickness of the scales compared to the original knife.
 
sak18.jpg
* sak18.jpg (Filesize: 50.35 KB)

This weekend I will dissamble the Ranger Grip 178 and test the updated version of the plastic scales, if they fit I will be ordering them in 3d printed titanium and the project will be almost finished. I still need some extra versions of the saw/bit tool because I want to 3d print the steel springs to lock the blade integrated in the tool which will not be easy. Fortunately the tool is quite small so it will not cost me as much but it will take some time because every steel prototype will take 10 days or so to be made and shipped. (below a picture of the current plastic prototype)
 
sak19.jpg
* sak19.jpg (Filesize: 39.11 KB)



ca Offline AndyS

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Re: Modding a Victorinox RangerGrip
Reply #24 on: January 14, 2022, 06:48:31 AM
I understand your reasoning for not choosing aluminium or brass now but why not threaded stainless? Seems M2,5 is a lot easier to come by and also easier for dissambly.

This is an amazing knife! Great progress!  :like:

To answer your earlier question, people tend to avoid having a tool pivot on a threaded rod. Traditionally you would have a bushing to allow the pivoting motion. The tools may deploy unevenly if they are pivoting on a threaded rod. Brass works well as a bushing material due to its softness. Hope that helps  :cheers:


us Offline kamakiri

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Re: Modding a Victorinox RangerGrip
Reply #25 on: January 14, 2022, 05:25:00 PM
 :iagree:

Great progress, indeed! I like the added bit slots and the revised button. Can you have the materials delivered with different finishes? I imagine that must drive the costs up a bit.

To answer your earlier question, people tend to avoid having a tool pivot on a threaded rod. Traditionally you would have a bushing to allow the pivoting motion. The tools may deploy unevenly if they are pivoting on a threaded rod. Brass works well as a bushing material due to its softness. Hope that helps  :cheers:

I thought more people were running directly on the threads?  :dunno: I use a tapped stainless (or brass or nickel silver at times) round stock myself, and mostly just for testing. Nothing is worse than peening up a knife, only to find that something isn’t quite right and is difficult to fix in situ.
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us Offline King_Gorilla

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Re: Modding a Victorinox RangerGrip
Reply #26 on: January 22, 2022, 07:44:02 PM
 :like:

That bit storage in the scales looks VERY promising. 


us Offline tattoosteve99

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Re: Modding a Victorinox RangerGrip
Reply #27 on: January 31, 2022, 08:00:58 AM
:iagree:

Great progress, indeed! I like the added bit slots and the revised button. Can you have the materials delivered with different finishes? I imagine that must drive the costs up a bit.

I thought more people were running directly on the threads?  :dunno: I use a tapped stainless (or brass or nickel silver at times) round stock myself, and mostly just for testing. Nothing is worse than peening up a knife, only to find that something isn’t quite right and is difficult to fix in situ.

For testing threaded rod is ok. For final assembly I just won’t. Think of it this way. You have way less surface area than a solid rod. Also those threads won’t last long at all, especially if any force is applied to them. As small as they are, and more than likely not hardened, the threads themselves will collapse and then the pivot becomes smaller. Hope that makes sense.
If I remember correctly, wait, what was I saying?


us Offline kamakiri

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Re: Modding a Victorinox RangerGrip
Reply #28 on: January 31, 2022, 03:55:30 PM
For testing threaded rod is ok. For final assembly I just won’t. Think of it this way. You have way less surface area than a solid rod. Also those threads won’t last long at all, especially if any force is applied to them. As small as they are, and more than likely not hardened, the threads themselves will collapse and then the pivot becomes smaller. Hope that makes sense.

Total sense.  I understand the concern and don’t and wouldn’t ride on the threads directly myself. Just thought that more people did this on stainless threads? At least that’s the way it appeared to me since a while back. I’ve always wondered if it caused issues like operating problems or need for long term maintenance.
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Offline Branislav Pelech

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Re: Modding a Victorinox RangerGrip
Reply #29 on: February 16, 2024, 03:10:40 PM
Quadrupel can you post an update please? I hope it's a finished project now. Please send some pics.


 

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