A story of spring tension.

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by Pogonasong, May 21, 2019.

  1. Pogonasong

    Pogonasong Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 27, 2018
    So about 3 months ago I purchased my first Ohta thanks to some recommendations on here..it is a stag wharncliffe with thin liners and absolutely stunning handle to blade transition that I admire every day...I had such a good experience with that knife (my profile pic) I went ahead and purchased an Ohta LC this dealer also had on his site the following pay period (yeah I have a problem)...it was 350 which seemed like a steal at the time. It is indeed a beautiful knife as well but upon recieving it I noticed two bummer flaws that were not just OCD knife collecting nit picks. Now I'm sure the dealer would have refunded/accepted the return of the knife but it seemed nice enough to warrant sending to Mr Ohta if he was willing to look at it...he responded back to my inquiry and said yes but that he'd need me to send it to Japan mid-June as he is busy until then. I'm just happy he is willing to fix it.

    Here is the knife.
    So for the problems...
    The blade is off center causing the blade to rub on the liner putting scratches across the hand rub finish...(bound to happen from use regardless I can live with it but disappointing).
    The main issue and the reason for the post was that the pull on this thing was like a 14 out of 10.. I feel like it was maybe a custom order to the specs of one of those WWF type "strongman" dudes who bend rebar with their hands while preaching about the benefits of sober living at schools.
    While watching tv I have opened and closed this thing with the blade wrapped in a towel hundreds of times and have had zero luck getting it to lighten up. I finally put it away in my knife case and forgot about it --until tonight when it occured to me that parcels take time to get to Japan and I should maybe get it prepared for its journey to the maker.
    I admire the knife and fight with the blade to get it to half...pinch the blade and snap it into the open position. At this point I heard a loud pop....I immediately assumed I snapped the spring.
    To my surprise the knife was still completely together...not only that- it now has like a 6/7 pull and the action is snappy and feels like the other Ohta. I'm very confused at this point and start inspecting everything..upon shining a light into the liner I see that the spring has cracked near center pin. Only on the inside of the knife is it apparent the spine looks normal.

    You can see the perfectly straight line in the photo where the light is hitting in the photo.
    I keep my knives in a light coat of mineral oil like I've learned to do ....the knife walks and talks great now...what kind of structural integrity do you experts think I'm dealing with here? In your opinion is it unlikely to last very long with the crack in the spring? Anyone ever have something like this happen?!
    I have read about springs snapping but never them cracking and improving the movement. I should probably still send it off right?

    Didn't intend the long write up just thought this was strange!
    Have a good night everyone.
    Eli Chaps likes this.
  2. Arathol


    Jan 1, 2003
    That spring is broken, send it back.
  3. Fodderwing

    Fodderwing Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 31, 2017
    Absolutely send it back. He is renown for his conscientious dedication to his customers. You won't regret it.
  4. Misplaced Hillbilly

    Misplaced Hillbilly Gold Member Gold Member

    May 16, 2018
    I would say that although it feels great now,that is a time bomb waiting to happen. I would let Mr. Ohta know about it,then send it to him when its time.
    Jack Black and Pogonasong like this.
  5. Pogonasong

    Pogonasong Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 27, 2018
    Yeah I know I'm just amazed that a spring can break and simultaneously fix the main issue i had with the knife. It feels fixed but in reality it's broken!

    just want to make it absolutely clear I am in no way trying to put Hiroaki's work in a negative light ...I know as soon as I get it back I'll be happy and again I'm thankful he's responsive and willing to help. I feel like everyone on this board is aware of his talent as a maker and the high value you get with his knives but throwing that out just in case the post is taken the wrong way.
  6. Arathol


    Jan 1, 2003
    That spring is cracked partially through. That crack is now a weak spot and the spring is flexing at that point. Naturally it will feel different, and it will get easier until fatigue causes it to break completely. That could happen next time you open or close the knife, or in a week or a month. It will eventually fail completely, don't wait to return it.
    Jack Black likes this.
  7. Peregrin

    Peregrin Traditional Forum Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    As others have said, that spring will break sooner or later. I'd send it back now. You'll be happy you did.

    If your experience with Mr. Ohta is like mine you will be exceedingly happy with the process and results. I had a backspring break on one of mine last fall. Here's a thread on it, "Ping of Doom", Traditional knives please

    Good luck!
    L.H.S, Will Power, Pogonasong and 2 others like this.
  8. abcdef


    Oct 28, 2005
    I had a GEC break under those circumstances. Your experience is a new one to me. I'm glad the maker will fix it for you.
    Pogonasong likes this.
  9. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 20, 2018
    Well from one Erik to another, I hope you get it sorted out and can report back with happy news in the not so distant future. :)
    Pogonasong likes this.
  10. Will Power

    Will Power

    Jan 18, 2007
    Mr Ohta is a man of his word, he will take care of this. Not all makers are like him...
    Pogonasong likes this.
  11. L.H.S

    L.H.S Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 1, 2013
    Judging by your linked picture, and that it happened to OP's knife also, I wonder if the maker isn't leaving enough material on the blade well side of the spring pin?
    Pogonasong likes this.
  12. Peregrin

    Peregrin Traditional Forum Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    I suppose that's possible. He makes a lot of slip joints though and I rarely hear of a problem.
    I do own 3 others that he made and haven't had an issue with any of them. I know that's not a large sample though.
    L.H.S and Pogonasong like this.
  13. Pogonasong

    Pogonasong Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 27, 2018
    I'm going to wait to message him but the knife is set aside until repair. Part of me is wanting to ask if he'd change the scales to some stag for money but I don't want to press my luck and the jigged bone is nice regardless.

    I noticed it was in the same place as well I'm just amazed it was a partial crack and not completely through like Peregrin's! If I picked the knife up I wouldnt think anything was wrong with it since the blade moves normal although as I've been advised...ticking time bomb!
    Peregrin likes this.
  14. Arathol


    Jan 1, 2003
    Looks to me that the crack goes right through the hole where the pin goes through. If so, the inside part broke leaving the outside intact. That being said, it is common practice to stop crack propagation by drilling a hole at the end of the crack. The round hole just might have stopped it from breaking completely.....for now.......
    Pogonasong likes this.
  15. JB in SC

    JB in SC Basic Member Basic Member

    May 19, 2001
    Broken springs are usually due to improper heat treatment. The only two I’ve experienced were from one maker in the same pattern. At first the action felt smoother then gritty, then the spring popped. Both cracks were at the same location.
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
    Pogonasong likes this.
  16. Ernie1980

    Ernie1980 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 19, 2012
    Wow that is a unique experience! I too have heard nothing but good things about Ohta so I am sure he will take care of it. Keep us updated!
    Pogonasong likes this.

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