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DIY PROJECT

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by RICK RYAN, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. RICK RYAN

    RICK RYAN Gold Member Gold Member

    168
    Jul 9, 2019
    Is recovering a GEC 71 bull nose a doable first time DIY project? Any idea on cost to have a professional do it with knife and covers supplied?

    Thanks, Rick
     
  2. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    I can't tell you if you can do it of not without knowing your skill set.

    As far as having it done professionally, it would likely be as much or more than the value of the knife.
     
    Drew Riley likes this.
  3. RICK RYAN

    RICK RYAN Gold Member Gold Member

    168
    Jul 9, 2019
    Thanks.
     
  4. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    Post a clear photo of the knife and tell us what you want to do with it. The guys here can help you decide what to do.
     
  5. Drew Riley

    Drew Riley

    Oct 17, 2007
    What kind of covers are you wanting to use?
    I wouldn't say it's an impossible DIY project if you have the tools and are good with your hands, but it's not gonna be an easy project either. I'd probably put it around at least a 6 or 7 out of 10 on difficulty if you're looking to end up with something that looks good and functions well. You'll likely have to drill out the pivot and center pin to get the old scales off. You might be able to pry them off too, but I prefer drilling, personally. I'm not sure if GEC flares their lanyard tubes, so you might be able to just rotate the old scales around the tube a few times until it comes off. If you're careful, you can re-use the tube. If it's flared, you'll likely need to replace it as well. The scales might be glued in place, so you may have to heat or pry them loose from the liners, being careful not to bend or damage the liners.

    You'll need to flatten the back of your cover stock, or you'll have gaps. You'll also have to counterbore the pivot area if you want to use the factory washer. If you take the original covers off carefully enough, you can use them for drilling templates for the new covers.

    Keep in mind that the back spring is under tension until the pins are removed. You'll probably want to try to compress the backspring a little bit, before you drill out the pivot or back spring pins. Sometimes just clamping it in a vise is enough. Sometimes you have to put something the same thickness as the backspring in the vise along with the knife, so that the vise ONLY pushes on the spring at that point. You'll also have to do this again when you put the new pins in place. There's a few ways to do this, but you'll probably find it easier to do in a vise.

    The hardest part will be installing the new pins and getting a decent peen on the ends without over tightening everything. If I'm not mistaken, GEC grinds the covers flush to the lanyard tube and the spring pin, so you have some room for mistakes there, so to speak, but you'll want to dome the pivot pin to match with the washer. This normally takes a bit of practice to get it to look good.

    If you don't peen tight enough, your knife will have gaps and be loose. If you go too tight, you might still have gaps, and your knife won't open well. One trick is to make some shims out of a couple of pieces of soda/beer can, and peen the pivot "tight" with the shims in place. You can get remove the shims and do your final "light" peening to get right where you want to go.

    Once that's done, it's just a matter of flushing and polishing everything up. :D Easy right?
     
  6. RICK RYAN

    RICK RYAN Gold Member Gold Member

    168
    Jul 9, 2019
    Lol, yeah right.
     
  7. flatblackcapo

    flatblackcapo Part time maker, very very part time Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 25, 2012
  8. fishface5

    fishface5

    Feb 3, 2001
    Recovering a slipping is among the most complicated of knife mods. BUT an easier option is a partial recover, by which I mean you fill down ~ 70% of the handle slabs to be thinner, leaving the 30% of the top by the pivot untouched. Then you can epoxy the handle material of your choice over the thin part of each slab, leaving you with a "bolster" of the original material.
     
  9. RICK RYAN

    RICK RYAN Gold Member Gold Member

    168
    Jul 9, 2019
    This knife with these covers.
     
  10. RICK RYAN

    RICK RYAN Gold Member Gold Member

    168
    Jul 9, 2019
    I am pretty handy and usually will would give it a try, but I don't have the tools necessary to try this I don't think. I really appreciate all the advice and comments. I will continue my search for the one I need and maybe later have someone do this for me if I can't find one.
    Thanks again, Rick
     
  11. Drew Riley

    Drew Riley

    Oct 17, 2007
    I don't see any pictures.
     
  12. Busto

    Busto KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 26, 2011
    This model is one that would be easier to recover since it does not have Bolsters...The "Birdseye" Pivot is the area of attention removing the pivot pin and not "Hogging Out" the pin hole. Also removing the Thong Hole pin which is under pressure since it is there to hold the Back Spring Tension more than likely would need to be replaced. It's been my experience that GEC does not use adhesive to secure the covers only the Spring Pins.
     
  13. RICK RYAN

    RICK RYAN Gold Member Gold Member

    168
    Jul 9, 2019
    Sorry they were too large to load. 20190904_171239.jpg Screenshot_20190913-111802_eBay.jpg
     
  14. Drew Riley

    Drew Riley

    Oct 17, 2007
    You probably don't need a ton of expensive tools. At minimum, you'll want a drill press and a basic set of drill bits. You need a small forstner bit or flat bottomed counter bore for insetting the birdseye washer. You can flatten the covers by gluing some abrasive paper to some glass and just hand rubbing them back and forth until flat.
    The rough profile can be cut out by hand with a coping saw, then cleaned up with a sanding arbor in your drill press. The rest of the profiling can be shaped with some files, rasps, and sand paper. To peen the pins, you'll need a small ball peen or finishing hammer. For an anvil, you can use the head of a hardened bolt, or another hammer held in your vise. You can get a functional drill press and vise for about $100 from Amazon, or if you look in your local classifieds, probably about half that. The rest of the miscellaneous bits, files and sand paper will probably be around $50 or $60, if you just get the basics. A tube of epoxy might not be a bad thing, as it can help fill any minor gaps.

    I also realized that since this knife has liners, after disassembling the knife, you can just epoxy the liners to your material, and use them as your drilling and profile template. I overlooked that detail in my original post. Glue is not completely necessary if everything is precise, but it might be helpful for first timers.

    Edit: And don't forget the replacement pin stock and possibly a lanyard tube. Looks like the center pin is around 3/32", and the pivot is around 1/8". You can verify each by using a drill bit as a "pin gauge" once you have the knife apart.

    A small pin punch may not be a bad idea either.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019

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