A new handle for an ALOX SAK in Green Micarta

This is a project I did a year ago and I've just been reminded about it so I thought it would be a good one to put up on here.

I had a commission to swap the scales on this ALOX Swiss Army Knife for green micarta.

A bit of time with a grinding stone on the dremel

On the Alox models there is no liner between the blades and the Alox and I was concerned that the micarta scales wouldn't be a smooth surface so wanted to add another liner.

Rather than having to make some new ones, I had a quick try with the liners from a standard SAK.


It doesn't line up so I decided to make my own liners out of Titanium.

So, a quick photo as a record of what goes where.

and a bit of help from Timmy

I pulled out some Titanium for the new liners. My Dad gave me this hand vice a while back (a car boot bargain) and I wasn't particularly bothered at the time but having used it a few times in this situation, it's perfect. I've now bought some more as they're really handy things.

Using the old scale to keep the holes in the correct position.


This was then repeated for the second liner.

Unfortunately the middle hole is smaller and I didn't have the correct size in at the time so I drilled it later.

I got the dremel-wannabee out to cut the Ti down.

Just starting the first past (you can just see the sparks next to the disc)

 I got about a third of the way through half of the length before the first disc wore out!!

 I was dubious that I would have enough discs to get all the way through so decided to upgrade!

 Be warned: 
Titanium sparks are dangerous! If a Titanium fire starts, it's hard to put out.

This is more like it

Done but notice how much the diameter of the wheel has been ground away - I suspect I was right about not having enough dremel cut off discs!
 So now a Titanium sandwich needs to be made.
Again, the hand vice comes in useful!

The Ti was shaped down to the right size all the way round.

I drilled some pilot holes that will be tapped for the screws that will hold the micarta scales on. (Sharpie marker was using as a poor man's marking fluid)
 Pilot holes for the screws drilled through the micarta:

Tapping holes was something that frustrated me until Terry Knipschield showed a better way of doing it.

His method is to use a power drill to hold and drive the tap. If you have it on a low torque setting, if the tap gets jammed, you don't have a broken tap. Just hold it straight and let the tap threads pull it in.

A bit of deburring. I had been a bit stupid before and not deburred the holes in the Ti before pressing against the micarta.

a bit of 400 grit and a lump of granite removes any burrs in a few passes.

The holes in the micarta need expanding out to be through holes and countersinking.

I suspect this is a bit unorthodox way of making sure the drill lines up....

Slip it through the existing hole, lower the bit, clamp micarta, raise drill and swap for next bit. It gets me by.

The clamp is a home made piece based on something Bob Terzoula uses. A big piece of scrap Aluminium has been used for the base that is held in my cross vice.

 So, bit of countersinking.

 Results in this

but leaves the screws sticking out on the back.
it doesn't take much to reduce them down.

 I got a bandsaw shortly before doing this knife. My Dad upgraded so I got his old one. It's not too great but saves my arm. I don't use it too much at the moment as I think I need some new blades and need to spend some time learning the best way to set it.

Scales now profiled (no pics of this)

 Rather than fit new pins, I hope to reuse the existing ones. The problem is that they were cone shaped because of how they were seated in the Alox. i don't have a metal lathe (yet ) so to made them flat on the end, I used my pillar drill and a file. It took quite a while to do the three pins!

 it means they sit like this:

I thought this step would be more difficult!

Well, I jumped on quite a way since the last picture, although sadly no inbetween shots.

The second bit of Ti was a swine to get in place when trying to get the last pin through, pushing against the springs.

Once it was in place I realised that the piece of Ti on the other end had been bent at the end so it all came apart again so that could be flattened out.

When it was back together, the pins were riveted over. I was wary of this part but it all went ok. The can opener is a bit stiffer to open than before so had a hit or two too many but I think it should loosen off slightly.

So, it looks like this:



  1. Very, very sweet results.
    It's a realy 'personal' SAK now.

    Thanks for the review

    ATB Wouter