Saturday, August 31, 2013

Victorinox Spring repair kit

This one was for sale on Ebay and I hesitated for a long time to buy it, because, let's be honest... This can be done without the kit. Take a small philips head screwdriver, push it inside the small loopside of the spring and the old spring pops out. Well, this set makes it much easier and it looks stunning! Another example of Swiss ingenuity... I made a small video tutorial, in case you should buy one and the provided instruction sheet doesn't does the job. ;) Sorry for the bad quality. I don't think you'll see much in fullscreen due to the low resolution, but even at a high quality conversion, Blogger keeps downgrading the image....

STEP 1 : Use the knife jig. There's a small metal piece at the side you should push (A) . When you do this the round metal piece on top goes up (B). Now you can insert the scissors to clamp it. The knife should be placed so the spring has nothing beneath it.

STEP 2 : Look at which spring type you want to replace. When you know which type it is, you can take one of the two punch-tools (red or green) (C) . These tools have "Montage" and "Demontage" written on each side. To remove an old spring, you should face the tool with Demontage towards you. The small pin is now at your side and when you push it in the small loop of the spring, you should be able to tap the large black knob once, and the spring pops out.

STEP 3 : When the spring hole is clear, you can use the countersink (D) to clean out small dirt and metal burrs.

STEP 4 : Take the new spring and place it on top of the open spring hole. Use the same tool as in step 2 (red or green) and face it this time with "Montage" towards you. Now you can tap the large black knob and the new spring should be in place.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Victorinox DIY display stand

I love those nice Victorinox shop displays, but they're so damn hard to find. The shops keep them rather for themselves, or someone else already reserved them... Ok, I already own the moving knife, small rotating glass cabinet and some nice attributes, but you know... it's never enough... So, after three days and 60 euros less in my pocket, I managed to make a cool looking Victorinox shield with a rgb led  built in... I made it to display my customs, since my display cabinet get crowded. Mail me if you want some more info...

Vintage 1930's Peasant

This Peasant (there are more configurations under this name) is a 91mm model with ebony scales, nickel silver rivet guard and no back-tools. It contains a pruning blade, large blade and woodsaw. This type of commercial knife was first made in 1903, but added the woodsaw on the same side as the main blade. this changed somewhere between 1903 and 1930, because in 1931, the blade stamp "Victoria inside the crosbow",like this one, was added. It took me some effort to get this one shipped to Belgium, since the buyer only shipped to USA. After some "begging" I was able to change his mind and after some weeks it finally arrived. The main blade shows a lot of bad grinding but I was able to minimize the damage. A lovely knife with a nice story and especially history...

Age - marks :

* Woodsaw with nailnick : This type of woodsaw was used from 1902 till 1950

* Blade stamp : The main blade stamp has VICTORIA in a crossbow stamped. This stamping was used from 1931 on till?

Conclusion :
The seller advertised it as a Peasant from the 30's-40's and after some very limited research, I came to the same conclusion. Only the Blade stamp is dated from 1931 on, so I would say 1930's...

UPDATE : I couldn't resist cleaning the knife some more and after some polishing paste it came out the way I wanted it... The small pits, created by the surface rust are hard to remove, and give the knife that "genuine vintage" look. That's why I left some of those "marks" the way they were. I managed to clean the rivets and the backspring with a lot of patience. This is how it looks like...

Custom Deer antler Spartan

This one was on my "wanted" list for a long time now and to be scared me to work with a rather expensive material with a fragile "bark" that needs to stay preserved. Too complicated? The outside layer on deer-antlers is called the bark, and this type of material stays the way it is, so no high grade polish to cover small scratches or imperfections. My second challenge was peening the rivets on a bumpy surface without hammering the bark to pieces. After the first rivet I came to the conclusion that this material is incredible strong. I hammered the scale (by accident) a few (many) times and without even a scratch. It looks stunning, and certainly when you use matching scales. I bought my material on Ebay and sawed the large pieces in 4 smaller ones. This way I can make another set for a 58mm classic. As a keychain, I used the tip of a roe's small antlers, combined with my paracord knot. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Victorinox Wallpaper* Cuts "Jamie Cullen / James Joyce"

This Victorinox Climber is a part of the tripartite edition designed by the artists James Joyce and Jamie Cullen. There are only 100 pieces made of each worldwide and are normally only sold in Londen, but thanks to an exceptional chance, I found one for a very low price at the Outlet store in Roermond. Each knife comes in a nice black cardboard box with silver text. This knife was designed by Jamie Cullen and was developed as an collaboration between Victorinox an Wallpaper in 2009. One thing I really miss with this kind of knives, is a certificate or at least a serial number etched/engraved, just to show the customer that he has something special. A beautiful knife with a nice design, now on it's way to the display cabinet... Here's some info about the product presentation anno 2009 : Jamie Cullen will be exhibiting his limited edition Swiss Army Knife design along side James Joyce and the Wallpaper* creative team at Victorinox’s London Flagship Store from September 21st. Wallpaper Cuts: A unique collaboration between Wallpaper and Victorinox, celebrating the beautifully useful Swiss Army Knife. Three limited edition knives with designs by Wallpaper* and the artists James Joyce and Jamie Cullen. The launch of the exclusive bespoke designs and will be hosted by the creative team at Wallpaper* and Victorinox. The London flagship store venue will be the exclusive retail outlet for the limited Edition Swiss Army Knives for the duration of London Design Festival and they will be available at the event for the first time.

Update : I went back to Roermond today and bought the James Joyce edition too. After some closer inspection, this one looks even nicer then the previous one. Too bad the third one (wooden edition) was already sold out. These are very unique pieces with a nice story, and I can only recommend to buy one if you're near Roermond.

RETAIL PRICE : 120 euro
OUTLET PRICE : 78 euro

Monday, August 5, 2013

Victorinox Astronaut / Master Craftsman

This 91 mm knife started off as the Master Craftsman and in the late seventies, NASA gained interest in this rather "complete" toolbox. In 1978 one of the subcontractors, responsible for all the on board purchases, bought 50 pieces of this knife and distributed it with the astronauts. After the first few space shuttle missions, NASA needed to restock and by then (1986), Victorinox changed the name to "Astronaut". The knife had the newest reamer, round philips screwdriver and a few other small changes, but stayed overall the same... Victorinox did a smart move by changing the name of this knife, but after decades of thrilling space shuttle missions, people started taking them for granted and sales dropped... This may be one of the reasons why Victorinox discontinued the knife in 1991. I found one on the Felinevet shop new in box for a whopping 59$, and believe me, it's worth it! These knives become harder and harder to find and since Japan had a large overstock of this knife, it's even harder to find one with English/German warranty papers instead of Japanese.