The Lockback Folding Knife: From Design to Completion
by Peter Fronteddu & Stefan Steigerwald

An introduction to the design and making of lockback folding knives with 236 superb full color photos, translated from the successful German edition. Ring bound so it lays flat when open.

Well illustrated instructions detail all stages of the knife's construction, from creating a template to making the blade and locking mechanism. With this guide you can tackle the challenging task of constructing a lockback knife and gain the skills necessary to create a lockback knife of your own design.

Reviewed by Knife World staff

This is a how-to guide on the subject of making lockback folders – those with locking mechanisms similar to the Buck 110 folding hunter. For years, an excellent resource on this subject was available under the title How to Make Folding Knives. Now it’s out of print, and there’s been a clamor for something to replace it. Well folks, here it is!

Like its companion book Basic Knife Making, The Lockback Folding Knife has been translated from a previous German edition, and shares with it the same positive attributes – simple and well thought out, with superb illustrations and just one negative attribute, the translation. However, other than the measurements being presented in metric rather than standard, this book is the better of the two in that regard.

The chapters proceed from some initial thoughts to creating a design and making a “Functional Template” for it, cutting out and shaping the liners and blade, and moving on to a critical element – the lock. The locking mechanism is a major focus of the book, and a large number of photos are used to illustrate how it’s created.

Making the “spacer”, which holds the actual spring, is next; then comes blade grinding and finishing. After that, the bolsters and blade pivot are made. Several pages are devoted to handle making and making washers for the pivot, and finally the knife is finished and assembled. There’s also a neat gallery section that shows variations on the same design theme, inside and out, with different mechanisms and construction details.

Since some experience with fixed blade knives is expected before tackling a folder, this book wastes little time on basic shaping and finishing processes.And while some of the techniques rely on a milling machine and metal lathe, everything up to the dovetailed bolsters and the pivot can be done with a file. Components that are beyond the capabilities of your shop (such as the pivot) can easily be obtained from knifemaking supply houses – so don’t let a shortage of equipment stop you from making a folding knife!

This is really a superb book – everything is well thought out and the full color photography is the best I’ve seen in any knifemaking book. If you’re interested in taking the big step into lockback folders, don’t go there without a copy of The Lockback Folding Knife.

The Lockback Folding Knife: From Design to Completion
by Peter Fronteddu & Stefan Steigerwald
Spiral bound, full color, 112 pp.

Here are links to all of the titles in this series:
Basic Knife Making: From Raw Steel to a Finished Stub Tang Knife
The Lockback Folding Knife: From Design to Completion
Pocketknife Making for Beginners
Making Hidden Tang Knives
Making Integral Knives
Making Leather Knife Sheaths, Volume 1

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