A tutorial on the Camillus Knife Vise

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orvet
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A tutorial on the Camillus Knife Vise

Postby orvet » Fri Sep 26, 2008 9:27 am

This is a tutorial on the use of a Camillus style "knife vise" as they were called. The function of this tool is to compress the backsprings of a slipjoint to make it easy to insert a new rocker pin when repairing a knife.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Most of you who are regulars here in AAPK know Tom Williams (CAMCO). Tom has shared a great deal of information about Camillus Cutlery with me, a fact for which I am forever grateful. Recently Tom introduced me to one of his fellow Camillus employees, Wallace Rockwell. Wallace sent me a cutler's stiddy made and used at the Camillus factory. He also sent me a "knife vise." It was also made and used in the Camillus factory.

The knife vise makes it easy work of replacing the rocker pin in a knife.

Tom told me that at Camillus each knife vise was covered with white tape. The purpose of the white tape is to prevent the metal from scratching the knife. The one I received came sans the white tape. Not having any white tape, I had to use duct tape to cover the surface where it might contact the knife.

The first time I used this tool, I thought I had done something wrong because it pivot pin went in so easy. It took me about 15 seconds to put the pivot pin in place. It sure beats trying to compress the springs by hand, or with a soft face vise or with soft face pliers.

Although, I used the vise on several knives before I knew about the white tape, I did not have any problems with it damaging the knife. I think this might only be critical with certain handle materials such as mother-of-pearl.

Here are some pictures of the knife vise that came from Camillus and one that I made like it. I am posting pictures of the knife vise I made in use.

You place the knife vise in a larger bench vise, set the knife on the rests, and crank the bench vise in until the backsprings are compressed, then slip the pen into place. This may require a few light taps from a hammer, but often the pin can be pushed in with your fingers, depending on the knife.

I have made several copies of the Camillus knife vise. It is such a handy gadget and such a timesaver that I figured other knife tinker-ers might want one also. I spoke to Tom about selling these in my AAPK store and donating part of the proceeds to the Camillus Historical Society. Tom said the Society really did not need donations and suggested that the donation might be better used at AAPK.

I will speak with Bryan, and if he is agreeable, five dollars of the price of each knife vise I sell will be donated to AAPK. If you are interested in one of these unique and very useful tools, you can contact me. I hope to have them up on my store in the next day or two.

I hope this tutorial is helpful.
If you have any questions please feel free to ask.

Dale
Attachments
Two Camillus Type Knife Vises.jpg
The original knife vise from the Camillus factory is on the right.
The one on the left is a copy I made. Note the duct tape on the face of vise.
1 Knife vise in bench vise.jpg
This is the knife vise setting in a larger bench vise, ready to use.
2 springs compressed.jpg
Place a knife in the vise with the blades open and tightened the bench vise until the backsprings of the knife are compressed.
3 inserting pin.jpg
Insert the rocker pin through the holes in the handles, liners and backsprings.
For this step I use a pin that I have already spun a head on one end.
On the other end of this pin I have grounded to a taper so that it will fit more easily through the holes.
4 Pin through springs.jpg
I was able to push the pin in this far through the handle, liners and backsprings with just pressure from my finger.
The pen is in far enough that it is through the hole in the handle on the far side of the knife.
5 tapping pin unil seated.jpg
Tap the pin gently until it seats into the bevel around the hole in the handle.
This step may be omitted on many knives. I have had several knives that I was able to push the pin all the way down to where the head seated on the handle with just pressure from my finger.
6 Head of pin seated on scale.jpg
Here the head of the pin is seated on the scale.
You're now ready to remove the knife from the knife vise.
7 Pin ready to be clipped & spun.jpg
The rocker pin is now in place.
The next step is to clip the pin and spin ahead on this side of the pin with a pin spinner.
Dale
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Re: A tutorial on the Camillus Knife Vise

Postby Desktop » Fri Sep 26, 2008 1:39 pm

Awesome tutorial orvet!
Great pictures as well!
:D :D

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Re: A tutorial on the Camillus Knife Vise

Postby CCBill » Fri Sep 26, 2008 2:29 pm

Nicely done, Dale. Thank you...
...CCBill... 8)
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Re: A tutorial on the Camillus Knife Vise

Postby SteelMyHeart85420 » Fri May 15, 2015 3:29 pm

This is awesome, I hafta try and make one of those or see if they're still available. Thanks much. I can verify assembling a Stockman without any such device will enable full use of "shop vocabulary"!

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Re: A tutorial on the Camillus Knife Vise

Postby orvet » Sat May 16, 2015 5:41 am

I don't have any made up at the moment, but I have the straps cut to length and the end bends done already.
If you want one send me a PM and we can work out the details.

Dale
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Re: A tutorial on the Camillus Knife Vise

Postby TripleF » Sat May 16, 2015 5:59 am

Very cool!! ::tu::

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Re: A tutorial on the Camillus Knife Vise

Postby FRJ » Sat May 16, 2015 4:31 pm

I don't actually see how it works. ::hmm::
Joe

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Re: A tutorial on the Camillus Knife Vise

Postby glennbad » Mon May 18, 2015 12:42 am

Nice job Dale! ::tu::

I was most fortunate to get one of these great tools from Dale, and they are invaluable in the knife shop.

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Re: A tutorial on the Camillus Knife Vise

Postby orvet » Mon May 18, 2015 2:19 pm

FRJ wrote:I don't actually see how it works. ::hmm::


By tightening the large vise it compresses the back springs so you can insert the rocker pin to hold the back springs in place.
Without the Camillus tool you need 4 hands and then compress the springs with a vise or with a pair of pliers which often results in damage to the knife.



This is the newer design of the tool, instead of using steel bars and covering it with tape, (as they did at Camillus), I made a couple 'L' shaped pieces of micarta to hold the knife. That way no metal touches the knife, thus preventing scratches.
Camillus Knife Vise new style a.jpg

Camillus Knife Vise new style b.jpg
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Re: A tutorial on the Camillus Knife Vise

Postby FRJ » Mon May 18, 2015 11:49 pm

Thank you, Dale.
The previous pictures didn't have the "L" shaped addition to the inside of the homemade device. The L seems more apt to work, and the L on the opposite side, I suppose, goes in the blade well to offer a better purchase or support.
Is the "vice" steel or aluminum?
Joe

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Re: A tutorial on the Camillus Knife Vise

Postby orvet » Thu May 21, 2015 2:58 am

FRJ wrote:Thank you, Dale.
The previous pictures didn't have the "L" shaped addition to the inside of the homemade device. The L seems more apt to work, and the L on the opposite side, I suppose, goes in the blade well to offer a better purchase or support.


Actually the knife sits sideways on top of the 'L' shaped pieces of micarta with the blades open.
If the blades were closed the arms of the vise would be pushing the blades down into the blade well until they hit the springs.
The arms of the vise squeeze the knife from top and bottom to compress the springs.





FRJ wrote: Is the "vice" steel or aluminum?

Steel
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Re: A tutorial on the Camillus Knife Vise

Postby FRJ » Thu May 21, 2015 3:19 am

Thank you, Dale.
Joe


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