Help with a mini-Copperhead

The W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company has a very rich history that began in 1889 when William Russell (“W.R.”), Jean, John, and Andrew Case began fashioning their knives and selling them along a wagon trail in upstate New York. The company has produced countless treasures and it continues to do so as one of the most collected brands in the world.
StuartMantel
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Help with a mini-Copperhead

Postby StuartMantel » Mon Aug 05, 2019 3:59 pm

I have recently acquired a Mini-Copperhead (62109W) in I have an issue I'm hoping someone here can help me resolve.

Usually, when you open a blade, it snaps into place but, these blades are very soft and I don't feel like they are locking open to be safely used. When I close the blades, they snap shut as I would expect.

I have cleaned and oiled them and there does not seem to be anything in the joints that would cause it.

Mini-Copperhead.jpeg


Thanks for any advice you may have.

PS. I hope I posted to the correct forum. I'm new here and I don't want to offend anyone on my first day.

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Steve Warden
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Re: Help with a mini-Copperhead

Postby Steve Warden » Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:40 pm

Welcome to AAPK! Nice knife, there.

On that particular knife, the blades do not and will not lock open. As long as you're putting pressure on the cutting edge and not the back edge of the knife, you'll be fine. Even knives with locking mechanism can have a mechanism that fails, so paying attention to what you're doing is the rule of safety for any and all knives.
Take care and God bless,

Steve
TSgt USAF, Retired

But any knife is better than no knife! ~ Mumbleypeg (aka Ken)

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Railsplitter
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Re: Help with a mini-Copperhead

Postby Railsplitter » Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:50 pm

Steve gave some excellent advice but I agree that your blades should snap into the open position. I think what you're describing is that they don't.

If you can't get them snapping properly, Case should be able to fix it if you don't mind sending it to them. I would contact Case first to see what your chances are of having it repaired under warranty. They may or may not consider it a factory defect.
Rick T.
My Uncle owns a Red Barchetta.

tallguy606
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Re: Help with a mini-Copperhead

Postby tallguy606 » Mon Aug 05, 2019 6:03 pm

I have this exact same knife and my blades snap into the open position just like any other Case I have.

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Doc B
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Re: Help with a mini-Copperhead

Postby Doc B » Mon Aug 05, 2019 11:44 pm

Often, in older knives...the wear, of the tang, affects the "snap". It could be a pretty difficult repair, if it is caused by wear. This thread, shows what older tangs often look like, after a lot of wear, ...and how they fixed it by welding...
viewtopic.php?t=23801
Heretical Refurb / Mods of cheap old folders, since late 2018

StuartMantel
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Re: Help with a mini-Copperhead

Postby StuartMantel » Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:46 am

Thank you all for the advice. I have several Case knives and this one is the only one that does not snap open. Visual inspection does not show me anything that would be the cause. The shoulders on the blades all look like my other knives with sharp angles and smooth, flat surfafes. When the blades are open, the shoulder meets the springs cleanly and evenly. The knife is from 2000 so wear shouldn't really be an issue.

I'll try Case to see if there is anything they can do.

Thanks again.

Modern Slip Joints
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Re: Help with a mini-Copperhead

Postby Modern Slip Joints » Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:33 pm

Based on the unused knives I've collected the most common cause for them not snapping into the full open position is that the blade fit between the bolsters is too tight. Opening and closing them ~ 1,000 times adding drops of oil during the process gives them a satisfying snap about half the time and improves the sap in the other half. However, the improved snap has to come at the price of accelerated wear. As delivered those knives have all of the spring pressure holding the blade open and the added friction from the blade being squeeze between the bolsters so they actually are safer from accidental closing than a knife with great snap.

Knives with weak springs are another matter.

StuartMantel
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Re: Help with a mini-Copperhead

Postby StuartMantel » Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:56 pm

Modern Slip Joints wrote:Based on the unused knives I've collected the most common cause for them not snapping into the full open position is that the blade fit between the bolsters is too tight. Opening and closing them ~ 1,000 times adding drops of oil during the process gives them a satisfying snap about half the time and improves the sap in the other half. However, the improved snap has to come at the price of accelerated wear. As delivered those knives have all of the spring pressure holding the blade open and the added friction from the blade being squeeze between the bolsters so they actually are safer from accidental closing than a knife with great snap.


I've thought of that. When I get a new used knife, I usually hit the joints with a little gun cleaner and compressed air, to remove any grit, and then oil them up. I don't think it's tight joints because they close with a very strong and distinctive snap from about a 30-degree angle.

As I'm writing this, a thought hit me. When I look at the springs, on the spine, when the knife is closed, they sit flush to the liners. When the blades are open, the springs are slightly raised. If I run my fingernail over the spine, it catches on the edge of the spring. I just checked about a dozen slip joints in my collection from a variety of manufacturers and this is the only knife where the springs aren't flush. Can some of you check your copperheads and see if my knife is an anomaly or is this normal behavior.

Thanks to everyone for your help and advice.

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Railsplitter
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Re: Help with a mini-Copperhead

Postby Railsplitter » Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:18 pm

The spring on mine is virtually flush with the blades open.
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Rick T.
My Uncle owns a Red Barchetta.


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