Chaparral QI #3

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cali
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Chaparral QI #3

Postby cali » Sun Jan 16, 2022 7:40 am

Few years ago I bought a Chaparral FRN.
I had to do something with stiff lock right away. Moving the spring forward a bit solved the problem (I believe Spyderco hasn't changed that). That is QI #1.

Next one - the clip. Deepening the grooves solved the problems with slipping and loosing tension (Spyderco moved the screw in new runs). That's QI #2 (the bad one - I made a hole in one of the scales).

Now the time has come for the final issue, the steel, heavy backspacer (in a lightweight knife!). I made a G10 spare one, QI #3.
I am not pleased with it. I picked the most similar color, and had to use 1 mm sheeth. Still it is not as close as it should be, now I think that contrasting color would be better, especially if available in 2 mm thickness. Fit is good enough for me but still can be better. Finish of the external surface is also good enough (there is a small nick, impossible to remove). I didn't have the right tool for making the spring slot, but nobody sees that ;)
Now the feel of the knife now is completely different, the balance is as should be! Issue solved :)

Image

Image

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Re: Chaparral QI #3

Postby zhyla » Sun Jan 16, 2022 9:41 am

Surprised the backspace weights was noticeable. But I always like to see these kind of DIY mods.

How did you deepen the clip slots? I’ve been thinking of doing this on mine. I have a milling machine so I may just clamp it down and use an end mill the same width as the slots to route that out a bit.

I’m not sure why the deeper slots will help, seems the screw position is the real culprit. I have a Lynch clip coming and want to see how I like the Chap with a non-wire clip.

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Re: Chaparral QI #3

Postby u.w. » Sun Jan 16, 2022 10:09 am

Very Nice!

I too bought one of the first LW ones, and promptly modded it a bit, as you did yours. I shortened the lock spring, and straightened it just a bit, removed all the metal I could from the liners, without affecting the way the knife worked, and of course put a good clean fresh edge on it. A good friend/'brother' of mine was coming back from a bit of an extended trip overseas, and I knew he liked smaller knives, so...
I gifted him the knife, and missed it, but it went to a one of the greatest guys I've known, and he likes it well enough. So all good!

I have always thought the Chaparral LW knife should NOT have had that Heavy (relatively speaking), Steel back spacer (side note - a shared sentiment I have regarding the Urban LW too). Your mod makes complete sense to me, and seems like it's the way the knife should have been right from the start.

If I ever get another Chap LW, I'll do the mod's I did to mine again, and do the mod you show here - the G10/composite backspacer.
Hmmm.... maybe I'll make one for my Urban LW (K390)... hmmmm....

What does the knife weigh now, with the G10 back spacer you made and installed? I should've weighed mine (the steel back spacer) when I had it apart those years ago now.

Again, Very Nice! Thanks for sharing!

u.w.

edited 'cause... yep, grammar again - lol -
eye arghhh smart (sometimes)
Last edited by u.w. on Sun Jan 16, 2022 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Chaparral QI #3

Postby JRinFL » Sun Jan 16, 2022 10:11 am

Well done on the mods! I’m surprised the backspacer was not FRN like other lightweights have. Must be a reason Spyderco chose that material for the backspacer/spring seat.
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Re: Chaparral QI #3

Postby tonijedi » Sun Jan 16, 2022 10:49 am

Thanks for sharing.
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Holland
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Re: Chaparral QI #3

Postby Holland » Sun Jan 16, 2022 11:12 am

Wow, that looks great! Nicely done
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cali
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Re: Chaparral QI #3

Postby cali » Sun Jan 16, 2022 12:34 pm

zhyla wrote: Surprised the backspace weights was noticeable. But I always like to see these kind of DIY mods.
There is more difference in the balance than in the weight.
zhyla wrote: How did you deepen the clip slots? I’ve been thinking of doing this on mine. I have a milling machine so I may just clamp it down and use an end mill the same width as the slots to route that out a bit.
It was a hack job, I scraped FRN with a sharpened screwdriver :eye-roll But it worked :grin-sweat
zhyla wrote: I’m not sure why the deeper slots will help, seems the screw position is the real culprit. I have a Lynch clip coming and want to see how I like the Chap with a non-wire clip.
I also bent/reprofiled the clip, no problems since then.
u.w. wrote:
Sun Jan 16, 2022 10:09 am
What does the knife weigh now, with the G10 back spacer you made and installed? I should've weighed mine (the steel back spacer) when I had it apart those years ago now.
Right now I don't have a suitable scale, but I will check it.

I forgot about another mod... I sanded the scales at the edges near the choil, because they scratched the blade (you surely know that semi-circular scratches at the ricasso).

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Sharp Guy
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Re: Chaparral QI #3

Postby Sharp Guy » Sun Jan 16, 2022 1:42 pm

I happen to like the steel backspacer and the weight certainly doesn't bother me. It matches the lock bar and adds a touch of class to the FRN model.

It looks like an easy 3D print job. I'll draw in CAD later and see how it works out. I don't have any grey filament that would match the scales. I have a couple different greys and silvers but they're lighter in color. Maybe I'll try red or blue IDK
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sal
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Re: Chaparral QI #3

Postby sal » Sun Jan 16, 2022 9:55 pm

Awesome mod.

sal

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Re: Chaparral QI #3

Postby Toucan » Sun Jan 16, 2022 11:14 pm

I do like the aesthetics of a stainless steel backspacer on a lockback. I love the FRN Seki models, but I do kinda wish they had the steel backspacer like their G10 counterparts and the chappy.

For all the aftermarket parts for the Delica and Endura, there really aren't any plain ol' metal backspacer options.

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Re: Chaparral QI #3

Postby Sharp Guy » Sun Jan 16, 2022 11:42 pm

Well....it was pretty easy to draw. It took 3 tries to get the holes to be the exact size I needed but it was a pretty easy project. The only printer that wasn't making something at the time had cool grey filament on it. So that's what I used....

Image


This was the first one I made. The holes are a little mishapen because I used a drill bit by hand to open the holes up a little.

Image

You can see the problem with using plastic for this particular back spacer. The lock spring is too strong and flexes the plastic. I was able to overcome that a little bit by tweaking the slicer settings but it still flexes. The flex lessens the spring tension a little more than I'd prefer. I'd still consider it safe but the self-close isn't as strong as I'd prefer. I'd really like to see how much stronger the G10 is. I imagine it has some flex too but maybe not as much?

Image

I still prefer the steel spacer but it was a fun project
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cali
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Re: Chaparral QI #3

Postby cali » Mon Jan 17, 2022 2:40 am

Sharp Guy wrote:
Sun Jan 16, 2022 11:42 pm
Well....it was pretty easy to draw. It took 3 tries to get the holes to be the exact size I needed but it was a pretty easy project.
Wow, that is nice!
Sharp Guy wrote:
Sun Jan 16, 2022 11:42 pm
You can see the problem with using plastic for this particular back spacer. The lock spring is too strong and flexes the plastic. I was able to overcome that a little bit by tweaking the slicer settings but it still flexes. The flex lessens the spring tension a little more than I'd prefer. I'd still consider it safe but the self-close isn't as strong as I'd prefer. I'd really like to see how much stronger the G10 is. I imagine it has some flex too but maybe not as much?
There is almost no flex of G10 backspacer - you can see it in my second picure.
The blade is not touching the backspacer?

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Re: Chaparral QI #3

Postby Wartstein » Mon Jan 17, 2022 3:30 am

Totally subjective, and I think you did a great job on your mods. But still: Two of the three I would personally not want to come into regular production or just in a certain form

1.) Action/spring: I really like the a bit firmer action on the Chap, and I think it is an easy mod to make it lighter for those who want that.
So I would not want that to be changed irreversibly.
If Spyderco just would leave everything as it is, but move the spring more forward (and make the action lighter by that) from the factory, that would be fine though. Cause the mod to make the action firmer again is as easy as now to make it lighter

2.) Backspacer: I normally all for light weight, and I admit that an FRN/G10 backspacer would not make the knife less strong than a steel backspacer in any realistiv scenario.
But: For me one of the cool things of the Chap is its bombproof-steel-all-around (liners, backspacer, lockbar) construction.
It IS actually a light knife, but certainly not for its size. And that "heavy in a good way" and substantial feel in the hand is great

3.) Clip: Can´t really weigh in on this. I have the clip attached on my Chap. but s still quite often carry it unclipped in a zippered pants pocket or a pack. Rather rarely iwb when running, and even less often as a regular clipped to the rfp EDC. No problems so far, but as said: My Chap did not often get carried actually clipped to the pocket.
Making the clip stronger can only be a good thing though!
Top three going by pocket-time (update April 22):
- EDC: Manix 2 LW in REX 45 , Endela SE in VG10, stainless steel handle Endura in VG10 (hollow grind)
- Mountains/outdoors: Salt 2 SE in LC200N, Pac.Salt 1 SE in H1, Endura in VG10 (Micarta scales).

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Re: Chaparral QI #3

Postby Araignee » Mon Jan 17, 2022 3:50 am

Wartstein wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 3:30 am
1.) Action/spring: I really like the a bit firmer action on the Chap, and I think it is an easy mod to make it lighter for those who want that.
So I would not want that to be changed irreversibly.
If Spyderco just would leave everything as it is, but move the spring more forward (and make the action lighter by that) from the factory, that would be fine though. Cause the mod to make the action firmer again is as easy as now to make it lighter
Yes, this is what Spyderco should do.

On the balance of probabilities, if you consider how many customers are currently put off by the hard backlock action vs how many customers would be put off by a soft backlock action, I think you'd find that the former cohort is bigger than the latter.

Hence, it's the customers preferring a softer backlock who should be accomodated out of factory.

Customers who favour a firmer backlock, like you, could then tune their Chaparral after a quick disassembly ;)

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Re: Chaparral QI #3

Postby Wartstein » Mon Jan 17, 2022 4:16 am

Araignee wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 3:50 am
Wartstein wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 3:30 am
...
Yes, this is what Spyderco should do.

On the balance of probabilities, if you consider how many customers are currently put off by the hard backlock action vs how many customers would be put off by a soft backlock action, I think you'd find that the former cohort is bigger than the latter.

Hence, it's the customers preferring a softer backlock who should be accomodated out of factory.

Customers who favour a firmer backlock, like you, could then tune their Chaparral after a quick disassembly ;)

100% agreed! :smiling-cheeks
Top three going by pocket-time (update April 22):
- EDC: Manix 2 LW in REX 45 , Endela SE in VG10, stainless steel handle Endura in VG10 (hollow grind)
- Mountains/outdoors: Salt 2 SE in LC200N, Pac.Salt 1 SE in H1, Endura in VG10 (Micarta scales).

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Re: Chaparral QI #3

Postby Sharp Guy » Mon Jan 17, 2022 8:24 am

Araignee wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 3:50 am
Wartstein wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 3:30 am
1.) Action/spring: I really like the a bit firmer action on the Chap, and I think it is an easy mod to make it lighter for those who want that.
So I would not want that to be changed irreversibly.
If Spyderco just would leave everything as it is, but move the spring more forward (and make the action lighter by that) from the factory, that would be fine though. Cause the mod to make the action firmer again is as easy as now to make it lighter
Yes, this is what Spyderco should do.

On the balance of probabilities, if you consider how many customers are currently put off by the hard backlock action vs how many customers would be put off by a soft backlock action, I think you'd find that the former cohort is bigger than the latter.

Hence, it's the customers preferring a softer backlock who should be accomodated out of factory.

Customers who favour a firmer backlock, like you, could then tune their Chaparral after a quick disassembly ;)
This has been discussed quite a bit and, IIRC, Sal was of the opinion that the lock became a little easier to use over time. They also radiused the edge of the narrow lockbar slightly to make it a little easer on the thumb. I think it's probably best for Spyderco to keep the spring in it's default position. I'm pretty sure Spyderco would agree. Those who want a little softer lock bar spring can go ahead move the spring forward a little like I did to my CF Chap back in 2016. But it does result in a slightly weaker self-close. It's still not likely to open up in the pocket but definitely not as strong bias toward close as it is from the factory. That said, I liked how my CF Chap felt so much that I moved the spring on my FRN Chap right after I received it. But the change isn't for everyone and shouldn't be the default. It's pretty easy to change if someone wants

viewtopic.php?p=1191817#p1191817

See Sal's comment here...

viewtopic.php?p=1270319#p1270319
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Wartstein
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Re: Chaparral QI #3

Postby Wartstein » Mon Jan 17, 2022 9:22 am

Sharp Guy wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 8:24 am
Araignee wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 3:50 am
Wartstein wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 3:30 am
This has been discussed quite a bit and, IIRC, Sal was of the opinion that the lock became a little easier to use over time. They also radiused the edge of the narrow lockbar slightly to make it a little easer on the thumb. I think it's probably best for Spyderco to keep the spring in it's default position. I'm pretty sure Spyderco would agree. Those who want a little softer lock bar spring can go ahead move the spring forward a little like I did to my CF Chap back in 2016. But it does result in a slightly weaker self-close. It's still not likely to open up in the pocket but definitely not as strong bias toward close as it is from the factory. That said, I liked how my CF Chap felt so much that I moved the spring on my FRN Chap right after I received it. But the change isn't for everyone and shouldn't be the default. It's pretty easy to change if someone wants
...

Good points, made me reconsider what I wrote before (as said: I personally like the current firm action anyway!)

- If the Chap started out with the spring moved forward already and so lighter action, this could perhaps make the self close a bit weak indeed over time, when the lock breaks in more and more..

- And it is actually a really easy mod indeed, especially since the lock bar does not even have to be removed and put in again (usually the only potentially a bit harder part with backlock reassembly, as most here know anyway of course)
On the other hand: Many "regular" (non-knife-nut) customers will have no idea that such a mod is even possible - many will not even know how a backlock works and never even think of disassembling a folder (which then is probably a good idea anyway... :smirk )
Top three going by pocket-time (update April 22):
- EDC: Manix 2 LW in REX 45 , Endela SE in VG10, stainless steel handle Endura in VG10 (hollow grind)
- Mountains/outdoors: Salt 2 SE in LC200N, Pac.Salt 1 SE in H1, Endura in VG10 (Micarta scales).

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Re: Chaparral QI #3

Postby Araignee » Mon Jan 17, 2022 12:13 pm

Sharp Guy wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 8:24 am
This has been discussed quite a bit and, IIRC, Sal was of the opinion that the lock became a little easier to use over time. They also radiused the edge of the narrow lockbar slightly to make it a little easer on the thumb. I think it's probably best for Spyderco to keep the spring in it's default position. I'm pretty sure Spyderco would agree. Those who want a little softer lock bar spring can go ahead move the spring forward a little like I did to my CF Chap back in 2016. But it does result in a slightly weaker self-close. It's still not likely to open up in the pocket but definitely not as strong bias toward close as it is from the factory. That said, I liked how my CF Chap felt so much that I moved the spring on my FRN Chap right after I received it. But the change isn't for everyone and shouldn't be the default. It's pretty easy to change if someone wants

viewtopic.php?p=1191817#p1191817

See Sal's comment here...

viewtopic.php?p=1270319#p1270319
Thanks for providing all this background info, Sharp Guy 👍

I don't know whether the slight changes you describe have been implemented on the FRN model only (and even then, it doesn't seem to be sufficient) - because my CF Chap from years back was unpleasant to operate (due to the hard backlock), and the Rafir Chap I bought this year also had an unpleasantly hard backlock, to such an extent that I had to disassemble it and move the lockbar as close to the front as possible. Only now is it actually agreeable to use for me.

I haven't followed the discussions surrounding the many other Spyderco models, so I may well be wrong, but my impression is that only the Chaparral is at the receiving end of recurring complaints regarding its hard backlock. This has been going on for years.

Like, do people complain about the Delica's backlock in the same way ? Or the Dragonfly's ?

Surely this must be indicative of an unsorted issue squarely related to the Chap's backlock.
And by "issue" I mean "ambivalent customers' opinions" ; I'm not implying that the backlock is technically faulty.

Finally, regarding the self-close action, it's good that you mention it, because a too strong self-close is also unpleasant to deal with. A user shouldn't have to fight with a blade just to open it. Sure, the stronger the self-close, the safer it is - one could argue. And I'm all for safety. But we have to consider that at some point, there's a diminishing return regarding self-close strength. Past a certain threshold, it becomes only marginally safer whilst becoming exponentially more annoying.

Thank you for listening to my TED rant :zany

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Re: Chaparral QI #3

Postby Sharp Guy » Mon Jan 17, 2022 1:24 pm

Araignee wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 12:13 pm
Sharp Guy wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 8:24 am
This has been discussed quite a bit and, IIRC, Sal was of the opinion that the lock became a little easier to use over time. They also radiused the edge of the narrow lockbar slightly to make it a little easer on the thumb. I think it's probably best for Spyderco to keep the spring in it's default position. I'm pretty sure Spyderco would agree. Those who want a little softer lock bar spring can go ahead move the spring forward a little like I did to my CF Chap back in 2016. But it does result in a slightly weaker self-close. It's still not likely to open up in the pocket but definitely not as strong bias toward close as it is from the factory. That said, I liked how my CF Chap felt so much that I moved the spring on my FRN Chap right after I received it. But the change isn't for everyone and shouldn't be the default. It's pretty easy to change if someone wants

viewtopic.php?p=1191817#p1191817

See Sal's comment here...

viewtopic.php?p=1270319#p1270319
Thanks for providing all this background info, Sharp Guy 👍

I don't know whether the slight changes you describe have been implemented on the FRN model only (and even then, it doesn't seem to be sufficient) - because my CF Chap from years back was unpleasant to operate (due to the hard backlock), and the Rafir Chap I bought this year also had an unpleasantly hard backlock, to such an extent that I had to disassemble it and move the lockbar as close to the front as possible. Only now is it actually agreeable to use for me.

I haven't followed the discussions surrounding the many other Spyderco models, so I may well be wrong, but my impression is that only the Chaparral is at the receiving end of recurring complaints regarding its hard backlock. This has been going on for years.

Like, do people complain about the Delica's backlock in the same way ? Or the Dragonfly's ?

Surely this must be indicative of an unsorted issue squarely related to the Chap's backlock.
And by "issue" I mean "ambivalent customers' opinions" ; I'm not implying that the backlock is technically faulty.

Finally, regarding the self-close action, it's good that you mention it, because a too strong self-close is also unpleasant to deal with. A user shouldn't have to fight with a blade just to open it. Sure, the stronger the self-close, the safer it is - one could argue. And I'm all for safety. But we have to consider that at some point, there's a diminishing return regarding self-close strength. Past a certain threshold, it becomes only marginally safer whilst becoming exponentially more annoying.

Thank you for listening to my TED rant :zany
The Chap has thin blade stock and therefore a thin lock bar to match. No Boye dent either. So all this adds up to people complaining that it hurts their thumb to operate. I bought my first Chaparral (CF) not long after I joined this forum back in 2016. When I received it I was not happy with how difficult it was for me to operate the lock compared to my Dragonfly and Native 5 LW. The knife was purchased of the Exchange on Blade Forums and said to be LNIB but the action was stiff and gritty. So I took it apart, cleaned it up, and it was much easier to operate the lock bar. It was until I took it apart again a few weeks later that I realized that I didn't seat the lock spring all the way in the holder and that was the reason the lock was easier to operate. So naturally I did the same operation when I received the FRN Chap after they were first released. And yes, the slight bevel (or radius on the lock bar) was first done with the FRN Chap. I've also never thought the Chaparrals were too difficult to open (self-close too strong). It was just depressing that skinny lock bar that was an issue for me. Now that I know how to solve the problem it's a non-issue for me. Oh, and by the way, I have one of the Maple Chaps and I don't think I had to open it up and move the spring on that one. If I did I don't recall doing it
Of all the things I've lost I miss my mind the most!

cali
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Re: Chaparral QI #3

Postby cali » Mon Jan 17, 2022 1:57 pm

cali wrote:
Sun Jan 16, 2022 12:34 pm
u.w. wrote:
Sun Jan 16, 2022 10:09 am
What does the knife weigh now, with the G10 back spacer you made and installed? I should've weighed mine (the steel back spacer) when I had it apart those years ago now.
Right now I don't have a suitable scale, but I will check it.
Now my Chaparral weights 55 g. I can't compare it to the steel backspacer.


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