Is the ball detent in a Millie Ti/M4 replaceable?

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iwolf81
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Is the ball detent in a Millie Ti/M4 replaceable?

Postby iwolf81 » Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:53 am

I have a KnifeWorks-exclusive Military Ti/M4 that doesn't open smoothly. I examined the ball detent in the locking insert under magnification and found that it was pitted. However, it also appears that the ball detent is not actually part of the locking locking insert, which leads me to wonder if it's easily replaceable. I already sent the knife to Spyderco W&R, but they said the knife was functioning within specification.

This issue is more of an annoyance, yet I would like it to be resolved if possible, as this Millie is my most expensive Spydie. I tried using Breakfree CLP but it didn't make much of a difference.

Thanks,
Ira
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DeathBySnooSnoo
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Postby DeathBySnooSnoo » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:11 pm

I probably wouldn't attempt it on your own unless you have had a lot of experience. You can buy detent balls from some knife maker supply sites though.
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iwolf81
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Postby iwolf81 » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:49 pm

@DeathBySnooSnoo (great Futurama name, BTW)

I wouldn't try it on my own; however, if this change is possible, I would 'encourage' Spyderco W&R to do it this time.

Thanks,
Ira
D3 CE, FG D4 CE Krein'd, Blue D4 FFG, Pink D4, Caly3 SE, USN E4 CE, Pink E4 CE, E4 ZDP-189 SE, FG E4 CE, E4 G10 FFG, Tenacious SE, Para SE, Para D2, Millie D2, ATR SE, Orange Assist I, Blue Rescue 93, Khukuri, Barong, Meerkat, Ladybug H1 SE, Manix 2 XHP, Rock Salt, S90V Mule Krein'd, JD Smith Sprint, Brown Matriarch SE, Poliwog, Stretch CE, Millie M4/Ti, Rock Lobster, Zulu, Rescue 79, D'Allara Rescue, LadyHawk SE, Lum Tanto Sprint, Dragonfly G10, Chaparral, Sage I, Caspian, Gayle Bradley

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Postby rycen » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:54 pm

If you think it's a problem have a knifemaker install a new one.
We would rather be the knife in your pocket, because is "works" better, than the knife in your showcase, because it "looks" better.

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Postby DeathBySnooSnoo » Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:07 pm

Thanks iwolf...love that show.

I think that if Spyderco has already said it is within spec then you might have to do what rycen has suggested and get a knifemaker to take care of that for you. No clue at all what that might cost though.
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gull wing
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Postby gull wing » Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:03 pm

May I ask - The ball is imbeded in the titanium, yes?
Or in the steel insert?
Is the hole for the ball drilled through or blind?
Fact - It will be a difficult task to replace the ball unless you get the exact size ball.

Outside chance - The ball may smooth out with use.

Dumb question #1 - You did lube the pivot?
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toomzz
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Postby toomzz » Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:09 pm

Replacing the ball when your blade is pitted won't solve the problem.
The pitting is the problem, not the ball, right?
Tom

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gull wing
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Postby gull wing » Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:18 pm

I thought the ball was pitted?? :confused:
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iwolf81
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Postby iwolf81 » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:28 am

Yes, the ball detent is pitted. The ball appear to be a separate part of the locking insert. Either the locking insert is holding the ball in place, or the ball could be part of the lockbar itself and is used to help keep the locking insert in place. (I doubt it's the latter as that would imply a more extensive manufacturing process.)

As for lubrication, I applied a little Breakfree CLP to the surface where the ball detent and the blade make contact. Some of the CLP surely made it's way to the pivot; however, I don't think there's an issue with the pivot as the blade move very smoothly when the lockbar is held away from it.

Thanks!
Ira
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Postby p8ntballer8491 » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:37 am

I've got the same issue with my sage 1. Was thinking about sending it to Spyderco W&R, but i guess they wont do anything.
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Postby log man » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:44 am

The pitted ball is unfortunate, however the ball rides on it's high surface not the up and down of the pits in the ball. The rough feeling when closing, or opening slowly are generated by the ball riding up and down on the blade tang surface. This will smooth out, I have found. I do like to ramp the tang edge with a diamond needle file where the ball contacts it as it rides up and off of the tang edge. Just a narrow groove, makes it a much smoother action when closing, having just released the blade to close.

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Postby FlaMtnBkr » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:54 am

Did you tell them the ball appeared to be pitted? Surely if they looked at it and saw pitting they wouldn't say it's 'within specs'. That is an all to common phrase coming out of Spyderco. If a customer is unhappy with something then they should do something unless there is really nothing wrong. The ball detent on that knife is on a part that is meant to be replaced. If someone feels they have a problem and took the time and money to send it in and be without the knife for a month, why not replace the replaceable part? Spyderco is probably the only knife company that I have dealt with that would send the knife back in the original condition. I like their knives but have not been impressed with their warranty department.

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Postby wec12 » Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:02 am

Sorry to hear that.
Don't forget that the lock bar also applies some lateral force to pivot & scales/washers when opening.
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iwolf81
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Postby iwolf81 » Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:04 pm

I noticed the pitting after the knife came back from W&R. To be fair, I've had pretty good experiences with them in the past. I'll reach out to them again with a specific request for repair.

I wouldn't be so bothered by this issue if it were with a Delica or Endura; however, it's with one of the most expensive Spydies at $225 (discounted), so I have higher expectations of quality, especially since none of my other Millies or liner locks have this issue.

As an aside, this Millie issue and another unsolved one with a Para2 20CP led me to sell a bunch of Spydies and trade up to a CRK Sebenza Small 21. The quality of that knife is unbelievably amazing! However, I much prefer the ergonomics and leverage provided by the SpydieHole. Now if only Spyderco licensed the SpydieHole to Chris Reeve... :D

Regards,
Ira
D3 CE, FG D4 CE Krein'd, Blue D4 FFG, Pink D4, Caly3 SE, USN E4 CE, Pink E4 CE, E4 ZDP-189 SE, FG E4 CE, E4 G10 FFG, Tenacious SE, Para SE, Para D2, Millie D2, ATR SE, Orange Assist I, Blue Rescue 93, Khukuri, Barong, Meerkat, Ladybug H1 SE, Manix 2 XHP, Rock Salt, S90V Mule Krein'd, JD Smith Sprint, Brown Matriarch SE, Poliwog, Stretch CE, Millie M4/Ti, Rock Lobster, Zulu, Rescue 79, D'Allara Rescue, LadyHawk SE, Lum Tanto Sprint, Dragonfly G10, Chaparral, Sage I, Caspian, Gayle Bradley

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gull wing
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Postby gull wing » Mon Aug 22, 2011 3:11 pm

What if it's not the ball.
You telling me the knife is smooth with the lockbar held away.
It may be it's the high force of the thick Ti lockbar is putting on the blade. It may well get better with use. but........
I have two Striders and three Sebenza, all have high force lockbars, all but one was stiff opening and hard to unlock.
My solution was to bend the lockbar back(weaken) the lockbar a bit. It worked every time. Now you must take the knife apart so you can see how far to go. You may not want to do that.

Good luck!
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Postby The Deacon » Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:46 pm

Well, I just looked at mine and the ball appears to be mounted in the steel insert. To me that would suggest that either it, or the insert and it as a unit, could be replaced but only Spyderco could say for sure whether that's the case.
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Postby FlaMtnBkr » Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:47 pm

Was the knife smooth at one point and got rough over time? I've had a knife where it looked like the ball shattered and a piece broke off which it got rough when it had been smooth. I have another knife where the ball is worn very flat and the blade opens too easily now. Yet another reason I don't like frame/ liner locks.

The ball was put in the replaceable piece so that it would be easily replaceable. If the hole it is pressed in goes all the way through then the worn ball could be pressed out and a new one put in. That seems to defeat the purpose of the replaceable insert though.


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