Swiss Army Knife Replacement Scales

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Project by drbyte posted 04-03-2017 08:55 PM 1784 views 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My son needed new scales for his Swiss Army “Tinkerer” model I think. It’s the one with the Phillips screwdriver. The old red scales completely bit the dust. He wanted “dark” or “black” wood so I used Zircote, dark, hard, and very oily. Used a cross-slide vise to cut the groove for the tweezers. Very tedious work. Lot of hand filing. Sanding is very hard on this wood, it’s so oily it clogs everything right away. Used some metal cutting burrs in the Dremel to get to a rounded shape then mostly files. Final sanding with 400 grit and just a touch of teak oil for a finish. Cleaned the scales and the knife with alcohol several times before using epoxy on the scales. Hope it holds. Turned out pretty close in size and shape to the originals. Could not get the slot in the handle for the toothpick beside the Phillips bit, too little wood between it and the groove. Thanks for looking and for any comments/critiques.

-- Dennis, WV

3 comments so far

View JCamp's profile (online now)


1793 posts in 2045 days

#1 posted 04-03-2017 11:19 PM

Looks great !!

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View BobBlarney's profile


87 posts in 2630 days

#2 posted 04-05-2017 07:26 PM

Nice job. The epoxy should hold if the metal was clean and the surface of the wood roughened up a bit. I’ve also used polyurethane glues, and now I have some elastic cyanoacrylate glue that I think would work very well too.

I’ve gotten so I break the red scales off from the start, and make thicker ones because I find the knife easier to hold, and it’s easier to make the toothpick & tweezer slots.. Tulipwood makes nice scales, or desert ironwood, or ebony.

-- Curator, Museum of Unfinished Projects

View drbyte's profile


849 posts in 5557 days

#3 posted 04-06-2017 05:36 PM

Thanks for the tips Bob. I roughed up the wood with a scribe before the epoxy was applied. That should help. I’d like to try some Tulipwood or Zebrawood. They’re both pretty nice looking, used them for pens in the past.

-- Dennis, WV

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