Introduction: LFM: Long Finger Mod
Balisong manipulation (Flipping butterfly knives) is a performing art. Advanced flipping demands a high performing knife. Every aspect of the knife affects flipping, especially the weight, weight distribution, and size. The Long Finger Mod is built to optimize the Benchmade 51 for horizontal rollovers and aerials.
The LFM is a mod for the bechmade 51, the Benchmade 51 is notoriously lightweight with short handles. Weighing only 3.48 ounce with handles just 5 inches long, the Benchmade 51 is good for vertical and ricochet based tricks. The LFM extends the handles to 6 inches, and adds copper block spacers in the ends, bringing the weight up to 4 ounces. Because the weight is mostly in the ends of the handles, the LFM handles like a 4.75 ounce knife with relatively even weight distribution.
Materials used: G10 (natural color), Copper, Additional Hardware, Benchmade 51
Machine used: Shapeoko 3
Step 1: Side by Side
This is the Benchmade 51 before and after the Long Finger Mod is installed.
Disclaimer: I am not associated with Benchmade in any way.
Step 2: Prototyping
The left handle shows another mod I did for the Benchmade 51, purely aesthetic, it was mostly to see if I was capable of making fitting parts for the Benchmade 51.
The right is the first LFM prototype, made from cheap plywood, this was a proof of concept.
Step 3: Making the Scales.
Step 4: Semi Production
I have almost finished six Long Finger Mod sets, but I ran out of time, I worked over winter break, but now I'm back at Western Washington University where I am beginning to work towards an industrial design major. Unfortunately this means I will not have the rest done until spring break gives me a chance to work again.
Note: The block spacers seen here are G10, the LFM block spacers have 3 layers, two outer that are 0.05 inches thick, and one inner that is 0.125 inches thick. Alternate spacers made from G10 allow the user to choose between a copper and a G10 inner spacer, this small wight difference tremendously affects how the knife flips, some flipping styles work better with lightweight handles so I added this option to increase the versatility of the LFM.
Step 5: LFM Flipping Example
I am highly trained in the art of balisong manipulation. Do not attempt these tricks without proper training. Seriously, take caution when handling knives, they are dangerous and can harm you or those around you if you don't know what you're doing, if you're careless, or if you do not take proper precaution. Always have an adult present when handling a knife. Be careful.
Step 6: Additional Pictures
I really love using my cnc, I am working hard, both on my own time and in my Industrial Design and Engineering programs, to become the best machinist I can be. At this point my classes have yet to get in to machining, and I have only had my Shapeoko 3 for a short time, I am only just beginning to cnc and I am eager to progress my skill.