So it's summer time and you're already sick of grilling steak on the old barbecue. How about something with a bit higher iron in it, like your Leatherman! In this tutorial I'll show you how to add some colour to your Leatherman with nothing but a screwdriver, a bit of thread lock and the old Q.
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Step 1: Disassemble Your Leatherman
First thing you'll need to do is take apart your Leatherman. You are probably going to need a torques security bit set. My Leatherman needed a TS15 bit for disassembly. The manufacturer puts a thread lock on the screws so that they don't work themselves loose during use, this means that you will encounter some additional resistance during disassembly. I started off with removing the inner tools like the screwdrivers and can opener. You will notice quickly that only one of the sides of the tool has an actual threaded screw, the other side has a keyed threaded cylinder for the screw to thread into. This means functionally only one side really needs to take a bit, I assume the other side has the bit pattern just for aesthetics. Once the screw is removed slowly push out the threaded cylinder while trying to pull out one of the tools that the cylinder is keeping in place. The goal is to remove the parts one by one and keep them in order for easier reassembly. Sometimes a strip of tape sticky side up helps keep parts in order. You must be careful of the spacer washers during disassembly as well, try to keep them in order. Next I fully opened the pliers to put pressure on the screws holding the blades and plier head in. Similar to before there is only one side that has a threaded screw, the other has a threaded cylinder, but it is not keyed. This means that the cylinder can spin freely if not enough pressure is applied to the threaded cylinder. Once the screw is removed carefully carefully remove the blade and washer. You may need to close the plier head to relieve pressure on the threaded cylinder to get it out. Once the cylinder is out, the opposing sides tool will come with it. Congratulations! You now have a disassembled Leatherman. Let's start grilling!
Step 2: Start Up That Grill!
You are going to want to heat up your grill to the desired temper colour temperature. It's okay if it is a bit above temp you have a fair bit of time before you over cook it, also most grills don't heat up enough to worry. I was going for a nice bronze look which happens around 465f so I set my grill to 500f. Now you need to decide what to grill. I recommend against any blades or bits to avoid ruining any temper if they have it. I played it safe and only did the handles and screws. Also I'm sure this goes without saying but DON'T PUT ANY PLASTIC ON THE GRILL, IT WILL MELT. Next throw your parts on the grill and set a timer for a half hour and relax. After a half hour check to see if you have the desired colour, if not throw it on for another half hour. Lather rinse repeat. Mine took an hour to get it the colour I wanted. Once you have the colour you want, turn off the burners and let it cool completely. Yum grilled stainless steel.
Step 3: Reassemble Your Leatherman!
Since you took everything apart so nicely, putting it back together should be a snap. Don't forget to put thread lock on the screws though and only tighten them to the point where the tools aren't difficult to open and aren't dangling around like keys on a key chain.
Step 4: Admire the Finished Piece!
Look at that! Isn't that spiffy? It really adds a nice two tone effect to it I think. Don't like it? Then take some scotchbrite and sand off the surface since the colour is only skin deep. Want to try a darker colour like a purple or blue? All you need is more heat and time. Be sure to post pics and happy steel grilling!
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