Recently I watched a YouTube video on how to make a Swiss Army Knife from popsicles (https://youtu.be/1GU2UE2igrY). It looked simple enough so I decided to built one...
As I m used to work with wood (building RC Aircraft) I thought it would be a piece of cake! Well, it took me 5 attempts to finally get a nice wood SAK. Around the third attempt I decided to make this INSTRUCTABLE and here it is!
If you have any questions, let me know!
Step 1: The Model
As I am a Victorinox Swiss Army Knife fan, I decided to built the MOUNTAINEER model. I carry this knife as my Everyday Carry and use it a lot.
Step 2: Materials
The materials I used are:
- Popsicle sticks (estimate 2 popsicle per tool layer), 1 popsicle for each of the outer liners and one central liner (I estimate using 15 popsicles
- 1 sheet of sturdy plastic like the cover of a folder
- Bamboo stick as axles for the tools to rotate
- A wood dowel for the corckscrew
- Steel pins
- Sand Paper to make your tools look nice
- A set of Victorinox scales
- CA glue (thin and medium)
- Epoxy glue
Step 3: The Tools
The tools are pretty simple
- Compass to draw circles
- Thumb tack
- Hobby Knife
- Xacto Knife
- Wire cutter
- Drill with a bit the size of the bamboo sticks diameter
Step 4: Getting Started!
1. Use the Victorinox scale to mark the size of the popsicle stick you will use
2. Using the tip of a popsicle, trace the circular end at the mark
3. Using your hobby knife cut out all the popsicle sticks
4. Using the discarded end of a popsicle, find the center of the circular tip and draw a inner circle with the compass.
5. Insert the thumb tack at the center so you can transfer this point to all the popsicles and draw the same diameter circle
Step 5: The Blade and the Corckscrew
1. Trace your blade shape and cut it out. Pay attention to the notch on the top of the circle as it will be your tool stopper. It will stop your blade from continue rotating once you open it. Cut out the blade and sand it so it looks sharp (only looks sharp, it is not sharp)
2. On a second popsicle, locate the blade using the thumb tack and set it up in the position you want it to have while closed. It has to protrude so you can pinch it to open it.
3. Trace the pattern of the bottom tool and mark the stopping point for the notch by opening the blade all the way.
4. Trace the corckscrew opening and make it longer allowing space for the pivot part
Now comes a tricky tool, the Corckscrew!
5. Using a thin strip of paper, wrap it around the wood dowel and trace it
6. With the Xacto Knife, slowly carve the corckscrew (it actually is much easier than it looks)
7. Trim to size and make the bottom part flush to one side of the dowel
Step 6: The Saw/File
1. Trace your tool just as you did for the blade (pay attention to the stopper notch)
2. In a similar way, trace the bottom part of the tool in a separate popsicle and cut it out
I was unable to carve teeth on my saw as they kept breaking up so I decided to leave it “straight edge”
Step 7: The Scissors
As the scissors are made of 2 parts, you must use 2 popsicles to make them
1.Trace one half of the scissors and cut it out
2. In a second popsicle, trace the second half and cut it out. Note that you end up with an extra circle and an extra handle
3. Glue the circle on top of the othe and the handle over the other one making sure you alternate de side so the can properly operate. You now have a slgle layer scissor blade and a double layer scissors handles
4. Mark the pivot point of the scissors and drill a small hole (I dit it by hand using my smallest bit between my fingers
5. Using a sliced toothpick, assemble the scissors. One end of the toothpick is glued to one half of the scissors. Insert the other half making sure they operate properly and fluff off the end of the toothpick. Set a drop of medium CA to make it strong and. It will hold your scissors together allowing them to operate
At this step I found out that pouting thin CA on the popsicles made them much more resistant so I dit it with all the tools
Step 8: The Bottom of the Scissors
1. Glue 2 popsicle sticks so they are double thick
2. Trace up the scissors and cut out the bottom part. Pay attention to the stopping position of the stopper notch.
3. Cut out the space for the hook
Step 9: The Hook
1. Glue 2 popsicle together so it is double thick
2. Draw the hook and stem. Cut it out
3. Try for size and trim it as needed
Step 10: The Bottle Opener, Can Opener and Awl
1. Trace your tools and cut them out. Sand the can opener so it looks as it has a sharp edge
2. On a separate popsicle, trace the tools and cut the bottom part. Again, pay attention to the stopper notch position while the tools are open
3. Cut out the space for the awl. I suggest you locate the awl diagonally so it is easier to grab and open
Step 11: Prepare to Assemble!
1. Lay out your tools in the order you want to assemble them.
2. To make them stronger, I pour thin CA over your tools. Beware not to glue your fingers
3. I used a sturdy plastic sheet (File cover) to cut out the intermediate liners and a popsicle stick for a center liner (I needed more space so the scissors could open and close easily
4. Drill the pivot holes the size of your bamboo sticks in the center of the circle marked by the thumb tack
All parts wil be glued together by their bottom tools glued to the liners. This will prevent to accidentally gluing a a tool at the pivot point. I used medium CA for all the bottom parts of the tools
Step 12: Opening Layer
This layer consists of the Can Opener, Bottle Opener and the Awl
1. Insert your bamboo sticks in your outer liner
2. Insert your tools and locate the perfect position for the bottom part of the tool
3. Glue the bottom part in position
4. Locate the awl position and insert a steel pin as pivot. Be sure all tools operate properly
5. Insert a plastic liner and glue it to the bottom part of the tool
Only use glue on the bottom part of the tool, stay away from the pivot points.
While gluing, keep the pressure in the knife so the tools can rotate freely but have enough friction to maintain their position (open or closed)
Step 13: Scissors Layer
1. Insert the scissors in position
2. Locate the position for the bottom part and glue it
3. Locate the position of the hook and push the pin used with the awl to secure the hook. Be sure both tools operate properly
4. Insert the liner and glue it to the bottom part of the tool. I used a wood liner to provide more space for the scissors so they would open and close easily
5. Cut the excess of the steel pin with the wire cutter
Remember to glue only the bottom part of the tools, stay away from the pivot sticks. Just in case, while the glue sets, keep operating the tools to be sure they move freely
Step 14: The Saw/File Layer
1. Insert the tool
2. Position the bottom part of the tool and glue it in place
3. Insert the plastic liner and glue it in place
Stay away from the pivot sticks!
Step 15: The Blade Layer
1. Insert the blade into position. Note it is reversed with respect of the scissors and saw/file
2. Position and glue the bottom part of the tool
3. Insert and glue the outer layer
4. Locate the position of the corckscrew and drive a steel pin as pivot
5. Carefully glue the outside of the bamboo sticks to the outer layers. Use medium CA to avid it going into the tools
6. Cut the bamboo stick and sand them flat
7. Be sure to cut any steel pin excess with the wire cutter and push all the steel pin stubs into the wood
Step 16: FINISHING IT OUT!
You can use several materials as scales. I preferred to use authentic Victorinox scales.
1. Prepare a little epoxy compound
2. Carefully lay the epoxy on the edges of one scale. Keep putting epoxy compound on other places wher the scale will make contact with the outer scale and clear from the scale tools slots as you want to later insert the toothpick and tweezers into your scales
3. Locate it in position. Put pressure on it
4. Clean any excess epoxy compound with alcohol before it sets
5. Leave under pressure for at least 1 hour (I am using 5 minute epoxy)
6. Repeat for the other scale
7. Leave both scales under pressure for at least 24 hours so the epoxy completely sets
8. Buy a set of tweezers and toothpick from your local Victorinox store and slide them into position as scale tools
YOU ARE ALL DONE!
You made a replica of a Swiss Army Knife with popsicles!
The wood knife may have pointy tools so always be careful if it is operated by a child.
Also remember... it still is a fragile replica so treat it with care. But it is not a problem as if it breaks, you can always built a 6th model!
It is not an easy built as it looked in the video but you will for sure enjoy every step of the way and improve your learning curve!
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