05-03-2012, 07:15 PM
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You start with a standard modern SE spine back blade. What we’ll do, in a nutshell, is remove the spine then snap off the blade corners. Do I need to tell anyone that these blades are very sharp and that extreme care should be used when doing this? If so, consider yourself warned.

The first step is to select a blade. Leave the protective paper on it if you have a bulk blade. If not just be very careful. I place the blade on a soft wooden surface in my shop and pry an edge of the spine up with an edged tool.

Here I’m using a screwdriver blade. A fine edge on the tool is OK, but it wouldn’t use a sharp edge. The clamp is there to give me something to push against w/o having my hand there in case the screwdriver slips. The amount of edge needed to be pried up is exaggerated here. If you look at the other corner of the spine you’ll see the crimp that needs to be removed from out of the blade itself. Prying up 1/8" just to make sure everything clears the notch it’s crimped into is plenty. Once the corner is pried up hold the blade and using the other hand, just pull the spine off. It’ll come off easily. Use a plier to hold the bare blade if your blade doesn’t have a guard on it.

Since posting the above I got some feedback from another VC1 user. There is an easier way. Hold the cardboard guarded blade in the fingers of one hand and using the very tip of the jaws of a plier, squeeze the "hinge" portion of the spine. The spine will expand and readily pull off.

[Image: PryingtheSpineOff.jpg]

[Image: BladeDone.jpg]

Now comes the part that I really don’t like to get my fingers/hands near. Be sure you wear goggles because the piece will fly as it breaks off. I do this out in the shop where the tiny pieces of steel are acceptable. You could also cover the piece with a cloth to contain it, but you’ll give up the advantage of seeing what you’re doing. The paper blade guard needs to be removed to do this part of the operation. Don’t destroy it though, save it for reuse. I use a long jawed Vise-Grip and reach diagonally across the blade with the jaws of the V-G. I place the jaws where I want the blade to fracture, and lock the jaws. Then using a sharp edged block of wood or metal, and placing the blade/Vise-Grip in the proper relation to the block, a swift tap on the Vise-Grip with a mallet will nicely snap off the corner and leave no bent edge. Done right, this corner is complete, then just repeat for the other corner.

[Image: OneCornerOff.jpg]

The corners can also be bent to snap them off, but this can leave a bent edge and that will just prematurely wear the blade holder out. To do this I use two pliers and placing one in the proper place for the break, use the other to bend the blade. After the blade has been modified I use a piece of tape to reaffix the guard to the blade for storage.

[Image: BladeDone.jpg]

Note the bent right corner of the sample blade. The paper guard is ready to be folded over and taped for storage. The newly modified blade has had more of the corner snapped off than is required, but it'll still work fine. The point is that this isn't rocket science. There is a huge tolerance on modifying blades for use.

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