25-year-old Alexander Bol of Emergo Designs is kicking off a knife making career behind an innovative method of laminating metal called Skinlock. The process makes it possible for knife makers to apply a thin layer of materials like carbon fibre to titanium or steel surfaces. Bol is embracing the community aspect of knife making by sharing his technique with other makers.
Though still in its infancy, the Skinlock process is simple. Bol takes piece of material, only .02” thick, soaks it in epoxy, and fits it to the outside of the metal scales of a knife. It can be applied to both the locking and non-locking scales, as well as the clip. “You have the looks of stylish materials but the strength of titanium. That’s the core idea,” Bol explains. His 3.4”-bladed Skinlock flipper is covered in a layer of flax fibre, but Bol believes other materials including micarta and carbon fiber will also work.
The Dutch knife maker has no plans to patent his idea and has even produced an in-depth video on Skinlock for other knife makers to learn from. “There’s a payoff when you share: you get more attention, but also feedback that helps you make a better product,” Bol tells us. He also says that established makers have the luxury of a reliable clientele, but up-and-comers need to be open about their work. “I think in the modern world of social media, you’re not interesting if you’re not sharing.”
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Bol’s next model, a 3”-bladed EDC knife, will take advantage of the application technique in other ways. He plans on applying denim to the clip to camouflage it in front of jeans during carry. Bol is also working on another lamination process that alternates layers of titanium and lightweight composites. And, production knife buyers can expect a collaboration with We Knife Co. in the not-too-distant future.
Bol can be reached via his website for orders and information.
Knife featured in image: Emergo Designs Skinlock Flipper