SwingLock, Barry B. Wood Design – Ironwood Inlay Interframe Folder
Barry Wood Designed SwingLock Folder ...
This folder has a Barry Wood designed mechanism. Mr. Wood’s knives have been referred to by various names, such as "swinglock", "swivel knife", "rotating folder", "Wood lock", “Tuckaway”, “scissor” and others. Although, it is missing a maker’s mark the opening/closing system is an exact replica of the Wood design. He had working relationships with several companies selling knives allowing them to have the SwingLock folders made by third party manufacturers as well as other handmade knifemakers. Mr. Wood (1925 – 2014) was considered a knifemaker innovator with not only this SwingLock design and other knife patterns, but handle materials and blade materials. Wood design folders have no backsprings. The knife opens like a sideways butterfly and is held either open or closed by frame pressure that pushes a small domed pin on the inside of the frame into a recess perfectly fit for it.
- Wood from his workshop in Venice, CA began selling knives in 1967. He had a second shop in Venice, CA and his last shop was located in Colorado Springs, CO where he mentored and worked with his son-in-law, Mike Irie.
- Colt Firearms used Mr. Wood’s design in their Colt Tuckaway folder from 1969 to 1978.
- Balisong USA (1970’s) changed its name to Pacific Cutlery (1980’s) and now know as Benchmade Knife Company also used the Wood design.
- Wyoming Knife Corporation … Powder River Folder
- Parker Cutlery Co imported from Japan a Barry Wood designed SwingLock called the Hillbilly in the 1980s.
- From the 1971 Bob Loveless catalog (page 26):
“The results of our collaboration are shown here. You may have seen one of the Colt knives at your local gunstore, and after working it a few times, realized how good this new idea is. The significant feature of the Wood patent is the manner of construction, which allows several advantages not found in the usual folding knife:
- The design uses no springs, and there is no chance of spring breakage or weakness with age.
- The hinge-pin is ¼ inch in diameter, with an excess of strength for the loads imposed.
- There are no hidden areas for dirt to accumulate in, to hinder opening and closing, and the whole knife, may be washed off in a handy stream or under the faucet, after use.
- The design allows more blade length to be stowed in a given handle size.
- The blade is positively locked into place, when opened or closed, and the possibility of accident is minimized.”
- Blade: 154CM … Drop Point style
- Handles: Ironwood Inlays … interframe construction
- Blade Edge Length: 2.50”
- Closed/Handle Length: 4.12”
- Overall/Open Length: 7.00”
- Carry: No Sheath … Weight: 4.80 oz.
- Circa: 1988 … no maker’s mark
- Maker: unknown … acquired as handmade from Jim Mason (Lander, WY) … appears to have been re-handled or interframe finished by hand … pivot resembles “HillBilly” pivot from Japan
- Designer: Barry B Wood … Wood Knives … Venice, CA