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Thread: My Knife Making Journey - Advice Would Be Greatly Appreciated

  1. #1
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    My Knife Making Journey - Advice Would Be Greatly Appreciated


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    I just started my first knife today! It's turning out much better than I thought, hopefully my beginner's luck keeps coming.

    Starting hacksawing the blade out from the bar stock.



    Now I smoothed it out with my 1x30 sander, a half-round file, and a little Dremel work.



    It's 1084 from Aldo with around a 3.5" blade and 4-4.5" handle (I haven't measured it yet).

    I just have one question, how much pressure should I use when I start the grind? I'm starting with a new 60 grit Norton Blaze belt.

    Any constructive criticism is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Take a piece of the scrap from the bar and test the belt with that. In normal grinding, you use moderate pressure to grind the bevels. Start with a few light passes, to get your position and angle right, and then repeat with more pressure to take off the metal.

    Warning - a 60 grit Norton belt will remove steel fast. It will also remove skin even faster. Try and avoid any contact between your hands an that belt. I rarely use a 60 grit belt for smaller blades. On blades with a 3-4" edge, I start with a 120 grit Blue Zirc belt and cut the bevels in a couple of passes.

    Second warning - If your grinder is a single speed unit, that speed is pretty fast. It can pull the blade out of your fingers in a flash, and will heat up the blade to a point where it is too hot to hold in a second or two. Dip in water every pass, and use a push stick or a grinding magnet to support your blade. I use a 9" or 5" grinding magnet to hold most of my blades when grinding bevels.

    Third Warning - Some grind free-hand, and others use a work rest. If you use the work rest, make sure you adjust it so it sits just clear of the belt, but with a minimum of gap. A work rest that "wraps" around the belt is best. These have a "slot" ground into the rest so the side arms go past the belt .
    Stacy E.Apelt
    It is better to die fighting evil than to live under it.

  3. #3
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    Take bladsmith's advice and then just start grinding, take it slow don't push too hard and I'll bet you start to get the hang of it after about 5 to 10 passes. Those little 1x30 belt sanders work great for the price. Looking good.

  4. #4
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    I second Stacy's advice about the 60 belt and add just a little more. Even when it seems like enough material was left on, its easy for those deep 60 grit scratches to go so deep they take an eternity to get out. 120 will cut plenty fast and not take such large gouges.

  5. #5
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    +1 on this. I start with 80 grit, and quickly move up to 120 or 150 once I get the bevels and plunges roughed in. I clean the plunges at 220. I only use the 36 or 50 grits to rough in. Once I get the edge down to .050 or .040", I move to much finer belts. I'm quite new at this, and mistakes happen way too quickly with a courser belt.

  6. #6
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    Okay. I'm going to drill the handle holes today. If I understand correctly, if I were to use 3/16 pins for the handle, I would drill the tang holes with something like 1/4 to allow extra room? And when I would do the handle scale pins what size holes would I drill?

    I'll post some pics of the grind soon.
    Last edited by Erdbeereis; 07-22-2013 at 11:05 AM.

  7. #7
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    Anyone? I kind of need to know this by tonight so the faster the response the better.

  8. #8
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    You should drill with a 3/16 if the pins are 3/16 . Frank

  9. #9
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    Frank may be referring to the holes in the handle wood . I always recommend the tang holes be 25% larger than the pins. 1/4" for 3/16" rivets is perfect. If you drill them exact, and there is any mis-alignment, the rivets won't both go in. The little wiggle room makes this problem go away.
    Stacy E.Apelt
    It is better to die fighting evil than to live under it.

  10. #10
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    Thanks Stacey! Should I countersink if possible?

  11. #11
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    I drill the tang holes in the blade the same size as the pin, I do countersink to remove any burr and give a nice spot for some glue.

    Another option is to get a like bar of steel from a hardware store and cut out a couple of test blades, the stuff is pretty soft easy to cut and grind. Seems like a lot of trouble but will save you some 1084. There other nice thing is if you mess up the cheap steel, just keep grinding until nothing is left, this will help you develop a feel the the grinder and belts.

    BTY on a fast moving 60, wear gloves, a simple touch will remove a lot of skin, and no pressure, that is right just touch the belt, it will remove a lot of steel without much pressure and will give you some control.

  12. #12
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    Thanks! I finished the pre-HT grind and drilled 1/4" tang holes for 3/16" pins.

    I'll try to get pics up tonight.

  13. #13
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    Oops, double.

  14. #14
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    UPDATE:



    I drilled 1/4" holes and I'm planning on 3/16" pins for the handle.



    I accidentally touched the handle with a trizact so it got a little shiny. That won't cause any trouble with the handle right?

    I feel like I did a nice lean convex for my first ever grind. I use a progression of:

    Blaze 60

    Blaze 120

    Trizact A60

    Trizact A45

    Trizact A30

    I really like the finish I got.



    I was surprised at how well I got the distal taper. The tip isn't too thin pre-HT right?



    Edge thickness.









    Does this look like a good first grind. Not too thin?

    Any comments are appreciated.

  15. #15
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    Looks good.
    Stacy E.Apelt
    It is better to die fighting evil than to live under it.

  16. #16
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    Thanks! So I didn't grind it too thin and the spot I ground a bit on the handle won't effect anything?
    Last edited by Erdbeereis; 07-23-2013 at 11:07 PM.

  17. #17
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    It looks fine. You still have to sand everything down again after HT, so a minor smudge won't remain.
    Stacy E.Apelt
    It is better to die fighting evil than to live under it.

  18. #18
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    Thanks!

  19. #19
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    If I were to make a kitchen knife and wanted to heat treat it with a two brick forge, would I need to HT the handle? If the forge was 9" long and the blade would be about 8" long. The handle wouldn't fit, but is it necessary to HT it?

  20. #20
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    2BF are good for shorter blades and very simple steels. They won't work well for longer blades, or more complex steel types. I would consider a 3-4" blade length the max they will do well. Part of the tang can be left un-hardened, as long as it gets hardened at least 1" past the blade. I would not recommend anything but 1084 or 5160 for a 2BF HT.

    As soon as you start wanting to do bigger blades or other steels, it is time to build a real forge.
    Stacy E.Apelt
    It is better to die fighting evil than to live under it.

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