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Blade grinding jigs?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Bryan27, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. Bryan27


    Jul 16, 2009
    New member here, I've enjoyed reading about yalls work and seeing the works in progress, thanks for sharing! I've never made a knife, yet, but I find it interesting.

    After reading a few threads I've gotten the idea that grinding a blade and having it come out right takes some time and experience. So my logic says grinding two blades to come out right and identical would be an even tougher task to accomplish. I see several knifemakers that offer, in addition to one off knives, a few models that they repeatedly make and may just change the scales and sheath per customer preference. I have been messing with woodworking most of my life and metal a little bit over the past few years and there is a jig for just about everything. I've seen some pretty ingenious jigs to make monotonous tasks more accurate and efficient over the years. My question is: Are there jigs for grinding out a blade to get it more uniform and repeatable? It would seem to me that if you were making a line of knives that you would want them all to be the same, and a jig would be a good way of going about that, but I have not been able to picture a jig that would accomplish this. If you have done this, could you post a picture please?
  2. Ed Fowler

    Ed Fowler

    Jul 21, 2001
    In my opinion, the more jigs you use the less freedom you will be able to exercise in the development of YOUR knife.
  3. go mike

    go mike

    Dec 5, 2008
    I've made one. Here's the thread: http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=621795

    I found that it works pretty well. Not the best, but then again, I only have a HF 1x30. It keeps the blade at the same angle, and that's all I wanted it to do. Once I get a 2x72 I'll probably just freehand it.
  4. Patrickknives


    Dec 13, 2006
    Just like the woodworking jigs there is alot of set up to get each to turn out exactly the same, in making batches of knives there is still alot of freedom to try different grinds. On some I will make the edge real narrow, this will made a great slicer but not a heavy use knife, other I will make thick, bang this knife around the shop all day without damage. Each of these would require a precision set up and adjustment of the approach angle.

    starting out, spend time grinding steel and later if you need a jig, you can give it a try.
  5. Hmathews


    Feb 22, 2005
    I would forget the jigs. Once you learn the basics, you can grind a blade before you can set up the jigs. Invest in some cheap mild steel, tuck your elbows into your side and stand in front of the grinder until you develop the control you need. Then get some knife steel and do the same thing. There is no substitute for learning how to grind. It gives you the flexibility to make the blades you want and repeating grinds is no problem at all. Shaping a blade and getting it right is not monotonous at all. It can be totally screwed up at any second and the possibility of a belt busting adds all the excitement you could want.....after it has happened once.
  6. Troop


    Oct 26, 2006
    Learn freehand; forget the gadgets.
  7. Bryan27


    Jul 16, 2009
    Thanks for the feedback, I kinda figured that jigs would be more of a crutch than an aid but was curious if there was something out there people use to get uniform batches. Sounds like you just have to develop a feel for it.
  8. hellgap


    Dec 17, 2008
    I am a new knife maker and made a jig and its ok but I dont use it like others have said it impeeds your freedom of how you grind . I am free hand hollow grinding my knives and find it easier than flat grind or convex grinds. Practice practice and more practice but make sure you hang a rabbits foot in your shop I did and havent scratched myself since . Dam beats stiches lol kellyw
  9. Rick Marchand

    Rick Marchand Donkey on the Edge Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 6, 2005

    You said it better than I ever could. :thumbup::thumbup:
  10. galadduin


    Dec 25, 2004
    I tried to build a jig for my first grind years ago. I had to learn the principles of grinding bevels first to make that jig. While I was trying to figure out the grinding basics I learned to grind without a jig. That jig never completed of course...
  11. James_Terrio


    Oct 6, 2008
    Learning to grind freehand is part of the fun and challenge of handmade knives.
  12. Leu Custom

    Leu Custom

    Jun 2, 2007
    Using a jig doesn't even insure your grinds will be even ! That part still takes experience and practice ! The jig can only really ever hold the blade at the same angle, but your grinds can still be completely F!@?!?@?! up :D
  13. Fred.Rowe

    Fred.Rowe Dealer / Materials Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    May 2, 2004
    I asked myself the same question a few years ago and decided to come up with a jig that would give the knife grinder the freedom to grind [freehand] and at the same time give him the ability to do quality grinds almost from the beginning.

    This small adjustable jig which attaches to the blade guide or to the blade blank itself via a strong magnet in its base; allows someone just starting out to make quality flat grinds on any vertical belt grinding machine.

    The bubble is 180 degrees adjustable and is set at the desired angle using small angled wedges of differing degrees. I start my grinds at 5 degrees angle of approach to the grinding belt to develop the edge and finish the flats at 2.5 or 3 degrees angle of approach.

    If you are a little hesitant when grinding false edges on the spine of that big fighter or Bowie knife; this little jig will let you accomplish machined quality grinds in minutes that are absolutely even.:thumbup:

    When you go to sharpen your knives this jig will produce the exact angle you want to produce.

    The technique can be learned by anyone in an hour.

    I have applied for a patent on this jig and will be producing it at my shop starting this month.

    It will go on sale in late September. Watch for it here on Bladeforums.

    Everyone has there own technique for producing professional grinds on their blades; this was my solution.


    Last edited: Aug 12, 2009
  14. go mike

    go mike

    Dec 5, 2008
    Completely true there! I only made a jig because it's near impossible to hold anything still on the crap "flat" platen on the 1x30 HF sander. It really helped me, but once I finally start building my 2x72, I'll probably toss the jig.
  15. Leu Custom

    Leu Custom

    Jun 2, 2007
    damn those 1x30s! used mine for about 2 seconds!

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