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Fastest way to getting scratch marks out?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by J dingus, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. J dingus

    J dingus

    Feb 10, 2020
    Hey guys i just signed up for blade forums. Also i just finished grinding out the shape of my new project. Can anyone give me some advice on how to get all of the fine, criss crossed scratches out? Thank you
  2. Black Oak Bladeworks

    Black Oak Bladeworks Gold Member Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Gold Member

    Jun 5, 2019
    Hand sanding will be the best way. Go to the makers forum and read all the sticky's. if you have any questions use the search bar, almost everything has been asked before.
  3. Pomsbz


    Jul 31, 2015
    Yup, might as well close the entire forum to new threads, why bother having an active forum?
    BITEME likes this.
  4. kvaughn

    kvaughn Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Why not send him straight to the guys with the answers?
    Your post didn't seem to give him much advice-KV
  5. bgentry


    Aug 3, 2009
    Generally speaking you need to start with an abrasive that's at least as coarse as your deepest scratch. Sand with that grade in one direction and you will form a grind composed of only that grit or grade. Then move finer and finer until you like the finish it leaves.

    I've seen advice from some knife makers to turn the work 90 degrees when moving from one grade to the next. The idea being that if you can erase the lines from the previous grade, while going *across* them, rather than with them, you will totally erase them and be very sure of it because it will be visually obvious.

    I'm lazy and not incredibly mechanically gifted, so I do all of this with a powered belt sander, as opposed to hand sanding.

    I've also found medium and "very fine" scotchbrite belts to do wonderful things to metal finishes. They can really smooth out a finish and make it look nice.

    BITEME and TheEdge01 like this.
  6. Jason Fry

    Jason Fry KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 5, 2008
    1. Clean grinds have less scratches.
    2. the advice about turning the angle on each grit is legit.
    3. IMO don't start too coarse with the hand sanding. If you can go to 400 on the machine, then start hand sanding with 400, that's the way to go. If you can only get to clean 120 on the machine, it'll be a long day with a lot of hand sanding.
    AVigil likes this.
  7. Drew Riley

    Drew Riley AR Custom Knives Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 17, 2007
    What are you grinding with? There are slightly different answers depending on what kind of equipment you have available.
    The late Tim Hancock would move from a belt grinder to a disc grinder to do the majority of his final scratch removal.
    Some makers have decent luck continuing up in grit on the belt grinder only, and finishing with trizact, scotchbrite, cork, or other engineered abrasive belts.
    Some makers use an array of aggressive to fine buffs after taking it to a fine enough grit on the grinder.

    Ultimately, it somewhat depends on what kind of finish you're after as well as the type of grinds and grits you're starting with.
    AVigil and DevinT like this.
  8. 3fifty7

    3fifty7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 24, 2016
    You should never have cross crossed scratches. If you do it means you moved on to the next grit before fully cleaning up the prior.
    Jason Fry likes this.
  9. Black Oak Bladeworks

    Black Oak Bladeworks Gold Member Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Gold Member

    Jun 5, 2019
    I am not trying to say people should not post questions or to come across as unwelcoming. (Which my post could definitely be taken that way.) I am not trying to be a jerk but I didn't have time to answer the question in any depth. If he wants answers quickly go look at the stickies. I am fine helping people, I just don't always have time to make a long response. :)

    So first welcome to the forums and please forgive my abruptness. Pictures go a long way to and help us know what exactly is going wrong. If you have started hand sanding, criss cross scratches usually mean you need to sand more. Hand sanding will take quite a bit of time, work your way down the grits slowly, make sure you have all the scratches from the prior grit sanded out before moving on. I like to to finish the last strokes of all my grits going in the same direction too.

    Here is a really good video by Nick Wheeler that will help you with a lot of your questions about hand sanding.

    Here a few threads with some other pointers and good information. Good luck! if you have further questions let us know.

  10. Black Oak Bladeworks

    Black Oak Bladeworks Gold Member Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Gold Member

    Jun 5, 2019
    Before I forget, Make sure to wear a respirator when sanding or grinding. Steel dust can have some pretty bad effects over the long term exposure.
  11. ashwinearl

    ashwinearl KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 9, 2006
    I have seen it suggested that EDM or ceramic stones suggested to help shorten the time

    See time 8:16 at this video

    I got a 150, 220, 320, 420 and they do seem to help. I got the wrong size and they are too thin to really bear down. In videos or instagram from Gough knives, I saw he has thicker stones, and said it cuts down his hand sanding by a significant amount.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
    Black Oak Bladeworks likes this.

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