First grinding, and knife making experience. please help

Joined
Jul 23, 2004
Messages
203
hello all,

finally got my belt sander, 1x30 from harbor freight, and i started grinding last night, on a blank of O1... but i'm not really getting anywhere, so i need some starting help. the blank is 1.5" wide x 1/8" thick

i started at one of the corners, and started grinding towards the center of the blade, where the curve would be between belly and tip of knife, but it does not look like the right way to do it. this is my first, so maybe i am completely wrong, but it does not seem correct to me.

maybe i'm just impatient because it not going as fast as i like???

anyone got any pics or drawings of how to start these blanks out?

thanks for the help!
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2005
Messages
25
Hey, I am sure that the more experienced will chime in here soon, but I would suggest trying to profile your blade on something else first, and then using your small sander perhaps to grind the bevels. If you already have (or can buy) a small bench grinder (the stone-type wheels) they are great for grinding away at the corners to make the shape you want. It will get bogged down easily if it is a cheapie, but its a start. I used to rough out the shape with an angle grinder, then rough grind the profile with the bench grinder, and then clean up the knife blank with the belt sander, and begin the bevels. Lots of ways to skin this rabbit, but I would save the belts on your grinder until your steel is close to the shape you want it for your knife. I found doing it this way to work for me when I started out with similar tools :)
good luck with it,
Steve.
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2005
Messages
345
First of all WELCOME!!! If you're starting off with flat stock you need to know what you want it to look like, I use blue painters tape to draw on. I can design my blade without waisting steel. If I don't like the design I remove the tape and start over. When I get a design I like I grind to the lines...hope this helps get you get started. Let us know about your progress....Forging is next!!!
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2004
Messages
203
i do have a bench grinder, but i thought that the belt grinder would take the place of it. i have heard so many times that they (bench grinder) are dangerous to grind with (because of breaking wheels), and the best bet was the belt grinder. i have had a bench grinder forever and should have started last year when i bought all of my materials. sounds like i need to use the 2 together though, for best results.

also, thanks for the painters tape tip... i'll have to try that.
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2005
Messages
345
If you use the bench grinder, don't try to go too fast. It'll only take off so much metal at a time. A belt grinder will go faster, safer. You can save yourself lots of time if you use a metal cutting bandsaw. Be safe, don't get in a hurry, we want you around here for a long time. :D
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2005
Messages
25
Exactly what Kricket said re: the bench grinder. But if it doesn't work for you, try something else - If you can afford one, a metal cutting abrasive disc on a cut-off saw is handy (a-la this one: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=44829). Use it to cut little slots into the bar stock, with each slot coming down to within a few mm of the blade profile - You can make multiple cuts quickly (right next to each other, all around the edge of the design) and then use a hand held angle grinder to trim the leftover bits which are just the thin webs left in between. touch up on the bench grinder, then the belt sander, and the profiling is pretty much done. Bandsaws are expensive, and drilling/hacksaw is a little slow for the time I have, so the cut-off saw is a good compromise and sure saves on belts/money/time.
Just an idea, good luck with it, hope you get something sorted out so that you are happy with it,
Steve.
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2005
Messages
89
if you have a 4 inch angle grinder a 4 inch cut off wheel at ace hardware is only like a $1.50 and it really cuts out the blanks fast

draw what you want the blade to look like on the steel cut it out with the angle grinder then clean it up on the bench grinder if you went to harbor freight for the 1x30 then you must have looked at te belts too get more of the lower grit belts and youlle be ok

hope this helps
 
Joined
Oct 3, 2003
Messages
7,047
wear safty glasses!!!! You can make knives if you cant see..just thought I'd add that :)
Good to see you here :)
 
Joined
Nov 24, 2005
Messages
60
First off its great to see ya here! I'm a new-b too and have about a 6 foot work bench to work on so you dont need alot of fancy tools that cost as much as a good down payment on a car (although they are insanly helpful:) ). Just take a pointy nail and etch a knife sketch into the steel. I just use a bansaw and roughly cut out the knife then use as bench grinder ($40 tradesman at lowes) and grind all the rough edges off and get an edge going. then I use a belt sander to smooth out the edge and do some finer work. I havent officially "finished" a knife et but I all really have to do is ship um off to be heat treated. Hope thats helpful! Oh! And wear gloves when using the grinder and sander, taking off skin like that is not fun, even though you would make a killin in the weightloss racket! :)

Logan

P.S. Alternate means of cutting, a drill and a hacksaw. Drill holes really really close together and use a hacksaw and cut it out then use a table grinder to get the jaged edges off. Then hand file the thing so it has an edge. I did that my first, first knife. A hawkbill, not fun.
 
Joined
Oct 3, 2003
Messages
7,047
clamp up 2 pieces of steel around your knife where you want your plunge to be. Go at it with hand files to SET the bevel then come back to the grinder.....
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2004
Messages
203
thanks for all the great suggestions. i think i will try and cut the pattern with an angle griner first, then finish with the belt sander. it would have taken forever for me to do it the way i was doing it :) duh
 
Joined
Sep 27, 2004
Messages
3,039
Also, look into grits....profiling with a 120 grit belt might SUCK. I get impatient with a 36 grit and a serrated contact wheel....i hated profiling....until the bandsaw!

When I only had hand tools and a drill, i'd drill so many holes the profile would basically drop out....then you just need to clean up the dips from the holes, and I think I an do that faster with elbow grease and a 16" bastard file than I can with a grinder.
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2003
Messages
5,586
Welcome to the knife making world.
Bless you.
You have a lot of work cut out for you with that 1X30!
You are just not really gonna even find the belts coarse enough to fit that size that are going to do the work you are so anxious to do. That, alone, can make your knife making beginning very discouraging.
You can almost get more work done by hand than with that grinder! You will always use it at some stages for guard and handle shaping, etc. But for heavy duty steel stock removal, you're just pretty much going to burn up belts and get blisters.
I've added a link to a grinder that I know for a fact many makers have in their shops. (http://www.grizzly.com/products/G1015)
I bought one 7 years ago as my first grinder and still use it today for various tasks around the shop when I don't want to use the good stuff. It's a little more suited to what you want to accomplish, and in the real knife making world is not all that expensive! Find a few customers in your neighborhood, and it could be paid for in short order.
Find a few movies to watch! The Bob Lovelass' movie on stock removal is an excellent beginner. It's nice to see it done rather than just imagine and make a whole bunch of mistakes when you would rather be making knives!
There's a TON! of help here on this forum.
And a lot of people willing to help.
Good luck.
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2004
Messages
203
holy crap! i just got back from garage, and using my bench grinder on that O1 and man did i make some progress. had to stop though because i did not plan far enough in to the pattern. got the curve from belly to tip rough out and it actually looks like a knife! yeah!

thanks for all the suggestions. i'll keep all up on the progress.

and another thing; thanks to all for caring enough to take the time to assist and help me. it is much appreciated!
 
Joined
Mar 29, 2002
Messages
4,591
The real fun starts when you grind the bevels. I started with the same grinder you have. I was lucky enough to cut my finger in half on it while bevel grinding my very second blade ever. The phone rang and I swung around to look at it (why I don't know) and ran my index finger into the belt edge. Anyhow, you can grind nice blades with that screaming little beast and I would recommend a soft touch for minimal chatter. I do not care for the belts Harbor Freight offers. You can get much better belts from someone like Pop's Knife Supply.

Be patient and be persistent.

RL
 
Joined
Dec 24, 2005
Messages
73
just one quick thing Lima kilo ........

" And wear gloves when using the grinder and sander, taking off skin like that is not fun, even though you would make a killin in the weightloss racket! "

.. .... useing gloves on a belt sander or pedistal grinder is one realy dangerous thing . the gloves can catch and pull your whole arm in .... i got some realy gory pic's 'round here ( i'll see if i can find them ) i didn't know that bone could get splinted into so manny pieces :( ..... maby not so bad on a small machiene , but on a langer one its .... scary :barf:
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2005
Messages
86
rlinger said:
The real fun starts when you grind the bevels. I started with the same grinder you have. I was lucky enough to cut my finger in half on it while bevel grinding my very second blade ever. The phone rang and I swung around to look at it (why I don't know) and ran my index finger into the belt edge. Anyhow, you can grind nice blades with that screaming little beast and I would recommend a soft touch for minimal chatter. I do not care for the belts Harbor Freight offers. You can get much better belts from someone like Pop's Knife Supply.

Be patient and be persistent.

RL


You cut your finger in half? I guess that's pretty lucky.. to have the other half still be attatched... eek!!:eek: :eek: :eek:
 
Top