Thin Stock Wavey Bevel

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by KNelson, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. KNelson


    Jan 9, 2019
    I usually use 1/8"-3/16" steel, but have recently ventured into kitchen knives and thin stuff. I've found how much more difficult the thin stuff is to grind! The chef knife I had no issues as I planned to have lengthwise sanding lines anyways, but I normally like to have perpendicular grinds from flat to bevels.

    The bottom knife is the one I had troubles with that I was unable to correct without chasing the grind up to the spine. So I stopped where it was pretty even and cleaned it up handsanding. The steel is S35VN that I heat treated before grinding @ .09" thick. Does anyone have recommendations as to how you freehand grind such thin stuff and have a great even belt finish? Or is this something that is going to require hand finishing and sanding? I do freehand grind as I like the control and feel, where with jigs I never was happy with results.


    Example of how I like my lines:
  2. Natlek


    Jun 9, 2015
    Several pass at end of grinding with light pressure , high belt speed and uniform motion of blade cross belt , works for me .This is done that way with 40 grit belt ............
    KNelson likes this.
  3. daizee

    daizee KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 30, 2009
    The thin material deflects while you're grinding from heat, stress, and pressure. And again then later during quench. :p
    Also, the angles are much steeper on thicker stock, and easier to feel, for me anyway.
    That particular wave above is pretty minor. For a saber grind on thin stock, I'd correct that with a sanding block, elbow grease, and profanity. But then it would be hand-finished...
  4. scott kozub

    scott kozub Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 1, 2018
    I'll be watching this closely. The issue is the small angle difference between the bevel and flat that compounds waves.

    I find it helps to use a rest so you can focus on pressure against the belt. I place my left thumb behind the blade and draw the knife across the edge of the belt. I keep the blade angled very slightly off the belt. I'll also put my thumb right on the spot where I need to raise the grind line. As my thumb approaches the edge of the belt I start to apply a little more pressure with my thumb and then ease off once past. Very light pressure an sneak up on it. Of course a sharp belt is a must. Unlike above, I try to use very slow speed when getting close as I'm afraid I'll approach the belt at the wrong angle and dig a groove.

    Once I screw up it use the slack belt and convex it or do a FFG ;). I find it very difficult to get straight lines on kitchen knives so you're not alone.
  5. Maelstrom78


    Sep 21, 2013
    Yeah and the stock might have a lateral curve from grinding. It might help to switch grinding sides more frequently.
  6. KNelson


    Jan 9, 2019
    Yeah a few times I nicked the flats oh so lightly! Was easy enough to get out but made me nervous haha.

    The first thing I noticed was my platen needed some surface work, but didn’t end up helping fully. Once I surfaced it I started getting better results but still not perfect enough to be happy with. I have a handful more of these to bust out so I’ll be trying everyone’s advice and see what works better for me!

  7. Ryan Minchew

    Ryan Minchew

    Sep 29, 2005
    On thin stock blades (kitchen, filet blades ect) i clamp a piece of thick stock on the side im not grinding. Stops it from flexing and causing grind line issues.
    coldsteelburns and Natlek like this.

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