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Making a Marking Knife #2: Filing a Bevel onto a Knife Blade (Aargh!)

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Blog entry by Eric posted 08-17-2008 03:47 PM 6603 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: The Stock Part 2 of Making a Marking Knife series Part 3: When the Bit's Too Small for the Brace »

Last week I blogged about making a marking knife from scratch. I had gotten as far as getting a good start on the handle and filing the blade to a point.

Yesterday, I was going to file a bevel onto the blade, hone it, and then work on getting in mounted in the handle. I didn’t quite get that far.

Do you know how hard it is to hand-file bevels onto a spear-pointed knife, so that both sides are even? I found myself overdoing one side, then the other. I made adjustments to the angle of the blade, then the angle of the bevel, and one thing led to another, and I found myself with too little blade to work with!

So I started over, and tried to really take my time with it. Right now, it’s okay. I still think maybe the angle of my bevel is a little too steep, but I’m scared to lower it for fear of messing everything up.

This was just about the closest I got in my limited time in the craft of just throwing in the towel on a project. But so far, I’m still in this one. For now!

-- Eric at http://adventuresinwoodworking.com



9 comments so far

View lew's profile

lew

10130 posts in 2479 days


#1 posted 08-17-2008 06:00 PM

Eric,

Would it be possible to create a jig to hold the blade material in position as you form it? Having the blade in a consistent position may help you form equal bevels. Maybe something like a shooting board- using a file instead of a plane?

Lew

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Eric's profile

Eric

873 posts in 2508 days


#2 posted 08-17-2008 06:06 PM

Hey Lew, thanks for the comment. I have been wondering what kind of jig would work. I suppose I could chisel out a small (and shallow) trench, in which the blade would lie. Then what? Maybe cut out a wedge that has a 25-degree (or so) angle, and run the file down that wedge to contact the blade?

There’s also the matter of controlling how high up the blade I let the file travel. Anyway, I appreciate your thoughts, getting my brain going here…

-- Eric at http://adventuresinwoodworking.com

View lew's profile

lew

10130 posts in 2479 days


#3 posted 08-17-2008 07:09 PM

Eric,

Here is something:

Sorry, I tried to turn it but it didn’t work.

Lew

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View ChicoWoodnut's profile

ChicoWoodnut

904 posts in 2539 days


#4 posted 08-17-2008 10:50 PM

Hey Eric,

All the marking knives I have or have seen are beveled only on one side so the line runs right against the straight edge.

That might make it easier on you too.

-- Scott - Chico California http://chicowoodnut.home.comcast.net

View Eric's profile

Eric

873 posts in 2508 days


#5 posted 08-18-2008 06:29 AM

Lew – thanks, that is helpful!

Scott – so is mine. But I have two bevels in that they form a spear point, rather than being a single-beveled blade that looks like a skew chisel. Maybe I didn’t communicate it very clearly. It’s got me all frazzled!

-- Eric at http://adventuresinwoodworking.com

View grumpycarp's profile

grumpycarp

257 posts in 2470 days


#6 posted 08-18-2008 07:54 AM

Hey Eric,
How’s it going out there in the middle of the Pacific?

Why not take the knife to the file instead of the other way around? Scribe a line down the center of the “blade and when you start to get close to the shape you want put the file in a vise. Chop off a guide block at the angle you want for your bevel, hold that tight to the blade and apply that assembly to the file. One pass on one side, flip, one pass on the other side, etc., and sneak up on the center line. Should be a simple matter to adjust passes/sides to stay in the middle and still keep the bevel that you want.

Yours in fighting rust,
gc

View Eric's profile

Eric

873 posts in 2508 days


#7 posted 08-18-2008 08:04 AM

Yo GC!

Hmm…ideas, ideas… I love it! Looks like, no matter what, I need to take the time to make a jig – at least, if I want it to be decent!

(Oh, and I think I’m going to use that “ruined” first blade to make a Japanese-style marking gauge.)

-- Eric at http://adventuresinwoodworking.com

View grumpycarp's profile

grumpycarp

257 posts in 2470 days


#8 posted 08-18-2008 08:26 AM

Well, by jig I just meant a scrap block of wood with a miter on one end . . .woot!

View sharad's profile

sharad

1066 posts in 2529 days


#9 posted 08-18-2008 04:15 PM

Eric, Pl see if following information may be useful in general for making knives. You can get more information from the references at the bottom
Sharad

Knife Sharpening Jig
by Dick Baugh
(April 26, 2005) Knives cut best when they are sharp. Once you have used a sharp knife you will never want to waste your time with a dull one. When sharpening a knife, it is important to keep the angle correct. This is easier to do after sharpening hundreds of knives than it was the very first time, but it still takes skill and careful attention. Keeping the angle constant can be reduced to a no-brainer by employing a sharpening jig. This jig attaches to the knife blade and insures the proper sharpening angle. You can make your own or buy one from various companies. Razor Edge Systems makes several nice ones. Here is a simple sharpening jig that is easy to make. For improved gripping of the knife blade you can cover the inside surfaces of the jaws with 280 grit wet-or-dry sandpaper. Attach the sandpaper with contact cement or other waterproof adhesive.
E-mail your comments to “Richard A. Baugh” at oldfellah37@msn.com

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© PrimitiveWays 2005

-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

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