Japanese style marking knife - from old plane iron

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Project by mafe posted 01-04-2015 06:59 PM 3149 views 9 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Japanese style marking knife
from old plane iron

1. The marking knife.
2. Old plane iron.
3. Shaping on the sander, a grinder will be fine also.
4. Sharpening and honing.
5. Wrap with string for that simple Japanese look and grip.
6. Wood glue all over then leave to dry .

This is a simple project that takes no metal working skills, all you need is to be careful not to overheat the metal so it will lose it’s hardening, so keep it cool, dip in water again and again when you shape it.
I often run into old plane irons on markets and have bunch in a drawer, the other day I got the idea for this simple conversion and had to give it a go.
Have to admit I did not need a marking knife, think I have ten, but this one will be a beauty with my Japanese tools I think, so I guess I have kind of an excuse.
I’ll confess that the project is not made of wood, but resting on wood… sorry.

Also made a small knife for a friend from a jigsaw blade while I was playing.

Hope this can inspire to repurpose some of all that wonderful iron,

Best thoughts,


-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

25 comments so far

View tyvekboy's profile


1310 posts in 2435 days

#1 posted 01-04-2015 07:05 PM

Mafe … when you finish the knife for your friend you can add a finished picture of it to the posting …. itʻs not nice to tease us… lol

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View patron's profile


13524 posts in 2763 days

#2 posted 01-04-2015 07:06 PM

always like the mad touch you share with us

keep ‘em coming

have a great year

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Diggerjacks's profile


2090 posts in 2561 days

#3 posted 01-04-2015 07:08 PM

Hello Mafe

Another nice good idea

Happy new year

Thanks for sharing

-- Diggerjack-France ---The only limit is the limit of the mind and the mind has no limit

View lew's profile


11266 posts in 3178 days

#4 posted 01-04-2015 07:10 PM


Looks like the book is a well used reference.

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

View GerardoArg1's profile


935 posts in 1416 days

#5 posted 01-04-2015 07:12 PM

Great Mads. You are very bussy this 2015!

-- Disfruta tu trabajo (enjoy your work) (Bandera, Argentina)

View Philip's profile


1275 posts in 1961 days

#6 posted 01-04-2015 08:17 PM

Great marking knife Mads

-- I never finish anyth

View RPhillips's profile


1110 posts in 1258 days

#7 posted 01-04-2015 08:31 PM

Nice marking knife Mafe

...on the string, did you just wrap it and then rub it down with glue to secure it?

...and what kind of string does one use for this? Hemp?

-- Rob - Indianapolis IN - Learning... one mistake at a time...

View Sodabowski's profile


2308 posts in 2255 days

#8 posted 01-04-2015 09:13 PM

I envision a wooden handle for that repurposed jigsaw blade, so it counts! ;)

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

View Brit's profile


6582 posts in 2265 days

#9 posted 01-04-2015 09:13 PM

“Resting on wood” – That’s hilarious Mads. Lovely knife. You can’t waste good steel can you?

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View 489tad's profile


3084 posts in 2434 days

#10 posted 01-04-2015 09:18 PM

There are a lot of useful things to make from what is laying around. Well done.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View mafe's profile


11061 posts in 2512 days

#11 posted 01-04-2015 09:25 PM

Laugh Andy, yes that was the best I could come up with, you have been around so long now that you know I might get hunted by the wood police that sometimes become member here on LJ. ;-)
Soda, thanks, I needed that help, smiles.

RPhillips, you can use all kinds of sting, the only rule are that there are no rules also all kind of glues, when using cord I prefer epoxy. Here a non glued version I call it end of the line, with cord wrap in sword style, quite fun to make.
Philip, thanks.
Gerardo, I have been, but also have a load of un posted projects from last year.
Lew, yes I love that book and it was even well used before I had the luck to get it.
Diggerjacks, happy new year to you also, thanks.
David, happy new year, life gets sweeter with a touch of madness.
tyvekboy, I’ll put a picture it actually have a wee bit of wood. ;-)
Thanks all for the comments,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View mafe's profile


11061 posts in 2512 days

#12 posted 01-04-2015 09:26 PM

489tad, smiles thanks.

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View rantingrich's profile


372 posts in 768 days

#13 posted 01-04-2015 09:49 PM

Thats a nice prison SHANK you got there

-- Rich

View muesli's profile


227 posts in 931 days

#14 posted 01-04-2015 09:51 PM

Very good idea and such a very nice product! I will definately try that. Thanks a lot for sharing, Mafe!

Is there no hardening necessary after such a rough grinding?

Best regards


View Matt Vredenburg's profile

Matt Vredenburg

163 posts in 2837 days

#15 posted 01-04-2015 11:09 PM

Nice work. I have to make one of these now!

-- Matt, Arizona

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