Old File Upgraded Into Thanksgiving Day Gift

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Project by Dilo Marcio Fernandino posted 12-04-2011 04:02 AM 2591 views 6 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Dear Lumberjocks,

I reverted to my toolmaking hobby (see my previous toolmaking project

I am passionate about the combination Rosewood/Brass/Steel as well as for recycling wood and metal. I can only make simple tools that do not require forging the steel, due to my extremely poor tooling resources. Also, my process of grinding a tempered steel blade is pretty limited in order to avoid overheating it, because it would require tempering it again.

Tied by those technical limitations but facing and old 8” flat file I devised an upgrading project: a slicing knife for the Thanksgiving Day, although this celebration does not happen in Brazil. However, it can be offered to my elder son Leonardo F. Fernandino, PhD, who is a Neuroscientist in the U. S.

Firstly the file was roughly ground by a high-speed grinding wheel and smoothed by a sanding disk attached to a hand drill. In the sequence, I performed a tiring manual sanding session applying decreasing grits (36, 50, 100, 220, 400, 600). Once the blade got shinny, I designed an ergonomic handle for the slicing function. From a rio rosewood (Dalbergia nigra) leftover I shaped the handle using a bow saw and carved eight facets using rasps and files, in order to take advantage of the particular light reflecting property of the rio rosewood.

Finally, from a rough piece of yellow cedar (Thuja occidentalis) I made a customized box with excavated recesses to house the knife.

Dimension of the knife: 13” long

Visit my website:
My email:
Best Regards,

-- Dilo

25 comments so far

View patron's profile


13260 posts in 2157 days

#1 posted 12-04-2011 04:08 AM


you have lead the way in hand work
once again

this is just gorgeous !

thank you for showing us
and explaining the process

very well done

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

View JaLatham's profile


52 posts in 1185 days

#2 posted 12-04-2011 04:16 AM

Very nice. I love getting distracted by toolmaking.

View ITnerd's profile


261 posts in 1415 days

#3 posted 12-04-2011 04:41 AM

I love the jewel-cut handle, the knife looks fast even when its sitting still! My turkey would have been scared of it.

-- Chris @ Atlanta - JGM - Occam's razor tells us that when you hear hoofs, think horses not zebras.

View PhiltheLuthier's profile


56 posts in 1585 days

#4 posted 12-04-2011 04:50 AM

It’s gorgeous!

View BigTiny's profile


1667 posts in 1704 days

#5 posted 12-04-2011 05:52 AM

Hola amigo:

Once again you have shown a touch of the master in this project. Any turkey would be proud to be carved up with it!


-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View mmh's profile


3538 posts in 2538 days

#6 posted 12-04-2011 06:44 AM

Resourceful and beautiful knife! I must send you all of my old tools!

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View Brett's profile


901 posts in 1575 days

#7 posted 12-04-2011 08:22 AM

Amazing! Simply stunning in design and choice of woods. A fuctional piece of art to be treasured for many, many years. This is one of my favorite projects that I have seen. Thank you Dilo for sharing this.

-- Hand Crafted by Brett Peterson John 3:16

View Brett's profile


901 posts in 1575 days

#8 posted 12-04-2011 08:24 AM

I forgot to add that the box is fantastic too! It is a great compliment to the knife.

-- Hand Crafted by Brett Peterson John 3:16

View racerglen's profile


2476 posts in 1596 days

#9 posted 12-04-2011 12:48 PM

Great work !

-- Glen, Vernon B.C. Canada

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2654 posts in 2342 days

#10 posted 12-04-2011 02:06 PM

WOW! Your work is always extraordinary! A beautiful creation indeed!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View CampD's profile


1228 posts in 2302 days

#11 posted 12-04-2011 03:14 PM

Holly handwork Batman!!! I will never look at my old tried files in the same light again.

Nicely done, love the box.

-- Doug...

View murch's profile


1198 posts in 1440 days

#12 posted 12-04-2011 03:20 PM

Really top class work.

-- A family man has photos in his wallet where his money used to be.

View miles125's profile


2179 posts in 2821 days

#13 posted 12-04-2011 04:08 PM

Love it!

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View ed220's profile


622 posts in 2209 days

#14 posted 12-04-2011 04:11 PM

Very impressive ! Great work.

View Eric's Wood Laboratory.'s profile

Eric's Wood Laboratory.

3685 posts in 2391 days

#15 posted 12-04-2011 04:42 PM

You are the master!

-- All glory comes from daring to begin.

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