Marking knife with a couple of twists

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Project by DanoP posted 01-03-2012 09:06 PM 2127 views 4 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi LJs,
I wanted to share a couple little tricks I incorporated into my favorite marking knife.

First, humor me and shape your hand as if you are holding a pen or (duh) a marking knife. If you look at the place between your fingers where the knife/pen would go, it is anything but the shape we make our tools – not round, rectangular or even truly triangular. The end view is triangular and each finger lays in at a different angel.

I started with a rectangular cross section then held it in my hand as if I were using it then started cutting away the areas where my fingers fell against the tool. EASY to do with a Dremel. Ends up the shape and angle of each finger’s concave area is quite different from each other. The result – the tool disappears in your hand! The feeling of working with it is 100% natural. I challenge you to grab your roto-tool and a carpenter’s pencil and try it for yourself.

Another trick, the silver dot in photos 2 and 3 is a small Neo-magnet epoxied in the handle. Photo 6 shows it conveniently stuck to my lathe where I use it most.

By the way, the handle is kingwood, no finish other than sanding and use. the blade was cut down from an old file.

Got any tool making tips you’d like to share?

-- We've got enough youth. Let's search for a fountain of smart.

9 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117234 posts in 3721 days

#1 posted 01-03-2012 09:33 PM

Nice job.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 3609 days

#2 posted 01-03-2012 11:05 PM

Intriguing technique, I must give it a try. I’ve been needing a good layout / marking knife for some time. Thanks for the post.

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View DaveBaker's profile


67 posts in 3896 days

#3 posted 01-04-2012 12:30 AM


That makes perfect sense and it looks great. How did you mount the blade into the handle?

-- Upstate New York -- Do what you love and never work a day in your life.

View oi2342001's profile


27 posts in 2490 days

#4 posted 01-04-2012 03:27 AM

That looks great. I’m also interested as to how you mounted the blade. Nice idea with the magnet as well.

-- If your not having fun you're doing it wrong.

View DanoP's profile


135 posts in 2484 days

#5 posted 01-04-2012 04:09 AM

The file started out close to 1/8th inch thick so I left the tang the full thickness then trimmed it down to ~3/16ths wide and then drilled and inserted it with epoxy just like I would do with a full size chisel. Force fit a square (ish) peg into a slightly undersized round hole. Since I don’t put a lot of force on the tool, I figured I could get away without a Ferrell. It’s a risky deal. I’ve split out quite a few handles but if you can make it work, it makes for a nice clean look. Again, not something you want to do if you are going to be putting a lot of force on the blade during use.

-- We've got enough youth. Let's search for a fountain of smart.

View Mike's profile


66 posts in 2526 days

#6 posted 01-04-2012 07:36 AM

got question for you dan is your caliper got a magnet on it too ? If so it might throw accuracy off some.

I really like the knife

-- But hon I need this tool.......

View DanoP's profile


135 posts in 2484 days

#7 posted 01-04-2012 09:35 AM

Good question Mike. For the caliper, the magnets are CA-glued to the lathe. Same for the rulers.

-- We've got enough youth. Let's search for a fountain of smart.

View Roger's profile


20948 posts in 2948 days

#8 posted 02-12-2012 12:48 AM

I likes it. I likes it a lot

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Ben's profile


302 posts in 2475 days

#9 posted 11-27-2013 02:08 AM

I had the same sort of idea when I was making the handle for a carving knife I’m making. (I have yet to install the blade) I used the basic shape of the flexcut handles and worked it until it fit my hand perfectly. It has such a great feel to hold, I am almost afraid to put the blade in. It is such a great looking and feeling object, I like it all by itself.

-- Welcome to downtown Coolsville, Population: US! --Hogarth Hughes

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