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The Newbies Arena Are you new to knife making? Here is all the help you will need.

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  #1  
Old 08-25-2016, 09:19 AM
yeuker yeuker is offline
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Do I need to sand the tang

Hey Everyone,

New knife maker here. Just making my first 2 knives. Decided to do everything by hand... cut the metal, file, sand, etc without any power tools. Its been quite a bit of work but very rewarding. I need to get the knives done soon as its my brothers 40th early October and I still need to send blades for heat treat... which brings me to my next question:

Should I have filed/sanded down the tang? I did a good job on the blades and they are smooth, shiny and the blade is nice. I left the tangs as the metal came from my supplier because they are going to be covered by the scales. Should I have sanded them down (the tang portion under the scales)?

Please let me know as I want to either mail them for heat treat today or get busy sanding :-)

Thanks!

Yeuker
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  #2  
Old 08-25-2016, 09:37 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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If they are full tang knives then you should sand then down quite a bit. If they aren't reasonably smooth and flat there will be gaps under the scales that eventually will hold moisture and rust the tang. This will probably happen even if you put epoxy under the scales because most epoxy will break down over time if exposed to sunlight, heat, water, etc.

As for the blades being nice and smooth and shiny enjoy it while you can because they won't be after they come back from heat treat. A finish around 220 grit is enough before heat treat. Also, don't sharpen the blades before you send them out (a common newbie mistake). The heat treaters will not appreciate trying to work on a sharp blade...


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  #3  
Old 08-25-2016, 12:57 PM
yeuker yeuker is offline
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Yes, they are full tang knives. I didn't sharpen them outside of how they got during filing and sanding but they did work out pretty sharp (sorry in advance heat treaters). I'll sand the tangs tonight. What grit should I go to on the tang?

I'm cool with the knife coming back dirty and super excited to see the knife hard and ready for scales. Thanks for the reply.

C
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  #4  
Old 08-25-2016, 01:10 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Don't be sorry that the blades got sharp when you shaped them, dull the edges before you send them off.

220 or 400 grit is plenty in most cases, depends on the type of steel and how hard the blade might be when you get it back. You can go to 400 and then start over at 220 when the blades are returned, that's nearly always necessary anyway ...


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Old 08-25-2016, 01:19 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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The grit should be a bit on the rough side to get them flat quicker. Like Ray said don't go finer than 220 grit as they will be blue to black depending on the metal and the practice of the heat treater. My HT guys cover the blades with foil or some type of compound to keep the surface from too much decarburizing. It is up to me what they do. What kind of material are you using for the blades? If it's stainless then the HT will cover with foil for about $4 a blade. That stuff is expensive, but it is worth it if you don't want to sand a bunch of crap off the blade and stainless pretty much demands some kind of an air block barrier because of the high temperature soak time.

Now a high carbon steel like 1084 doesn't need it and just a final hand sand is all that is necessary. Make your tang flat as possible, the HT guy will straighten it to a certain degree and then you finish it. If you hand sanded it then warping shouldn't be much of an issue because you will not have made the blade hot in the grinding process. Uneven and hot grinding is the main cause of warpage.

I never buy precision ground raw material because first and foremost it's too expensive and second, it can hide a possible future warp. I buy hot roll bar or sheared sheet. I check and straighten before I grind it or profile it even. By doing this I almost never have a serious warping problem unless I just get impatient while grinding and don't keep it even and cool.

Last edited by jimmontg; 08-25-2016 at 01:21 PM.
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  #6  
Old 08-25-2016, 10:38 PM
shiny shiny is offline
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I might add that if you have any holes drilled in the tang to save weight or balance the knife, than its good practice to file down the shap edges a bit. It can cause cracking or warping... (One of the two).
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  #7  
Old 08-26-2016, 08:29 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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also if you filed your blades down to the point where they are almost sharpened like ray said dull the edge...however on your next one don't file them as much leave the edge at about the thickness of a dime then after heat treat (and generally the last thing that gets done) put a secondary bevel on that edge that is the thickness of the dime and sharpen that ....it prevents warping I heat treat all my blades before I grind bevels on but you cant do that if your working by hand however I have seen pics of people that made the edge too thin and during heat treat it can warp the worst I saw a pic of the edge was grinded almost done and it looked like a piece of bacon (very wavy) when it came back from heat treat
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  #8  
Old 08-26-2016, 10:11 AM
yeuker yeuker is offline
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Thanks everyone

I sanded down the tang and am sending them for heat treat end of day today. How would I dull the edge?. The blade is 1/8" and the bevel isn't too narrow so I really hope they don't warp :-(. Here is picture:

https://goo.gl/photos/dEi3eferEbd96yYbA
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  #9  
Old 08-26-2016, 10:24 AM
yeuker yeuker is offline
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By the way,knife steel is 1/8" SS: CPM S35VN
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  #10  
Old 08-26-2016, 10:34 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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just run a file or sand paper over the edge till it thickens up a lil and dulls...this time just dull the edge for the HT guys but like I said next time leave it the thickness of a dime....then you add a secondary bevel after HT
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  #11  
Old 08-26-2016, 11:30 AM
shiny shiny is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtec1 View Post
... but you cant do that if your working by hand however...
You are so right Dtec1, I have had this problem a few times before... That's because you are bound to damage the satin finish or mirror finish if you make one worng move on the waterstone. Is that what you mean? I alway's left my bevels to the point where they had about 0.039 (or 1 mm) thickness. But sharpening the final secondary bevel was alway's a big task...
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  #12  
Old 08-26-2016, 11:51 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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what I ment was I heat treat my blades as soon as the shape is cut out before I even think about putting bevels on but once you HT that steel is hard since I use a grinder to do the bevels I can do that my point was if your doing the bevels with a file once that steel is heat treated that file isn't going to be able to put the bevels on it will just skate off the steel if your using files you need to put the bevels in before the HT when the steel is still soft. leaving that 1mm thickness on the edge is what you want to do but your right doing that secondary bevel with a file after the HT is going to be a bit of work.....honestly I give you credit doing it that way I am extremely impatient with my grinder I can put that secondary bevel on in less than a minute then I sharpen it with stones on the edge pro system... are you using the files freehand or are you using a jig?? if you google knife file jig a bunch of stuff will come up like I said I don't use files but I have seen vids and one video I saw the guy said he uses a jig NOT to keep the bevels straight (wich it will also do) but he uses it because it makes it a bit faster you don't have to stop after everystroke and make sure its at the right angle the jig takes care of that so you can just go back and forth quickly ....maybe something to look at
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  #13  
Old 08-26-2016, 04:02 PM
yeuker yeuker is offline
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Thanks everyone. I sanded down the blade to make it dull and sent it for heat treat. Super excited to get it back, hope I have time to finish everything prior to my brothers birthday in October. I appreciate all your help.

Yeuker
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  #14  
Old 08-27-2016, 10:48 AM
shiny shiny is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtec1 View Post
what I ment was I heat treat my blades as soon as the shape is cut out before I even think about putting bevels on but once you HT that steel is hard since I use a grinder to do the bevels I can do that my point was if your doing the bevels with a file once that steel is heat treated that file isn't going to be able to put the bevels on it will just skate off the steel if your using files you need to put the bevels in before the HT when the steel is still soft. leaving that 1mm thickness on the edge is what you want to do but your right doing that secondary bevel with a file after the HT is going to be a bit of work.....honestly I give you credit doing it that way I am extremely impatient with my grinder I can put that secondary bevel on in less than a minute then I sharpen it with stones on the edge pro system... are you using the files freehand or are you using a jig?? if you google knife file jig a bunch of stuff will come up like I said I don't use files but I have seen vids and one video I saw the guy said he uses a jig NOT to keep the bevels straight (wich it will also do) but he uses it because it makes it a bit faster you don't have to stop after everystroke and make sure its at the right angle the jig takes care of that so you can just go back and forth quickly ....maybe something to look at
Yeah at the moment I use a file. I have a grinder available to me but that one isn't very suitable for kife grinding. I happened to have just made a filing jig! Exactly because of the reason you said; it's quikcker. I don't have to watch what's happening all the time. Also you get a very nice plunge line because of a stop-bolt that kind of decides for you where the plunge line wil be. I made this very simple and effective filing jig from Gough his website. Have not used it, but it will be a lot quicker I reckon. I appreciate the hard labor of filing but hope to find a place where I can put a proper belt grinder and make all the noise I want.
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  #15  
Old 08-27-2016, 11:52 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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SHINY....that link you posted is almost identical to the one I saw in a video that I was describing....again I don't use files and never have as I said I give a lot of credit to anyone that does I just don't have the patience if I started off that way I would have very quickly found another way or I would have quit....I don't know if you know what the edge pro sharpening system is (if not look it up just to see what I mean) but I use that to sharpen 90% of my knives...I can do it on a flat stone but the edge pro does for sharpening what the file jig does for bevels and it makes it a whole lot quicker that's why I assume the file jig would to. I started on a 4x36 /disk grinder combo and very quickly realized there are much much better and quicker ways and I got the kmg grinder and never looked back it is a amazing piece of machinery for knife making...if you have the money I would recommend it to anyone....I got REALLY lucky and my grandmother paid for most of it as kinda a early B-DAY present...thanks to grandma she is the best!
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