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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 06-01-2016, 07:05 PM
Wolfe_Man Wolfe_Man is offline
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Help on knifemaking

So I'm relatively inexperienced with knifemaking. I've made a few that aren't too bad. But I don't have a mentor and I'm pretty much flying by the seat of my pants. When I grind my blades, I don't set a specific angle or have one in mind, I just kinda hope for the best. What should I be doing to match the angle I drew to what I'm getting? Is there a good way to figure out what angle I should grind to achieve it?
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  #2  
Old 06-01-2016, 07:22 PM
jmccustomknives jmccustomknives is offline
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Everyone had there own technique. Some use jigs, others free hand it. With experience keeping everything strait gets easier.
As for me, I freehand grind. I have the belt grinder set up where I can see down it and watch the edge as it comes to center.

It might help to visit a knife maker near you.
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  #3  
Old 06-01-2016, 07:39 PM
Wolfe_Man Wolfe_Man is offline
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I personally know a great knifemaker and I talk to him about it but don't get the chance to consult with him often. It'd be nice to have someone to consult with regularly for advice and steps. But I see people showing where they want there grind lines to end and giving the angle to which they grind. Is it possible to get skilled in purely freehanding exactly (or close to) what I want? I use a jig but I'm going to start freehanding.
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  #4  
Old 06-01-2016, 07:55 PM
jmccustomknives jmccustomknives is offline
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You can free hand and get it right. It just takes practice, and patience. The latter is important as most newbs tend to want to hurry the process along (I was one of them) and end up with a bad convex grind. Take your time and use sharp belts.
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  #5  
Old 06-01-2016, 08:18 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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There is no need to be concerned about the angles. For any given piece of steel there is only one angle that will put the grind line at any given spot. The trick is to grind freehand until the line is where you want it. You will have achieved the angle but you won't know nor care what it may be. At first, it may help if you use a Sharpie and draw the line on the steel. Scribe a centerline on the edge and grind very close to it and about a half inch up the blade. Then grind from there up another half inch AND back towards the edge but don't go all the way back to the edge as doing so will probably get the edge too thin too soon. Continue moving up the blade a half inch at a time until you get where you want to go. Then, you can grind the entire bevel at one time finishing at the centerline and the desired grind line at the same time. As James said, its just practice ....


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  #6  
Old 06-01-2016, 10:05 PM
Wolfe_Man Wolfe_Man is offline
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I appreciate the help and I'll definitely use the advice. The only thing about practicing in making knives is practice costs money haha.
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Old 06-01-2016, 11:06 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Knife making is a moderately expensive hobby, no doubt about that so make it count. Use good materials, work carefully, and do your research so you make a quality product and then sell it to buy materials to make the next one ...


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Old 06-02-2016, 05:59 AM
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Crex Crex is offline
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WM - Pick out a knife you have and use most......your go-to EDC. Study it closely - bevels, grind lines, shape, cross sectional dimensions, handle, overall construction, etc. - then try to emulate that blade. Don't try exotic and complicated shapes designs and grinds until you get the basics down.
Lot of makers use jigs and such for grinding blades, but I'd be willing to bet more learned and practice free hand grinding than those that use any jigs.
As with anything worth doing well, you will have to practice, practice, practice. You don't have to practice with good blade steel to learn grinding skills - those are hand-eye coordination conditioning skills. Any number of scrap materials will suffice.

You mention that you would like to have some connections with knifemakers you can learn from and converse with........fill out your profile and let us know where you live. You might be and probably are within a short drive of several knifemakers of various skill levels. Most of us don't have time to stand out at the end of the driveway and hold up signs. We're in the shop making dust or pounding steel out back.

There are knife organizations in most every state. Whether it be a club, guild or association search them out, make a connection and get involved. You won't regret the effort and you will meet some mighty fine people.

If you are in or near the Atlanta area, come over to the Blade Show this weekend and check the poop sheet on the vendors. We come from all over.


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  #9  
Old 06-03-2016, 04:23 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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The only grind I use a jig for is a hollow grind. I have my own ideas of where a hollow grind should go and that is a subject onto itself. I tried using a jig on my grinder (Delta 1x42 & 8" disk) for flat grinds and I just don't do as well with them. A personal quirk I guess*. I do best when I have a grinder that is sanding away from me. I cannot do that with my present grinder, but I am buying a 2x48 kalamazoo that I can lay down flat and sand backwards as one guy told me. The old 6 foot grinding wheels in Germany spun away from the craftsman grinding the knife.

This is just my opinion and it is intuitive, but having the belt traveling away from you is the safest way to grind a flat bevel knife. I used to have a grinder I could lay flat and I would grind away and if the knife caught on the belt I just let it go and it sailed away from me, not bouncing off the work table or even possibly the floor, at me. To each their own, but if you have a grinder you can do that with it's worth a try, I found I could grind better that way.

* As for quirks, I hold the sharpening stone in my hand, not on a table like it says in the instructions. It is how I learned to sharpen knives.
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Old 06-03-2016, 05:50 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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I think the modern sanders with the belt moving toward you is about getting the grit to be thrown at the floor instead of up into your face. I agree, away would be safer if you lost your grip on a blade but the light silicon dust that will float up into your breathing area is worth considering too. Hopefully, you wear a respirator but still ...


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Old 06-03-2016, 11:19 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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The old German grinding wheels had a tray of water they would go through. I have COPD and wear a HEPA filter respirator. Yet I could only wish to have a wet sander, but they and their belts are expensive. I learned to grind a knife on an old foot powered grinding wheel and if you asked the old gentleman who taught us how to do it why he didn't have the wheel moving towards him, he would call you a fool and ask if you wanted a lap full of water. It has been almost 50 years since then, but I always remember his answer and how it made me laugh.

Last edited by jimmontg; 06-03-2016 at 11:23 PM.
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