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Blade finish question

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Seffers93

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Hello again everyone!

So I’m working on knife #3.. a large Kramer style chefs knife. Obviously way too big for a beginner like me but I apparently like to push my luck lol.

I got some nasty scratches toward the spine on each side. Can’t even get them out with a 36 hogger (although it’s pretty eaten up.. waiting on more in the mail). Anyway, I’ve decided they actually look okay with a belt finish since the scratches line up, but I cannot for the life of me get those horizontal lines (from heel to tip) to disappear into a nice flat face on each side if I go above a 36 grit belt. It’s obviously an angle issue since the blade is so tall. Do I need to take off more material on each side? It’s getting pretty thin... or maybe I should just hand sand from heel to tip and just accept that the scratches toward the spine will stick out like a sore thumb. Or maybe just leave a 36 grit finish lol.

I guess I’m just trying to get ideas from you guys to see if I’m missing something. Just “thinking out loud” I suppose.

- Seth
 

billyO

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Good morning, Seth. Where are you located? I'll suggest finding a local blacksmithing group or knife group so that you can have some in person guidance for some of these questions.
Can’t even get them out with a 36 hogger . . . I cannot for the life of me get those horizontal lines (from heel to tip) to disappear into a nice flat face on each side if I go above a 36 grit belt. It’s obviously an angle issue since the blade is so tall. Do I need to take off more material on each side? It’s getting pretty thin... or maybe I should just hand sand from heel to tip and just accept that the scratches toward the spine will stick out like a sore thumb. Or maybe just leave a 36 grit finish lol.
Not exactly sure what you're asking, but I don't know many (or any, for that matter) makers who finish their blades at 36 grit. So my first thought is, you need to follow up with finer grits. I do mainly damascus, so my grit progression will be more than what you need, but here's roughly what I do on my blades after forging. Rough grind at 36-60-120-220, 400, HT, then hand sand starting at 220-400-800-1500-3000-5000,
For what i think you're goiing for, you should probably plan on going to at least 220-400 grit.
Also, have you ever hear the phrase "use em like they're free"? This is a typical knifemaker's mantra when talking about grinding belts. When a belt gets dull, you have to press harder and as a result you will get some much deeper scratches that will take longer to get out in the next grit.
 

Seffers93

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Good morning, Seth. Where are you located? I'll suggest finding a local blacksmithing group or knife group so that you can have some in person guidance for some of these questions.

Not exactly sure what you're asking, but I don't know many (or any, for that matter) makers who finish their blades at 36 grit. So my first thought is, you need to follow up with finer grits. I do mainly damascus, so my grit progression will be more than what you need, but here's roughly what I do on my blades after forging. Rough grind at 36-60-120-220, 400, HT, then hand sand starting at 220-400-800-1500-3000-5000,
For what i think you're goiing for, you should probably plan on going to at least 220-400 grit.
Also, have you ever hear the phrase "use em like they're free"? This is a typical knifemaker's mantra when talking about grinding belts. When a belt gets dull, you have to press harder and as a result you will get some much deeper scratches that will take longer to get out in the next grit.
Hello! I'm located in Omaha, NE. I've never even thought about finding a local blacksmithing group. I'm sure that would be extremely helpful.

I ended up taking it to hand sanding as the belt was starting to frustrate me. I started with 60 and sanded for quite a while until I got the scratches out and took it up to 1000. 60-80-220-400-600-800-1000. I'm definitely satisfied with the finish now.

I'm also sure it would help if I had a 2x72 instead of a 2x42. I've heard these 2x42s go through belts crazy fast. Seems about right now that I've gotten a couple blades out now.
 

AT5760

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There's a maker down in Lincoln (Steel Pig Forge) that may be able to offer in-person advice. They do kitchen and other fixed blade knives.
 

billyO

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I'm also sure it would help if I had a 2x72 instead of a 2x42. I've heard these 2x42s go through belts crazy fast.
Yeah, the belts are almost twice as long, so they do last longer. Another thing the 2x42 probably doesn't have that helps is variable speed. In gerneral, higher grits require slower speed.
Having power does allow the grinding to go a lot faster, that's for sure. But it also makes small mistakes turn into big ones a lot faster too.
 

Seffers93

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Yeah, the belts are almost twice as long, so they do last longer. Another thing the 2x42 probably doesn't have that helps is variable speed. In gerneral, higher grits require slower speed.
Having power does allow the grinding to go a lot faster, that's for sure. But it also makes small mistakes turn into big ones a lot faster too.
I definitely know what you mean. I keep meaning to search for ways to rig up a variable speed motor. Surely it can be done. It’ll definitely take a while to save up for a 2x72.
 

billyO

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Surely it can be done.
Good thinking, Seth. If you are mechanically inclined and like making things (I'm going to assume you've got a little of this if you are making your own knife), there are links out there on the 'net that show how to build your own and that usually saves 30-50%.
Not trying to re-direct traffic to another site (moderators, feel free to edit this as appropriate), but a couple of knife making forums (bladeforums.com, bladesmithsforum.com, knifedogs.com to name a few) have a lot of info on what you might need to do to build your own...
Good luck and look forward to seeing pictures of your future projects. (don't forget to post pics of this one when finished)
 

Seffers93

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Good thinking, Seth. If you are mechanically inclined and like making things (I'm going to assume you've got a little of this if you are making your own knife), there are links out there on the 'net that show how to build your own and that usually saves 30-50%.
Not trying to re-direct traffic to another site (moderators, feel free to edit this as appropriate), but a couple of knife making forums (bladeforums.com, bladesmithsforum.com, knifedogs.com to name a few) have a lot of info on what you might need to do to build your own...
Good luck and look forward to seeing pictures of your future projects. (don't forget to post pics of this one when finished)
I really appreciate the info. I've only made three knives now and have already felt the frustration of a set grind speed multiple times. Its like this thing is stuck on speed 11 out of 10 lol. I'll do some digging and see if I can get something rigged up.

This knife is done! I just posted it over in Handiwork Display.
 
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