WIP - my first knifemaking projects (#3, #5, #7)

Discussion in 'Handiwork Display' started by Matus, May 19, 2016.

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  1. May 19, 2016 #1
    Since jessf would not let it go :) I have decided to start a thread along similar lines as he did. The difference being that I seem unable to first finish one project before jumping to another, so I will be posting progress on 3 different projects in parallel. Let's see how that will work.

    I am working on both kitchen and outdoor knives, but will only post the kitchen knives here, to stay in line with the forum :)

    So - the projects - overview:

    #3
    - 165mm tall petty (or petit gyuto) in O1 steel
    - made entirely with non powered tools (not something I want to brag about, just state of matters in my workshop)

    #5
    - 240mm gyuto, D2 steel, 3.3mm stock
    - ground by hand, but then reworked on a grinder

    #7
    - 8 pieces or 180mm petty in O1 steel, 2.2mm stock
    - the main point here is to learn bevel grinding with the grinder - I figured that trying to make the same knife will make it easier to learn rather than using different blade shape with every knife. I have no idea whether any of these will be any good.

    General info:
    - I am not doing HT - I am sending blades out to pros (carbon blades to Achim Wirtz, stainless to Juergen Schanz)
    - I have a very small shop and started in March this year
    - I have recently got a 1x30" belt grinder and angle grinder - both really help to speed up things. I am just starting to learn to use the belt grinder, the angle grinder worked perfectly cutting out the petty blanks.

    Now onto some photos, progress and, yes you guessed right - mistakes :)

    Project #3

    After I hand ground the first two blades (small puukko blades) and that went quite OK, I decided to give kitchen knife a go - tall petty seemed like something doable, although I suspected that grinding angles as low as kitchen knife require will be a challenge - and I was correct :)

    The design:

    [​IMG]

    Grinding the bevels with a jig:

    [​IMG]

    Out of HT (together with first 2 blades):

    [​IMG]

    Once the initial joy of having first 3 blades out of HT without any obvious damage, I realised that I left the kitchen knife blade way too thick behind the edge:

    [​IMG]

    I got a digital calliper and measured the blade - 1.7mm 10mm from the edge - way too much - I was aiming for about 1.2mm. So there was about 0.5mm thickness of material to be removed over more than half of total surface of the blade. I realised that I am going to need the best material removal I can get - and the choice was Atoma 140.

    [​IMG]

    It took me around 6 hours in several sessions to get the thickness down and get some semi-usable distal taper. It also left deep scratches and very obvious elongated stripes as I was grinding at fixed distance from the edge along the blade. Excuse the rust - this was not really avoidable as the blade was wet for prolonged time.

    [​IMG]

    I started to think how to remove the worst of the scratches and uneven grind on the Atome as I supposed that would be a lot of work on a stone. I came up with an idea: holding the knife perpendicular to the Atoma and rocking it slightly while grinding it - and it worked:

    [​IMG]

    I moved to Bester 220 and changed the angle of grinding to see whether I am getting all the Atoma scratches out. I used the same 'rocking' technique as I did with the Atoma. The result was not as homogenous - mostly because it is not easy to rock a knife while holding it under angle relative to the stone while grinding:

    [​IMG]knifemaking project #3 by Matus

    Since this is a monosteel knife I decided to move on to wet sanding paper - 120 followed by 180 (240 proved to be too large of a step from 120). The plan is to take it up to about 400. Here after 180

    [​IMG]

    I was nearly finished with 180 when I realised that all that thinning altered the blade profile slightly (in particular towards the tip), so I took it to my JNS300 to do some minor adjustments. Those are finished and I will turn to finished the blade and making a handle in the near future.

    Next: Project #5

    I am looking forward to your comments and questions :)
     
  2. May 20, 2016 #2

    jessf

    jessf

    jessf

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    Very cool. Nice shapes and lots of patients. Well done sir.
     
  3. May 20, 2016 #3

    mark76

    mark76

    mark76

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    Very interesting Matus! I'll be following this. I've got a few question (as a noob when it comes to knife making). Maybe, maybe, in the far future, I want to try something like this myself.

    - How did you cut out the initial knife forms? What tools did you use?
    - What are your experiences in grinding a knife by hand in a Jig compared to the use of a belt grinder
    - (You must have told it before, but) which belt grinder did you eventually find?
    - What's the difference between a belt grinder and an angle grinder.
     
  4. May 20, 2016 #4

    jessf

    jessf

    jessf

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    Let's see that jig with the file. Looks interesting and effective.

    You must soak your hands in ivory liquid each night cause mine would be trashed after that much work.
     
  5. May 20, 2016 #5
    Haha, lliquid ivory :D. I wear gloves 90% of the time. I know that is not all that manly approach, but it saves your hands from myriad little cuts and scratches that do not heel nicely if your hands are covered with dust and dirst. I had quite a few slips already and simple leather working gloves saved me 95% of the time. I only take them off for detail work, drawing and such.

    Mark - the tools are the following:
    - I use (until very recently) hack saw with bi-metal blades. This cuts surprisingly fast. It only get less practical once the knife is too long for the bow of the blade (basically all knives with total length more than 20 - 25cm) as then I have to put the blade under 45deg (the saw I got allows for this) - and obviously that is much less comfortable way to cut. But it does work. When doing a straight cut through 3mm thick carbon steel you will manage 10cm long cut in 5-10 minutes.
    - filing jig (photo below) was made based on the design by and it really works well. Important is to get the best file you can - for me it is DICK precision file cut#1 in 300mm size. It is great. I have several DICK files now in different shapes and cuts - quite an investment actually.
    - drill press - you actually do not need one for making the WA style kitchen blades (there is no drilling involved), but you will need one for the handle making. I got the Bosch PBD40. It works great.
    - I have made a very simple holder (basically a piece of hard wood) to work on the blade once the basic grind was done with the jig. Photo below.
    - I got this 1x30" belt sander. I paayed less than 90€. I did already pay 200€ for belts, but those should last me a while. The sander is very basic, but with good belts it is capable to get the work done. I may consider some updates for the future (there are some interesting ideas to be found on youtube)
    - I only use the angle grinder to cut out blanks and thus save me some time with the hack saw. I do not plan to use it for more detailed work like bevel grinding. It is possible - there is a guy on youtube who built a similar jig but use angle grinder instead a file.
    - I use digital calliper to check blade thickness while grinding. I find it very helpful. Precision of 1/100 mm is more than enough.
    - I got a litlte 'angle cube' to be able to measure the angles I am grinding at with the jig.

    Grinding with the jig is considerably slower than even the 250W belt sander, but to get consistent grinds is EASY. I mean really. In particular if you invest a little time into some geometric ocnsiderations before you start and get a calliper to check the progress, there is not all that much you can do wrong. I can confirm grinding times that Aaron mentiones in his video. It will become slower with stainelss and wear resistant steels. With belt grinder (I have started to learn free hand grinding) you need to learn to get stead angle - a bit similar learning process to free hand sharpening. I guess it will take me some time. I have yet to figure out how to hold the blank - because of the very low grinding angles thare is very little room for your fingers to hold the blade.

    OK - now a few photos:

    The filing jig:

    [​IMG]

    Here a little change to alow smaller angles AND make it much more quiete - using 10mm thick hard PVC instead of the stainless steel bolt:

    [​IMG]

    The litlte angle cube:

    [​IMG]

    I keep the tang wider while working on the blade - the blank is more stable and easier to hold or attach. As you can see - I did cut too much last few cm from the heel - that was a LOT of work to remove with the file. Lesson learned.

    [​IMG]

    The attachement that holds the blade while free-hand filing (cross draw) with a file (cut#2). Note the simple clamp in the bottom of the photo - that serves as a tip protector as it does not allow the file to slip off the blade and damage the tip. Works perfectly. On my first knife I lost 5mm on the blade length as I slipped 2 or 3 times. The tip is very weak before HT and easy to bend.

    [​IMG]

    My safety gear. I plan to add a full face mask - in particular for power grinding. The half face mask works very well, but does not allow the googles to sit close to your face.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2018
  6. May 20, 2016 #6
    Project #5

    This is the 240mm D2 gyuto. I do find this was a step too far at the time, but also a knife where I learned a lot (mostly how not to do certain things). Already cutting out the blank was a lot of work because of the length of the knife. I also did the famous mistake - cutting too much on one place close to the heel and so I have then spent more than an hour just fixing the profile.

    About to start to grind the profile - notice that the bolt is nearly at the minimal position. I went up to about 30mm from the edge while keeping the edge thickness down to about 0.3mm.

    [​IMG]

    With my second grind I further lowered the angle and ground the blade down to 5mm from the edge. Here I am half way through the 3rd and final grind going down to about 10mm from the edge and so creating base for a future convex profile:

    [​IMG]

    Once I was done with grinding with a jig, I wend to cross-drawing a file (as already mentioned above). This left deep scratches depth of which I underestimated.

    [​IMG]

    It turned out that the only reasonable way to remove the scratches was with the new-to-me belt grinded. I used the 3M A100 Gator belt. Here is the current status - most of the scratches were removed, but there is more work to be done.

    [​IMG]

    The side effect of removing very deep scratches is that I had to remove more material than I intended. See below 2 choil shots:

    Ater ginding with a jig (left) and after cross-draw filing and scratch removal with the grinder (right):
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The knife also lost some 2-3 mm blade length and will probably loose some more before it will be ready for heat treat. I may need to alter the profile as 240mm blade with 45mm height may look strange. Also - I do not want to have zero edge thickness prior to ht - not only because of the possible damage in the quench, but also in the transport, handling, etc.

    Next steps:
    - remove all scratches
    - fix (if necessary) the profile
    - cut the tang to shape (it is still wide)
    - finish the choil are
    - send for HT (I am thinking of HRC about 62)
    - make a handle
     
  7. May 20, 2016 #7

    jessf

    jessf

    jessf

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    For project #5 you said you cut too much at the heal. Do you mean filing or cutting with the hacksaw?
     
  8. May 20, 2016 #8
    With the hack saw - I went over the line of the intended profile - about 1mm or a little more, but to save the profile and shape of the flat spot I had to remove material along the whole blade.
     
  9. May 20, 2016 #9

    jessf

    jessf

    jessf

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    Humm interesting.
     
  10. May 20, 2016 #10

    mark76

    mark76

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    Very interesting, Matus!
     
  11. May 21, 2016 #11
    Thanks :)

    I have ground the Project #7 petty blanks today to shape so they are ready for bevel grinding. The Sait 7S 40 grit belts proved MUCH better than Klingspor grit 24. The Klingspor belt died after 2 blades, the Sait lastet the remaining 6 and could do some more. It took me about 1.5 hours to get it done (including tough-ups with grit 120 and Gator A100 belts). I really enjoy the Gator belts - they are much more flexible, so you can get to the heel/tang corner on a unsupported part of the belt (slack belt should be the keyword if I am not mistaken).

    Next step - bevel grinding ... finally! :)
     
  12. May 26, 2016 #12
    I have finally finished grinding the 240 gyuto and so it can be sent for HT. I wanted to start making some handles today, but the disc sander produces incredible amount of dust, so I have to wait until that workshop vacuum cleaner arrives (hopefully tomorrow).

    So instead I have starting to bevel the first from those 180 petty knives. I have a lot to learn until I will manage to get the bevels even. I am using Norton Blaze 60 belt and it rocks. Fast and wears very slowly.
     
  13. Jun 3, 2016 #13
    The Blade for Project #3 is finished and is waiting for a handle. I have hand sanded up to grit 400. I will post more details on my blog once the knife is finished (with a little luck this weekend).

    A few photos from the process.

    Starting with hand sanding after I had to go back and slightly re-profile the tip

    [​IMG]


    Nearly finished - the fine scratches are from a kitchen paper towel that had some dirt from sandpaper on it (lesson learned)

    [​IMG]


    Finished at 400 grit, but the knife lost a bit from the tip ... again

    [​IMG]


    Ready for handle installation

    [​IMG]


    Widening the slot on the dowel

    [​IMG]


    Current status of the handle:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Jun 3, 2016 #14

    jessf

    jessf

    jessf

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    Does the length of the slot and ferrule coincide with the length of the tang? What kinds of wood are you using?
     
  15. Jun 3, 2016 #15
    I actually made the slot a little longer as I do not have exact decision yet how deep I wand to the tang to be (distance between bolster and the heel of the knife.

    The bolster is a left-over stabilised (oregon maple?) burl and the body of the handle is the very basic Masur (Karelian) birch with very little grain. I also added a black and yellow fibre spacer (just to see how it comes out). I did not want to use fancy wood on my first handle as I have still plenty of mistakes to make.

    The length of the hole in the tang fits the dowel pretty much exactly - the dowel is by about 1-2 mm longer, but since I can make a dry fit I can make sure that the dowel is not too long. I do not want to make it too short so there will be a good bond.

    I have just glued the handle in 2 steps with 5 minute epoxy. First the dowel inside the birch, waited 30 minutes so that the dowel could not accidentally turn and then glued the rest and put the whole handle in a clamp, curing as I write.

    I still have a little headache how to shape the handle. I do not have a band saw or circular saw that would make it easy and precise to remove the excess wood. I will probably use my belt sander to get first two sides approximately where I want to have them while using the lines as guides and than re-paint (with a pencil) the guides on the freshly ground sides and then grind the other 2. Hopefully I will manage to stay centred - I do not want to see that dowel again :)

    once the handle will be cured I will start to make to opening in the bolster (there is just a 2mm hole that I used as a guid to make sure I know where the centre of the dowel is and thus the axis of the handle.
     
  16. Jun 3, 2016 #16
    Short update on the Project #5

    The 240mm D2 blank is basically ready for HT. There are a few faint scratches from the cross-draw-filing left, but the knife profile already was altered and even it it will not be pretty (there will be some more grinding going on after HT anyhow) - I would like to see how it is going to turn out just to get very first idea how this material is going to behave. I also do not have experience yet of grinding knife after HT with a grinder.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Jun 3, 2016 #17
    A brief overview of the project #7 (eight 180mm petty knives in O1 - learning to grind with the 1x30" belt grinder is the point here)

    Blanks cut with angle grinder:

    [​IMG]


    I used Sait 7S #40 belt to get the profile on the blanks and then Gator A100 belt to smoothen the edges. Then I switched to Norton Blaze #60 belt for the bevel grinding

    [​IMG]


    So let' start. This looks still OK:

    [​IMG]


    ... but I managed to overshoot a little at the tip. The steel is 2.2 mm thick so that is to easy to do.

    [​IMG]


    Moving the bevel further up the blade proved tricky. But I am at the stage still figuring out basic stuff like how to hold the blank, how much pressure to apply, how fast etc.

    [​IMG]


    The other side a little better, but there is much more grinding to be done and the more shallow the angle the harder to get consistent grind (not a surprise of course)

    [​IMG]

    Once I got some basic bevel I moved to distal taper and kept switching between them and controlling the thickness with a calliper that was pre-set to certain thickness. Now I have the blank close to be ready for HT. I also found out that this particular work is better done without gloves as that allows for more control and at the same time helps me to learn how does the blank warms up - something I need to be careful with once the blade will be heat treated.

    And I need to take some more photos :)
     
  18. Jun 3, 2016 #18
    Project #3 - gluing the handle

    [​IMG]


    Project #5 (240mm gyuto). Choil shot prior the HT. It is currently about 1.15 mm thick 10mm behind the edge.

    [​IMG]



    Project # 7 - current status. The blade is ca 1.55 mm thick 10mm behind the edge - I guess I will thin it a little more.

    [​IMG]

    I will be smoothing the blade up once I am done with the basic grind. This is the scratch pattern left by Norton Blaze 60 belt. And yes - that is rust close to the edge (I am trying to avoid that part for now as I will be grinding the edge after HT.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Jun 6, 2016 #19

    jessf

    jessf

    jessf

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    Awesome progress. If I was 1mm over anything it would mean I actually measured something. Lol.
     
  20. Jun 8, 2016 #20
    Project #3:

    Handle glued - ready for shaping
    [​IMG]

    After shaping with a belt grinder (forget to get anything squared up from that 'platen')
    [​IMG]

    After 'opening' the bolster and cleaning from some glue that leaked inside the dovel slot - checking for the fit:
    [​IMG]

    Sanding the handle down (was a little too large) and sanding the octagonal shape 'free hand' - I need to find a more stable way as the results are way too 'hand made':
    [​IMG]

    Sanded to 400 grit and briefly touching up with a steel wool:

    [​IMG]

    Applying first coat of board butter:
    [​IMG]
     
  21. Jun 8, 2016 #21

    jessf

    jessf

    jessf

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    Are those the German flag colours? Wait, are you sprechen sie deutsch?
     
  22. Jun 8, 2016 #22

    jessf

    jessf

    jessf

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    Not sure how viscous board butter is. Does it penetrate much into the wood? Can it be thinned for the first few coats?
     
  23. Jun 9, 2016 #23
    Haha not quite :) I just wanted to add a pinch of color and though the black and yellow combination could work with the rest. And, if you would ever hear me speaking in German you would would have no doubts that I am not a German :)

    That is a good point about the depth of penetration. Originally I wanted to use a Tung oil or True-oil. I tested them both on a pieced of the same wood, but found the final result too yellow-ish and that did nto quite fit my tast (in relation to the bolster). The particular board butter I have used is on the thin side, but I may give the handle a pure mineral oil bath before continuing with board butter.

    Positive note is - the grain did not raise after applying the board butter over night. Plus it is very lightweight and easy to work (and I payed 3€ for this simple block). I am really starting to liking it. Plus I have the passaround Dalman knife at this moment at home and he really shows how beautiful the birch wood can be.

    Here is a quick snap after the first coat and not additional polish (just wiped the excess):

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BGa9D_eNt7X/
     
  24. Jun 9, 2016 #24

    jessf

    jessf

    jessf

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    Looks good. In general when finishing wood I apply a diluted tung, or danish oil, mineral spirits mix of about a 50/50 mix. Slop it on and let it soak and completely dry for a day or so. Grain usually raises, which is good. Buff the raised grain off with steel wool and apply the next coat of thinned oil, this time a bit more oil than before. Repeat this process until I'm applying 100 oil. I've found that with these handles using stabilized wood I need less applications. As long as you don't apply some kind of wax and just use oil, you can always go back and apply more.
     
  25. Jun 9, 2016 #25
    Thanks for the advice - I will give it a try. I am not sure I understand what 'mineral spirit' is. Do you mean mineral oil or some thinning agent?
     
  26. Jun 9, 2016 #26

    nwdel

    nwdel

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    Great thread Matus, really enjoying this. You would be one scary badass mofo with a fully equipped shop. I'm still claiming first in line when you start taking custom orders.
     
  27. Jun 9, 2016 #27
    Tanks for the kudos :) But do not keep your breath for those custom orders just yet :)
     
  28. Jun 11, 2016 #28
    The knife from Project #3 is nearly finished - all that is missing is to put an edge on it and fix the tip that got some damage during finishing of the blade.

    I though I would take a few photos before I will scratch up the blade ... again.

    The amount of mistakes I did are too many to count, the one that bugs me most is that the handle is touch too large for the knife, but I do not dare to take the handle to the disc grinder once it was glued to the blade.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Choil shot - compared to Carter Funayuki on the left.

    [​IMG]


    Yep, the handle is little too large.

    [​IMG]
     
  29. Jun 12, 2016 #29

    jessf

    jessf

    jessf

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    Well it's about ******* time. Good show old bean. I know with an internal dowel it can be difficult to remove material for fear of exposing that dowel. My next handle will be of one wood and no dowel or ferrule.

    I like what you did here, keep it up.
     
  30. Jun 12, 2016 #30
    Thanks :) it indeed was about the time ti finish this one.

    In the future I will use a smaller diameter (10mm) dowel for smaller blades and larger (12mm) for larger knives.

    The next in line (when it comes to kitchen knives, I am working on some others as well) is that 240mm gyuto that will hopefully come back from HT next week.
     

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