View Full Version : Keeping File Angle Consistent

10-07-2010, 10:18 AM
Any tips for keeping the file angle consistent while filing a bevel (trying 1st knife and don't have grinder)? I've cut out my blade profile and filed all the rough edges just not 100% how to approach the bevel and keeping my angle the same. Open to all suggestions as I'm just a pup trying to learn. (BTW - This site has tons more useful information that another site I was looking over!)

Denny Eller
10-07-2010, 01:19 PM
First mark your blade edge with a set of parallel lines that are at least a dime's width apart (a little more wouldn't hurt). Then file a 45 degree angle on each side of the blade down to - but not over - the two lines. Carefully mark the filed out area with a black or blue sharpie. Now measure down from the spine on each side to the point you want your bevels to stop. Fill this area in with a sharpie. Now file and draw file the area between the two marked areas on your blade WITHOUT filing into the sharpie marked area. Take your time and clean your file often. Just file in one direction, lifting the file after each stroke and placing it at the angle you are making precisely each time. When your hands and arms start getting tired take a break and Google "Belt Grinders".

Doug Lester
10-07-2010, 01:41 PM
Another tip with draw filing. Get the longest single cut mill file that you can find. That will allow you to change the sections of the file that you work with as you cut the bevels of your blade, remember that the file has two sides also. Make a few passes draw filing and then move down to a clean secion of the file. After you have used all the sections on both sides of the file, clean it with a file card and start over. If you don't know how to draw file, which is basically scraping the file blade across your work sideways, google it up and you should see some examples. You can cut on the pull or push, but not both, depending on if you hold the handle to the right or left. I would suggest that you get two different mill files one course cut, technically known by a "naughty" word beginning with a "b" that denotes illigitimate birth the the nanny program on this site blocks so I can't use it, and a smooth cut mill file. Again both single cut. You probably won't be able to find a single smooth cut mill file in any of the local hardware store and maybe not the courser single cut mill file. MSG Direct or other on-line store that sell files will have them.

Yes, you will give your arms a work out, but look at it this way, you won't have to join a gym to build up your arms.

Doug Lester

10-07-2010, 03:05 PM
Thanks for the information!

And yes, I have been using google this forum and others to research grinders. I have about $200 saved toward the grinder and trying to decide to get a craftsmen or save a little more.

Doug Lester
10-07-2010, 08:09 PM
I would avoid any type of a bench sander. Of the several out there, the one put out by Craftsman is probably the best but I would advise that you keep saving up until you can get one of the purpose built bench top belt grinders. Grissly is probably the least expensive; not the greatest but I met a knifesmith who earned both his ABS Journeyman's and Master's stamps with two of them. I have a Coote which has done everything that I have asked of it so far. KMG is pretty much the gold standard. There are more expensive grinders but not by a whole lot. Building a KMG clone for yourself is also an option. It's not cheap but it's not as expensive as a real KMG grinder. Go to www.usaknifemaker.com and take a look at what Tracy carries.

Doug Lester

10-07-2010, 09:24 PM
I've been looking at this machine on the below link but will check out the Grissly a little more as there is not much of a price difference.


Thanks again for all the information

Keith Willis
10-08-2010, 02:13 AM
I've been looking at this machine on the below link but will check out the Grissly a little more as there is not much of a price difference.


If it were me,I would save a little more,a build a NWG.
Tracy sells everything needed,and it is very simple to build
however,if you will do as I did,and search around,you can build
one,for around,$500-$600.You do not have to build it exactly to the
plans.I was able to find some free metal,also found a 1.5 hp motor
that was told was bad,all that was bad was the capacitor.
My point being,I would just save my money a little longer.You won't
be disapointed.
Take a look here and you can get a lot of ideas.
Good luck,on whatever you do.Take some pics of your knife
and post them,when you are finished.

God bless,Keith

Doug Lester
10-08-2010, 07:37 PM
My impression about this machine is that you will have severly limited belt sellections. You could probably put a 2X48" belt on it but then you will have to keep adjusting your belt to one edge of the platen to the other to cut the plung lines. Also the motor is underpowered for knifemaking; 1hp is just about minimal. I have a 2hp motor on my Coote and I can still bog it down with too much pressure. It doesn't make sense to me to by a machine that you'll want to replace later. That is almost the cost of a Coote or the Kallamazo grinder (the grinder only) without the motor. Look for second hand motors, minimum of 1hp turning around 1800 rpm. A motor that speed will allow you to mount a pulley cone on the motor and grinder for a poor man's speed adjustment.

Doug Lester