View Full Version : Recommended files?

11-17-2010, 07:44 PM
Hi All,
I want to make a knife 100% by hand (no powertools). What file(s) do you recommend I use? I'm going to be using O1 3/16" steel, and make a hunter (about 9").

I'm assuming a good Bast4rd file. Do I need to follow up with a smooth cut file or 2nd cut file? Or can I go straight to sand paper after I get done filing with the Bast4rd?


11-17-2010, 07:59 PM
If it were me, I would go to a finer file prior to transitioning to sand paper. Overwise, you're going to be hand sanding for a looong time to get all of those scratches out.

11-17-2010, 09:00 PM
As some one who has only made a couple, but entirely by hand. Yes, a @@@@@@@ is good to start and take alot of material off. Once I get the basic grind, I switch to a second cut to get "closer in." And then bring it fairly close with a smooth. With all of them you only get a 3-4 good draws a side before you need to clean them with a file card. I started this way due to lack of machinery and lack of cash flow to buy/build them. Ask if you have other questions, this is one aspect of knife making I know a little about.


11-17-2010, 09:02 PM
Apparently the sensors are fairly tight but I was referring to a rough cutting file not an illegitimate child.


Doug Lester
11-17-2010, 09:19 PM
Yes I would get single cut mill files in both bastrd (#@&@!! the nanny program) and smooth cut. Get them as long as you can find them. It will give you more room to move down the file as you draw file the blade. If you don't know how to draw file, google it to find some illustrations. Also get a file card and use it often to keep the file teeth clean. Chain saw and half round files come in handy in cuting choils and finger knotches as well as keeping a round corner at the juntion of the tang and shoulder of the blade. I also find a pillar file, one with teeth only on the flats, to make sure that I don't cut into anything that I don't want to file when evening things out. A file guide can come in dang handy too.

Archer Moon
11-18-2010, 07:37 AM
As to the file guide, look for an old copper flaring tool. Pawn shops and yard sales will be your best friend. The flaring tool is hard enough to withstand the files and is cheap. I found mine in a junk pile in a pawn shop for $1. Have not done a lot with the files. Have a small wood sander I use. Good luck and post pics. Lots of help here!

James Terrio
11-18-2010, 09:59 AM
I agree with all the advice these gentlemen have given. I'd like to add, though, 3/16" is fairly heavy stock and you'll be using a lot of elbow grease to get nice acute bevels. You may want to start on a piece of 1/8" stock, it will just go faster that way. It may not seem like that big of a difference but it's actually quite a bit of steel if you're going for a full-flat or full-convex.

You picked a great steel, O1 is a darn good choice for this, it files/grinds/machines and finishes easily and makes a really nice blade if HT'ed properly. Have fun!

No matter what KEEP YOUR FILES CLEAN. Wiping them off with a file card every other stroke isn't too often. One lil piece of swarf caught in the file can leave an ugly scratch that will have you pulling your hair out later.

11-20-2010, 07:15 PM
I agree with James,good files and 1/8" stock.3/16" is gonna be a bugger to get thin enough by hand.

Doug Lester
11-20-2010, 07:54 PM
You stock thickness will be dictated by the end produce. If you want a heavy camp knife, especially if you don't intend to take the bevels all the way to the spine 3/16" stock could work fine. If you wanted to make more of a bird and trout knife or a fillet knife then you might want to use 1/16" stock. Basically choose stock that is the same thickness that you want the spine to be.

Doug Lester