Brad's KITH for Chris Reiley

Brad Walker

KNIFE MAKER
On the left, which is actually my right since the blade is upside down, I can make it curve to fit the curve of the blade. I try the same technique on the other side, and it ends up straight. I know I need more practice, but it's so frustrating. I wish I was more amphibious!! :D
 

Johan Nel

Well-Known Member
On the left, which is actually my right since the blade is upside down, I can make it curve to fit the curve of the blade. I try the same technique on the other side, and it ends up straight. I know I need more practice, but it's so frustrating. I wish I was more amphibious!! :D
I do believe you mean ambidextrious.:cool:
I do understand the frustration.
 

JeremyBartlett

Well-Known Member
On the left, which is actually my right since the blade is upside down, I can make it curve to fit the curve of the blade. I try the same technique on the other side, and it ends up straight. I know I need more practice, but it's so frustrating. I wish I was more amphibious!! :D
I know your pain, I still have that issue. One thing I found is that if I grind the right side of my blade first, which is using my left hand with the edge up, I can match it with my right hand much easier than by doing my strong side first.
 

Chris Railey

KNIFE MAKER
On the left, which is actually my right since the blade is upside down, I can make it curve to fit the curve of the blade. I try the same technique on the other side, and it ends up straight. I know I need more practice, but it's so frustrating. I wish I was more amphibious!! :D
How are you grinding? (Using a jig, standing, freehand, sitting, etc.)
 

Brad Walker

KNIFE MAKER
I know your pain, I still have that issue. One thing I found is that if I grind the right side of my blade first, which is using my left hand with the edge up, I can match it with my right hand much easier than by doing my strong side first.
I typically start with my strong side first as well. For me it's my right hand.
 

Chris Railey

KNIFE MAKER
Standing, free hand. I use a file guide to keep the plunge lines sort of close (Haven't mastered that just yet).
You are more than likely already doing this but, it helps to tuck your elbows to your side and once you have your angle do not move your hands or arms simply move the blade across the platen by leaning your upper body (just like a jig) left or right. Also checking to make sure your platen is truly flat will help too. The main thing that helped me build consistent muscle memory from left to right hand grinds was Fred Rowe's bubble jig. The Bubble Jig is not really a jig its a bubble level that attaches to your file guide via a magnet. As long as you keep the bubble in the middle you are golden. Everything is still freehand it just helps ADD people like me concentrate on holding a consistent angle.
 

Sean Jones

Well-Known Member
You are more than likely already doing this but, it helps to tuck your elbows to your side and once you have your angle do not move your hands or arms simply move the blade across the platen by leaning your upper body (just like a jig) left or right. Also checking to make sure your platen is truly flat will help too. The main thing that helped me build consistent muscle memory from left to right hand grinds was Fred Rowe's bubble jig. The Bubble Jig is not really a jig its a bubble level that attaches to your file guide via a magnet. As long as you keep the bubble in the middle you are golden. Everything is still freehand it just helps ADD people like me concentrate on holding a consistent angle.
That Bubble Jig is a huge help for me. I'd recommend it to anyone.
 

Brad Walker

KNIFE MAKER
I will check into the bubble jig. Thanks for the tip. I started the elbows and body movement after watching a Walter Sorrell's video. I still find myself getting lazy at times and not moving properly.
 

Brad Walker

KNIFE MAKER
Well I know everyone is on the edge of their seat wondering what I've been up to since last week. I have made a new blade and have it heat treated. I got my bubble jig last night. Wow, that's going to take some practice!! I've cut out 5 blades from mild steel for practice. Give me a few days with those and I'll show the progress of the new blade. As far as the handles, the current African Blackwood handles I had planned on, almost fit the new new blade but were just a little off. I have a set of ebony handles I will use instead so they will look almost identical. The copper liners and pins have also arrived! Wish me luck
 

Sean Jones

Well-Known Member
Well I know everyone is on the edge of their seat wondering what I've been up to since last week. I have made a new blade and have it heat treated. I got my bubble jig last night. Wow, that's going to take some practice!! I've cut out 5 blades from mild steel for practice. Give me a few days with those and I'll show the progress of the new blade. As far as the handles, the current African Blackwood handles I had planned on, almost fit the new new blade but were just a little off. I have a set of ebony handles I will use instead so they will look almost identical. The copper liners and pins have also arrived! Wish me luck
The Bubble Jig does take some practice. But not too long. Fred Rowe has several videos on his website that probably explain how to use it better than I can. I use mine all the time.
 

Chris Railey

KNIFE MAKER
Grinding with a Bubble Jig IS FREEHAND GRINDING with a tiny reminder to keep your hands still. The "jig" does nothing other than let you know you are holding the proper angle for repeatability. Freehand Grinding requires a lot of practice and muscle memory. All of which take time. Your idea to use mild steel for practice is a great one. In the beginning I used wooden paint stirrers and such. Get the bubble in the middle, lock your hands and arms then move your upper body. You will get it, though it can be frustrating when you mess up that last little bit before you finish but we all do that...
 

Randy Lucius

KNIFE MAKER
Ok, so here's where I'm at. Still have some straightening to do on the lines, the blade needs more smoothing, and lots of hand sanding left on the flats. I really tried to make the bevel match the edge, but on bigger blades, mine seem to end up straight. Whatcha think?

View attachment 74989
Looking really good! You’re doing a fine job on it. I would try to work the plunge further up toward the spine but that strictly a personal preference. Nice job!
 

Chris Railey

KNIFE MAKER
That is waaay better than my early attempts. I agree with Randy but again its just preference. Did the Bubble jig help?
 

Brad Walker

KNIFE MAKER
It did to a point. I used it to start with, but found I was focusing more on the bubble and wasn't keeping the bevel flat on the platen. So after a bit, I took the jig off and just did it free hand. I focused heavily on locking my elbows and moving my body. Plus, I went really ssllooww and took my time.
 
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