Shop Tip of the Day - Add yours here

Doug Lester

Well-Known Member
Get two pair of welder's gloves for the forge. That way if a glove gets too hot, as when you reach into the dragon's breath, you can switch gloves to allow it the one you roasted to cool without having to stop work. Wear gloves on each hand when heat treating and just on the tong hand when forging to keep good hammer control.


Curtiss Knives

KD Founding Member #1, Knifemaker
To put a chrome-like polish on stainless hardware, like pivots and screw heads, I chuck the screw into my air powered drill. I'm sure a cordless or electric would work fine. Next I spin the drill while bumping the part against my leather belt on the grinder running at a medium speed. I have white compound loaded on the belt. Doesn't take but a few seconds and you have a beautiful finish. If the part you are polishing has a rough finish, bump it on a Scotchbrite wheel while spinning first, then go to the leather.

Fred Rowe

Well-Known Member
I purchase Cool Mist or Spin Kool water based misting coolant for my milling machine, by the gallon.
The mixing ratio is 1/4 cup per gallon of water.

I not only use it on the mill, but for tapping holes, as a wash fluid for hand sanding blades; I also add it to my water quench tank at the grinder, no rusty blades and it really helps the cutting action of ceramic belts. Try it, you'll be impressed.

Jason Wilder

Well-Known Member
I use bamboo skewers to mix and apply my epoxy. They work much better for me than acid brushes because I don't have to worry about bristles coming off.

Also, wipe off the excess epoxy about 30 minutes after the piece has been epoxied together. There is virtually no cleanup on the ricasso if you clean while the glue is still wet.


Well-Known Member
I love this thread, thanks for all the great tips.
here are a few of mine.

this is a very good method for making scales flat, it's a wood router mounted on a flat piece of plywood with a hole in it, the mounted router slides freely on two plywood "rails", i attach the scales to my work table with double sided tape, just adjust the hight and you are ready to go.

this is my hand rubbing fixture, an electromagnetic door lock.

as a belt cleaner i use a silicone tube that was left open to dry, just cut the plastic tube and you have a great belt cleaner.

i get allot of used sand paper from a furniture factory i work at (part time), it's usually a 4 meter long roll, and this is
a dispenser i made for it out of some old formula cans.

and a bit off topic :), my shop clock that i made out of an old saw a few drill bits and jigsaw blades as dials

Lee Lerman.


Well-Known Member
Hello Boys & Girls,
After seeing all the other Trashed,Cut & dry hands in the pic's here my shop tip of the day is go to the Drug store and buy Aquaphor From Eucerin. Under $10.00 bucks and worth every penny.

It might be in the baby butt isle?

So if you have any diaper rash problems? I guess it works for that also! This stuff really works to repair skin. Put it on your hands at night, You will feel the difference by the morning. My small cuts & burns and the trashed skin now heal up fast!

My doctor told me about it after seeing my hands all dry, cut & cracked from knife making a few years ago.

She told me that I would stop at the store after I left and get some on my way back to work.
I use it every night now. even helps with the epoxy stains.

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Jason Wilder

Well-Known Member
When you temper a blade in the kitchen oven, make sure the blade is NOT on the bottom rack close to the heating elements. Instead, use the middle rack and put a large baking sheet on the bottom rack to act as a heat buffer.

Last night I went to temper some blades and had the oven preheated to 400. When I opened to put the blades in, my oven thermometer was on the bottom rack with a baking sheet on the middle rack. the oven thermometer was reading 450. When I moved the cookie sheet to the bottom and the thermometer above it with the blades, it was good at 400.

Mark Redmon

Well-Known Member
I may have posted this before, but here is how I store my files:

These are the plastic inserts that come in centerfire rifle ammo screwed into a wood base... these were probably .30-30 rounds, but I think even .223 would be deep enough.


Well-Known Member
good morning,
two items I have come up with to make it easier. View attachment 32704
top piece is PVC angle with evenly spaced holes for making holes in the tang. the hole is 3/32". bottom piece is steel angle welded to a piece of 3/4" steel pipe. the holes are the same spacing as the PVC and threaded for 4-40 machine screws. I screw my blank to the angle, place in a vise or other holder, and set any angle I need.
the old sailor

I'm sorry, but I am having trouble visualizing what you are doing with this device. It's probably obvious to most, but I'm just not seeing it. Any chance of additional explanation and/or pictures? Thanks.


WHen drilling holes in kydex sheaths to keep from getting dirt/swarf/or grease on my kydex I cover the drill press table with a piece of kydex that is clamped as below.
Probably not necessary for black kydex but I usually use grey kydex as I got a large amount of it from work.

Sampson knifeworks

Well-Known Member
I buy the cheap Q-tips from Walmart for cleaning fresh epoxy from the ricasso area, they can be dipped in alcohol or WD-40 and thrown away each time you wipe. they will not scratch and they are cheap as dirt "well almost" !! I store mine in a plastic container to keep them them free of gritty dirt.
Great thread, keep it going !


Dealer - Purveyor
I think keeping your shop tidy after each time in the shops helps to keep everything moving out the door smoothly. I get frustrated when I cant find something in a timely manner. Kellyw

Jason Wilder

Well-Known Member
I think keeping your shop tidy after each time in the shops helps to keep everything moving out the door smoothly. I get frustrated when I cant find something in a timely manner. Kellyw

I realized last night that I only clean out the shop when I'm looking for the other half of the bolster that was flung across the room by the buffer. I always end up finding them in the oddest places.

Dealer - Purveyor
I think keeping your shop tidy after each time in the shops helps to keep everything moving out the door smoothly. I get frustrated when I cant find something in a timely manner. Kellyw

A clean knife shop? OCD is NOT OK. It's called a disorder for a reason. :biggrin:


Well-Known Member
When finishing a Kydex sheath, I like to wipe it down with Armour All. It evens out the color and makes the sanded edges look better.


BossDog & Owner
Staff member
For burnishing the edge of leather or smoothing the edge of Kydex, I often turn a cloth backed belt inside out and use that at high speed to friction burnish leather to a nice hard brown or slower speed for smoothing Kydex.


Well-Known Member
I have been using the 50/50 mix ever since you told me about it :happy: Works great ! I never worry about rusty or spotted blades. I can set the blades down and not do anything for several days.When I start again there still as clean as when I left them !

I put Prestone Anti -freeze 50/50 with water in my Dunk bucket and that will break the surface tension like soap so the particles sink to the bottom and keeps your blades from getting any rusty water spots on them too!