Smoothing out grindlines

Nick Riggi

Well-Known Member
I have been using a HF 1x30 and can produce decent blades- the problem is that with the small platen you can only grind the flats across the platen horizontally. Thus, all the lines go that way- so it leaves lots of hand sanding to get all of the lines vertical from hilt to tip. Any suggestions for me or a different method to reduce the time I spend hand sanding those horizontal ines out?
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
In all seriousness..... the way to reduce hand finishing is get better at grinding. In this case you're handicapped/limited by the machine's capabilities. Save up some $$$$, and get yourself a good 2 x 72" grinder..... it'll be the best tool money you'll ever spend.
 

Nick Riggi

Well-Known Member
In all seriousness..... the way to reduce hand finishing is get better at grinding. In this case you're handicapped/limited by the machine's capabilities. Save up some $$$$, and get yourself a good 2 x 72" grinder..... it'll be the best tool money you'll ever spend.

Thxs Ed- I know that is the ultimate solution. In watching how fast those who have a 7 or 8 inch platen can do this job is a dream come true! In the interim, I was thinking of getting a 3x21 belt sander ( or something similiar) with several grits of paper- just to be able to hold the blanks vertical and grind the smooth lines from hilt to tip. I think that this should work well enough to be able to save me the hours of hand sanding.
 

J. Doyle

Dealer - Purveyor
Thxs Ed- I know that is the ultimate solution. In watching how fast those who have a 7 or 8 inch platen can do this job is a dream come true! In the interim, I was thinking of getting a 3x21 belt sander ( or something similiar) with several grits of paper- just to be able to hold the blanks vertical and grind the smooth lines from hilt to tip. I think that this should work well enough to be able to save me the hours of hand sanding.

If I'm understanding what you're trying to do correctly, I don't think that will fix your problems.

Almost no one I know grinds their bevels from guard/plunge lines to blade tip, parallel to the spine. Almost everyone grinds perpendicular to the spine, then sands the grind marks out parallel to the spine by hand.

Only on a few styles of thin knives with no plunge lines would what you're describing be feasible. Even then I'm not sure it would be all that practical.

A smoother machine with better quality and wider belts, flatter platen and grinding practice are good places to start working towards better hand sanding.

I wouldn't waste anymore money on something that wasn't a 2" x 72" or 2" x 42" at the very least.

Just my opinions.
 

J. Doyle

Dealer - Purveyor
also, what steel are we talking here? If its simpler steels, then 'hours of hand sanding' is a grinding issue, not a hand sanding issue.
 

Chris Railey

KNIFE MAKER
Grind all the way to at least 220 grit on your grinder. 320 would be better but not a deal breaker. Then start your hand sanding with good 220 paper. If you get a smooth 220 grit finish on your flats with the grinder hand sanding will be much easier. If, when hand sanding, there are deeper scratches that are hard to get out then you did not sand as well as you should have on the grinder. That is what is meant by get better at the grinder.
 

Nick Riggi

Well-Known Member
If I'm understanding what you're trying to do correctly, I don't think that will fix your problems.

Almost no one I know grinds their bevels from guard/plunge lines to blade tip, parallel to the spine. Almost everyone grinds perpendicular to the spine, then sands the grind marks out parallel to the spine by hand.

Only on a few styles of thin knives with no plunge lines would what you're describing be feasible. Even then I'm not sure it would be all that practical.

A smoother machine with better quality and wider belts, flatter platen and grinding practice are good places to start working towards better hand sanding.

I wouldn't waste anymore money on something that wasn't a 2" x 72" or 2" x 42" at the very least.

Just my opinions.
Just to be clear- I am talking about grinding the flats- not the bevel. I am good with getting a smooth finish on the bevels- with lines running up/down from the grinder belt. I mean the flats above- with my current set up those lines are also running horizontal- so thats where all of the hand sanding comes in.
 

Nick Riggi

Well-Known Member
also, what steel are we talking here? If its simpler steels, then 'hours of hand sanding' is a grinding issue, not a hand sanding issue.
AEB-l- I do most of the rough grind prior to sending for HT- but afterwords there is still alot on the flats to get smoothed out and clean looking
 

Chris Railey

KNIFE MAKER
Just to be clear- I am talking about grinding the flats- not the bevel. I am good with getting a smooth finish on the bevels- with lines running up/down from the grinder belt. I mean the flats above- with my current set up those lines are also running horizontal- so thats where all of the hand sanding comes in.
Got it now. OK since you have a 1x30 you are going to have to get creative. I can think of a couple of options here. after you profile but before you start your bevels grind the entire surface of the steel to 220 or 400 or what ever fine grit you have. I do this on all my knives I am just able to do it vertically and you will have to do it horizontally. Then grind your bevels normally. Once you are finished you will need to make the flat lines which are horizontal into vertical lines. Get you a piece of granite or glass or something smooth and flat. Tape your sanding paper to the flat surface and draw your knife back and forth concentrating on keeping the flats in perfect contact with the paper. This will make your lines vertical. If you want that sharp contrast line between your flats and bevel then leave the bevel lines horizontal. Perpendicular sanding scratches will pop. I know it sounds like a lot but the only thing about making knives that is fast and easy is ruining a blade...which we have all done.
 
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J. Doyle

Dealer - Purveyor
Just to be clear- I am talking about grinding the flats- not the bevel. I am good with getting a smooth finish on the bevels- with lines running up/down from the grinder belt. I mean the flats above- with my current set up those lines are also running horizontal- so thats where all of the hand sanding comes in.

Ok. I misunderstood. Yeah that would be difficult on a 1 x 30. You can try what Chris mentioned or You need a wider, taller P laten or a disc sander.
 

Chris Railey

KNIFE MAKER
If it were me, before I started to hand sand all of those deep scratches would be removed on my grinder. Get a smooth uniform 220 or 320 finish before you break out the sand paper. I bet those in the top picture took a long time to come out by hand. the bottom p[icture is a great start there are a couple of leftover scratches on the tip and on the plunge lines which can be hard to clean up.
 
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