Tapered tang/hollow grind with no grinder?

LiamLynch

Well-Known Member
I don't want to get ahead if myself but I'm told research is almost always a good thing. I want to try tapering a tang reasonably soon but I won't be investing in a grinder for a while. It must be possible but I don't really know where I would start. My tools consist of a flat file, a 1/4" chainsaw file, a store-brand dremel, a hammer drill in a stand, a scribed, a sanding block and various needle files. What would be the best way to do it. Also, if anyone knows how to do hollow grinds without a grinder? I am willing to spend very small amounts of money and do some very basic tool/jig construction if necessary (preferably no moving parts).
 

rhinoknives

Well-Known Member
Liam,
I would hold off on tapering a tang until you are forging a blade or have a power belt grinder. It will be too time consuming to do it with files and sand paper and get it even.

Drill out your handle tangs to lighten and balance your knives. That's what I do. Work on your blade shapes, bevels and designs.

Tapering tangs is aesthetic and came from forging blades when steel was very expensive. It looks nice but really doesn't make the knife function any better.

Have fun.

Laurence

www.rhinoknives.com
 

rhinoknives

Well-Known Member
Liam,
You could file a knife hollow by using a half round first cut file. Then make a wooden dowel the same radius wrapped with sandpaper and hand sand it to a finish. Once again you will need a large can of elbow grease, but if you work small it is a doable project. Make a 1" tall by 3"-3 1/2" blade Paring knife for Mum to use in the kitchen. I made a few of these when I started and gave them away as gifts.

Laurence

www.rhinoknives.com
 

LiamLynch

Well-Known Member
I can't quite see what you mean. Do I hold the file parallel to the blade? Diagrams would be useful I think
 

rhinoknives

Well-Known Member
I can't quite see what you mean. Do I hold the file parallel to the blade? Diagrams would be useful I think
Liam,
Yes, make a wedge, door stop or half a arrowhead type blade with a handle, make the heel of the blade wide enough that you can get Parallel file strokes across the bottom with a half round or oval file, Then come back with a wooden dowel that will be slightly smaller than your groove and go through a progression of paper grits around the dowel to finish.

You can use a flat stick to finish the flats on the top. Its going to take some elbow grease, but you can make some neat looking hollow ground paring knives this way. Make them 3-4" in blade length at the most.

Does that help?

Laurence

www.rhinoknives.com
 

GWF

Active Member
This question interests me as my main interest is in very small knives ie: 2-3 inch blades (small slipjonts and folders) and very narrow stilettos ie: about an inch wide (and as these blade faces are often dagger types with each side showing two faces measuring approx. 1/3 inch each we're talking pretty small grinding surfaces).
I'm wondering if one can get away with using a wide assortment of quality files to do these blade types.
 

LiamLynch

Well-Known Member
I might just have to try that, is 4mm stock too thick? It is all I can easily get in stainless. Would I draw file a flat grind to start and then hollow it or do I use your method the whole way?

GWF, I'm no expert but I reckon that with some practice you can make everything with hand tools. They did it for thousands of years. I just did a five inch blade with a 3/4 inch grind with a rubbish blunt file that gets kept in a bag. If you find good files you should have no problems with these kind of sizes.
 
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GWF

Active Member
Yes, well I have been reading up on files and file work and while I guess it can be done I'm fishing to see if other's have experience with making small knives using files and sand paper or has everyone gone straight to a grinder right out of the gates.

I'm wondering if a $1200-$2000 grinder is overkill for really small blades (and scales). I can see how they're necessary for the big hunting knives as you've got alot of real estate to grind down.

Anyone?
 

rhinoknives

Well-Known Member
GWF,
It can all be done with files if you work small and have some patience. I would have some power means to profile the blades, bandsaw or disk grinder.
Liam,
4mm stock can be used, for the small paring knives, I would prefer 2.5 or 3mm but you can make a servicable paring knife out of 4mm.

I would start with the oval or round file you are using for the hollow and place it about halfway over where you want the cutting edge.

There is a man from a Scandinavian country that still makes his small fixed blade knives with files. If I can remember his name I will add it to this thread.

Laurence

www.rhinoknives.com
 

rhinoknives

Well-Known Member
I will look for thinner stock but I will see what I find. I need to get myself a file set I think.
If you have any used tool stores in town, Flea markets and yard or Boot sales I think you call them? Those are good place to scrounge up old files that have some life in them and are in expensive.

If you buy new? Get one or two quality files and you can have them in your tools for the rest of your life!

Laurence

www.rhinoknives.com
 

LiamLynch

Well-Known Member
I will do a tool scrounge in the craft department at school tomorrow and see what I can gather. One of the teachers thinks its great that I make knives. I also have a possible source of free tools and stuff because my friends dad works at a submarine building place. I might just do a paring knife or two for my next project.
 

Jeff Conti

Well-Known Member
Liam, I built my first knife on my dads wood sander. When I went into the military, I built a knife by clamping it to the floor of a small closet. Yes, I am a closet knife maker. I only used a flat file and round file and some sand paper to make that knife. Oh, and by the way, when I was done it sold in 2 weeks! Design is very important and execution, patience and persistence will pay off!! Don't listen to the nay sayers. Give it a try!!
 
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