For the manner in which men live is so different from the way in which they ought to live, that he who leaves the common course for that which he ought to follow will find that it leads him to ruin rather than safety.

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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Grinding Fixture, Finished

My knife grinding fixture is finished and operational. So far, so good.

Each surface flanks the grinder. Since the grinder can be adjusted for angle, the fixtures can stay put.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Grinding Fixture (this could get heavy with pictures)

I don't freehand. Nope, just can't do it. I don't freehand simple plane irons, I sure as hell ain't gonna freehand a knife blade.

After some struggling with adapting my LV grinding rest to work with my Kalamazoo belt grinder, I decided for a different approach. Nothing wrong with the LV grinding rest...just not the appropriate application for it. It's meant for a grinding wheel, not a flat belt.

While watching a few knife making videos, something occurred to me. Instead of an angled guide that has to meet the belt, why not a FLAT surface that sits next to the belt? Hmmm.

You see, the problem with a guide that has to angle up to the belt is that knife blades are ground at much lower angles than say, a plane iron. It's difficult to get a more traditional style grinding rest to such a low angle (like...10 degrees or maybe less) against a flat belt. You end up with a guide that has to extend out to the point that it gets really flexy.

A quick call to the local metal supply place, and $30(ish) later, I'm off to the races. Let's just hope it works.

Here we go. I purchased some 1.5" by 1.5" aluminum angle at 3/16" thick and two pieces of 6" wide aluminum flat: one at 1/4" thick, the other at 3/8". I cut the angle into 6" long chunks, and the flats were cut to 6.5".

Thursday, November 12, 2015

More on knifey type stuff

When I first got my belt grinder, I also got a selection of belts. Pictured is a Norton Blaze 80 grit. I'm showing it because I'm impressed with it. The used one currently on my grinder is "dull" though still removes metal at a rapid rate. If you use a belt grinder, check these belts out, they are nice.

After finishing my first knife, there were two things that I knew needed work right away: 1) more consistent grind from one side to the other and 2) a more acute grind angle. I believe I am well on my way to getting a hold on both of these issues. I think both were fixed at the same time, basically by a slight reconfiguration of the grinder. I'll get into that with my next post in more detail. 
As of this evening, I have four new blades with the primary bevels ground to 80 grit. My goal is to get the finish grinding done so that I can heat treat this weekend.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Making a Knife, pt. 3

A road trip snuck up behind me and took me away before I finished my knife. I came home this morning, and set about getting this thing done.

Unwrapped after the heat treat. Again, wear gloves at this stage. That stainless bag is at least as dangerous as it was when the blade was first made, perhaps more so. This is what the blade looks like after a trip up to 1800 degrees. After cooling, it was tempered to 300. I'll see if that is too hard. When I've made plane irons in the past, that's about the temperature range I've used.