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Posts posted by JohnCenter

  1. Very informative.


    I know there is a list on Bladeforums of woods that can be used unstabilized,  but it is long and somewhat confusing and I found it does not really answer the question very clearly. This thread has really given me a much better understanding.


    So typical woods I have seen used unstabilized that are not magical (eg. ironwood): Birch, hickory, and maple,.


    Any others?



  2. Wasn't sure what to call this thread....

    Basically, I am thinking of making a few 'puukko and/or maasepan' inspired knives. In doing some research it seems the majority of knives made across the sea use unstablized birch (please correct me if I am wrong). The maasepan knives use a block of wood with blade nailed in, while others use the block between various other materials with peened tang. Even Enzo's are sold with unstabilized birch scales.

    This leads me to believe that unstabilized wood is not as 'bad' and 'shifty' as North American culture would have one believe. It seems that in NA knife culture I often read statements like  'must use stabilized wood'  because 'why would you give your customer any less?!'

    Also, the over seas makers make knives for use in varying climates and I presume if there were real world issues (such as cracking, shifting, expanding, shrinking, etc.) they would stop using unstablized wood.... yet over here the verdict appears to be different...?


    Please help me to better understand what appears to be conflicting information on the suitability of wood for handles...


  3. I stated with a 10" course bastard from the hardware store (Nicholson). It worked, but took a long time. I then upgraded to a 14" course bastard I ordered off Amazon. Also a Nicholson. Not only is it longer, but also a a lot wider. It  easily removes twice as much as the 10" per stroke. Tempting to go longer, but with the size of the jig I made, I would not. I think 14" is a as long as I can get and still be able to get a good full stroke. So keep in mind the size of your jig as you look at longer files.

    Also, Nicholson receive a lot of critism on the net. I have not had issues. They are significantly cheaper than the other file brands and mine all remove metal. I'm not saying the people with more experience and better files are wrong- I'm just saying as a beginner they are adequate. Especially until you decide if you want to stick with the hobby.


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  4. Gerhard reminds me of something I read on another forum: The blade might not be getting to hot, but the thinner edge could be heating and cooling faster than the worker is aware...?

    But what about Scandsi? I've seen countless videos of makers finish grinding them to sharpness as well as sharpening them on belt grinders...

    As a beginner I don't know... I just question and ignorantly speculate. It seems final grinding after heat treat is the standard, so maybe that speaks louder than 'theory'...?

  5. Recently added a 2x42 grinder to my shop. Only has one speed (fast). But it is amazing at cleaning and shaping the blades after heat treat (compared to sand paper and muscle!).

    Any tips or advice for post heat treat grinding (O1 if it matters) to be sure not to ruin temper?

    Right now I figure steel changing color: really bad. And I grind with bare hands and never let the steel get too hot to hold.

  6. Me too. That's what I do.


    But I've read Stacy on BF saying he cuts out the inside of his scales and Nick Wheeler has a few tutorials where he drills shallow dimples into the scales to give room for the glue. Got me thinking- how does that work with liners? 

    Liners to scale is just glued (and starved), but then after drill shallow through both, glue to tang... and problem solved?


    I don't know. Probably over thinking, but wanted to throw the question out there.

  7. I may be over thinking this, but I was reading about how a Maker should inlet or dimple the centers of the handle scales on full tang knives to create room for epoxy. This way it is not a glue starved between the tang and scale.

    But what about when using liners? Do you inlet/dimple scales, affix liner, then re-dimple/inlet again after liner has cured to scale?

    what is the process?

  8. Really appreciate the followup everyone. I'm really leanring a lot. 

    Luckily, where I'm at now is not so despaired as before. Out of the four blades, one of the sabre ground's edges was between 0.020-0.030". The 0.030" was mostly up at the tip, so this made for a small surface area to grind down. So I threw the 0.40" edged one in a dark corner and started over. Went down from 100 grit paper to 80 and this thinner blade evened out pretty good. By the time i polished it back up to 220 i was averaging 0.20" along the edge. I didn't take very long or much effort. Nothing compared to trying to break down a solid 0.020" on the other one! Then my Lansky with course diamond put a 25 inclusive on it while i watched tv. and now the blade shaves! 


    I made a knife. I'lm quite happy right now!


    i think a combination of a thinner more consistent bevel and  starting at 80 grit vs 100 made a big difference in work.

    I had already send out a second batch to be heat treated (I'm enthusiastic, to say the least) and am now thanking the gods that i took the time to put clean 220grit bevels on them with a final edge consistently at 0.020" thick.  My hand filing had already improved a lot by the time i was working on these versus my first batch.

    Thank you everyone for clearing so much up. At least for now 0.020" is doable, seems to survive heat treat so far, and allows me to finish up the knife with paper relatively easily.


    So do these stats make a decent little bushcraft knife? Or should I try to aim for a thinner primary bevel and a smaller inclusive secondary bevel? Please share your opinions. Or is it also personal and experiential?


    Funny, I measured the edge of a ESEE Izula I have and the primary bevel (flat gound) was roughly 0.030" and the secondary edge looked to be about 25 degrees inclusive. i was surprised to say the least. 



  9. 60RC. They came back at 59RC.

    Alan, sonin line with your advice, would it be wise to purchase a DMT Extra course (4" or 6") stone? I'm thinking I could hook it up to my file jig and to start regrinding the bevel thinner.

    And, last question, my next batch should go out at 0.020" or even 0.015", right? Then I can polish them and simply grind on the primary bevel with my Lanky kit... right? Avoid my current nightmare repeating!


    I apologize if this is getting repetitive. But I want to be clear on how to move forward and not repeat the same mistakes. Hand filing is my only option for now and I want to continue making knives.

  10. 8 hours ago, Brian Dougherty said:

    Most people use a belt grinder for the final grind, hence the dime thickness rule of thumb.

    Even a cheap 1x30 would be better than trying to hand sand from 0.040" to a sharpenable edge.  For smaller knives like that it would get you by.

    So what is the rule of thumb for people hand grinding?


    when I asked a while back about files vs cheap grinders:

    I was told not to waste my money and time and learn to accept abrasives. I've no problem with hand tools, except now they simply don't work and I have metal to remove. I feel misled. And confused...?!

  11. I've definitly learned that lesson! Wow. 

    But I'm also so very confused.... I always read: grind only to 'dime thickness' to avoid warping and cracking when quenching. But dime thickness is about 0.040"  which is way to thick for me to finish once hardened.

    So what should I actually be doing? Grinding to 0.015-0.020" before heat treat? Or is that too thin?


  12. What a nightmare!

    Finally recived my first batch of knives back from the heat-treater. Being my first batch, I experimented a bit. Also, it goes without saying, my consistency is not that great yet.

    Of the four knives I sent, all are 3.50" blades 1/8" thick and 1" wide:

    2 are Scandi grinds with one having an edge thickness of 0.010"- 0.15" the other, at 0.020-0.25". I'm pretty happy at how consistent the edge turned out ( as in not too wavy.).

    2 are sabre grinds going back 0.75" of the blade. One of the edge's measures between 0.020" to 0.30" thick. The tip and near plunge being thicker and the middle and belly being thinner. Not too bad...

    The last is a nightmare at a thickness of 0.040" almost the whole edge. A nightmare because trying to thin out that edge with sandpaper is going to cost me my shoulder and wrist cartilage... Seriosuly. No exaggeration.

    So if the key is to get this bevel's edge  down to at least 0.020" (or even 0.015" as advised above) before putting on the primary bevel with my Lansky kit... how do I do it?

    I've been going at it with 100 grit sandpaper and making very little progress considering the effort and time I've put in.





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