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Cutting A Fuller Without A Fuller Tool?


Buck Hedges

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I have a dagger in the works made from a a worn out flat bastard file. It's a total stock removal job. I cut the tang and the point in, but I'd like to give it a fuller, and I have no idea how to do it. I've seen the threads here on making a fuller-cutting tool, but I don't have the machinist skills or equipment to make one.

I know if I try to "cut" it in with my disk grinder it'll be a disaster. Where the blade's already shaped, I don't know if I can cut it in with a hot chisel without mucking up the shape.

 

Any suggestions?

 

 

Buck

 

 

B)

 

Truth simply is. Whether you like that truth or not is totally irrelevant.

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If you have a steady hand and an angle grinder, you can manage fine. Difficulty may vary depending on how wide the desired fuller is.

You are correct ...freehanding usually ends in disaster. So first, make a guide for your grinder . Just take a straight piece of bar stock longer than your blade ( I use 5/16" x 1 1/2" , but that's a bit heavy duty for a dagger) , and drill a hole in either end. This guide can be positioned over where you want the fuller ,then fastened down with screws, acting as a clamp for the blade as well. By keeping the cutting disc against the bar stock, you are near guaranteed straight cuts.

 

Unless you're wanting a very broad fuller, I suggest using the thick cutting discs, not the grinding wheels. Basically ,the goal is to cut an even channel into the steel, the width of your fuller. The outside cuts should be shallow, while the ones toward the center of the fuller should be deeper. You can move the guide over in increments to expand the cuts width-wise. Make as many passes as neccessary, but not too deep... remember, the other side needs to be just as deep, and you don't want to grind all the way through !

 

Of course, after the work with the grinder is done, you will then need to round out the inside of the rough fuller. This can be done using file, and rounded sanding blocks ( wrapping sand paper around rubber tubing works well) .

 

Forming a fuller is a tricky task whatever method you use... hope this helps you out

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I do something similar, but start with a thin cutting disk, that is easier to keep straight, then a well used ( small diameter ) wheel, it's edge should be pretty round allready! If you want a broader groove take a new grinder disk and "dress" it with an old tungsten masonary drill bit 2 to do this job, round the edges, till desired shape and follow the cut 'till required width is reached... Practice on scrap first!

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You have two options, the old school way and the power-tool way. As always, power-tools are faster, but also tend to screw things up faster...

 

DSC03546.JPG

This is from Kevin the professor's thread of a good improvised method of cutting grooves.

 

I cut the fullers in with a variable speed die grinder. That is a welding rod, bent, and held on with hose clamps. You can set the distance from the spine or from the edge, and it will track the same every time. I suggest filing the spine smooth first and deburring. You can see the first fuller, and the line in the dykem where the second will be cut.
I thought this method was an elegant solution...
And then there is the old school way, takes a little longer but goof-ups are less likely to be catastrophic...
Mine is crude but effective, and I've made a couple of different cutters for it for different width grooves. I use blade-steel cutoffs to make the cutters, hardened with no or minimal temper. On that particular blade it took about 20 minutes to cut a groove on one side. The bad news is, it takes forever to polish the grooves... because of this I plan to experiment with power-groovers which just may leave a easier to polish groove than my scraper does.

George Ezell, bladesmith

" How much useful knowledge is lost by the scattered forms in which it is ushered to the world! How many solitary students spend half their lives in making discoveries which had been perfected a century before their time, for want of a condensed exhibition of what is known."
Buffon


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After monkeying around with my disk grinder today on a beater machete, I decided to not use it on the dagger. I looked at the groover threads, and this quote sums it up perfectly:

 

The only problem I can see is if you want a centered fuller on a tapered blade, since this version follows the spine or edge. If I remember right, our hero Don Fogg has a big one that does use a lathe bit as a cutter that also utilizes a pair of guides equidistant from the cutter. Place it across the blade, turn until the guides hit the edges, and the cutter stays cenetered as long as you keep both of the guides riding the edges. My version would work fine for a short fuller like on a Ka-Bar if you scaled it up, though.

 

The dagger tapers. Although someone mentioned a triangular file, and I have one that's rarely used, I may try to put together a guide for it and see what happens.

B)

 

Truth simply is. Whether you like that truth or not is totally irrelevant.

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clamp your blade to a non tapered bar of steel and use that as the guide and your grove will stay centered all the way down

Brandon Sawisch bladesmith

 

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It is possible to do one entirely free-hand.

 

Use a string to establish and mark the center line.

 

Start with a scratch, to a chainsaw file, to a round file, to a larger round file (or half-round), to a dowel wrapped in abrasive.

 

Not fast, and only as accurate as your eye and hand, but it can be done.

 

And when I say "round file", I mean a broken section of a round file. I cut about half way through the file with a Dremel (keep it cool) and then snap it in a padded vise.

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clamp your blade to a non tapered bar of steel and use that as the guide and your grove will stay centered all the way down

Yep, the blade need not be the guide.

George Ezell, bladesmith

" How much useful knowledge is lost by the scattered forms in which it is ushered to the world! How many solitary students spend half their lives in making discoveries which had been perfected a century before their time, for want of a condensed exhibition of what is known."
Buffon


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Thanks for the advice, all! I'll give the "by hand" method an attempt tomorrow.

B)

 

Truth simply is. Whether you like that truth or not is totally irrelevant.

https://www.facebook.com/StormsForge">https://www.facebook.com/StormsForge

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