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Michael Stuart

Tiny files, or what other tool?

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So my mom just gave me the bread knife that we used all the years I was growing up, and I think it may have belonged to her grandmother originally. But it's got tiny rectangular teeth that are maybe 1/32 or a bit less wide and about twice as deep as they are wide. The issue is, most of the teeth in the middle (most used) part of the blade are now worn completely away from so many decades of cutting homemade bread! So my question is, is there such a thing as a commercially available file this small, ideally with 2 safe sides/edges, or is there some other tool I could buy or modify to cut in new teeth to restore this knife to working condition? The grooves between teeth are a lot narrower than the cutting disc on my angle grinder, maybe closer to dremel cutoff wheel thickness, not that I'd necessarily trust myself to do this with a power tool.

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There are diamond files available at jewelers suppliers that are flat and more narrow than a Dremel cutoff wheel.  You might check with someone like Rio Grande Jewelry in Albuquerque, NM. 

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3 hours ago, Michael Stuart said:

most of the teeth in the middle (most used) part of the blade are now worn completely away from so many decades of cutting homemade bread

This wouldn’t be discworld dwarf-bread we are talking about here, would it?

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The Spyderco SharpMaker works on serrated edges, not sure about yours if I understand the description correctly.

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Look up "file cutting" for some info on making your own files, it's very easy and you only need one special tool which is just a chisel.

 

There's not much information about file cutting unfortunately, I get my file blanks straight, flat, and clean of oxides then chisel in the teeth and harden with no temper (unless it's a super delicate file, smaller than regular needle files)

 

with a fully hard file you should be able to file tempered steel to some extent, I haven't noticed any teeth breaking on my files despite them being thinner, sharper, and harder than other files I've used.

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Thanks everyone for the great suggestions. I've found a file with a very narrow/flat diamond cross section that I think will do the trick if I angle it in alternating directions. I'm going to give it a try tomorrow, and will try to post some pictures if it works.

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Done, the thin diamond-section file did the trick! Here's a picture of starting the teeth that shows clearly how worn down they were, another of the tip end in progress to show the file, and one of the cool hammer-and-anvil logo on the knife.

bread knife teeth 1.jpg

 

bread knife tip in progress with file.jpg

bread knife logo.jpg

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Well, knock me over with a feather, never seen an edge like that.

Clearly the SharpMaker wouldn't have worked :lol:

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Classic 1930s bread knife!  Good save, Michael.

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Thanks Alan, I would have guessed it was from around the 30s, but good to have you confirm it. Funny thing is lately I've been finding myself drawn to woodworking planes and sewing machines of that same era, go figure!

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