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Conner Michaux

Bevel height on a bushcraft knife

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What is a good bevel height on a bushcraft knife? The stock is 1/8 thick. I know for most blades an inch to an inch and a half is okay, but seeing as this will be a small camping knife I would assume the bevel shouldn’t go up that high. I don’t have the skills to Scandi grind it so I was just going to do a flat grind. And I was originally going to bring the bevel up about an inch, but I figured I’d ask here for some advice. 

Thanks

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How wide is the blade?  

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The blade is just over 1” wide and the bevel currently is a little under 1/2” 

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What is your total angle in degrees at this point 20 degrees?

 

Gary LT

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With that width and thickness I'd bring it up to the halfway point at least.  And it looks like a scandi grind to me.  That's just a flat grind with no secondary bevel.

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IMNSHO, flat grinds should go as high as you can take them, especially on a small knife. It works better, stays sharper longer, and looks better.

I know that working with only files, this is a lot of work, but you could take that blade to almost done before you quench, and use some anti-scale to control the post HT cleanup.

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9 hours ago, Gary LT said:

What is your total angle in degrees at this point 20 degrees?

 

Gary LT

Around 14°. 

 

I believe the typical scandi is 11° per side, so 22°. So it is already too steep for a scandi, but too wide for a flat grind. Go full flat! You can do it :)

Screenshot_20200119-082427.png

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Full flat! You won't regret it!

You can do the bulk of it on Bernie. 

 

You got belts yet? 

Edited by Zeb Camper

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I have no idea what the bevel angle is, I just file on it until the bevel goes as high as I want it and then adjust the jig so the file is as a steeper angle and take the edge down thinner. 

 

Yeah I just received my order of belts, they should last me for a while. But I’m still in the part of the learning curve where I ruin everything I try to grind. :lol:

 

Once i I get some carbide to put on my file guide I will try to grind a real blade instead of a piece of mild steel. 

 

I think I’ll do a full flat then. That’s going to have me filing for hours, and hours.....and hours..:lol:

 

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10 minutes ago, Conner Michaux said:

 

 

I think I’ll do a full flat then. That’s going to have me filing for hours, and hours.....and hours..:lol:

 

 

If you are careful, you can do some of the donkey work with an angle grinder and tidy up/ finish with the files.

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I might try to remove a little bit on the belts, I’m hesitant though because I don’t want to ruin it. 

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I have been using a 3x21 sander. Its slow enough you don't ruin things but faster than a file. I still use the filing jig to get correct angles.

 

20191228_143317.jpg

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With a full flat, should I add a secondary bevel on it or attempt to make it a fullflat scandi grind..? :huh:

would the edge be to thin at that point or would it work? 

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9 minutes ago, Conner Michaux said:

With a full flat, should I add a secondary bevel on it or attempt to make it a fullflat scandi grind..? :huh:

would the edge be to thin at that point or would it work? 

You leave around 0.015" at edge. The secondary bevel is actually the cutting edge and it's done at the very end of the knife making process.

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I thought a scandi grind didn’t have a secondary bevel?  

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2 minutes ago, Conner Michaux said:

I thought a scandi grind didn’t have a secondary bevel?  

Your bevels are already too high for a scandi. 

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Yeah, I was just curious. :) If you were to do a full flat, but mix it with a scandi and take the secondary bevel away, I would think the edge would be too thin. It’d be nasty sharp though, I think..

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I've seen a few composite grind knives with a flat+scandi. They looked like full flat with a very thick edge. I've no idea how those performed but the narrow scandi grind seemed hard to sharpen.

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unless there is going to be lots of prying, full flat is the way to go, i like a convex edge that starts halfway up the blade at least. a fairly gentle convex though, all knives should be thin. prying would break any regular blade, but it could be a good idea to leave the tip a little thick for digging into stuff, dont make a thick tip until you have broken a thin one though.

 

"thin is in", i think i read that on bladeforums, it was the best thing i ever learned in knifemaking. even simple steels, if heat treated right, are incredibly strong.

 

 

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Wow I seriously underestimated how long this would take. :lol:

 

the first bevel took me somewhere between 4-5 hours. I think when I’m done with both it will have a nice taper down the blade. 

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That's why folks love the 2x72 grinders.............in spite of the cost! ;)

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Dude, you've got to get better files!  That should have taken half an hour to do one side.  :ph34r:

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Wait, half an hour!?!  :o  

Black Magic! 

I need better files.... 

 

Which is is funny because I use Nicholson’s.. they seem to cut fine though..:huh:  is it possible to test a files sharpness? 

Edited by Conner Michaux

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Black Diamond, not black magic :lol:

 

Joke aside, nobody cares how long it takes but yourself. And frankly, I don't think it should matter at all. Do the very best you can and you'll be rewarded at the end :)

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What Joel said.  I was surprised only because I use gigantic files with a very coarse cut, but I understand those are hard to find.  I also have 22 years experience using them, and I started out slow and steady because of the dread of getting a big gouge across the blade.  I think my first fully-filed hawk head took me something like two full days to do.  Now that's about half a day.  

 

Since Nicholson has discontinued my beloved big 16" and only makes the Magicut in 8 and 10" lengths (mere toothpicks!), here is what I suggest until fortune smiles upon you on eBay:

For drawfiling, get one of these:  https://www.travers.com/american-pattern-mill-file/p/51-731-515/  and for stock removal, get one of these: https://www.grainger.com/product/SIMONDS-Flat-Multi-Kut-File-38RJ73 and one of these: https://www.travers.com/long-angle-lathe-machinists-file/p/51-732-565/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIm8rUysWV5wIVmZOzCh35kgxgEAQYAyABEgIXO_D_BwE

 

These are all 14" files.  The mill bastard is a general-purpose file, and I generally grind one edge flat.  The Multi-Kut is a hybrid doublecut with chip breakers, which cuts fast yet leaves a smooth surface.  You can use it for drawfiling, but it leaves a pretty rough surface.  The long-angle lathe file is surprisingly fast at stock removal, but can leave a wavy finish if you don't apply pressure on those big teeth.   It's not ideal for drawfiling because of the tooth angle.  It works well with ordinary push filing, especially if you use a sweeping stroke from left to right across the blade.  Clear chips often, though, they make big chips and leave gigantic gouges if you're not careful.  

 

I have noticed that the really good files are hard to find individually, but often available in boxes of six or 12 files.    This might be a business opportunity for someone...

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