Jump to content

How to do serration, advice ?


Eric Niefert
 Share

Recommended Posts

I was hoping I could get a little advice on how to do serrated blades.  I am making a kitchen set for my wife for Christmas out of AEB-L and am working on the bread knife.  

 

Now I could grab a file or Dremel tool and have at it, but I don't want to have serrations that are at different spacing and angles.  Any suggestions you experts might have for me?  So far my best idea is to just be super careful with layout and use a 1/8 rat tail file trying to duplicate the exact same angle and spacing.  

 

I do have access to a mill and thought about using the verniers but can't seem to come up with a fixture I like to hold the blade rock solid at the correct angle.  Thanks in advance for any ideas!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can take this as you like, serrations kept me out of the FiF finale.  As I was told, after the fact, what I made were saw teeth.  Serrations are little extra edges, points separated by thinner spots, making a fractal edge.  Saw blades are high spots with gullets surrounding them, they rip rather than cut.  When I make breadknives, I use saw blades, which I think work better on things like bread.

 

Lay out with a sharpie and do your best to keep everything even.  I solved this issue ( as far as I can be said to have solved it) by doing an intentional pattern, high-low-high.  A deliberate attempt to disguise imperfections in pattern.  These are after all, hand made items.  Some small imperfections are to be expected.

 

Geoff

  • Like 1

"The worst day smithing is better than the best day working for someone else."

 

I said that.

 

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

- - -G. K. Chesterton

 

So, just for the record: the fact that it does work still should not be taken as definitive proof that you are not crazy.

 

Grant Sarver

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Geoff, BTW I remember that episode -- didn't realize that was you.  You're a bad ass!   

 

Funny you mention the saw edge idea.  My Dad used to have this really old bread knife.  Patina'd carbon steel piece.  He always said it was the best bread knife he ever had.  Well, it had fine saw teeth, not serrations.  Maybe I will do fine saw teeth like you suggest -- I like the high-low idea.  Will work good on whole wheat and white bread that way.  lol

 

Maybe I just need to get past the idea of it having to be perfect and just do it.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, I had a great time, and in the end, I'm not sorry about not making the final.  The Sengese was a nightmare.

As the wise man says "Perfection is the enemy of Progress".

 

Geoff

  • Like 3

"The worst day smithing is better than the best day working for someone else."

 

I said that.

 

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

- - -G. K. Chesterton

 

So, just for the record: the fact that it does work still should not be taken as definitive proof that you are not crazy.

 

Grant Sarver

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As an alternative solution…

 

I have a bread knife I picked up at a flea market, mostly because I hadn’t seen the like. 9” blade, thin (1/16” at the hollow bolster, 1/32” about 2” from the sheep’s foot tip), with square teeth and gullets. Gullet bevels alternate which side they’re ground on, about 1/16” wide.
 

Works well! Marked ‘Universal’ in a frame, L. F. & C. below.


Haven’t tried to sharpen it, mind…

If I had to fault it, it’s so thin it’s quite flexible, sometimes to the detriment of the slicing. 

0768276A-07B4-47E8-8012-328C39F00A3F.jpeg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is pretty cool Samuel -- I have never seen anything like that.  I went ahead and put small serrations in a test blade.  Not the greatest job but passable.  And they do seem wicked sharp.  Going to have the Mrs test it out on Thanksgiving prep work today.  Funny that she has no idea she is testing the prototype of her own Christmas present.  lol

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Geoff -- yes -- that Sangese OMG.  I would have no idea where to start on that one (well after building a new quench tank to fit the thing).  IIRC one of them (or both?) broke in testing.  How the heck to you quench and heat treat that thing . . . you'd almost want a dark blue spring temper on the inside / stress spots and somehow blueback the spine.  and sharpening . . . I think I would cut something off and wind up in the ER  lol 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, they broke both of them and at the same spot, the tight turn just before the big sweep of the blade.  Later, thinking about it, and talking to each of them, it's clearly a spot where the stresses build up, and they each created shear lines in the steel.  It's also the point of maximum stress from the leverage of the blade hook.

I told Dave Baker that I was pretty sure that the Sengese was never a weapon.  Later, I was able to confirm this (at least to my satisfaction).  They were status items, the important men would hook them over a shoulder and stroll around, showing off the wealth represented by the mass of metal.  The oldest ones I was able to find were made of wrought iron, pretty poor stuff for a "sword".

Hook swords were a thing, and that might be what these are intended to look like, but that's about it, IMHO.

 

None of which has anything to do with serrations, sorry.

 

Geoff

  • Like 1

"The worst day smithing is better than the best day working for someone else."

 

I said that.

 

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

- - -G. K. Chesterton

 

So, just for the record: the fact that it does work still should not be taken as definitive proof that you are not crazy.

 

Grant Sarver

Link to comment
Share on other sites

https://ertribal.com/index.php/addenda/accuracy-vs-ratings-history-channels-forged-fire/s5-ep25-sengese

 

You are indeed correct.  In fact, ALL of the African "weapons" they chose to depict are outright lies.  That is to say, the objects exist, but they were not used in the manner suggested.

The one time I did serrations was on a hori-hori.  Measured carefully, marked the interval, started each with the corner of a triangle file, followed with a 1/8" chainsaw file.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just for the record and with the disclaimer that I have never used a non-commercial bread knife: I have a stainless commercial Santoku that was blunt. I sharpened it on a reverse running worn 80 grit belt (only). It has tiny serrations on the blade edge from the belt and it cuts bread like a demon. I’ve not tried it on ‘factory bread’ though.

"The way we win matters" (Ender Wiggins) Orson Scott Card

 

Nos, qui libertate donati sumus, nes cimus quid constet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My mentor made a kitchen knife set from Damasteel which included a bread knife.
Only saw a photo of the set, he didn't tell me how he made the serrations, but he did say "never again"

 

Best bread I've experienced is my Wilkinson Sword version, mentor's had the same serrations.

No problem making the serrations, just a bit of file work.

What I don't get is how you sharpen them in the end.

 

Generally serrated edges work because the points are sacrificial so the inside edges stay sharp.  Apart from an enormous amount of work I can only figure out how to sharpen the points :ph34r: 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I did mine I had a piece of 1" x .125 cut off of a larger sheet.  I cut in a tang and the teeth, HT'ed it, and then ground the bevels.  That made the teeth quite thin and sharp.  You can see that it took a bit of a dive toward the teeth.  Part of it's issue is that it's way too long.  I've made a few others, same process, but a little wider and a little shorter.  They stayed straight in the quench.

 

IMG_20221123_222349391 (Medium).jpg

 

IMG_20221123_222422113 (Medium).jpg

 

Geoff

"The worst day smithing is better than the best day working for someone else."

 

I said that.

 

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

- - -G. K. Chesterton

 

So, just for the record: the fact that it does work still should not be taken as definitive proof that you are not crazy.

 

Grant Sarver

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I copied a bread knife my parents had that had this pattern….. easily sharpened with a Japanese knife file….. all be it time consuming….

CDF8B90D-FB2E-4440-B23D-755AAAE12DF7.jpeg

as to evenly spaced serrations….. if you took a length of wood or metal and mark off even increments and then fix a registrar point  on you grinder for the increments to lock into ….. clamp the knife blade to the stick and the touch it to the grinder . Move to the next mark and do the same… you still need to pay attention to how deep you grind each serration ….

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...