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1st time Knife making questions

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What are you using to bevel the blade?

Is linseed oil a decent finish for the wood handles?

Is the majority of the handle shaping done with a belt sander or is there something else?


My first few knives were done with just files.  The next few with a 6" disk sander (and files) and then I got a real cheap 1x30" belt sander (and a forge).  I'll be picking up a 2" belt sander later this week  :)

Handles I've always just done with a rasp and sandpaper (an 80 grit shop roll makes rounding everything over evenly a breeze).  It's far too easy to over do it on a belt sander.


So jeremy what kind of belt grinder did ya get? I have one coming next week a 2 x 53 3/4 Dayton 1.5hp. Kinda wondering how thats going work out LOL. DMM Jeremy is very helpful when it comew to knife making.

Frank, I went the, uh, frugal way and got the 2x48 craftsman.  I picked it up today actually!  The box says 1/3hp, the specs on the motor say 2/3hp.  I was talking to a guy who makes knives for a living who said his lasted for 4 years and somewhere between 150 and 175 knives before the motor quit... I figure that'll get me by for awhile  :)   I can always attach the belt portion to one of the my spare motors if the hp isn't enough (should be though).

As for finishes, all of the oils (linseed, Danish, TruOil) will work for handles, but will occasionally need to be reapplied.  Linseed you'll probably end up reapplying every year (at least).  My 15yr old knife is at the end of it's 4th coat of TruOil, and that's the most durable of the bunch.  They're easy to apply and very easy to refresh with a new coat.

I used the water-based polycrylic for awhile, but it did not hold up very well.  Regular polyurethane or spar varnish are good choices.  The generally don't make the grain and figure pop like the oils do though.

I've grown particularly fond of handrubbing 4-6 coats of marine epoxy on handles.  It's thinner than normal epoxy so it penetrates well, brings out the grain like the oils, and holds up really well... Plus I still have 1/3 of a gallon of it!  Wipe it on thick, let it sit for a minute or two and wipe off all the excess.  Wait two hours and repeat.  After 4 coats all the grain will be completely filled... an addition 2 for good measure and you've got a real nice satin finish.


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