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bworkman111

Hand Filing Bevels

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I am in the process of making my second knife. I am filing the bevels and I am having a hard time keeping them straight. They look rounded and uneven. I have already spent many hours filing but I cannot figure it out. I was wondering if there are any tips or tricks that I might find useful. Thanks

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Try draw filing.  Clamp your knife blank to a board, so the tip don't poke you in the belly, it does happen, then put the tang of the file in your left hand.  Pull the file towards you.  If you put the tang in your right hand you have to push, not pull.  But then that's not draw filing.  You can really hog some material in a short period of time this way.  With some practice, practice, practice, I've seen some very nice bevels made this way.  There just aren't any short cuts when it comes to hand filing.  Its all about technique and consistency.

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bworkman :    I would google draw filing. There are a number of good explanations there and much more understandable.

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I take a large heavy piece of angle iron and clamp it in my vice.  Then I clamp the blade with its edge out on the angle iron.  That keeps everything stable and level.  That and use good sharp files. 

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I've found that using a really big magic marker on the filed surface will quickly help you to see where you are cutting and where you're not.  The marker dries fast so you can re-color the surface as often as you like.  Stopping more often will help ensure you're making things better- not worse.  

 

I've learned more about my own consistency watching how long it takes to fix a mistake using this method. 

 

One other thing not mentioned thus far is footwork.  I've found that not moving my feet while doing something that requires consistency is a huge help.  It doesn't matter if it's filing, archery, or rolling pie crust.  Keep your feet comfortably planted and it's impressive how much accuracy improves.

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