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Hi All,

I'm 4 yrs. in as a knifesmith. I have taken a liking to the Brut de Forge style, but I am having trouble using a vertical jig (I'll have to make a wider tool rest). I'm thinking of making a file jig.

Question... Any ideas on how I can hold the knife flat, so so I can make an even bevel? I was thinking of a notch of some sort.

Has anyone tried to make a jig for this style of knife?

Thank you ahead for any ideas or pictures.


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My wife made a knife grinding jig (with a little help from me) It woks very well at the 2x72 belt grinder and when attached to the bench it works for filing as well. Might take a look at it in the thread a couple below yours.


I can't control the wind, all I can do is adjust my sail’s.
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Can you get me a link?

Apparently I am not good at forums (I made this tread in wrong section).

This is what I came up with... A grove for the bolster.

On 2/17/2024 at 5:40 PM, Irondragon Forge ClayWorks said:

Might take a look at it in the thread a couple below yours.



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A hand filing jig like that one can certainly work, but will be a bit slow and needing some tweaking compared to a 2 x 72 belt grinder with accessories.  You will also need your stock to be fully annealed to effectively use the file without destroying it.  I'm not sure the band clamps and eyebolt you are using will provide the accuracy you want in a file guide, but it is a start. 

Regarding holding your blade flat:

  1. You should have forged in a riccasso that is flat and parallel on both sides.  This is what gets clamped down to your board.  You may have to shim the tip of the knife a bit to keep the rest of it level , particularly when you switch sides.  I have used tongue depressors, available in bulk in most hobby shops, to work as a shim.
  2. If you are including a Joe Keesler style integral finger guard, you will need to notch the board to miss that.

Here is a great image of Keesler's forging progression for making these knives.  He certainly uses a 2 x 72 with a contact wheel to grind that hollow grind bevel, though I have made them with flat grinds as well.  I am a big fan of Joe Keesler's work.  When I saw him demo these I believe that he freehand grinds, though he may use a rest.  Of course he has been making them for decades...



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I built something similar years ago.  I agree with Latticino.  You'll probably want something with a little more accuracy on the eye end.  I used a rod end bearing for the eye portion and of course the appropriate size round stock to slide through it.  There's pretty much zero play that way and your file strokes stay very stable.  For small to medium blades this can work well.  For large blades you can run into the limits that the eye will allow you to swivel.

It looks like you're set up about right so that the file will be centered on the cutting portion of the blade rather than the center of the blank.  That is the right way to do it. The next crucial thing is to ensure that the blade remains supported and stable while you're working on it - and that when you flip it everything is complementary to the first side.

There are a couple good options depending on the handle style being used.  For full tang knives one of the easiest ways to hold the blank down is to run a screw through one of your pin holes.  Two is better.  You also want a stop at the spine so you can ensure the same precise bevel angle when you flip the blank.  This can be a screw, a nail. a board backstop, etc. as long as it doesn't interfere with the file while in use.   You should mark the center of your work area on the board so that you can make sure your beveled area is centered when you flip it.  You can just put a small mark on the center point of the spine that lines up with that and then when you flip it line the marks up again. 

As Latticino said, you may need to support the tip or you can get a bit of a spring action if you bear down on the file, and that can throw off the edge geometry near the tip.


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