How To Grind

Welcome! ppl have been contacting me telling me this site wasnt working i think i found the problum and have fixed it sorry for the truble enjoy ok at some point i am going to go through and actually grind the steel that i am showing you so you can see it for real and get better pics and maybe some pics of me using other tools in the shop just in case you might find it interesting

UPDATE: in recent days the smith has actually gotten off his rear and taken some new tutorial photos, unfortunately he happened to use a piece of steel shaped very similar to the old one (ie metal and rectangular), but unbeknownst to him he happened to change from left hand grinding to right hand grinding. if for some reason you can not reconcile this in your mind, feel free to download the offending photos to your computer, and use your favorite editing software to flip said photos... although the shop will then be backwards, it will show you the grind... otherwise, tough it out, (heehee.)

There are lots of good books out there on the subject of knife making, but none of the books I have read really show you how to hollow grind. Some have pictures, but they are vague at best - only being shown how, or using a jig, can teach you to hollow grind; due to the fact that itís mostly felt and not seen.

Once you establish a grind, you should be able, with a little practice, to follow it. The best way I found for a new knife maker to learn is to start the grind for them, and let them feel the blade on the grinder. This allows the person to feel what its like when its right, instead of fumbling in the dark for something that looks right. I had a friend making a knife the first night I showed him, using this technique. However, I canít go door to door and show every body how to grind. Well, I do have a lot of time on my hands (knock knock. Hello elderly lady, would you happen to have a bench grinder so I can teach you to hollow grind knives?) - never mind.

This works for bench as well as belt grinders with the right kind of work rest. For starting a hollow grind, set the metal to the wheel with the machine off to get the angle you want. Then lock a pair of vise grips to the work rest to limit the travel of the blade (see drawing below). Set the knife on the rest with the machine on and rock the blade forward to start grinding, moving the knife left and right. This will establish the hollow grind (you should get both sides started before you remove the vise grips so both sides have the same starting angle). You can then keep this up till you are done with the knife, or remove the vise grips when you can feel the grind enough to go solo. Then you just follow this grind by feel till you can do it around corners.

Scribing a center line will keep your grinding line from getting too out of whack (yes, that is a technical term). Now blade tips - that is just luck ... er, I mean practice! Like I said about grinding around corners, what you have to do is rock the handle end down in an arc as you grind. Bob Engnathís (may he rest in peace - he has unfortunately gone to the Big Belt Grinder in the sky) solution for new makers was to clamp a piece of half round stock to the work rest to rock the blade on to make this job easier. I use my fingers (and when polishing I get slick spots on them!). Well, down below is a drawing of what I'm talking about. Be safe, and good grinding!

this is the vice grips in place on my belt grinder if you can't clamp them on like this you may have to make a new rest but most bench grinders will be compatible with this, also i use the needle nose vise grips because i have them close at hand. this will work with regular ones too

this is the motion to bring the blade or bar stock into the grinder so it won't bind or start to grind the blade without you down and towards the wheel

this is how it should look before you start to grind and the arrows show the direction of pressure as you start to grind the purple shows approximately what the angle of the vice grips will do to the steel as you grind it away

this is the first action of dragging the blade across the rest to get the hollow grind started

and this is how it should look after this motion is completed

this one shows curving into the tip. i recommend getting good at making and following a hollow grind before working out to a tip like this also if you forged the blank make sure to leave a lot of metal at the tip so you can grind it away, not enough metal and the grind will look funny. you want to keep the center of the edge that you are grinding pointing up into the belt as you go (sounds confusing but stick with me on this one)

and this is finishing of the pass be careful to keep the blade at about the same angle when doing all this as when grinding with the vice grips or the tip will look funny or be thicker than you want it to be

and this is what the motion i was trying to describe in a non confusing manner ...ok now im confused but the dragging thing with the pokey thing should with time, practice and a whole lot of luck look some what like this.

email me if you have any questions