• Ken Lau
    4
    So I'm thinking of making myself a simple grinding jig to do some flat grinding. I've had a look at lots of grinding jigs online and they can be pretty flashy with angle adjustments and all sorts.
    But if I were to use a piece of mild steel angle section and clamp my blade to it and adjust the angle of either my work rest or platten, it would give me the same result right? I haven't seen anyone do this so I was wondering if I'm missing something obvious here that I've not spotted!
    Loving the podcast! All the best, Ken.
  • Greenbeetleknives
    1
    I built an adjustable jig when I first started from a door hinge, some wood and a bolt to adjust the angle. It was a bit too flimsy in the long run so I subsequently did exactly what you propose.

    I never tried the following but I wonder if you could make slots in the angle iron with an angle grinder or mill or drill and files where you can fasten the handle of the blade you are grinding using bolts through the knife's handle pin holes as follows. One could arrange the forward slot parallel to length of the angle iron and make it about an inch long to accommodate different handle lengths then arrange the rear slot vertically and about 1" tall to accommodate different angles for the knife in case the edge isn't parallel to handle pin holes or you want a different angle on your plunge line other than 90 degrees?

    Make sure the bottom surface of your jig is flat and smooth so it travels well on the work rest. I've gone to free hand grinding as my latest grinder doesn't have a work rest large enough to support a jig. At any rate it sounds like you're on the right track to me! :up:
  • Ken Lau
    4
    Putting the slots in sounds like a good idea. I'd not considered that and as for the smooth bottom surface of the angle - I have some sheet acetal/delrin which should work nicely. Just not sure my work rest will be long enough! :)
  • Jeff Kushen
    30
    This is where I started before I got better at free-hand grinding. Now I have several blocks of aluminum with different angles for different knives ground into the face, and tapped bolt holes where the scales are attached. Saves time not having to move the platen around.
  • Ken Lau
    4
    I think that in a production environment, saving time like that is totally understandable. But for myself as a hobbyist who is making stuff to please myself more than anyone else, I can put up with it! ;)
    Weird thing is that I can freehand hollow grind (with support from the work rest) okay but my flat grinds are really not up to par.
  • Jeff Kushen
    30
    Get a load of scrap mild steel from your local steel supply place for cheap, and practice your grinding on the cheap metals. :-) When you are done with a piece, chuck it in the recycle bin or grind the edge off it and use it as a template. I have steel dummies of all my knife designs.
  • Dan Bidinger
    0
    I did just what you are suggesting, I started with a piece of angle aluminum and c-clamp, I would tilt my platen forward to provide the angle. It was a pain to set up each time but it worked. Now I do almost everything free hand and I am happy I didn’t spend much money or time on a fancy jig.

    I would say try it and see, if you like grinding with a jig then you can make a better jig if not you can move on to freehand grinding.

    I started by doing rough grinding with a jig and then doing finish grinding free hand. It helped me to learn freehand by grinding on an already established bevel. I still messed it up a lot, many saber grinds ended up being full flat grinds, but we get better slowly.
  • JR Knifemaker
    66
    I had the same quandary for a long time. My Downland Engineering minigrinder came with a table rest that I could adjust. But I found it a massive faff setting the angle up each time. It did work, but one day got frustrated and gave it a go free hand and I was surprised at myself. I can’t do scandi-grinds free hand (but then I don’t like scandi grinds), but for some reason my full flat grinding is easier free hand that with a jig.

    That could also be because of the jig set up! I only share in case someone else is at that stage: give freehand a go.

    Having said that, I saw Jeremy from Simple Little Life using one of the angled aluminium jigs as per above and it looks ideal. And simple!
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