Knife 55 Seax – Vine Filing-laminated scales

Stabilized Spalted Beech and Wenge laminated strips

  • Steel – 1/8”” 1095
  • Blade – 4 1/4″
  • Overall – 8 3/4′
  • Scales – Laminated stabilized beech/wenge
  • Handle Finish – hand rubbed tru-oil

The vine pattern is probably the most common type of file work done on a knife spine. I’ve outlined the steps below so that most everyone can complete this and move on to more exciting filework.

Vine Spline Filing

1). Mark the spine with layout blue or marker. Alternate left and right. I used 3/8″ spacing.

2). Cut semi-circles on the left side every other mark. I used a 5/32” chainsaw file.

3). Cut semi-circles on the right side, every other mark. These are cut the same depth as the left side. (option: make these cuts shifted ahead by 3/16″).

4). With the narrowest edge of a triangular or half round needle file, cut the ‘leaves’ about 3/32″ above each big half round. Do this on both sides.

5). Carefully shape the lower portions of the big half rounds to smooth the vine. I used the flat side of the triangle file to knock the corner off and finished with the chainsaw file.

Mark the spine with layout blue or marker. Alternate left and right. I used 3/8″ spacing. Then Cut semi-circles on the left side every other mark. I used a 5/32” chainsaw file.
Cut semi-circles on the right side, every other mark. These are cut the same depth as the left side. (option: make these cuts shifted ahead by 3/16″)
With the narrowest edge of a triangular or half round needle file, cut the ‘leaves’ about 3/32″ above each big half round. Do this on both sides.
Carefully shape the lower portions of the big half rounds to smooth the vine. I used the flat side of the triangle file to knock the corner off and finished with the chainsaw file.

Laminated Handle

I made this laminated handle on this “Knife 55 Seax – Vine Filing-laminated scales” by stabilized strips of beech and wenge and compressing them together during the process of cooking the cactus juice.

Another good article, http://dcknives.blogspot.com/p/basic-filework-vine.html



This knife was made from a file with Blade Filings added

This knife was made from a file with Blade Filings added. This knife’s design is not what was intended. I had a failed attempt to cut Fuller’s in it. I was using a cutoff wheel with a straight edge guide. The guide slipped. So, tyo make something out of nothing, I narrowed it to save the blade. The spline filing was added to dress it up.

  • Blade – 5 ¼”
  • Overall – 10”
  • Steel – an old file
  • Handle – stabilized beech

The filings on this blade were made for decoration, no other purpose. In some instances you will see “saw teethe” on the spline. This is meant to be an added tool in a survival situation, but most of them do not work very well. I suspect in most cases they are added for the “cool” factor more than being a real advantage in a real survival situation.

There is nothing wrong with recovering from a failed attempt. I tend to learn by doing, and sometimes making a mistake forces you to learn new ways you’d not otherwise thought of.

The stabilized beach on this handle was a piece with extraordinary figure. It wasn’t wide enough for anything other than this type of handle. This wouldn’t be considered one of the best style handles, but it’s small, and compact. For a utility type knife this will wind up serving someone very well and has a unique enough look to be somewhat appealing.

Also see jimping on


Knife – 42 Hunter Forged from an Implement Tine – Cold Blued

Notes: cross peen or rounding hammer would be used

  • forge the point first
  • keep it straight as you go
  • keep refining the profile within each section as you go
  • for the entire blade profile (we’ll do the tang after)
  • after the profile is formed forge the edge
  • forge one section at a time
  • Remember to use the right side of the hammer  to pull the steel (round side or cross peen side)
  • rough profile the length a section at a time
  • go back and smooth it after
  • Keep the knife bigger than the patter
  • Blade is 5 1/2″
  • Overall Length is 9 3/4″
  • The blade was blued with gun blue (cold blue)

This knife was forged from an implement tine.  This should be close to 5150 if the information on the internet is correct. I found it to be a little harder to forge than the 108x.

I drew out the blade first, shaping it as I went. From a forging perspective it was much different than the last knife I forged except this was to be a full tang.

Wetting the anvil and hammer helps get rid of the scale. Just dip your hammer in your water bucket a few times and throw the water on the anvil and continue as normal.

After forging, I started with a 36-grit ceramic belt and worked my way up to 220. I think I’m starting to hit the other end of the learning curve. Grinding is getting easier. I still did some hand sanding, I only sanded to 180 grit then hit it with a course finishing belt.

There are times when I get closer and into finish sanding, I have the belt going as slow as it will go. It allows better control and mistakes become much smaller and easier to overcome. At this stage taking your time and constant focus is the best advice I can give.

This time I didn’t forget to normalize. I almost forgot my makers mark, but added it in between the first and second normalizing cycle.


Normalizing Your Knife

  • When a knife is forged it needs to be normalized. Forging adds stress to the steel. If you research this, you will find it has to do with the grain structure of the steel. But for now, just know it needs to be done.
  • Normalizing is a pretty simple process. Heat the metal to nonmagnetic then let it air cool. For most metals we’ll talk about in this book, doing this three times should do the trick. After annealing you can go straight to heat treatment.
  • Typically normalizing is not required with stock removal but I recommend you normalize recycled steel. If in doubt, normalize.

Knife - 42 Hunter Forged from an Implement Tine
the original tine
Knife - 42 Hunter Forged from an Implement Tine
Knife - 42 Hunter Forged from an Implement Tine
Knife - 42 Hunter Forged from an Implement Tine
wetting the anvil to help remove the scale
Knife - 42 Hunter Forged from an Implement Tine
Knife - 42 Hunter Forged from an Implement Tine
Knife - 42 Hunter Forged from an Implement Tine
Knife - 42 Hunter Forged from an Implement Tine
Knife - 42 Hunter Forged from an Implement Tine

Adding the Jimping

I marked out and drilled the tang holes and added the Jimping to “Knife – 42 Hunter Forged from an Implement Tine – Cold Blued”.

I marked the tang for the spline embellishment. I marked about every quarter inch and marked the center line. I drilled holes at each intersection. Then using the corner of a square file, I cut a V in-between each hole on both sides of the spline.

Knife - 42 Hunter Forged from an Implement Tine
Knife - 42 Hunter Forged from an Implement Tine
Knife - 42 Hunter Forged from an Implement Tine
Knife - 42 Hunter Forged from an Implement Tine
Knife - 42 Hunter Forged from an Implement Tine

Cold Bluing

The blade of this Knife – 42 Hunter Forged from an Implement Tine – Cold Blued was blued using a cold bluing technique. This will help keep the high carbon blades from rusting.

Here is my technique.

  • Polish the blade to the desired finish. A polished blade takes blue better, but it’s not a requirement.
  • Wipe the blue on and let it sit for a minute or so. Buff it out.
  • Repeat the entire process until it reaches the texture you like, or it stops changing.

Knife 39 – Hunting – Larger Skinner – Etching with Ferric Chloride

Knife 39 – Hunting – Larger Skinner – Etching with Ferric Chloride is still one of my favorite designs. It’s a simple yet elegant. It a great looking knife in a very simplistic way. A traditional old style knife.

  • This one was made from 3/16” 1095 steel.
  • The handle is Cocobolo with an aluminum added spacer and firework.
  • Brass pins

I did this knife with all hand grinding (except for final hand sanding). I finally figured out how to grind straight and completely horizontal. As the knife curves, pull the handle end away from the belt ever so slightly. It only takes a little practice to get this right.

I made an aluminum spacer for this knife. After some fussing around I wound up epoxying the aluminum spacer to the blade. After the epoxy had cured, I was sanding it back flush and one side popped off. I found the other side easy to remove. I decided not to use the aluminum spacers for this knife because of this.

Etching

I wanted a dark etch on this knife so I set up with some Ferric Chloride. I used the Ferric chloride straight. After a 15-minute soak it came out with an even light gray color.

Knife 39 - Hunting – Larger Skinner
Knife 39 - Hunting – Larger Skinner
Knife 39 - Hunting – Larger Skinner
Knife 39 - Hunting – Larger Skinner
Knife 39 - Hunting – Larger Skinner
Knife 39 - Hunting – Larger Skinner
Knife 39 - Hunting – Larger Skinner
Knife 39 - Hunting – Larger Skinner
Knife 39 - Hunting – Larger Skinner
Knife 39 - Hunting – Larger Skinner

Etching with Ferric Chloride

To make the containers for the ferric acid I took 2 pieces of 3” PVC and plugged one end and added a cap on the top. I found this sand blast medium barrel perfect for a base for a bit more stability. Clamping it to the wall or a post will work as well. You just do not want it to be tipped over.

I have Used it full strength. Some knife makers suggest diluting it. It will take some experimenting to determine which works best for you.

The second container is for a baking soda mix to neutralize the acid after etching is complete.


Knife 37 – Utility/EDC – With File Work

  • Blade 3 3/8”
  • Overall Length 7 5/8”

A small utility knife made from a file. I made this knife to try filing on the spline.

  • I marked the plunge line and the handle so I would know where it was.
  • I started by grinding off the file serrations.
  • I figured while I was at the grinder I might as well put the bevel on.
  • Then I sanded the spline to 400 grit
  • Then I added layout blue to the spline
  • I marked the starting point
  • I marked the center line
  • I marked line 3/8” apart
  • Then I cut every other line one alternating sides with a 7/32” chainsaw file cutting at 45 degrees. I cut to the center line.
  • The I cut a line at 45 degrees on each side with a small triangle file.

The Mistake. Try to make sure the scales do not end up in the middle of a cut out like I did.

Knife 37 - Utility/EDC - With File Work
Knife 37 - Utility/EDC - With File Work
Knife 37 - Utility/EDC - With File Work
Knife 37 - Utility/EDC - With File Work
The Mistake. I should have made sure the scales did not end up in the middle of a cut out like this.
Knife 37 - Utility/EDC - With File Work
Knife 37 - Utility/EDC - With File Work
Knife 37 - Utility/EDC - With File Work
Knife 37 - Utility/EDC - With File Work

See: Knife 55 Seax – Vine Filing-laminated scales and Knife 54 Hunter EDC from a file – Blade Filing for more filing details.