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Knives From the
Texas Hill Country

Since 1978

830-798-7744

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How-to Filework a Fixed Blade Knife

 

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This page is created for those that have been wanting to know
how to go about doing filework on their fixed-blade knife.

This is a short archive of most of the steps involved with
fileworking a fixed-blade knife with a vine pattern.


Please keep in mind that this is only one way of
very many ways to accomplish the same thing.
What works for me may not work for you.
This is intended as a guide to get started and assist in basic knowledge.
Have thoughts or ideas??? Let me know.
Rocket       Handmade Knives tutorial for a vine filework on a fixed blade knife

The above picture shows the finished piece.
Scroll down the page to view
the steps required to make this filework possible.


The first photograph shows the knife ready for heat-treatment.
Filework must be accomplished before heat-treatment to save a lot of
extra work and save some tools. Once the blade is heat-treated,
it will take diamond cutters to work the steel.
To learn how a knife has made it to this point, go to the
Rocket Knives tutorial on how to make a fixed blade knife.
Rocket Knives tutorial for fileworking a fixed blade knife This shows the piece, including the guard,
and before heat-treatment.
The part that will be fileworked is the
spine of the handle tang.

Here are the supplies needed to
accomplish the task. A machinists' scale
(any measuring tool will work), a 3-corner
or handsaw file, an 1/8" round chain saw
file, some scrap wood pieces to hold the
blade in place and the vise to hold it with.

Rocket             Knives tutorial on tools needed to filework a fixed blade knife
Rocket             Knives tutorial on space required to fillework a fixed blade knife

This shows the handle spine with the
guard attached. A mark should be made
where the guard and handle meet.
This will be the "mark of no return".
If you file past this line, you will be filing
into where the guard is soldered to the
blade. Filework past this line could be a
BIG problem later.

Starting at where the mark was made for
the guard, (or somewhere behind that
point) mark the spine as far as you would
like for it to be filed. Marks are made
about 1/4" apart here all the way to the
end of the tang.
Rocket knives close-up of how to filework a fixed blade knife
Rocket Knives tutorial on lines needed to filework a fixed blade knife Starting with the handsaw or 3-corner file,
file every other mark on one side. I have
highlighted in red the file impression left
in the steel. The cut is made at about a 30
degree angle.

Now, the cut is made on the opposite side,
filing on the mark that was not filed from
the other side. Red highlights were made
on every other filing on both sides.

Rocket Knives tutorial on where to file a fixed blade knife
Rocket Knives tutorial on the shape of the cuts needed to filework a fixed blade knife Directly behind the cut made with the 3
corner file, make a new cut with the
round or chain saw file. Leave about 1/16"
between the two cuts to make the leaf
shape later. Cut at approximately the
same 30 degree angle as the first cut.
Do this on both sides. Red highlights are
done on some of the filings in the picture
to better show the file cuts.

Sorry about the picture quality here, but
the idea is pretty clear. The first cut
(3-corner cut) is slightly rolled to make
the leaf point and the round cut is made
to blend into the vine.
Red highlights show the final result.

Rocket Knives tutorial on how to finish up a vine filework on a fixed blade knife
Rocket Knives tutorial on final filework on a fixed blade knife This shows the final work done to finish up
the vine. Red highlights help to distinguish
the filings. Remember to make your filings
pretty deep because there will be some
metal removed upon completion of the
handle. Go back and "true-up" any slips or
mistakes.
This blade is ready for heat-treatment.
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