Ray Rogers Handcrafted Knives

Chapter 2

(3) Adjusting hole alignment

(4A) Setting the angle to 10 degrees

(4B) Grinding the locking ramp

(5) Centerline is drawn

(6) Filing thumb grooves

(7) Grinding the bevel to the centerline
After the blades are shaped to the correct profile on the belt sander the holes for the pivot and thumb stud are drilled. The hole for the head of the screw for the thumb stud is usually countersunk.

Even though I get the basic shape and hole placement of the blade from a pattern it is important to remember that these blades are handmade. The blade is shaped using an ink line as a guide and the holes are drilled on inky little dots. The placement of the holes within the shape of the rear of the blade have to have certain geometric relationships if the folder is to function properly. To help me be sure I achieve that relationship I use a little wooden jig with a couple of metal rods stuck in it. These rods approximate the relationship of the pivot and the blade stop as they will be in the finished knife.

The back and bottom rear of the blade are ground until the blade fits into the jig about right(3). Final fitting will take place when the handle and blade are matched. After the blade works in the jig, I set the angle of my grinder's platen 10 degrees off from verticle (4A). Then, I mill the angled locking ramp in the rear of the blade(4B).

In picture (5) you'll see that a center line has been drawn on the edge of the blade. The object of the game is to grind the sides of the blade down evenly so that the cutting edge falls on that line. At this point, I usually file the thumb grooves into the back of the blade (6) because it's a little easier to get the blade to stay put in a vice while it's still flat. Notice that the file I'm using is about a half inch wide. It's a special file called a checkering file and cuts about 10 grooves at a time. This makes it a lot easier to keep the grooves even.

In picture (7) you can see me holding the blade against the grinding belt to grind the bevel to the centerline. Yeah, I know what your thinking - that nobody could possibly do it that way and keep the lines straight. That's what I thought too and some days I still think so. But, with practice it can be done and just about every stock removal knife maker does it that way.

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Ray Rogers Handcrafted Knives