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How To Grinding wows.

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Lee Darkhorse, Mar 22, 2019.

  1. Lee Darkhorse

    Lee Darkhorse

    Dec 11, 2018
    I have been making knives and swords for a long time now. Forging and then finish. I got hit with some serious health issues that do not allow me to forge very effectively these days. So I have decided to try the stock removal method. I have a really good 2x72 belt grinder that I designed and made myself a long time ago. Problem is I can not stay steady enough to do good fullers and hollow grinds. I need to build a jig for grinding the swords but can't seem to come up with anything on my own. I have looked at many on here and online and non of them seem as though they can work with my long blades. Knives yes but not a sword. I lost some of my memory with the incident and I find it hard to remember my ideas from one moment to the next so that I can make a practical jig. It is really frustrating. A huge life change. The doctor told me I can not make knives and swords anymore and to not try. I say B*******! I'm not going to give up just because they say I should. I would appreciate any plans or ideas. I have 6", 8", 10" contact wheels and numerous smaller sizes that I milled out of aluminium. Just have to figure out a jig that can keep me running straight for the fullers and hollow grinds while supporting most of the weight of the swords. Thanks guys!
  2. Frozen Bear Trading

    Frozen Bear Trading KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 22, 2019
    May I suggest buying blanks and just finishing them?

    I was down for 16 months a over a decade ago and I found some satisfaction in just pinning amg finishing.

    Dont give up. I know what your feeling sir
  3. craytab

    craytab Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    First, I know it is tough to hear but consider your doctor is correct. Since you will ignore that advice (as most likely would I), write stuff down. Lastly, you'll get better answers outside of GKD. I'll report the thread so a mod might move it.
    danbot likes this.
  4. Shotgun

    Shotgun Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 3, 2006
    Sorry to hear about your accident. There is a knife maker sub forum where the makers chat it up. Maybe a mod could help you out and move the thread over there for you.
  5. Mecha

    Mecha Madscienceforge.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013
    Maybe using a hydraulic forging press with some shaping dies could allow for a slow speed, low-impact method of shaping the sword billets and forging in the fullers.
  6. Currawong

    Currawong Gold Member Gold Member

    May 19, 2012
    Find yourself an apprentice, and teach them what you know. They can work with you in the workshop. He or she will take care of the memory lapses :). That way you're passing on your valuable knowledge as well :thumbsup:
    LCoop, Ken H> and 3fifty7 like this.
  7. midnight flyer

    midnight flyer Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    Don't quit, don't give up, and keep on doing what you love. Don't be deterred, and don't go easy on yourself.

    I have been a professional woodworker that started back when the last of the training programs were around for trades. I have been doing everything from designing and building complex concrete form to building custom cabinetry since 1972. I have had several injuries on site (and off...) that seemed to be the end of my wood working days. I am a general contractor now, and pick and choose which parts of the wood work I want to do. But I still enjoy building a one off cabinet, putting up difficult crown molding, making custom doors, etc.

    So one of the worst accidents (one of many) I broke my left wrist in two places and my right (dominant) wrist in three. I didn't want pins and fused bones, so I opted for rehab on the very small chance it would work. They told me if it didn't work the pain would be unbearable and the fused joints would be fragile. But with all the parts fused, I would NEVER have the manual dexterity I lost from the injury.

    Rehab was long and painful, and it lasted a about a year. It took me another 2-3 to "get my hand back". So total, I had about a 4 year commitment. I tripled up on my required exercises since I was so nervous about not having a way to support myself and no doubt that helped. It was a long trip, but worth it as I am fine now. My wrists are arthritic now and it is spreading to my hands, but doing what I have done for so long it could just be the normal wear and tear. That was about 20 years ago, and I still do my exercises for my wrists.

    ALL of the doctors I saw told me to give it up. But, I had already come back a few years earlier from a severe concussion received when I was rear ended (while stopped) by a truck going about 50mph. It was scary because it was combined with a wrenched neck that made it painful to breathe. Both times it was "you need to start looking for another type of work, you won't heal successfully and you will be a danger to yourself". With the wrist situation I was, and I hurt myself a couple of times because I couldn't control my power tools. But I never gave up. With the concussion I spent a lot of time making lists, doodling useful diagrams at lunch (passed off as useful drawings for my employees) and realized I could no longer speak working Spanish. So those things took a lot of work, but eventually things began to get mostly back to normal. I take what I can get.

    I can tell that I am not as proficient as I once was. I can tell it is harder to get some cuts, angles, and situations that require deft hand skills take longer, but I am still in the game. And two years ago, I was working late (not what I was 40+ years ago...) and I fell off the back of a truck while loading material. I tore my knee up as it "popped" out of place, and I had a spiral fracture on my tibia (MOST painful) and tore up some of he tendons in my foot. I was off the site for 3 days. Through the miracle of braces, drugs, stubbornness and the fact that I didn't have to put on my nail bags for a few months, I worked out of that. I went to work as soon as I could and hobbled around on a cane sometimes just for an hour... but I never quit.

    Modify, adjust, and hang in there! The ONLY thing the doctors seemed to agree on is that attitude is most of the battle. Best of luck to you. I think you will find a lot of support here on BF.

    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
  8. coldsteelburns


    Aug 2, 2010
    Here's one concept of a jig to grind swords:

    Make an extra long work rest by bolting (or even clamping) a long piece of cold rolled steel or even aluminum on top of your current work rest so you don't have to make a new work rest attachment from scratch. Doesn't need to be steel or aluminum, just whatever you can get that's straight, flat, and rigid enough across its length.

    Then just make a standard style jig out of a long piece of angle iron to support most of the length of the blade so it stays rigid along its length while grinding, and a few rows of tapped holes along the length of the angle iron at different height to help support the blade at the correct level or tilt you want it to be when grinding bevels in order to compensate for the taper in the profile so that the edge you're grinding is perpendicular to the grinding belt.

    I would utilize a tilting work rest rather than a tilting jig for blades as long as swords, or you could just tilt the platen itself for flat grinds . Also, you could epoxy a few pieces (instead of one really long piece) of something like g10 or micarta or the like along the bottom of the angle iron jig so it slides smoothly across the work rest. Just make sure the micarta etc. pieces are all flat and of the same thickness so that jig itself stays perpendicular to the grinding belt.

    For grinding the fuller, I would just use the same jig but would probably keep the bar stock parallel (i.e before the blade profile and tip are ground in) and just set the work rest and the correct height so the contact wheel grinds in the center of the bar stock to create the fuller, and then proceed to grinding the blade profile and then the bevels. Some draw filing will help clean up and "wonkyness" in the bevels, assuming they are flat ground.

    This is just off the top of my head so it's not that refined and may not be the best idea, but the general concept may help to get you going on designing something that will fit your needs.

    You can also check out Travis Wuertz' Youtube video on what he calls his "doubler plate" that he designed for his TW-90, which looks like a fairly simple way to hollow grind bevels, not sure if it would work for fullers though.

    My Youtube Channel
    ... (Just some older videos of some knives I've made in the past)
  9. scott kozub

    scott kozub Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 1, 2018
    What about a simple parallagram mounted from the ceiling? Could be two ropes or thin cable that attach to the blade. This will keep it perfectly level. With enough length I doubt the height change during the swing would be a issue. It'd be cheap and easy to construct.
  10. Scott Hanson

    Scott Hanson KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 6, 2014
    Maybe start back out with knives and work you way up to the longer blades.
  11. Spalted

    Spalted My name is Britt Askew I like making knives

    Dec 9, 2010
    Thats where I would start for the hollow grinding. Here is a video

    For the fuller, clamp it in a vise on a milling machine?
    Good luck
  12. weo

    weo KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 21, 2014
    Is it possible to take a different approach and have the sword fixed to a table and use a smaller tool (something like an angle grinder) with a fence to guide the tool?
  13. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    There is a Japanese hand tool called a sen that is used to scrape the fuller in a blade. I may be what you need. You can make one pretty easily.
  14. KNelson


    Jan 9, 2019
    How about using some of the parts the few of us used to make surface grinder attachments? turn it 90 degrees and use it for fullers and bevels!
  15. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    That works very well, but I think the OP is looking for a simple solution. I don't know what his abilities are to build the fixture needed.

    For those wanting to explore the idea of grinding the fullers, a long heavy duty drawer slide, a couple long bars of aluminum, a bunch of magnets or clamps, and some sort of fixture/jig to hold it at 90 degrees to a small contact wheel will grind a perfect fuller, The same sort of rig can be made to use on a small milling machine.
    Jonathans and weo like this.

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