Thursday, January 20, 2011

More Drawknife Grinding

Sometimes I have a tough time filling my time when a student is in the shop. While they are completing a task, often the time is too short to get my head into my own work, so I turn to tuning up tools, which is an easy task to take up or put down, and it's always in need.

A while back Steve Kinnane, a student at North Bennet Street sent in his solution to grinding his drawknife. I thought it was great and posted it here.

Recently, I came up with my own spin on the idea that works for curved as well as straight blades.

I've reduced the "fence" to a small block of wood with a square notch cut out of the end. The surfaces of the notch are curved, as you can see below. The first step in grinding a drawknife is to smooth the surface on the back, opposite the edge because this is what rides in the notch. I do this with a file and then polish it on the Bear Tex wheel and buffer.

Then I attach the block to the tool rest and move it closer to the wheel until the wheel touches the center of the bevel. In keeping with my original post about my half assed jigging, I have been using the junky little pine block for a few months now. But at some point I plan to make an ebony version with brass inlays, maybe some Mother of pearl, we'll see...


Greg Pennington said...

That is so cool. I have been doing this same kind of thing but with a rare earth magnet as a fence stuck to the tool rest. I also grind the relief or hollow on the back of the knife using the same deal. If this gets any easier the knife will grind itself!


jaupnort said...

Just to note that Wille Sundquist's book shows a similar way to sharpen your carving knife held with a slotted stick.
This brings me to two needs;need for a reprint of Wille's book and for Peter to get one published.
Another great post Peter.

Peter Galbert said...

Magnets, why didn't I think of that!! Please post about the set up for hollowing the back, I'll link to it. I've been looking for a better solution for that one,

Sign me up for one of Wille's books too! Now about finishing mine...

Kerry said...


I really needed this post being a novice on sharpening. Is there a certain number grade on the wheel and buffer? Do you think Highland Hardware has them?

Anonymous said...

The Sundqvist-style knife grinding stick that jaupnort mentions, especially the one with just a shoulder and no slot (for small blades), is another great application for rare earth magnets - to help keep the blade registered on the shoulder of the stick. I got some small rectangular magnets for this application but a couple of small round ones would work too...

Erik B.

Anonymous said...

hey pete,

love it..going to try that next time the draw knife needs a hollow grind!


Peter Galbert said...

Thanks Stu,
I have had great success with it and am hoping to make a more durable metal version soon!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the quick article Peter. I am new to knife sharpening but will take a look at this article again next time I do it.