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New Member
Aug 24, 2020
Bristol, UK
Hi, I’m new to the forum and knife making. After years of watching forged in fire and other blacksmithing shows I decided I would try making a knife of my own. I bought a billet of Damascus off eBay and set to working cutting to my design. I only have access to basic tools such as hacksaws, files and an angle grinder. I have gotten my shape cut and bevels started and have left the cutting edge about 1.5 - 2mm wide as this is what I read it would need to be for heat treat To stop warping. I would be sending the knife off for heat treatment as I don’t have the equipment for this. What I am worried about is once hardened will I be able to take my bevels down to a cutting edge with only hand files or will the metal then be too hard?

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
McBride, BC
I think if you just do bump-and-run, touch-and-go, you can get a lot of the bevel done with an angle grinder
without cooking the blade.
When you switch to file work, don't forget to charge the file with school stick chalk.
This fills the grooves so the edges cut and the file does not pack up with metal to bump.

I convert 25 degree bevels on farrier's hoof-trimming crooked knives to 12 degrees for wood carving.
Hall (Canada) have really hard steel. I kill a chainsaw file for the rough work for every 2 knives I do.
Hardware store is obscene unit price. Logger's supply has files in boxes of a dozen.


Oct 6, 2003
Whether you can file your bevels, hard, will depend on the steel in the Damascus billet. Some steel when hard will skate a file much more than other steel, at the same hardness. Damascus can be made from all sorts of materials, including mild steel, which makes a pretty useless knife. You will need to know what the steel is so that whoever heat treats it can do a proper job.

All that said, I made a bunch of knives without even an angle grinder. All in O-1 tool steel that I heat treated myself with a couple of soft fire bricks and a plumbers torch, quenched in veg oil and tempered in the kitchen oven. If I had sent them away I would have had a more reliable blade since O-1 isn't an amalgamation the way Damascus is. You don't say what sort of bevel you are grinding, whether it runs all the way to the spine, or only part way up the blade, or if it is going to be a single bevel Scandi. I made flat filed blades with stone ground convex edges. Edges were taken down to 0.5-0.75mm, then I worked and worked and worked with a 220 grit water stone. I think you are giving yourself more work than needed with an edge as thick as that.

Beware some of the advice out can assume that you have a belt grinder or other machine tools.

Avoiding warpage is also about not grinding everything off one side, getting it hot, then letting it cool and doing the other side. That can set up uneven stresses that cause warp.

Flap sander wheels can work better than stone grinding wheels for what you are doing. Premium resin bonded sand paper, and the stiff power sanding belts, cut and mounted flat, can last a lot longer for hand grinding an edge than wet and dry paper in grits of 120g or so.

Good luck

Hultafors Outdoor knife for Sale

We have a a number of Hultafors Outdoor Knives with Firesteels

You can see more details here in this thread OUTDOOR KNIVES

The price is £27 and you can pay via the paypal button below.