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Old 01-30-2009, 08:27 PM
tmickley's Avatar
tmickley tmickley is offline
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: North Mankato, MN
Posts: 0
Precision File guide

I'm pretty pleased with these.

I had these custom made by a machinist that makes his living on machining knife parts. He does #### fine work.

Here's the details:
File Guide - Precision

Accepts up to 1/2" thick by 2 1/16" wide blade.

* The bars are 3/4" x 3/8" x 3 1/2"

* I had these custom made for us by a talented machinist that specializes in custom knife parts for the industry. This is a very high quality fixture.

* These are 01 hardened steel to an RC hardness of 61. The metal has been finished to a nice satin shine.

* These have precision fit guide pins that align the top bar with bottom bar perfectly. The pins are press fit into the bottom bar and have a close fit in holes on the top bar. This allows for a high precision fit every time. The are connected by socket head cap screws with 3/16" hex drive. I am including a premium quality Wiha 3/16" Hex L-key.

* Look closely at the picture and you will see the inside top bar has been recessed around the pin guide bar holes to allow a spring to be inserted to keep the bars apart. The springs are not included but you should be able to find a couple at any hardware store near you. I don't normally care for them in there so I'm not including them. You might feel different and want some. In that case, the recess will hold the spring nicely in place and allow for spring compression to get a good clamp on the blade.

TIP: Use these with a hand file to cut a matching plunge cut into your blade. Clamp the hardened file guide where you want the plunge cut and file away. The file will skate off of the hardened 01 steel. Don't use these or any other file guide on a belt grinder. Abrasives on a belt grinder are much harder than steel and will gladly eat any hardened steel for lunch. Give these an occasional coat of oil to keep the rust down.

I have the Wiha L-keys on order now and should have them by Feb 3. I'll ship right after those come in and regular after that.
$39.57 each...

Click this to get you some...
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Old 02-01-2009, 08:24 AM
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Ed Caffrey Ed Caffrey is offline
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Location: Great Falls, Montana, USA
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Hey Tracy!

Although it would likely be more expensive, I would recommend having those file guides made out of 3/4" X 3/4"....the reason I say that is because the first couple that I made where only 3/8" and I found it more difficult to get a clean flat on the blade shoulders....I finally discovered that the reason was because the surface area was too small, and the file(s) would slightly flex, causing a high spot in the middle of the shoulders on the blade. When I went to 3/4" square for each piece of the jig, it force me to file with lighter strokes and solved the issue. Since then I've come to realize that on a filing jig, more surface area (that the file rests on) is a good thing.

"Nobody cares what you know.....until they know you care."
See me at table 2Q at the Blade Show!
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Old 02-01-2009, 10:03 AM
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tmickley tmickley is offline
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: North Mankato, MN
Posts: 0
thanks for the comment. Sorry to be thick but I've read this three times and I'm still not quite understanding what you mean by shoulders. I get the file flex. I hadn't thought of that before. I tend to use big 'bastard' 10" files when cutting with a file guide but I can see where a smaller blade/file would be different.

Is what you mean this?: You are pushing on the file on the top and bottom so that the middle, cutting part of the file bows toward you and this creates a convex plunge cut?

Scaling up the design would be fairly trivial I think and is worth looking at. I'd like this to be an heirloom quality tool.
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Old 02-01-2009, 11:50 AM
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B.Finnigan B.Finnigan is offline
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Location: Near Rainier WA
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I have been using 5/8" on the ones I have been making. But it would become a bit of a pain if I was to drill through 1 1/2" of S7 four times for each guide.
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Old 03-03-2009, 08:42 PM
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ranger1 ranger1 is offline
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Location: Lexington,NC
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I know exactly what Ed is talking about. When useing the guid to flatten the blade for fitting a guard I tend to put down pressure on the tip of the file and the handle. This makes the center of the blade higher than the edges. So when the guard is mounted it leaves a gap along the edges at the guard to blade fit. Useing a wider guide helps to keep th file flat.

Andy Sharpe
I ruin perfectly good steel!!
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Old 03-03-2009, 10:03 PM
Burke Burke is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 231
Tracy, What Ed is describing is not so much of a problem on the plunge cuts but when filling the shoulders of the tang for a precise guard fit it turns huge. The narrower width of 3/8ths of an inch allows the file to bow slightly leaving a convex shape to the back of the shoulders where the guard fits making it difficult to get a gap free fit between the ricasso and the guard.

Bill Burke
ABS Master Smith 2008
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blade, knife

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