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Thread: Striking knife

  1. #1
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    Default Striking knife

    A striking knife is used for marking lines. It combines a knife edge and an awl.

    A recent article can be found at http://www.woodcentral.com/articles/STRIKINGKNIFE.pdf

    Looking at a picture, I said to myself “there is striking knife inside every spade drill bit”. So I took to one with a grinder. It was fun. Below is the result.

    The (right-handed) blade is 9/16’ wide (cut from a 1” wide spade bit), angled at 15 degrees and the bevel is ground at 25 degrees, all as per recommendations. It is sharp enough to pare pine end grain.

    The awl scores beautiful lines, and I’m going to use them when I mark out dovetails in future.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
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    When I made mine last year from a 3/8 bit, I originally ground the blade with a single angle like you did but I saw a picture of a Lee Valley one, which has the blade ground from both sides so that it forms a point in the middle:




    This makes it double-side and can be used from either direction or either hand. I turned a handle out of River Redgum. Mine doesn't have the awl point because I reckon it makes them a bit uncomfortable to use.
    "I don't practice what I preach because I'm not the kind of person I'm preaching to."

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    Nice work derek. Do you use a striking knife or pencil to mark out M&T, dovetails, etc.
    If I do not clearly express what I mean, it is either for the reason that having no conversational powers, I cannot express what I mean, or that having no meaning, I do not mean what I fail to express. Which, to the best of my belief, is not the case.
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    very nice, im gunna steal your design mate, now just how many old spade bits do I have that are cactus ???. (No thats not a quizz!!!)

    well done
    Zed

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    "I don't practice what I preach because I'm not the kind of person I'm preaching to."

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    Would SilentC's marking knife, with the one side sharpened, be inherently more accurate than Derek's marking knife, with both side sharpened?

    SilentC's version has been on the gunna list since I saw his, I was just Gunna make it right handed to suit my mit action.
    Boring signature time again!

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    I made another one which is more like the Veritas one. The blade is still flat on one side but it has two cutting faces so that you can use it on either side of the ruler. If you were transferring the shape of a dovetail pin to another board, you would scribe one side, then rotate the knife 180 deg. in your hand and scribe the other. With a one-sided blade, you would have to hold the knife at a steeper angle to get it in against the face of the pin. Does that make sense? Oh, good....
    "I don't practice what I preach because I'm not the kind of person I'm preaching to."

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    Silent, I really like your marking knife. I remember admiring it at the time. However, what I have made is a little different. It is also different from the Veritas or Japanese marking knives (of which I have a couple).

    From a blade design perspective, the Japanese knives I have (which are actually too sharp!) are ground at about 60 degrees. In other words, the tip is very pointy. This striking knife is based on an 18 century design and the tip is ground at 15 degrees. It is held differently (don't ask me yet which is preferred - later).

    The other issue that that the striking knife is two tools in one - both a marking knife and an awl. The marking knife is best used across the grain, while an awl is best used with the grain. Two tools in one means you have it on hand all the time. You concentrate on the job, not the tool (read the article I Linked).

    I have a two-sided Japanese marking knife and I have used it much of the time. It is useful for dovetail marking since you can mark both sides of the template (the tailss you will have cut). But I find that the lines are so fine that I struggle to find them. An awl will prioduce a more defined, clearer line in this situation. If you use an awl for this type of work (just turn the striking knife around), then you do not need a double marking knife.

    So the theory goes. I'll report back later.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

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    I've got one of those which I've had for years since working in a sheetmetal shop. We used them for marking out sheets to be cut. The pointy end was more useful for that; I don't think the person who bought them for us realised they were meant for wood. The blade on mine is ground on both sides of the blade and is the same shape as yours but only half as wide. No matter which way you use it, you have to hold it at an angle to the ruler or pattern to get the line up close.

    When you use it knife side down, the pointy end has a habit of sticking into you but this is probably more down to the way I hold it. I made a separate awl.

    I've found that the awl tends to create a rougher line when scribing across the grain, like a marking gauge with a pin does. The knife slices the fibres and leaves a cleaner line. On the other hand, when you scribe with the knife going with the grain, the knife tends to want to follow the grain, so this is where I use the awl.

    When cleaning up dovetails, I've found the line left by the knife is very accurate and helps to locate the chisel. I slide the chisel blade across the wood until it 'drops' into the knife mark and then you have it perfectly located.
    "I don't practice what I preach because I'm not the kind of person I'm preaching to."

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    The Veritas knife is the one I was thinking of when I tried to explain all the one sided two sided thing. With one side flat it would be easier to hold it against your chosen straight edge. At least that's my take on it.

    What do you mean by "too sharp" Derek?
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    What do you mean by "too sharp" Derek?
    Outback, this is when the line that is scored is so fine that it is difficult to see or keep track of as you cut. The advantage of the sharp knife is that you can cut deeply and use the mark as a fence to guide a saw. But sometimes it is still difficult to see. Rob Cosman, in one of his videos on cutting dovetails, goes so far as to recommend that the edge of the blade be blunted so that the line made is slightly wider.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

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    Quote Originally Posted by derekcohen
    Rob Cosman, in one of his videos on cutting dovetails, goes so far as to recommend that the edge of the blade be blunted so that the line made is slightly wider.
    Derek
    Some people will go to any lengths to avoid going to the optometrist.....

    As my eyes become more chronologically challenged, those damn lines do get harder to see - I'll soon be doing all my woodworking by braille! If you really need to see the lines, dust a bit of french chalk onto them. On pale woods, run a soft pencil back and forth over the line.

    In most instances, the idea of the cut line is to give you something to work to, or register the chisel in. The way we were taught, you never try to cut on the line if it's something that's going to be visible like a tenon shoulder, but cut close to the line, then shoot, pare or plane to exact dimension. As you shoot to any scribed or cut line, the thin sliver of wood beside the cut opens a bit and gives you a nice indication that you're getting there.

    It's probably no co-incidence that we all seem to gravitate to the same basic layout tools for hand work. These are my 'standards' - cutting gauge, pin gauge, awl and knife. The awl is an old 1/8th chainsaw file with cartrige case ferrule. The marking knife is made from an expired hacksaw blade. I recently made a replacement from a power hacksaw blade, sharpened for both left and right striking, but it doesn't feel as easy as my old faithful - maybe because I'm too used to the old one.
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    Hi Derek,

    Just wanted to repeat some of the earlier comments made on this thread about your 'gizmo'. I have been thinking about this same thing, (like others) for some time and there you go, Derek does it even better and simpler. Fan-bloody-tastic mate. Please keep that brain and those hands working, (my brain is approaching the used by date methinks).

    An idea I had for honing was to use an old sander belt, well worn, turn it inside out and stick it back onto my Bosch sander. It's rectangular flat top sits well on the bench, upsidedown. Then rub on some green honing stick, using the end roller to do the job. Have not tried it yet but hoped it would work. Just another idea that somebody may turn into a good idea.

    Oops!! Wrong thread open. The above was meant for the sander thread. Sorry, similar comments on the work anyway.

    IanW. Love those hand made tools, particularly the Awl, beautiful shape handle and wood.

    This new fangled Komputer Web thingy is a wonderful invention for sharing the wealth of knowledge that obviously exists in one's own backyard. Thanks everybody. My desire for sawdust making has reached new levels. Yes, I am new to this site so please forgive my ludite exuberance.

    Cheers
    Pops

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pops
    Yes, I am new to this site so please forgive my ludite exuberance.
    Don't worry, we'll soon bash that out of you.

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    Ian wrote:

    If you really need to see the lines, dust a bit of french chalk onto them.
    Now that's a great tip!!!

    I was using a white pencil, but I like your idea better.

    I also love your marking tools. Did you make the knife on the cutting gauge? I would like to convert an old marking gauge that uses a pin.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

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