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Grinding away second bevel on Flexcut knife

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  • Grinding away second bevel on Flexcut knife

    Hi,

    I’m a beginner carver from Germany looking for some advice. I started caricature carving and did some fun projects from Gene Messer and Doug Linker which I really enjoyed – so I want to dive more into this hobby. Till now I have a Flexcut detail knife and a Japanese Carving Knife recommended by Doug Linker on Youtube. I read here on the forum that a curved blade knife might be much better for a beginner like me since it facilitates slicing cuts (which I’m not very good at). As all the knives from U.S. knifemakers (OCC, Helvie etc.) are only available here for very high shipping costs I was looking for alternatives and found the Flexcut skewed detail knife KN34.

    https://www.flexcut.com/home/product...d-detail-knife

    It looks like a small sloyd knife but with just a 1-3/4" blade and a curved blade.
    Now my question: I read that the second bevel on the Flexcut knives makes them more sturdy but harder to chip wood as well. Do you think it makes sense to grind away this bevel to make a flat blade from spine to edge? And if yes how would you approach this? I have automotive sandpaper but I don’t know how to place the blade on it – flat with the first bevel or somehow right on the edge of the second bevel? But that would only be guess work… I would be happy to get some hints!
    Thank you in advance!
    Max

  • #2
    I know there's people on this forum that swear by flat bevels, but I would suggest getting and using the knife for some time before deciding to spend the time re-work the bevels on the knife. It will take quite some time grinding the bevels flat with abrasive papers.

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    • #3
      Flexcut makes excellent palm tools, but their knives leave something to be desired...so much so, personally, I couldn't ever recommend one. I had a FlexCut Tri-Jack Pro I paid around $90.00 US for, and I ended up giving it away.

      Most of the folks on here that sharpen their own knives say a 12 degree bevel per side is perfect...I send my knives to a sharpener, and know when they come back they are perfect. For basswood, a flat bevel works best.

      Good luck with flattening that bevel...if you want to try a different knife, look for OCCT knives, Helvie, or Deepwoods Ventures...they come perfect for carving!

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree with Steev that you should try the knife as is before trying to modify it. It will probably cut fine for your purposes. Flattening the bevel would involve grinding/sanding the blade flat from the back of the blade to the edge. You can accomplish that by hand or using a grinder or belt sander, but you have to watch the heat and dip in water frequently if using power tools. A lot of tools are not worth that much effort, but it can be a learning experience. There are cheaper tools that you can mess up and practice sharpening on.
        'If it wasn't for caffeine, I wouldn't have any personality at all!"

        http://mikepounders.weebly.com/
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        • #5
          I use a flexcut knife, mostly for rough work, and find it to work very well. I'll echo the idea of using the knife for a while before doing any modifications.

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          • #6
            It depends on the geometry of your blade. If it is 1mm thick at the spine and 25mm wide, a "flat bevel" would be less than four degrees and would not hold up to the stresses of carving. As stated above the bevel angle should be 10 to 12 degrees.
            Last edited by pallin; 08-15-2019, 10:31 AM. Reason: correction to example

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            • #7
              I have several Felxcut knives and they are fine knives and wouldn't suggest modifying them until you have mastered them as is. I find them easy to sharpen and just concentrate on the first bevel and hone it. Good selection. I have been using several OCC knives also which are excellent.
              Bill
              Living among knives and fire.

              http://www.westernwoodartist.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Thank you very much guys!
                Very sound answers and good explanations - especially the one about the blade geometry. For sure I will go on and just use this knife and try to 'master' it.
                But I'm still curios. In this thread the member Nomad describes, that with large secondary bevels he starts to smoothen them up over time.

                https://forum.woodcarvingillustrated...fe-large-bevel

                I would love to get to know how to do this "knocking the corner" off. As I said I have no idea how to place the blade on the sandpaper/grinding stone or whatever to just hit the secondary bevel and not ruin the edge. For me this is part of the carving journey as well - learn how to use and maintain and a knife and as well how to adapt it to his own needs.

                Thank you!

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                • #9
                  I have the K34 knife. It's fine the way it is. I have blades with flat grind and bevel grind. Sometimes I like the flat, sometimes I like the bevel. It depends on what I'm carving, the wood itself and the physical ability of my hands and arms since I'm not young and Arthur Itis likes me for one reason or another. So, I would try the knife out for a while on different woods and projects. If you truly feel you want to flatten the blade, then get out your sandpaper and start modifying. You'll need to start with 220 grit and work your way back to 2000 grit as I did with the KN13 detail knife.

                  Bob L

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                  • #10
                    Hello, Max, and welcome to the forums.

                    I have had 2 of the KN13 detail knives. After dropping the first onto the concrete floor and knocking off the tip each time, The blade is much shorter now. The second one lost it's tip once while carving a tight curve. Each time, I ground down the back of the blade to create a new tip. I've attached a JPG of the blade thickness and bevel angle for several of my knives. The Modified KN13 is exactly what you asked about. I had it ground down for me by a blade smith, and you can compare the numbers to the unmodified one. I think it cuts much better in basswood now. I prefer the thinner blades. Sometimes, though, the thinner blades can be a problem. My Allan Goodman knife blade snapped about 6mm from the handle a couple of months ago. The blade was my thinnest and quite flexible, and because of the upsweep shape, it made slicing cuts much easier. Allan is hard to get ahold of, so I ordered a replacement from Helvie with the scimitar-shaped blade, as I have really grown to like that blade style. One thing you can do if you decide to flatten the bevel on the KN13 is to mark the blade with a black marking pen. After a few strokes on the sandpaper, you can look at it and see where the ink is missing, and then adjust how you are holding the blade against the sandpaper, if needed.

                    Claude

                    Knife blade thickness.jpgIMG_6152.jpg
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                    • #11
                      Hi!

                      I now tested the Flexcut KN34 for several days and compared it to my other knife - a Japan Carver (recommended by Doug Linker: https://www.woodcraft.com/products/c...702d3ae3000d98 ). The Japan Carver has the same blade thickness (if not a thicker blade) and almost the same shape. It is slightly bigger but it has a second bevel as well.
                      The Japanese knife is substantially sharper than the Flexcut. Although it states that Flexcuts come very sharp right out of the box the it can not do the same as the Japan Carver. I stropped both knives on cardboard very often with the same technique. How is it possible that two knives with almost the same appearance and maintenance (stropping) are so different in sharpness? Is it geometry on micro level?

                      I'm still learning here. What am I supposed to do know? Take out some sandpaper and start sharpening? I have zero experience with sharpening a knife to razor sharp and don't want to ruin this knife.

                      Thanks again for your help!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        One possibility for you... Try to find a local carving club and attend a meeting or two. Club members are usually happy to show you their tools, and will in general point at one member as the expert in sharpening. Talk to the person, show him/her your knives and get an opinion on the sharpness (and maybe on how to improve it). Another possibility - attend a carving show in your general area, and ask the same questions...

                        Claude
                        My FaceBook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ClaudesWoodCarving/

                        My Pinterest Page: https://www.pinterest.com/cfreaner/

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